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Monday, June 6, 2016

Le Petit Prince reviews

Performances of Guillaume Côté's Le Petit Prince by The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, June 2016: 

Martha Schabas, The Globe and Mail
"How much money do you need to spend on a ballet to disguise colourless choreography, thematic incoherence and a void of any real artistic thought, impulse or risk?"

Michael Crabb, Toronto Star
"It would seem problematic to base a ballet on a book whose most famous line proclaims, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” Undaunted, National Ballet of Canada principal dancer Guillaume Côté in his first evening-length choreography has adapted French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved fable Le Petit Prince into a dazzling spectacle of worthy intentions and mixed outcomes."

Penelope Ford, Fjord Review 
"The trend towards set-heavy ballets in new commissions continues, with the design and flow of “Le Petit Prince” reminiscent of Christopher Wheeldon’s overstuffed “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”—we can get over it, but it speaks to a larger concern, one of audiences, and shifting priorities in the ballet world. In the bid to attract a new and younger crowd to the theatre, are companies turning their backs on choreography in favour of wow-them design?"

Oksana Khadarina, DanceTabs 
"I am happy to report that the new production, even if not perfect, offers plenty to enjoy: from the clever stage decorations, attractive costumes and impressive visual effects to inspired dancing by the company’s incredibly gifted and committed cast." 

Denise Sum, Danceview Times 

""Le Petit Prince" reflects a somewhat troubling trend towards new full-length ballets that feature well-known, familiar narratives with stylish designs and special effects, but hollow choreography and a lack of substance. Still, every performance of "Le Petit Prince" was sold out, so perhaps the NBoC is responding to a demand. Time will tell whether this production will stand the test of time or if it will be looked back on as an expensive experiment once the novelty wears off."

Self and Soul:The National Ballet’s adaptation of Le Petit Prince is a journey back to childhood 
by Daniel Baird, The Walrus
"While Saint-Exupéry’s tale and Côté’s ballet subtly diverge, and Côté takes advantage of how hard it is for us to follow a story unfolding in time without words, they share a common aim: restoring the wonder of childhood amidst the noise and fragmentation of modern life."

A Wild Way Home in Le Petit Prince

 By Mark Mann
"no doubt ballet lovers will be more than happy with Côté’s interpretation."

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