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Thursday, July 14


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#1 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:03 AM

A review of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.

Compared with the 1980 filmed recording of Ms. Plisetskaya's ballet, Mr. Ratmansky's two-act staging of the three-act score is graceful and good-looking, if ultimately weighed down by the music's churning but undistinguished emotionalism. Mikael Melbye's fluid unit set, washed with Wendall Harrington's changeable video projections of 19th-century Russian interiors and exteriors, as well as by Mr. Melbye's lovingly detailed light and fetching period costumes, add immeasurably to the visual distinction of the production.

But with the exception of passages underpinned by a marching band and some galloping beats for a Hippodrome race scene and the chugging of locomotive engines, the score is meandering and shapeless.....



#2 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times.

Under Villella’s guidance, Miami City Ballet has built a reputation for illuminating aspects of Balanchine’s style often overlooked by others. The dancers’ exuberance and faith in the steps are infectious, and theirs is an all-American musicality that sheds new light on ballets that have grown formulaic and dull on this side of the Atlantic.

Square Dance, one of their calling cards, sets the tone. At home in this whirlwind of spirited classical inventiveness and folk references, soloists and corps de ballet alike articulate the music and the choreography, striking notes so blissful that the action sometimes seems to stop for a millisecond. Similarly, their reading of The Four Temperaments, with its sharp contrast between soloists and assertive corps, greatly enriches the definition of each movement.



#3 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:07 AM

A review of the Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Ashton's "Romeo and Juliet" by Zoe Anderson in The Independent.

It's a ghost-town Verona, barely inhabited by a tiny corps de ballet. Peter Rice's original costume designs are soft and straightforward, though poor Tybalt ends up as Draco Malfoy in laddered tights. Luciano Melini's new set is a blank space with neon sidelights and projected photographs, clashing with the rest of the ballet.

Many of Schaufuss's dancers struggle with the intricate footwork and brisk mime scenes – and that's before Vasiliev and Osipova appear, creatures from a different dancing planet. Vasiliev's Romeo is a dreamy innocent who dances with big-cat power, his sturdy legs lifting him into the air with impossible, floating ease.



#4 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:15 AM

Joffrey Ballet dancers and their union will begin distributing leaflets protesting the lockout in front of company headquarters.

The handouts will start around 11:15 a.m. and continue until about 3 p.m., when conventioneers have been invited to tour the troupe’s home at 10 E. Randolph St.

"(Since) the Fourth of July weekend, the dancers and stage managers of the Joffrey Ballet have been locked out by management,” a note inviting dancers to participate in the protest says on the union’s web site. “This action was a complete surprise to the shop, most of whom were, and continue to be, out of town during a regular company layoff. This came as a further surprise because members of the negotiating committee felt that they were close to reaching an agreement."



#5 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:31 AM

A review of New York City Ballet by Lisa Stevens in the Times Union's blog.

New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan brought the Saratoga Performing Arts Center audience to its feet Wednesday night in her star turn in George Balanchine’s “Jewels.”

Her lyricism and fluidity were spellbinding in “Diamonds,” the third act of the full-length ballet. Tyler Angle, whose lifts were seamless and strong, danced the part of her gallant partner. The dazzling white costumes and ice blue set punctuated the chilling performance. The corps members, whose dancing don’t seem to get the recognition it deserves, were especially synchronized with the Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D Major.



#6 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 12:21 PM

A review of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet in 'The Little Humpbacked Horse' by Mary Cargill for danceviewtimes.

But the simplicity of the sets let the choreography shine clearly, and, though the characterizations are not on the level of Ratmansky's "The Bright Stream", the choreography was vivid, varied, and lots of fun. The fool, Vladimir Shklyarov, had a number of solos with dazzling beats. He looks about sixteen, a teen heartthrob, and the role used his charm, especially in the final dance, when he kept interrupting the flow to gesture to the audience--"just watch this" he seemed to be saying, and it came across as pure generosity, not arrogance.



#7 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 09:29 PM

More on the lockout at the Joffrey Ballet - tentative agreement reached.

Now a last-minute settlement has happened again. Late Thursday, the Joffrey and its dancers reached a tentative agreement that seemed likely to allow the fall season to open on time. But it is not yet clear whether the settlement will erase the rancor that has built up for at least three years.

“Joffrey always comes back to the same topics,” Mr. McSween, 34, said in an interview before the tentative settlement was reached. “These types of things don’t just sneak up on you.”


Time Out Chicago

Is Rahm happy that the Joffrey is embroiled in a union dispute just after he took on the board role, especially when he’s in the middle of politically sensitive negotiations with city employee unions? The Mayor’s press office has not yet replied to requests made for comment; reached by phone, a Joffrey spokesperson stated simply that the company does not wish to make any statements at this time.

A press release from the dancers’ and stage managers’ union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, reiterates allegations that Joffrey executive director Christopher Clinton Conway, as quoted by the Tribune, has exaggerated the highest dancer salaries by more than $20,000.



#8 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 09:32 PM

A New York Times book critic goes to see the Mariinsky (Kirov) Balletin "Anna Karenina."

The Mariinsky’s production does, however, throw some complicating light on Tolstoy’s novel, and makes you turn it over freshly in your mind. The ballet, in its first half, gives off the air of a costume drama, of second-rate “Masterpiece Theater.” It’s stiff and proper and wan, filled with the pomp and broad gestures of early silent films. Tolstoy’s language can have a similarly chafing effect on readers coming to it for the first time; it takes time to synch with his rhythms.



#9 dirac

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 09:40 PM

A report on Ballet Manila's U.K. tour.

Macuja, who is also the company’s artistic director, led her young battalion of ballerinas and danseurs into a whirlwind series of shows at the Shaw Theater in Central London, the Cork Opera House, the University Concert Hall in Limerick, the Millennium Forum in Derry, and finally, the Dublin Convention Center.

Armed with a repertoire of classic pas de deux, contemporary choreographies and neo-ethnic originals, the delegation waved their banners high – and at a certain point, quite literally – to conquer the hearts of their captivated audience.



#10 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:15 AM

A story on the tentative agreement reached at the Joffrey by Sid Smith in The Chicago Tribune.

The American Guild of Music Artists, the union representing the dancers, sent out an email Thursday saying the agreement includes a raise spread out over the five years of the contract and no change in the troupe's family health insurance costs -- a major concern of the dancers.

Christopher Clinton Conway, Joffrey executive director, said no agreement has yet been formalized, but expressed optimism and said in a statement, "I am very much looking forward to an agreement being reached and the season proceeding as planned."



#11 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:34 AM

A story on how Pennsylvaniaarts organizations are coping with hard financial times by David N. Dunkle in The Patriot-News.

Sometime in the next few months, administrators at Pennsylvania Regional Ballet expect to hear that they will be receiving a $7,000 state grant, money that will pay choreographers to create dance pieces for their spring concert.

That's about the same amount the 150-student school in East Pennsboro Township received from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts this year. But after a bruising state budget struggle in Harrisburg that nearly slashed arts funding to the bone before an 11th-hour rescue, the money will feel like an unexpected gift.



#12 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:19 PM

Connecticut Ballet celebrates its thirtieth anniversary with a free program this month.

Artistic director Brett Raphael has chosen the works "Paquita," a Spanish-style classical ballet; "Indian Summer," a work set in 1929 with music by Randy Newman and Nelson Riddle; and Darrell Moultrie's "Pulse," with music by the Japanese band United Future Organization.




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