"Le Halte de Cavalerie", "Class Concert", "Prelude"
David H. Koch Theater
New York, NY
November 19, 2014
by Mary Cargill
© 2014 by Mary Cargill
The Mikhailovsky's triple bill was a brief trip through its archives, featuring a one-act Petipa comedy, a 1960 Bolshoi classroom extravaganza and a 21st century piece by its former director Nacho Duato. The program was presented in chronological order, but unfortunately, the quality of the choreography was in descending order, though the dancing throughout was generally first rate. "Le Halte de Cavalerie" is late Petipa, from 1896. Petipa's one-act works are not well-known in the west and his name is generally used as a synonym for over-long, crowd pleasing full-length works, but single act ballets were not invented by Diaghilev. The Mikhailovsky's version was set for them in 1975 by Pyotr Gusev, a famous Russian dancer who had studied at the pre-Revolutionary Maryinsky. (He was a classmate of Balanchine's.) He would have seen the Petipa version, so this may be as close as we can get to the source.
Scene from "Le Halte de Cavalerie" © Sveta Tarlova