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Monday, June 27


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#1 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:59 AM

Reviews of the Australian Ballet in 'The Merry Widow.'

The Sydney Morning Herald

Helpmann's genius can be seen in the scintillating scenario and entertaining theatrics, which make this opulent tale a well-cut ballet classic. Desmond Heeley's stunning designs fizz with colourful Belle Epoque glamour, John Lanchbery's creative arrangement of Franz Lehar's music sparkles, while Ronald Hynd's choreography is swept along by swoony waltzes and dizzying ballroom scenes.

The lavish sets and costumes complement fine acting and great stage direction, enabling the loveable characters to deliver a complex storyline with humour and clarity.


The Australian

Ronald Hynd's choreography features virtuosic moments, but its main challenges lie in detail and timing. John Lanchbery's imaginative arrangement of Lehar's score (including stylistically matched original contributions) barely pauses and Hynd allocates swiftly flowing sequential and synchronised ensemble choreography to match, much of it along rapidly realigning diagonal and geometric lines. In this visual champagne of froth and bubble, error margins are narrow. The ensemble manages extremely well, touches of opening night uncertainty in the male corps corrected by the second performance. The waltzes are particularly impressive, lift sequences flawless and formations tidy.



#2 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

A brief item speaking up for "Strictly Gershwin" by Charles Spencer in The Telegraph.

This spectacular show, directed and choreographed by Derek Deane, has had some sniffy reviews from dance critics, but was absolutely packed for the Sunday matinee. There is something about the Albert Hall that always raises the spirits and creates a sense of occasion, whether you are seeing a rock concert or a challenging Prom. And the catering operation is top-notch. A pre-show Sunday lunch in the Elgar Room proved an efficiently served delight.



#3 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:08 AM

A report on the National Ballet of Canada's annual fundraiser, with pix.

Following the performance guests were invited to party in Wonderland, with food, drink, music and fabulous prizes. It was truly a magical night, complete with roaming Alice's (who greeted guests, played life-size chess and croquet), white rabbits and many mad hatters. A signature "White Rabbit Cocktail" featuring Skyy Vodka and Teaopia Tangerine Dream Tea was waiting for guests as they exited the performance, served in gorgeous Ashley Royal Doulton tea-cups. A Mad Hatter Challenge also took place where guests could vote on their favourite Mad Hat!



#4 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:38 AM

A review of the Royal Danish Ballet by Joan Acocella in the July 4 issue of The New Yorker. (Abstract only.)

Things got hairier in “Lost on Slow” by Jorma Elo. Classical steps are interlarded with jerks and twitches. The classicism is emphatic, and therefore the palsy sections are all the more jolting. In “Bournonville Variations,” for the company’s men only, the update was gentler. Bournonville would have found the costumes strange, and some of the men in the back row were having trouble. The dancers look weaker, especially in Bournonville. What you see is a director trying to honor tradition while pushing the troupe out of the past.



#5 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:45 AM

A brief review of the National Ballet of Cuba in 'Don Quixote' by Lewis Segal in The Los Angeles Times' blog.

As Basilio, Alejandro Virelles contributed gorgeous floating jumps and a stylistic purity that would be welcome in any ballet of the repertory. And, as always, Viengsay Valdés as Kiri stopped time cold by coming out of supported turns into miraculously sustained balances on one pointe -- often with changes of position midway through. There was one standing ovation before the solos in the grand pas de deux and another at the end. Unforgettable.



#6 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:38 PM

American Ballet Theatre announces its schedule for City Center in November.

Among the works audience members will get a chance to see later in the week are revivals of Merce Cunningham’s “Duets,” with music by John Cage; Paul Taylor’s “Black Tuesday,” set to Depression-era music; and Ms. Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite,” which includes music sung by Frank Sinatra and costumes by Oscar de la Renta.



#7 dirac

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:40 PM

A photo gallery from the NBoC gala.

Artistic director Karen Kain chose three excerpts from the show to kick off the evening, as well as a performance by principal dancer Greta Hodgkinson as the Dying Swan. Afterwards, VIP guests took to the stage for dinner courtesy of celebrity chef Mark McEwan. Almost 2,000 partygoers raised $1,124,500 in support of the company's continued excellence in dance.



#8 dirac

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 10:14 AM

A story on the state of play at Ballet Philippines by Marge C. Enriquez for The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Floirendo is now on her third season, and BP is becoming more sustainable. It costs P30 million a year to run the company, which covers production, salaries and employee benefits. More than 40 percent of its income comes from block ticket sales, performances outside of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and special events. The dancers have been kept busy with national tours and shows in partnership with SM.

In the past two seasons, BP had invited foreign guest teachers and artists to help raise the company’s artistic and technical standards. For the welfare of the dancers, more housing and better health insurance were provided.



#9 dirac

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:04 AM

The Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Centre is up for an award as the UK's Best Arts Project.

The Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Centre is facing stiff competition from three other schemes in the final of the National Lottery Awards 2011.

Lottery funding paid for the £12m purpose-built centre on Quarry Hill, near the West Yorkshire Playhouse. It houses Northern Ballet and the Phoenix Dance Theatre, their academies, which train in excess of 300 young people, and further and higher education students.



#10 dirac

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 09:01 PM

Q&A with Jose Manuel Carreño by Gia Kourlas in Time Out New York.

What do you mean?
I never had to make the decision of defecting and I don’t think I will ever do it. I know that I was lucky that in my time things started to change so I never felt that way. I got out without any problem. It was an official thing to do. People think that I have a special status or something. So many things have changed in Cuba. Maybe 40 years ago it was different, but since 1990 if you have a talent and the possibility and if you get a contract to dance with another company, you can go. For me, many people who defect are people who don’t have that possibility. They don’t get the permission or they’re not, I would say, most of them, really good. And I know a lot of dancers who defected and they’re not dancing. They’re doing something else but they’re not dancing.




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