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Wednesday, July 6


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#1 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:49 AM

A University of Chicago economist answers questions about the Joffrey Ballet lockout.

Q: There seems to be a lot of lockouts lately. Why?

A: My sense is that with regard to Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey and others — not ballet-related, but teachers, government employees, as well as in professional sports leagues — there was a sense among new governors (and the ones I mentioned had political change in 2010) facing budget situations, they decided to push back on what they regarded as union contracts that were too favorable. The same is true for the NFL and NBA: Owners feeling that the previous collective bargaining agreements were too generous to the players. I'm not saying they were or they weren't, but in the political and sports world, the sands shifted. And I see the arts/ballet situation in that light. When things were going well — the 1990s and early years of this century — the owners sort of took an easier stance.



#2 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:55 AM

Elaine McDonald, a former ballerina of the Scottish Ballet, loses her case seeking overnight caregiving at her home.

Ms McDonald was left with reduced mobility after a stroke in September 1999 and needs to use a wheelchair outside.

She had argued that the care package she received from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to cover her assessed needs during the day and night, should include assistance at night to use a commode.


Related article.

Lady Hale disagreed with her colleagues and said she would have allowed the appeal. In her written analysis she raised concerns about the implications of the ruling.

The Supreme Court, which sits in London and is the UK's highest court, was ruling on the latest round of Ms McDonald's legal fight. The High Court and Court of Appeal had earlier ruled in the council's favour.



#3 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:58 AM

Members of the Royal Danish Ballet help wounded veterans of the war in Afghanistan with Pilates therapy.

"In the start I didn't really want to do the Pilates, because I thought it was too girly, and I didn't have anything in common with these two ballerinas," says Lance Cpl. Christian Richardson, a veteran of the Danish army's 7th battalion. On Aug. 1, 2009, while out on his last patrol before returning home to Denmark, the 25-year-old soldier was injured by a roadside bomb in Helmand province, Afghanistan, as a result of which he had both legs amputated above the knee, and now wears prostheses.



#4 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:01 AM

American Ballet Theatre plans a visit to Oman.

ABT executive director Rachel Moore said the company will present "Don Quixote" (from Oct. 26-28) because the venue's programmers had requested the comedic ballet. "It's a very accessible ballet, and the humor is universal," she said.

Oman, where freedom of expression and democratic debate are limited and criticism of the sultan is prohibited, according to the nonprofit human-rights watchdog Freedom House, is not a center of ballet tradition. But ABT, which traveled to Cuba in November, intends to create outreach programs while in the country. "They understand that this is very new to their community," Ms. Moore said. "We would like to bring students to an open rehearsal. Things may develop that we go to school and teach a class."



#5 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

The managing director of the English National Ballet expresses satisfaction with the ballet's royal patron, Prince Andrew.

"His daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, are great supporters of ours, too. They love the ballet and come here under the radar, and they really know their stuff, too.”

When Mandrake murmurs about some of the unfortunate friendships that the Duke has formed, Hassall will say only: “Well, he doesn’t hang out with any unsavoury characters when he’s here.”



#6 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:06 AM

A review of New York City Ballet by Jay Rogoff in The Saratogian.

“Stars and Stripes,” company co-founder George Balanchine’s 1958 love letter to his adopted country, erupted in the biggest, brightest display. Balanchine usually disliked dancers showing off, but he occasionally invited them to flaunt their technique in showstoppers like this great number, danced to Hershy Kay’s clever arrangements of Sousa marches.

Petite Erica Pereira led a dozen women with quick leaps, legs shooting left and right, and wide-eyed Gwyneth Muller led another dozen in a march that shifted into a charming waltz. In both sections, high kicks and jazzy hip thrusts punctuated impeccable unison dancing. Daniel Ulbricht, leading a squad of cadets, launched a storm of entrechats, every crossing of his feet flashing like lightning. In Ulbricht’s dancing you see everything and still can’t believe it.



#7 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:09 AM

Jean Paul Gaultier looks to ballet in his current show. Photo gallery included.

The ballet world is a durable fashion theme, and Jean Paul Gaultier took it for a spin this afternoon as the fall haute couture season closed. Actually, Mr. Gaultier seemed more interested in the characters who populated that world, some of them Russian émigrés.



#8 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:47 AM

Reviews of American Ballet Theatre.

The Faster Times

...... Four years after its premiere, this production, which was conceived after Petipa by Kevin Mckenzie (the company’s artistic director), Gelsey Kirkland, and her dramaturge husband Michael Chernov, reveals itself, even after significant tinkering, to be a muddled mess, with little to recommend it except for the canonical set pieces (the Rose Adagio in the first act, the wedding pas de deux, and the wonderful Bluebird scene) and Tchaikovsky’s glorious music. The sets are cutesy, with rounded turrets and cartoonish backdrops (with the exception of the autumnal hunting scene, which is nice), the costumes are rendered in crass, candy-colored pastels. The sparkly eagle-shaped contraption that conveys the Lilac Fairy and Prince Désiré to Aurora’s kingdom is simply horrid. And, beyond the trimmings: the famous Garland Waltz—with its marvelous, buoyant melody—contains almost no dancing; how is this possible in a world that has already seen Balanchine’s marvelous version of this dance, which dates back to 1981?.....


The New York Post

Part is tall and lush with limbs that go on forever, but Aurora requires a dancer who's precise, quick and strong. The statuesque ballerina made it through a marathon of slow balances in Act 1, but without projecting any joy, just relief as if it were a challenge on "Survivor."

In her delicate solo in the final act, her feet gave out and she dropped off pointe. Even at her best, in Act 2 where Aurora gently beseeches the prince to rescue her, she seemed less the sunny princess her name implies, and almost tragic.



#9 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:52 AM

An update on the contractual dispute at the Joffrey Ballet by Zachary Whittenburg in Time Out Chicago's blog.

Further complicating matters, sources say that two dancers who serve as the ensemble’s representatives to Hillman and to AGMA, Mauro Villanueva and April Daly, are in Italy through this weekend. (The dancers are currently on unpaid leave; their prior contract, which expired on June 30, included 38 salaried work-weeks per year.) “I told the company on more than one occasion that it’s difficult getting responses, and getting together to provide new proposals, at a time when the dancers are so widely dispersed,” Hillman told me by phone this afternoon from her office at law firm Cornfield and Feldman.

Representatives from the ballet company have not yet responded to requests for clarification made immediately after I interviewed Hillman.



#10 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 11:01 AM

A review of ABT in "Swan Lake" by Mary Cargill for danceviewtimes.

Siegfried, too, loses out on the drama quotient in this production, but Marcelo Gomes makes the most of his chances. He is a textbook prince, noble, generous, in addition to being incredibly handsome. His dancing had a wonderful texture, combining softness with power; it was an outstanding performance. His first act Siegfried (despite the silliness of much of the stage business) was youthful and impetuous, but always courteous. He was excited about his mother's present, rushing off to show his friends, but then remembering to return to thank the Queen with a gracious bow.....




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