Before opera, it was ballet |

Before opera, it was ballet

Marka Moser

Like a fine vintage wine, La Scala Ballet emits a historical essence, blended with a delicate and vibrant sensuality that brings a sense of excitement to today’s dance audiences.

An eruption of explosive talents is on tap when the 16 members of La Scala Ballet light up the stage Thursday and Friday, Aug. 7 and 8, during this season’s Vail International Festival of Dance. The audience will be treated to a company internationally known for its historic importance as the birthplace of ballet, as well as the fiery sexual appeal of its exquisitely trained company and principal dancers.

“The men are tall, virile and dashing and the women’s artistry is perfection,” said Katherine Kersten, producing artistic director of the festival. “Each dancer embodies the essence of a god or goddess.”

La Scala, a company from which the world’s first famous ballerinas were trained, maintains a daring and dramatic style. They have hosted such esteemed guest artists as Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. Choreographers and dancers from La Scala were eventually lured to England, France and Russia to build their celebrated ballet companies.

Among the unique and pleasing repertory to be performed in Vail by La Scala is the Vail World Premiere by well-known American choreographer Robert North, who recreates his””Troy Games” on an all-female cast titled, “Amazon.”

“Whenever I’ve done this ballet, the girls in the companies have always asked if they could dance it,” North explains. “With the high level of the La Scala women in this ensemble, I could see it working very well. The Vail performance will be the first time it will be danced by women.”

“Riveting,” is how Kevin Ng describes La Scala in a recent Dance Magazine review: “I was mesmerized as La Scala performed with verve and soul. They are an unforgettable eyeful, steeped in dance history. They dance as a major company should, with precision and enthusiasm.”

La Scala has also been described by varied dance magazine critics as “sexily sinuous … sparkling, youthful, glamorous … exhibit contrastingly delicate and fiery sexuality … vibrancy, sensuality .”

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