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Tuesday, June 14


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#1 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:54 AM

Kevin O'Hare is appointed as the new artistic director of the Royal Ballet.

The Guardian

There is certainly a pleasing circuity to the appointment. O'Hare trained at the Royal Ballet School and joined Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet in 1984 before becoming a principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, as it then became, in 1990. He retired from dancing in 2000 and, after a brief spell with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he returned to Birmingham as company manager, joining the Royal Ballet in the same role in 2004. He became administrative director in 2009 and has played a leading role in trying to widen the Royal Ballet's audience through experiments such as this weekend's performances of Romeo and Juliet at the O2.


The Telegraph

Compared to most of those widely touted as his competition, Kevin O’Hare looks an immensely unexciting choice as the new director of the Royal Ballet. He has never directed or choreographed for a major-league company (as David Bintley has done, at Birmingham Royal Ballet), turned a company dramatically around (à la Ashley Page, at Scottish Ballet), or formed his own breakaway troupe (as the Ballet Boyz did). Although a former principal dancer himself – with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet and then (as it became) BRB – he never had remotely the profile of the Royal Ballet’s Tamara Rojo or Johan Kobborg. In short, he is not a “name”.


The New York Times

But Mr. O’Hare’s appointment reflects the Royal Ballet’s liking for insiders who are intensely familiar with the troupe’s administrative and artistic workings. Ms. Mason, a former principal dancer with the company who has spent her entire career there, was herself the assistant director during the tenure of the Australian Ross Stretton, one of the few artistic directors appointed from outside the inner circle with results generally considered to be disastrous.


Comment in The Guardian's blog.

The fact that O'Hare comes without any artistic ego or agenda of his own can, I'd suggest, be a positive. There are several ballet companies in the world who have had to suffer from the "creative input" of their directors – either their fag-end-of-a-career dance performances or their not-very-good choreography. In O'Hare the Royal has a director apparently interested only in developing the creativity of others. High on his press announcement today is the fact that Wheeldon will be taking a far more active role in the Royal under O'Hare's direction. O'Hare also wants to maintain close ties with Wayne McGregor, who has been resident choreographer at the Royal since 2006, and a dynamic, transformative influence on other younger choreographers in the company.



#2 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:00 AM

An interview with Carlos Acosta.

Behind the grace and beauty of ballet, dancers are often in constant pain, and injuries can jeopardise their careers. Acosta has pain in his hips and has had repeated surgeries on his right ankle.

"I still think I have what it takes, but sometimes it's difficult to know when it's the right time, I think I still have the quality people like - but it's not very far away now."



#3 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:04 AM

A review of the Royal Danish Ballet in 'Napoli' by Alexandra Tomalonis for danceviewtimes.

The rest of the characters in this production are (very deliberately) not very lovable, and this is the first production of a Bournonville ballet in the company’s history to be substantially changed. “Napoli” had been danced over 700 times the last time I saw a number, and that was ten years ago. The third act is the country’s national work of art. It’s danced on the Queen’s birthday, other public celebrations, even the Millennium New Year’s party. Many people wanted to keep the ballet, but wanted something different as well, and this production is the result. It was greeted with great anticipation and acclaim in Copenhagen, although it was noted that the three acts of the ballet now don’t really go together, not the designs, the music, nor the tone.



#4 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:09 AM

Birmingham Royal Ballet presents a new exhibition, 'Pointe Blank.'

The company invited 27 designers and artists to produce an individual artwork based upon the tale of Coppélia, in which toymaker Doctor Coppélius attempts to bring his most prized possession to life.



#5 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:11 AM

Q&A with Andrew Killian.

What does being a part of The Australian Ballet give you?

Being in The Australian Ballet for me is a privilege and the security of having a full-time job as a dancer is a wonderful thing.

Are there many other opportunities in Australia to dance?

There are dance jobs out there but there are also some very talented dancers out there that are not as lucky as myself to be working full-time.



#6 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:13 AM

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde receives a lifetime achievement award.

Macuja-Elizalde was accorded the Natatanging Gawad Buhay Award by the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, Inc. (Philstage), an umbrella organization of top-caliber performing companies in the country.

The prima ballerina was one of four recipients of the award, along with stage veterans Tony Mabesa and Tony Espejo, and composer Ryan Cayabyab.



#7 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:19 PM

Ismene Brown comments on the O'Hare appointment for The Arts Desk.

Though the appointment will have disappointed those who had hoped the articulate and stylish 1990s Royal Ballet star Bruce Sansom would win the job, O’Hare, 45, a former principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, is known as both thoroughly approachable and a temperate and effective manager. If it looks a safety-conscious appointment in that respect, there are less visible assets here, I think. Not least, he will face money and political problems that more visionary types and those without knowledge of the inside tracks would have a hard time with.



#8 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:21 PM

An appraisal of New York City Ballet's season by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

None of us can solve the basic City Ballet problem: How can it be a vehicle for choreographic modernity — which was central to its constitution as drawn up by Lincoln Kirstein — while retaining Balanchine inheritance as its heartbeat? Mr. Martins, the company’s ballet master in chief, does not lack choreographic skill, but he has seldom shown serious inspiration. There has been no other resident choreographer since Christopher Wheeldon left in 2008. Although Mr. Ratmansky was involved in negotiations for the job, these fell through. Since those two are the pre-eminent choreographers in classical ballet today, it’s hard not to say “butterfingers” to City Ballet.

While this problem does not seem pressing at present, it will return to haunt the company. Just now it’s important to respect the renaissance of City Ballet’s skills in dancing Balanchine. Nowhere else in the world are so many superb ballets danced and proven superb in performance.



#9 dirac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:24 PM

A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet by Rosie Gaynor for The SunBreak.

Together, these eight dancers represent 18 percent of the company and a combined 100+ years at PNB. They cover the entire breadth of PNB’s repertory and styles. And while not all of these dancers have garnered regular feature articles in the press, each has had moments of artistic excellence onstage and connected intimately with the audience across the footlights. It is these eight strong connections being severed all at once that made PNB’s show feel less of an end-of-season celebration and more of a funeral, albeit it one with a series of prolonged standing ovations.

Thank goodness, then, for the inclusion of Red Angels on the program. All four of the dancers in this high-energy Ulysses Dove piece—Batkhurel Bold, Laura Gilbreath, Carrie Imler, Lucien Postlewaite—revealed something new and wonderful about the work—and about themselves. It was a comfort to watch them and remember that not everyone is departing.



#10 Helene

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:07 PM

Denise Sum reviews National Ballet of Canada in "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” for danceviewtimes.

Wheeldon’s interpretation is a departure from the previous version in the NBoC repertoire, Glen Tetley’s “Alice”, eschewing the Freudian psychoanalytic perspective for a more pure, uncomplicated approach. Still, Wheeldon’s ballet is more Tim Burton than Walt Disney. However, while such comparisons are inevitable, this production is wholly unique and in its own class.



#11 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:35 AM

A review of American Ballet Theatre in 'The Bright Stream' by Joel Lobenthal for City Arts.

In the afternoon’s Bright Stream these same duets were danced by Reyes and Natalia Osipova with a little less parity and unanimity. Reyes certainly can jump but, encountering Osipova’s sensational elevation, a bit of trepidation intrudes via the manifest possibility that she might swamp Reyes. But that had its own narrative relevance.

Last year at ABT, dancing her first-anywhere Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Osipova made a concerted and admirable effort to keep her artillery in check in the interests of aristocratic restraint. Here in Bright Stream, she rightly let rip with both extension and jump, although she wasn’t insensitive to the role’s quieter passages. The role was created for the Bolshoi’s Maria Alexandrova, whose attack and jump are also dauntless. While Abrera is a versatile dancer, I wondered if she had the stamina to field the part, but Saturday night she too easily rode its crest and provided her own shade of swagger.




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