All great love stories are great because of the adversities the protagonists face. In ballet, all great love stories end in death. If we think of the great love stories of ballet… everyone always dies. Is it the worst thing in the world? No, but it sure is depressing. Of all the great love stories by far, Romeo and Juliet will always take on Valentine’s Day… Last year, I felt like everyone, and their mom did R + J for Valentine’s Day weekend. This year I feel like everyone is doing Don Q. Which is good because no one dies. Unfortunately, Don Q isn’t known for the epic love story; it is known for great technical variations…
The tragedy is always great, it sells tickets and makes for great posters and PR. But, really, the love stories within ballet are only made better by beautiful Pas de Deux, and hands down Kenneth Macmillan knows how to do romance: Romeo and Juliet and Manon. Then we have Val Caniparoli’s version of Lady of the Camellias and Onegin; the work is epic. You can see Boston Ballet this month perform it. Click here for tickets and preview.
And finally, I actually really enjoy the pas de deux from Month in the Country by Ashton. Finally, even though it isn’t a “romance” per say… I love the Diamonds pas de deux in Balanchine’s Jewels.
There will always be ballet feuds… Going back to the Original Ballets Russes and The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Here are some of the current match ups….
Royal Ballet vs. English National Ballet… The Tea and Crumpets War
New York City Ballet vs. American Ballet Theatre (old rivalry but a goodie)
The Australian Ballet vs. Queensland Ballet… the fight down under
Houston Ballet vs. Ballet Austin vs. Texas Ballet Theatre… The Texas Threesome
Miami City Ballet vs. Orlando Ballet, younger ballet companies hashing it out.
Stuttgart vs. Hamburg, the German showdown
Bolshoi vs Mariinsky (old rivalry but a goodie)
National Ballet of Canada vs Royal Winnipeg… Canadian Syrup Fight
In bold I have decided who I like more… haha (insert your comments below)
There are many more but these are some that I enjoy watching as they promote people, change up their repertory, and start the social media wars. What is great is that we have all these options, that each company brings something new, and has created numerous jobs for their areas.