The Superman character of US popular culture is indelibly described in his “civilian” guise as “mild mannered.” It’s not a description one would think befitting a balletmaker and artistic voice of depth and distinction, but it perfectly fits the gentle, and gentlemanly Alexei Ratmansky, Bolshoi Ballet Artistic Director and choreographer.
Ratmansky’s presence on the US ballet scene gets more and more welcome as we get to know him.
During 1999, with a touring group led by Nina Ananiashvili, two of his ballets – “Charms of Mannerism” (1997) and ”Dreams About Japan” (1998) – were shown to limited audiences. (I didn’t catch any of these performances, nor the “Carnival of the Animals” he made for San Francisco Ballet). In 2000, Ratmansky’s “Cinderella” for the Mariinsky Ballet played Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and proved to be an uneven but moving ballet. Last summer, Ratmansky’s Bolshoi troupe presented his 2004 “Bright Stream” in New York, and it was the season’s most worthwhile and witty offering.
Now, capping New York City Ballet’s sixth installment of the Diamond Project, a showcase of newly commissioned ballets, Ratmansky showed "Russian Seasons" and as the project’s final ...