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Thursday, June 16


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#1 dirac

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:25 AM

Reviews of the Royal Danish Ballet.

The Star-Ledger

"Napoli" looks as sunny and vigorous as ever in the edition that the Royal Danish Ballet presented on Tuesday, during the company's eagerly anticipated return to Lincoln Center. Capping the evening, it redeems a mixed bill that sags alarmingly in the middle, however, touching bottom with the local premiere of Jorma Elo's mannered "Lost on Slow."”


The Wall Street Journal

"Napoli," with its alternately clear and stormy skies, has a similarly strong visual impact, thanks to Maja Ravn's sets and costumes, but Mr. Hübbe and Ms. Englund's staging is more dramatically muddled. The story, set at the bay of Naples, concerns separated lovers and involves an undersea episode before resolving itself in sunny celebration. Ms. Ravn's designs move the mid-19th-century action to the mid-20th century.

The problem with the time change is that the precisely mannered dancing of Bournonville's traditional choreography looks anomalous in a Fellini-esque world peopled by rough-around-the-edges 1950s Neapolitans.



#2 dirac

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:39 AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins the Joffrey Ballet's board of directors as honorary chairman.

Mayor Emanuel, a former dancer, has a history with the Joffrey beginning at age 17 when he was offered a scholarship to study with the troupe. He opted to pursue dance at Sarah Lawrence College.



#3 dirac

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:20 PM

A review of the National Ballet of Cuba by Laura Bleiberg in The Los Angeles Times.

The 90-year-old director, who founded Ballet Nacional and has ruled it for 63 years, has simplified and distorted the dance heritage. Distinctions among ballets have been steam-rolled, making everything and everyone look hauntingly similar. Few genuine onstage risks were allowed; spontaneity was banned.

Danseurs were not trusted with bravura combinations. Broad gestures and self-conscious head tilts replaced expressive port de bras. Ballerinas began supported turns on their own, but were then manually spun by their partners like toys. Cuban conductor Giovani Duarte slowed down and sped up the Pacific Symphony musicians, manipulating the musical phrasing and assisting the dancers with their concluding flourishes.



A reader of the Times sends in a question about a photo of the company.

A photograph entitled 'The staying power of Cuban Ballet' puzzled me, however. Indeed, most of the ballerinas (not all of them) are shown with their legs in an awkward position. Their right legs face the photographer but their left legs are directed away from the photographer. Indeed, their popliteal fossa(e) face the camera, and this is further confirmed by the fact that the heel(s) of their ballet shoes face the camera.This implies that either most of these ballerinas have a complete 'luxation of the hip joint,' or the agency (Reuters) who provided these pictures have a fantastic expert in Photoshop in their service."



#4 dirac

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:22 PM

A review of the National Ballet of Canada by Paula Citron in The Globe and Mail.

Robbins’ Other Dances and Balanchine’s Mozartiana are neo-classical ballets on the sweet side. Just when the program is threatening to spill into sugar overload, Kain tosses Tharp’s explosive ballet/contemporary dance fusion at the audience to create a most satisfying trio.

Other Dances (1976) is Kain’s gift to Greta Hodgkinson to celebrate the principal dancer’s 20 years with the company. Hodgkinson and partner Zdenek Konvalina are performing the pas de deux at every performance. (As custom, the other two work alternate casts.)



#5 dirac

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:23 PM

Rex Harrington talks about judging for 'So You Think You Can Dance Canada.'

A fresh batch of hopefuls leap, gyrate, shimmy and spin their way into a fourth season with Harrington appearing on the audition panel.

"It's so much more fun to judge because you can actually give people criticism, or say, 'It's not for you,"' says Harrington, who joined full-time judges Jean Marc Genereux, Tre Armstrong and guest judge Mary Murphy for the Toronto round.



#6 dirac

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:16 AM

Farewells to longtime Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers.

The Bellevue Reporter

A Star Spangled Salute to Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer’s Ariana Lallone and Jeff Stanton took place on June 5 at the beautiful Yarrow Point waterfront home of Dr. Charles and Gigi Wallace. This memorable evening was created to honor the careers of these two accomplished PNB principal dancers. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with bountiful appetizers accompanied by live music and a program honoring both Ariana and Jeff.

Lallone was with Pacific Northwest Ballet for 24-years. She came to PNB from Woodland Hills, Calif., with a scholarship from the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She trained at the Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center (now known as California Dance Academy) in Chatsworth, Calif. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 1987 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 1988. In 1993, she was promoted to soloist and became a principal in 1994.


seattlepi.com

Marian Oliver McCaw Hall was packed on the evening of June 12, 2011. Packed. Balletomanes of all persuasions had gathered to celebrate the end of PNB’s artistic season. In the orchestra-level lobby, well-heeled ballet patrons sipped champagne with lithe ballerinas in street attire. The anticipation was palpable for the one-night-only show. PNB produces this annual look back at the year’s artistic highlights as both a farewell to the season, and to the company’s departing dancers. This year an unusually high number leave: eight dancers altogether, including four principals, three corps de ballet members, and one soloist.

The three corps members, Barry Kerollis, Stacy Lowenberg and Josh Spell, have chosen to move onto other jobs. Kerollis has landed a gig at Ballet X in Pennsylvania, but neither Lowenberg nor Spell had anything firm lined up the night of the Encore performance. Josh Spell is a lovely dancer whose talent was best displayed this year in his turn as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stacy Lowenberg has started to choreograph dances, one of which she performed with Karel Cruz at the Encore Performance. Lowenberg has been a corps de ballet member at PNB for more than a decade, and has developed a significant fan base. As she took a bow after her pas de deux, Lowenberg was pelted with a torrent of roses.



#7 dirac

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

A review of the National Ballet of Canada by John Coulbourn in The Toronto Sun.

And as such, it proves to be a near-perfect showcase for the long-limbed Hodgkinson, elegantly paired here with Zdenek Konvalina, in a work (and a workout) of timeless beauty set to the music of Frederic Chopin, masterfully served up by pianist Andrei Streliaev.

Exquisitely costumed by Santo Loquasto — Hodgkinson in particular looks spectacularly ethereal here, as though she could be blown away, like smoke, by a strong breeze — they tackle a rich blend of Chopin’s mazurakas and waltzes with an ease and grace that belies the demanding complexity of the choreography. They are two mature artists as much at play as at work in the medium they love.



#8 dirac

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:33 AM

A review of the Royal Danish Ballet by Michael Popkin for danceviewtimes.

Flemming Flindt's "The Lesson" is a major work and got a strong performance, although it was certainly an odd choice to open an evening meant to re-introduce the company to New York. Based originally on Eugene Ionesco's absurdist comedy lampooning the fascism of Vichy France during the war, in Flindt's adaptation it became a psycho-sexual drama in the vein of Strindberg's "Miss Julie" (only more twisted and violent), the story of a private ballet lesson from hell, ending with the male teacher strangling his female student. As it's a work where the grotesque school of Scandinavian expressionism (represented earlier in painting by Edward Munch) meets the psychological realism of Strindberg and later Bergman, and also strongly identified with the company historically, its choice as a kind of Danish signature piece was nonetheless justified, with the company here saying in effect: "This also is our heritage, the kind of thing we and nobody else can do."



#9 dirac

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 03:18 PM

A review of the National Ballet of Cuba by Paul Hodgins in The Orange County Register.

The Ballet Naçional de Cuba's agreeable if unimaginative evening of mixed rep, called "The Magic of the Dance," highlights the strengths and weaknesses of this noble yet stylistic stifled company, ruled since its inception by the nonagenarian legend, Alicia Alonso.

On Wednesday at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, we got an evening of 19th-century ballet's most famous chestnuts: extended excerpts from "Giselle," "Sleeping Beauty," "The Nutcracker," Coppélia," "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake." A little frothy Cuban color at the end, Alonso's "Gottschalk Symphony," provided the icing on this cake of too many ingredients.



#10 dirac

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 10:08 PM

Royal Danish Ballet photo gallery.

#11 dirac

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 10:16 PM

An interview with Misty Copeland.

This meeting, Copeland notes, was an opportunity that she will cherish. She confesses, "I'm so happy to have Ms. Wilkinson as part of my life." This truth about being the "first African-American soloist with the American Ballet Theatre" sits just fine with Copeland because she is proud to carry this charge. "I'm proud to represent Black ballet dancers; it motivates me, it pushes me to give more to young dancers who look up to me."

And indeed, young dancers look to her for guidance. In fact, Copeland mentors a group of young dancers with whom she meets as regularly as possible to proffer advice, give private lessons or to motivate them to stay in ballet. She explains, oftentimes "teachers tell them to do contemporary work," circuitously directing them away from ballet because they are led to understand that "ballet exists only in a white world," and they would not fit in. "I welcome them into the world of ballet," she insists.




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