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Thursday, July 7


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#1 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:36 AM

A review of New York City Ballet by Lisa Stevens in The Albany Times Union.

Set to music by John Philip Sousa, George Balanchine choreographed the patriotic ballet in 1958 as a salute to America, his beloved adopted country. The ballet is performed in five campaigns, with each using different music from Sousa's marches.

Though the ballet and costumes felt dated, principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht, whose jumps are legendary, captivated the audience in the third campaign. And then Andrew Veyette, partnered with the talented Ashley Bouder, grabbed the center of attention with even higher leaps, bringing the night to a close with a standing ovation.


Photo gallery.

#2 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:43 AM

Jorma Elo will make a new piece for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Getting Elo out of the house aligns neatly with the mission of Terrence Jones, the president and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, who oversees a longstanding program of commissioning new works in dance and music. Jones, known in East Coast arts circles as Terre, says, "I came to Wolf Trap in 1996 with a philosophy, and a strong sense, of the importance of creating new works. We started then. We've completed 70 commissions; 20 of them have been in dance."

"It's similar to the R&D process in industry and science. You must invest money in the creation of new works," says Jones, his analogy reflecting the considerable effort he spends fundraising from corporations. Naturally, since this is the realm of the arts, the amounts involved -- ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per grant -- is dwarfed by spending in the for-profit sector. But it represents a world of possibility for a freelancer like Elo, or for Wolf Trap's other 2011 grantee, Ronald K. Brown, who will concoct a dance work to the music of Stevie Wonder.



#3 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

An interview with Susan Stroman.

When Stroman accepted her Tony Awards in direction and choreography for "The Producers" in 2001, she became the first woman ever to win in both categories in the same year. She was also the first woman to choreograph a full-length work for NYCB: "Double Feature," inspired by silent films and the grace of Charlie Chaplin.

"(Ballet) is predominantly a man's world -- and that's true in the theater, too," she said -- though that is changing, she added. "Now when someone asks you to do something, they're not asking you with skepticism."



#4 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:55 AM

More on the health care ruling that went against former Scottish Ballet dancer Elaine McDonald.

The case was considered an important legal milestone for people who need social care to stay at home, as cash-strapped local authorities reduce services and change their care packages. The campaigning charity Age UK described the ruling as "shameful".

Ms McDonald, 68, a former a star of Scottish Ballet who received an OBE in 1983, was left with reduced mobility after a stroke in September 1999. She was fighting against Kensington and Chelsea's decision to replace her night helper with incontinence pads – even though she is not incontinent.



#5 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 10:57 AM

The Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance presents "Vampyre."

In Polidori's short story, Maloy said, "the main character has this relationship with both the vampire and a woman, and he has a very close relationship with his sister as well."

Maloy felt she had found her next ballet and went about composing a score and choreographing the performance. The result, "Vampyre," premiered in Asheville in June and opens tonight at the Hanesbrands Theater at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts.



#6 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 10:43 AM

No progress in the Joffrey labor talks.

The Chicago Tribune

Chicago attorney Barbara Hillman, who represents the dancers through their union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, said her ability to talk meaningfully with the entire company was compromised because many are out of town this week for summer break — she was able to talk with 15 dancers, roughly a third of the company. She would not say when the union and Joffrey executives will meet again.


Time Out Chicago

On the date of a threatened lockout of the Joffrey Ballet’s dancers by company management, in an ongoing dispute over contract negotiations, it appears as if a gallery of current company members has been deactivated on the Joffrey’s website.

The dispute mostly regards the company’s proposed addition of five working hours to the dancers’ work-weeks, without additional salary increases aside from a 3 percent annual bump for the cost of living, according to Joffrey Ballet marketing manager Sarah Nelson. There also appears to be disagreement on minimum levels of stage management personnel, and circumstances under which academy students perform with the troupe.


WBEZ

And on the minus side: Some Joffrey dancers are barely making a living wage. And if they start working 30 hours a week instead of 25—one bone of contention—at no more pay, some will be making roughly twice minimum wage per hour at a part-time job that runs 38 weeks per year. (Also, according to Zac Whittenburg in TimeOut Chicago, union rep Barbara Hillman disputes management’s claim that some dancers make 75-plus: “There is no one in this company who makes 55 thousand dollars a year. No one.” She also maintains that the artists are more unified now, after the lockout, than they were last week: “The company’s actions were counterproductive.”)



#7 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 11:12 AM

Reviews of New York City Ballet.

Times Union

Faycal Karoui, music director of the ballet’s 62-piece orchestra, explained why. During the debut of the “See the Music” program, which offers the audience a glimpse into the scores.

“Balanchine wanted to create a different atmosphere,” Karoui said. ”The music climbs to the end.” The orchestra then played excerpts from the third and fourth so that the audience could hear the change.


The Saratogian

At Wednesday’s performance, Teresa Reichlen, Janie Taylor and Sara Mearns also transformed the audience. Reichlen’s long limbs made her quick reversals of direction monumental, while Taylor delicately waltzed with Charles Askegard and radiated stoicism as the young woman ultimately abandoned by love.

Mearns danced with a startling combination of majesty and recklessness, pushing every gesture to the limit, whether huge, leaping cross-body steps or frantic flutterings of her arms as Ask la Cour’s “dark angel.” In the finale, she conducted la Cour to his unseen fate as they abandoned Taylor to her own transformation. Carried upright and shoulder-high by three men, Taylor, bending back, opened her arms heartbreakingly to the mercy of the moon.



#8 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:30 PM

Politicians get involved after a study alleges rampant cocaine use at the Royal Danish Ballet.

Politicians from all parties have called on Royal Danish Theatre management to take allegations of cocaine abuse amongst Royal Ballet dancers and leadership more seriously. After Managing Director Erik Jakobsen dismissed a confidential report (http://seven59.dk/co...at-royal-ballet) charting the extensive use of cocaine at the theatre as ‘unfounded’ and ‘frivolous’, the ruling Liberal Party’s Culture Spokesman, Troels Christensen, said he was surprised at the ‘arrogant tone’. “I have full confidence in Mr Jacobsen but I don’t believe this is the correct way to deal with very serious allegations in a report that he himself commissioned ”, he said

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#9 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:36 PM

Harry Haythorne coaches the Young Dancers of Central Queensland in "La Sylphide."

Australian ballet icon Harry Haythorne pirouetted through Gladstone at the weekend, with the seasoned choreographer in town for the rehearsals of La Sylphide.

Gladstone Entertainment Centre will raise the curtains to reveal this famous ballet on August 20, starring both local and national talent.



#10 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:08 AM

A review of Ballet Revolucion by Nina Levy in The West Australian.

That the dancers have classical training is obvious, but ballet is just one component of a show that uses several dance styles. Fusion may have been done to death, but this Cuban production proves that there is still life in the concept if you have the right dancers and a sensational live band.

Given that blending ballet, contemporary dance and hip-hop is nothing new, perhaps it is unsurprising that Ballet Revolucion's choreography is not ground-breaking and is repetitive at times. Without question it is the cast that is the vital ingredient to the success of this show.




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