N. 287 - June / July 2021

Our readers will have noticed that over the last year and a half this magazine has been published at somewhat erratic intervals. I hope that such irregularity can be justified by the uncertainty dictated by this unprecedented era. But our subscribers can rest assured that they won’t be missing out on any of their prepaid issues: on the contrary, we’ll be throwing in an extra complimentary issue at the end of their subscription.
What can we say about this present issue? That it records the death of several leading artists, but at such an advanced age that our sadness at their loss is comforted by the light that such long and productive lives and careers have shed on the art of dance in this era of ours. And this light continues to shine in our history, but not on an empty stage, like John Neumeier’s ghost light on the cover of the previous issue of BALLET2000.
The subject of this issue’s cover-story is a strange and all-but-forgotten creation by Maurice Béjart for an actress/ballerina who emerges from a mound of pointe shoes: the protagonist twenty years ago was Carla Fracci; today that light radiates from Alessandra Ferri, another Italian ballerina of world fame.
Our reviews in this issue are also comforting. In spite of the restrictions in theatres and festivals, all the top companies (and smaller ones too), choreographers and dancers have continued over recent months to work and produce, perhaps with even stronger degrees of enthusiasm, motivation and “ethos”.
This is testified by the News pages that report on the near future that is rich in creations and shows that we can expect at festivals during the second half of this summer.
And we feel that this also confirms an obvious observation, which we have already made but which is still struggling to be accepted serenely. Surely, the “live” performing arts, i.e. plays, opera, dance, need a stage and an audience – this is a fact that must be taken on board by our governments that still seem to be pushing for the closure of theatres, the least risky of public places – but at the same time, videos and streaming, which emerged as a surrogate for live performances when these are banned, are establishing themselves in their own right. This doesn’t mean that they’ll ever be able to substitute the artistic and emotional “truth” of live theatre; however, they can exist permanently side-by-side with it so as to reach out to a wider public and offer multiple perspectives. And, possibly, suggest new dimensions also for creating artists.
That is what seems to be happening.

Ballet2000 n. June / July 2021

lessandra Ferri : L’heure exquise, c. Maurice Béjart (ph. Silvia Lelli)