Ballet in Argentina
Article of the guest columnist, Angel Fumagalli for surdelsur.com
Ballet in Argentina during the 1940’s
By the time when, Antonia Mercé staged her Amor Brujo for the Colón, the repertoire had included works like The Sylphs, Carnival, The Ghost of the Rose, The Fire Bird, Thamar, The Consecration of Spring, Lifar’s Prometheus, among other pieces. Margarita Wallmann was appointed as choreographic director of the Ballet from late 1930s till 1940s. Trained in the school of Mary Wigmann, Wallmann developed the ballet of grand show, with the particularly remarkable Honegger’s oratorio Jeanne d’Arc in the pyre.
Balanchine worked for our Ballet in 1942. Monte Carlo Ballets with Massine and the Original Ballet Russe of Colonel Basil also performed in the early 1940.
The Original Ballet merged with the Colón Ballet in 1943, under the direction of Basil. Several of his figures settled in America, like: Grigorieva, Irman, Verchichina, Leskova, etc. Argentina received the art of the Sakharoff, The Dance Poets, agents of new aesthetics, and the Joos Ballets of Essen.
During the 1950s
During the 1950s, our dancers Ruanova, Ferri, Ferrari, Agoglia, Lommi, Truyol, Neglia, Adamowa, Borovska and Moreno, among others stood out. The repertoire of the Colón was enhanced with productions by Massine, Milloss and Gsovsky.
In 1950, the Paris Opera Ballet led by Lifar and Toumanova brought Lifarian masterpieces. We were visited by Alicia Markova and Alicia Alonso; the latter began an important activity in Argentina which would extend up to her last appearance in 1987 with the Cuban National Ballet.
By that time, several important groups visited our country: the Marqués de Cuevas Ballet, the American Ballet Theater and some Soviet Ballet groups. The movement of modern dance acquired a renewed impulse with figures like Schottelius, Fux, Ossona, Grinberg, Werberg and others; together with the remarkable Kreutberg and Dore Hoyer.
Ballet in Argentina since the 1960s
Since the 1960s, the Ballet Argentino started to present the major classical productions staged by Carter, Nureyev, Prebil, Belfiore, Galizzi and Makarova, together with P. Lacotte’s La Sylphide , E. Martinez’s Coppelia and Profokiev’s ballets.
Towards 1985, the triumph of two young figures: Julio Bocca and Maximiliano Guerra – winners in Moscú and Varna- would give ballet an exceptional popularity. The international career of the two dancers confirmed their local success.
On the other hand, artists like Candal, Bazilis, Delmagro, Caamaño, Quadri and Escobar remarkably staged brilliant performances at the Colón which included, aside from classical, romantic and contemporary works, creations by the Argentine choreographers Oscar Araiz, López, Lastra, Zartmann and Baldonedo, Cervera and Wainrot.
In the last seasons, the Colón gave the contemporary ballet d’action an important place with productions signed by Kenneth McMillan and John Cranko: Romeo and Juliet; The Taming of the Shrew and Onegin.
See previous report History of Ballet in Argentina influences, Jesuits and School Bolera, Italian Companies, Ballets Russes and the creation of the Argentine Ballet Schools.
All graphic material in this report is edited digitally. The customized version by surdelsur.com shown on this page is performed based on the following documents:
- Colon Theater, Opera Hause [Photographs and ancient prints] Collection of Photographs of History of Ballet in Argentina, kindly granted.