Sylvie Guillem and the Sydney Choreographic Centre

News flash: The Sydney Choreographic Centre has just announced that Sylvie Guillem is to take on the role of international patron of the Sydney Choreographic Centre. Artistic director Francesco Ventriglia has said of the appointment:

I could not be more thrilled and honoured that Sylvie has agreed to become SCC’s International Patron. I want the Centre to be a place of inspiration and there is no one in the dance world more recognised or inspiring than Sylvie.

Well for those of us who have seen Guillem dance in various situations this appointment augurs well and I hope her input will be extensive, if from afar. I don’t think I have ever really recovered from Guillem’s production of Giselle for the Finnish National Ballet, which I had the good fortune to see twice way back in 2001. The intelligence behind what was a truly inspired production was remarkable. I hope that in some way Ventriglia and his team will be able to harness some of that passion and inspiration to add to what they already have.

Michelle Potter, 4 May 2021

Featured image: Sylvie Guillem in Sacred Monsters. Photo: ©Tristram Kenton

Postscript: Apologies to anyone who accessed this news item in the first few minutes of posting. The hated autocorrect kept changing Sylvie to Sylvia! I think it is all fixed now.

3 thoughts on “Sylvie Guillem and the Sydney Choreographic Centre

  1. Michelle – and Francesco
    By any spelling we know who Guillem is — a dancing woman who managed to keep her own head, heart and style within a huge bureaucracy of ballet … that alone equals her stellar achievements in performance.

    Francesco may be Italian but he demonstrated a strong rapport with French ballet when he brought the first programme of works by Roland Petit to RNZBallet. (Why did we wait so long?). It was fabulous season, true theatre, and is vividly remembered here.

    We have in New Zealand two dancers — Abigail Boyle and Laura Saxon Jones – whose aesthetics and physiques put me in mind of the great Guillem.

    This brings Sydney closer. All joy to us all.

  2. Oh the famous ‘Mademoiselle non!’ She was so-named, I think, in Britain. But what a star.

    The very interesting aspect of your comment, however, relates (with inference if not in specific words) to artistic directors. I saw Guillem in Australia several times when Ross Stretton had some influence on various matters here. Guillem performed with the Australian Ballet in various situations when Stretton was AD. Then, when Stretton brought the Royal Ballet, as that company’s AD, to Australia in 2002, we saw Guillem in Marguerite and Armand. Unfortunately my reviews of Guillem’s performances in those situations are not easily available as they were written before I started this website.

    Stretton was perhaps the ‘Monsieur non’ of artistic directors in Australia, but I thought the repertoire he brought to us left that of others for dead. In other words, anyone who can get Guillem on board, including Francesco Ventriglia, has to have something to offer audiences.

    Time will tell!

  3. We were treated to Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan in their programme, Sacred Monsters, in the International Arts Festival here in Wellington. It was an intriguing double draft of her dancing with Khan’s Kathak sensibilities. My review for The Dominion Post was linked to Theatreview website where it can still be accessed, 22 April 2009. Follow this link.

    Thank goodness for archives that hold and respect and help us to remember everybody’s work.

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