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James Sewell Ballet


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#1 Treefrog

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 07:54 AM

Sid Smith in the Chicago Tribune had this to say over the weekend:

James Sewell Ballet: This celebrated American company, hailed as an exquisite gem, makes it Chicago area debut, small-scale specialists in neoclassicism, with works including "Lover," set to Rodgers and Hart. Feb. 11 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd., Skokie; 847-673-6300.


A search on the board has yielded many links to published reviews (I think Smith's "gem" reference comes from Anna Kisselgoff). Has anyone here seen this company? Know anything about it?

#2 zerbinetta

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 09:52 AM

Has anyone here seen this company?  Know anything about it?

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Yes, Treefrog, I have seen the company & urge you to go at least once, if there is more than one performance.

I have been privileged to see James Sewell's choreography from the very first piece he did, perhaps 20 years ago. It was a pas de deux based on the Abelard & Heloise story. He danced it with Zippora Karz at SAB while they were still students there. Lincoln Kirstein was very supportive of James' work.

James is perhaps the most all-around talented young choreographer working today. He can do sad, happy, serious, comical, thought-provoking & just plain delightful. The company is strong & disciplined & totally in tune with James' creativity & rare musical gifts.

HIGHLY recommended!!!

#3 carbro

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 10:43 AM

I will second the general thrust of Zerbinetta's recommendation. I, too, saw some of James' early choreography (but not the A&H pdd) and was struck by his inventiveness and his musicality. NOW, you may be thinking that inventiveness means gimmicks. This is the great reward of Sewell's work -- he doesn't show his cleverness ostentatiously. It's just part of the integrated whole of the work.

During the company's appearance at the Joyce here last year, the closing work -- the weak spot -- on the program was overtly experimental. Still, the intelligence behind it was always evident, and even that made for interesting, if not exactly enjoyable, watching.

Go.

#4 Treefrog

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 01:42 PM

Thank you! I had already planned to go, and now I will do so with even more excitement.

#5 zerbinetta

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Posted 03 January 2005 - 09:29 PM

Thank you!  I had already planned to go, and now I will do so with even more excitement.

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Treefrog: please let us have a report after you go.

Carbro: was the last piece the one with Sally Rousse (Mrs. Sewell) on film, 8-3/4 months pregnant, playing Sylph to the onstage cast? I LOVED that piece; thought it was hilarious & weirdly sweet.

#6 carbro

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 02:17 PM

Carbro: was the last piece the one with Sally Rousse (Mrs. Sewell) on film, 8-3/4 months pregnant, playing Sylph to the onstage cast? I LOVED that piece; thought it was hilarious & weirdly sweet.

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That's the one! It was engrossing, but for me too puzzling to be satisfying. But I guess that for some folks, that works on its own level.

#7 Treefrog

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 02:54 PM

AARGH. The proverbial monkey has thrown the proverbial wrench in my plans. I may have other claims on my time. But, rest assured, if I can go I'll report back!


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