Ballet news from Carl Davis

55  x 60 Carl Davis (Trevor Leighton).jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new ‘Gatsby’ for Pittsburgh Ballet

Having already won plaudits in 2000 for his evocative score to a TV adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Davis is set to return to the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s brilliant fable of hedonistic excess and tragic reality of 1920s America in a new original ballet score for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Choreographed by Jorden Morris, the new show will open in February 2019, and should provide Davis ample scope to conjure both the shimmering Jazz Age, and the destructive obsession which forces Gatsby’s world to unravel.

 

Chaplin on stage

After the great success of Davis and Daniel de Andrade’s Nijinksy in 2015, the Slovak National Theatre have once again commissioned the pair, this time for a ballet based upon the life and work of Charlie Chaplin. Davis – whose silent film score work makes him the ideal composer for the project – will conduct the premiere of Chaplin, The Tramp on 15 March.

‘The three giants of 20th-century art are, for me, Picasso, Stravinsky and Chaplin,’ says Davis. ‘Chaplin was a film-maker in complete control of his art: conceiving, scripting, acting, directing, producing, editing and, strikingly, creating his own musical scores. His stimulus, as it is with all clowns, was the creation of a character – amusing, moving, whose fate constantly intrigues us. Whereas Buster Keaton was a frozen-faced stoic and Harold Lloyd had his empty-framed glasses, Chaplin had his “little tramp”, the ups-and-downs (mostly downs) of whose existence shaped a story of human resilience.’

 

‘La Dame aux Caméllias’ in Naples

Alexandre Dumas’s The Lady of the Camellias has inspired a wealth of plays, films, ballets and operas – most famously Verdi’s La Traviata. Davis’s ballet version was commissioned by the National Ballet of Croatia and premiered in 2008 and went on to sell out two successive seasons. The opulent score, which brilliantly encapsulates the story’s high emotions, received its Italian premiere in September at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, with choreography by Derek Deane.