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Sunday, July 10


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#1 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:47 AM

Luke Jennings reviews a performance by Sylvie Guillem:

http://www.guardian....6000-miles-away

Historically, women have fared better than men in this respect, but over the age of 40 even the most self-denying ballerina is dancing on borrowed time. Sylvie Guillem, the French-born prodigy who launched her career under Nureyev's directorship at the Paris Opera Ballet, is now 46. Physically, with her long, slender limbs and her extraordinary flexibility and strength, Guillem has always had what many would consider the perfect balletic instrument. And it has been rigorously maintained, as is evident from her latest programme, in which she performs specially commissioned works by choreographic veterans William Forsythe and Mats Ek.



#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 02:49 AM

Adam Jacques interviews Carlos Acosta for The Independent:

http://www.independe...le-2307892.html

I have regrets but I wouldn't change a thing I've had a great career, dancing all over the world, winning many awards, but it led me away from my home [in Cuba] at a time when my family were not doing so great, and they didn't get to see that success.



#3 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 09:39 AM

An obituary for Roland Petit from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-arts-14099910

French choreographer and dancer Roland Petit has died in Geneva at the age of 87, the Paris Opera Ballet has said.

Petit helped set up dance company Les Ballets des Champs-Elysees in 1945 and is credited with revolutionising ballet for his theatrical choreography.

France's Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand paid tribute to him, saying he was "one of the major choreographers of the 20th Century".



#4 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:56 AM

A profile of Alexei Ratmansky by Susan Reiter in The Los Angeles Times.

http://www.latimes.c...0,3106425.story

The 2003 "Bright Stream" commission from the Bolshoi brought him back to where he started. Before it even premiered, he was invited to become the company's artistic director. He hadn't planned a return to Russia, but he says, "I just thought that if I said no, I would probably regret."

"I had a lot of doubts," he recalls. "The company didn't work with choreographers much, because [longtime director Yuri] Grigorovich left in 1995, and for 10 years before that, he didn't choreograph. So a whole generation was raised with no experience working with choreographers. For me as a dancer, I always knew that the more I did, the better I would become. There's no way else you learn the styles, develop. So I was thinking that the [Bolshoi's] main problem was the lack of creative process."



#5 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 10:58 AM

An AFP obituary for Roland Petit.

Petit was born on January 13, 1924 in the northeastern Paris suburb of Villemomble to an Italian mother and a father who ran a cafe in Les Halles, the traditional central market of the city. At the age of 10 he started attending the dance school at the Paris Opera Ballet.

He served as artistic director of that institution for a few months in 1970 but gave up the job to buy the Casino de Paris concert hall in which he staged revues that starred his wife.



#6 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:00 AM

An article on ballet's move to 3D by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.

http://www.miamihera...dimensions.html

“Ballet needs to broaden its reach not just to younger audiences but to less wealthy and less white audiences,” says Sarah Kaufman, dance critic at The Washington Post. “Anything that ballet can do to bring that about is going to be something to follow to see whether that will help it to have deeper roots in a changing society.”

Others wonder whether such mass market efforts can transmit the powerful but subtle experience of ballet in a theater. Sally Sommer, dance historian and professor of dance at Florida State University in Tallahassee, says the popularity of Black Swan — in which a virginal ballerina (Natalie Portman) succumbs to madness and debauchery dancing the dual roles of the innocent white and seductive black swans — had more to do with the allure of sex and melodrama than with the beauty of ballet.



#7 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

A feature on David Bintley at work with the National Ballet of Japan by Edan Corkill in The Japan Times.

http://search.japant...20110710x1.html

Finally, in October last year, without leaving his position at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Bintley was appointed as artistic director of the National Ballet of Japan — meaning he now divides his time between two high-profile companies on opposites sides of the globe. Over those two days in May, however, it was possible to see Bintley wearing each of his hats in quick succession — without having to set foot outside of Tokyo.

That was because the BRB was then in the midst of a tour of Japan, and on May 17 it was holding rehearsals and then a gala charity performance in aid of victims of the March 11 megaquake and tsunami at U Port Hall in the capital's Gotanda district. The following day, Bintley would be back at the National Ballet headquarters in Shinjuku, choreographing a new version of "Pagodas" set in Japan. I would be with him throughout.



#8 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 09:34 PM

More obituaries for Petit.

The Arts Desk

Alas, not here however. His relationship with London after that first iconoclastic Carmen did not flourish as he had hoped. The Sadler’s Wells (later Royal) Ballet asked him to create a work the following year, Ballabile, but while dancers thought he'd been something of a sadist in rehearsal, the ballet itself was found tame. He later created an erotic pop-art Paradise Lost in 1967 for Fonteyn and Nureyev (pictured right). But he never made a toehold in Britain - like the other leading French choreographer, Maurice Béjart, his contemporary, he was eclipsed by the rise of Kenneth MacMillan, whose ballets were as powerful in character but stronger in classical virtues.


The New York Times

American critics often called him chic. Even French critics began to find him superficial. Yet after he turned to creating ballets based on opera and literature, he could surprise.

In New York in 1980, the National Ballet of Marseille (headed by Mr. Petit since 1972), presented Mr. Petit’s eloquent commentary on Marcel Proust and his work in “Marcel Proust Remembered.” Ms. Jeanmaire carried his ballet version of “Fledermaus” in “The Bat.” His updated view of “Coppélia” had a witty if kinky approach: as Coppélius, he waltzed with a female dummy (the doll Coppélia) strapped to his body.



#9 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 09:36 PM

An assessment of American Ballet Theatre's season by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

Still, you worry for the future. It’s uncertain how well any of this appealing and diverse crop of junior women can illumine the company’s prima-ballerina roles. Will any of them fill the gap suddenly left by Ms. Wiles? And the question of which men beneath principal status can fill the space left by Mr. Carreño and other absent stars is considerably harder to answer.

Yet the main factor that holds Ballet Theater back from the true greatness it sometimes approaches isn’t dancers but repertory. How seriously can you take a company that starts its “Swan Lake” — season after season, complacently — with a prologue that ends with the sorcerer von Rothbart tenderly abusing an imitation swan? And that brings on — season after season — the disgruntled Carabosse in “The Sleeping Beauty” with a fireworks display and silly dancing insects? Does the company that advertises itself as America’s national ballet really think it is doing justice to these repertory classics?



#10 dirac

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 09:42 PM

A review of ABT in 'The Sleeping Beauty' by Kathleen O'Connell for danceviewtimes.

Alina Cojocaru could probably win your heart dancing Aurora in ratty practice clothes on a bare stage, but even she and Johan Kobborg—last minute substitutes for Natalia Osipova and an injured David Hallberg—can’t rescue ABT’s troubled production of “The Sleeping Beauty” from its various excesses and deficiencies. At least their lovingly danced and theatrically rich portrayals of Aurora and Prince Désiré on Wednesday evening did provide a balm for the show’s self-inflicted wounds.



#11 dirac

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 01:50 PM

An interview with Ethan Stiefel.

Second on Stiefel's list is the more contemporary repertory. He knows the company are very interested in his New York background: RNZB is barely known in the US, and it wants to change that. But, while his first mixed bill will be an all-American affair, including Balanchine and Benjamin Millepied, what interests him is making new work, in-house. Some will be choreographed by him, some by Kobborg; both men, as well as being good friends, have recently embarked on second careers as choreographers. In fact, it was Kobborg who persuaded Stiefel to apply for the New Zealand job. "When I got it," Stiefel jokes, "I rang him up and said, 'Look what you got me into, man! You got to help me out.'" He adds: "It's a nice connection, too – because Johan was originally a dancer with Royal Danish Ballet, just like Poul Gnatt."

But, as Stiefel points out, he and Kobborg are still "outsiders", and his ultimate concern must be to nurture local talent......




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