Martha Ullman West to cover OBT?Things continue to look up!
Posted 05 October 2003 - 10:03 AM
I've been waiting for months for someone to give this kind of knowledgable overview to the transition from Canfield and Stowell, knowing full well that she was the only one who could. The Oregonian's Bob Hicks, a general arts reviewer, has been doing a very good job reporting on all the changes, but Ms. West, former President of the national Dance Critics Association, brings far more ballet-savvy to the keyboard.
I feel she was very fair and balanced in her treatment of Canfield, who remains in my memory as one of the most paradoxical choreographers and Artistic Directors. Her appraisal of Stowell's maiden voyage is eagerly sought by most of the balletomanes I know.
I fervently hope that she emerges from her semi-retirement to become engaged in what many of us feel could be the beginning of a Golden Age of West Coast Ballet. (PNB...OBT...SFB...LA?)
Posted 05 October 2003 - 10:17 AM
Posted 05 October 2003 - 10:20 AM
Posted 05 October 2003 - 06:19 PM
Add to this Patricia Barker's visit to set Duo Fantasy and Darla Hoover's upcoming work on Nutcracker and one can feel how very different things are going to be at the Civic Auditorium.
Posted 07 October 2003 - 08:36 AM
The Oregonian watches as Christopher Stowell takes over the reins at Oregon Ballet Theater.
Stowell is putting the "ballet" back in Oregon Ballet Theatre -- not that it was ever missing, under former artistic director James Canfield, from company class or the ballet's school. Just from the stage.
Canfield, who trained at Mary Day's Washington Ballet School in the more classical style of Russia's Vaganova Academy, taught an elegant company class, too.
But over the years, as his choreographic inclinations shifted from the lyrical beauty of his "Romeo and Juliet" to the hard-driving, in-your-face assaults of such ballets as "The Relief of Mass Hysteria," finding a fifth position onstage was a little like playing "Where's Waldo?" Classical technique -- as Canfield insisted in interviews -- was often present somewhere. But it was mighty hard to see.
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