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Oregonian ReviewNew Beginnings 10/13


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#1 Watermill

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:52 PM

I just posted Bob Hick's review of New Beginnings in Links Monday 10/13.

Hopefully, Martha Ulman West will cover it for Dance Mag or elsewhere...Stowell really deserves (and needs) a professional critic's eye on his work.

Majority of it a rather well worn (at this point) analysis of the difference between Canfield & Stowell. Here's an interesting excerpt:

the brash looseness of his [Canfield's] pieces encouraged his dancers to develop and express their own personalities. He created specifically for them, an intoxicating gift to offer people ordinarily regarded as interpreters of other artists' dreams.

Although Stowell's first season will include a couple of premieres, he is asking something very different. He wants his dancers to invest in the classics, submit to patterns that have been set, and then discover what's fresh and exciting about them. You couldn't ask for a bigger flip-flop. Will the dancers bring as much enthusiasm to revivifying the past as they did to creating the present? And will audiences miss the car-crash fascination of watching ballet collide with contemporary pop culture?


My quick and easy answer to this is: No, because even a car crash becomes boring by the fifth time. (Ever been to a Demolition Derby?) Also, it is clear now that the dancing is going to be of a higher quality. I also am pretty sure that Stowell will be continuing to work with new choreographers. Julia Adam is on her way to Portland. There will be much, one hopes, to be fascinated by.

Maybe three years from now I'll grow a bit nostalgic for the Canfield era, but that would only be if Stowell steered OBT into nothing but White Ballets and Petipa.
Not much chance of that.

#2 Paul Parish

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 03:54 PM

I wish you joy -- at least, you're likely to get some delicious dancing. And let's hope Hicks develops a taste for it....

#3 Watermill

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:18 PM

Thanks, Paul. Bob Hicks is a good Arts reporter whose writing I really enjoy, but he's not particuliarly knowledgeable about ballet. That he would lump Kester Cotton in with the rest of the (very mixed) guys speaks volumes.

Anyone else see the performance?

#4 Paul Parish

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 09:14 PM

maybe you shoud write him a letter and say just that...... If Martha doesn't want to write about the ballet -- why isn't she? I mean, I know when her husband died, it was very hard time emotionally, she didn't work for a while, but she's back in the swing of it now, indeed, it's doing her good to be working -- maybe you should....

#5 Watermill

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 08:20 AM

Based on her long detailed preview of the season, I'm sure she is going to be covering OBT. But it may be that she's got a contract with Dance Mag or somewhere else that prohibits her from reviewing for the big O (as we refer not-so-affectionately to Stumptown's only daily) Maybe they'll use her for overviews, interviews and such. We'll take anything we can get!

By the way, there is a twice weekly paper called the Tribune which published a review and included the most lavish use of photos I've ever seen. Seriously, the column inches of photos must have out numbered the actual review's inches 8 to 1. I will try to scan it and get it into links.

Hope some other Portland ballet-goer will share their thoughts!

Watermill

#6 Guest_mediamaven_*

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 04:15 PM

I'm the press rep for OBT and very pleased and fascinated by the online buzz about what Christopher is doing. Although I've only worked for OBT for a few months, I'm a long-time dance lover who saw many, many performances in NYC before moving to Portland four years ago. I saw New Beginnings three times and loved every moment of it. Any exciting new era has truly begun and it can only get better from here. Christopher Stowell has an engaging intelligence and winning personality that are successfully reconfiguring the organization and its place in the Portland arts community. Under his hand, OBT will go a long way toward getting the regional and national attention the arts scene here deserves.

Martha Ullman West will be writing a series of essays for the Oregonian's Sunday arts section throughout CS' debut season while Bob Hicks will review the programs. Catherine Thomas will write advance pieces for the paper's A&E section. So, the paper has made a substantial commitment of talent and space to the company's new ledership.


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