The Bolshoi Ballet’s production of The Lady of the Camellias was transmitted live on Sunday 7th December at the Phoenix Picturehouse in Oxford. At nearly three hours in length the ballet recounts Alexandre Dumas’ well known tale which forms the basis as well for Verdi’s La Traviata and Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand. The latter short ballet was created especially for Fonteyn and Nureyev and – when they performed it – gently reflected that late blooming relationship between the newly arrived Russian dancer and the more mature woman nearing the end of her sophisticated career. Sunday’s transmission of John Neumeier’s The Lady of the Camellias was startling in the scope of its dramatic enterprise. This was neither short, nor gentle, nor a mere showcase for two star dancers. It was a full-length novelistic narrative. (more…)

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A pre-Christmas treat in the form of an opportunity to see the Bolshoi Ballet at the Phoenix Picturehouse  in a live transmission of John Neumeier‘s ballet The Lady of the Camellias.  Set to music by Frédéric Chopin, John Neumeier presents his vision of the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, written in 1848.  Premiered by the Stuttgart Ballet on 4 November 1978, with Marcia Haydée in the title role, the work entered the repertoire of the Hamburg Ballet on 31 January 1981. The choreographer, who often seeks inspiration in literature, had long been fascinated by “The Lady of the Camellias”, an account of Dumas fils’s own unhappy affair with Rose-Alphonsine Duplessis, a Parisian courtesan, who died of consumption at the age of 22.

A young bourgeois, Armand Duval, falls madly in love with Marguerite Gautier, a gorgeous courtesan celebrated by Parisian high society. Despite her infidelity, Armand will do all he can to win the beautiful woman’s heart and convince her to leave her indulgent life.  The Bolshoi breathes new life into Neumeier’s tragic masterpiece,  this production assuming a new emotional and dramatic texture that only the Bolshoi’s dancers can deliver.

“Neumeier’s character-rich ballet has found a company that is equal to its challenges.” – Financial Times.

Date:  Sunday 6th December 2015, 3.00pm

Venue:  Phoenix Picturehouse, 57 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AE

Book tickets online here or phone 0871 902 5736