Alastair Macaulay

Back In The USSR
September 28, 2011

The Bright StreamAmerican Ballet Theatre Anna Karenina; The Little Humpbacked HorseMariinsky Ballet, Metropolitan Opera House Incredibly, the hit of the New York dance season this spring was The Bright Stream, a restaging of a Soviet “tractor-ballet” from 1935, about a Caucasian collective farm complete with hammer, sickle, and happy farmers making merry in a sunlit workers’ paradise. The ballet comes to us directly from Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, where it was first restaged in 2003 with new choreography by the Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky.

The READ: Pound Them Keyboards!
April 07, 2010

What does it mean when two critics—both reasonable, educated people, well-versed in the artistic genre they have made their focus—come to drastically different conclusions about a work of art? The Times asked this question last week after publishing two conflicting reviews of Come Fly Away, Twyla Tharp’s new Broadway production of dances set to Frank Sinatra songs. Charles Isherwood, a theater critic for the paper, exulted in the show’s dazzling “pyrotechnics,” seeing its (admittedly generic) characters as archetypes of romantic desire.