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Friday, July 15


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#1 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:06 AM

Robert Ivey has died. Age not given.

Ivey founded the Robert Ivey Ballet Company, the dance company in residence at the College of Charleston, in 1978. He served as artistic director there as well as at the Footlight Players Theatre. The company received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award from the S.C. Arts Commission for artistic excellence in 1987.



#2 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:13 AM

A story on the tentative contract agreement reached at the Joffrey by Hedy Weiss in The Chicago Sun-Times.

The dancers, whose average salary is about $40,000, have one-year contracts.

The agreement must be approved by the American Guild of Musical Artists, the union representing the 42 dancers and two stage managers of the company. Attempts to reach the union were unsuccessful.



#3 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:18 AM

Reviews of American Ballet Theatre in 'The Bright Stream.'

The Los Angeles Times

At Thursday's opening, Gillian Murphy brought fine-lined poise and virtuosity to the role of the visiting Ballerina, especially when, disguised as a man in the second act, she executed the male variation that her partner, Cory Stearns, had danced in the first. For his part, Stearns was a strong and elegant partner. Disguised as a Sylph in the second act, Stearns splendidly traversed the skewed Bournonville-derived choreography with a minimum of caricature and a maximum of self-respect.

As Pyotr, the farmer who becomes infatuated with the Ballerina (briefly forgetting his wife, Zina), Marcelo Gomes exhibited rugged, salt-of-the-earth masculinity. Paloma Herrera, the neglected wife, danced with lyric elegance and suppleness, particularly in the second act pas de deux in which Pyotr doesn’t realize he’s dancing with his disguised wife.


Concerto.net.com

The opening night features a graceful and pliable Paloma Herrera as Zina, joined by Gillian Murphy as the ballerina. In Act I, their first pas de deux weaves between synchronous steps, arabesque penchées and mimicking movements to renew their friendship. Amidst an audience of farm workers, Cory Stearns joins Murphy in the pas de deux waltz portraying the greatest of ease in executing some of the most demanding jumps and catches. Later in Act II, Stearns grabs many chuckles dressed as a “Sylphide” while mockingly flirting with the senescent dacha dweller.



#4 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:21 AM

Reviews of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet.

The Financial Times

It is a rare and wonderful thing for a production to be so idiosyncratic in its every aspect – choreography, costumes, music, set – and yet so thoroughly of a piece. In his 2009 remake for the Mariinsky of the popular 19th-century, then Soviet, ballet, the Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky merges fairy tale and Bildungsroman. Ivan the innocent grows up to be Ivan the Tsar. On the way, he sees the world as a child might: not dulled by experience but in its acute variety and strangeness.


The Faster Times

It seems like more and more young choreographers are willing to give the idea of telling a story, rather than creating images and patterns to music, a try. For Ratmansky, there is always a story, even when there is no obvious storyline: “Russian Seasons,” for example, is plotless, and yet it evokes a whole range of stories and situations, encompassing the many hues and moods of daily life, and even an intimation of death. Death is everywhere in Ratmansky’s ballets—the grim reaper even shows up for a spin in “The Bright Stream”. It may be one of the reasons why they generally have such a profound inner life.



#5 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:30 AM

A feature on local girls appearing with New York City Ballet by Kristin Travagline in The Saratogian.

Akita is among 48 local girls, ages 6 to 13, who are performing in “Circus Polka.” The girls have been rehearsing for two hours every day since the end of June, and the rehearsals increased in length as the performance approached. Akita described the training as “very, very rigorous.”



#6 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:31 AM

A review of NYCB by Jay Rogoff in The Saratogian.

In 1928, George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky’s “Apollo” revolutionized ballet. In 1957, the pair created “Agon” and launched the ballet of the future. Thursday night at SPAC the New York City Ballet danced these two monuments, and both looked brand-new.

Both ballets are spare, stripped to dance essentials, yet both overflow with rich, continually startling invention. Each initiates us into a strange mythic realm, where we abandon our mortal selves to commune with music, movement, and genius. We rise from “Apollo” reborn; we exit “Agon” redeemed.



#7 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:38 AM

A review of the Peter Schaufuss Ballet by Neil Norman in The Daily Express.

Ashton’s version is not the masterpiece made a decade later by MacMillan. Sparsely populated and with few of the crowded street scenes in any other version (Cranko, Lavrovsky, Nureyev) this is a polite and intimate R&J whose entire focus is on the two lovers.

Ashton’s romantic dance vocabulary, however, has not worn well since he first made it for the Royal Danish Ballet in 1955. His gestures are old-fashioned and riddled with cliché – outstretched palms, arm-flinging and a surfeit of bowing.



#8 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:26 AM

Emily Coats asks if BP should sponsor the Royal Opera House's summer screenings.

We began planning the event four months ago, and decided to use the story of Swan Lake – a struggle between a vulnerable creature and a seemingly unstoppable force – as a metaphor for what's happening in Alberta. Perhaps optimistically, we used the so-called "happy" ending of the ballet. In our version the swan didn't die – she rose again. Might the same happen in Canada?


Of course, art doesn't need to be political – most of the time it isn't, offering instead a welcome relief to the daily drudgery of the news. But it can be an incredibly effective medium for making a point, particularly when the point relates to art itself. The debate over funding for the arts is topical as ever, with institutions being pressured by politicians to accept corporate sponsorship following recent cuts in government spending. In this climate, it's all the more important to consider where this money is coming from. Sponsorship from the oil industry is problematic for many reasons: it not only taints the arts but provides a way for oil companies to win public legitimacy. By attaching their names to much-loved cultural institutions, their significantly less appealing operations abroad can continue unnoticed.



#9 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:27 AM

A review of Sylvie Guillem by Louise Levene in The Telegraph.

Forsythe has always relished exploiting Guillem’s technical facility, forever finding new and surprising uses for the weightless rise of those lean, white legs; for the throwaway flick of those sumptuously arched feet. In Rearray, a new duet for Guillem and former Paris Opera Ballet colleague Nicolas Le Riche, Forsythe seeks to map the French star’s journey from classical ballet into alien territory.



#10 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:29 AM

Reviews of the Royal New Zealand Ballet in London.

The Evening Standard

The troupe is modest, just 32 dancers, yet on a rare visit to London last night its triple bill had the elegance and panache that many larger troupes lack. The programming was especially astute, with three new works that showed off the dancers rather than reveal their weaknesses.

Another smart move was the plain sets and minimal costumes, which keep costs down and the focus on the dancers, who are able and committed. They looked especially good in Andrew Simmons's A Song In the Dark. Simmons, a former company dancer, is little known outside New Zealand, yet his restrained solos and duets to Philip Glass's Tirol Concerto showed he is capable of crafting dance of ingenuity and flair.


The Guardian

n Plan to A we get a rare British sighting of Jorma Elo, a choreographer based in Boston who has a growing international reputation. Set to the baroque music of Heinrich Biber, the work goes some way to explaining Elo's success. His group material is classy and inventive, with refracting phrases of movement that ripple and spark through the bodies of his seven dancers. The men, in particular, look slick and shiny in spins and off-kilter leaps. Yet there is also a self-promoting quality in the works that is less appealing: Elo's insistence on tricking out his classical vocabulary with quirky, unmusical flourishes seems to advertise his own cleverness rather than serve the dance.



#11 dirac

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:23 AM

A.V.A. Ballet presents "Vortex."

Billed as a rock ballet, "Vortex" is made up of a number of unrelated pieces, all choreographed by Van Alstyne and all set to contemporary rock and pop tunes. A.V.A. has been running it for nine years, but it's never the same because the program is in constant flux.

"I'll keep maybe four numbers from the previous year," Van Alstyne said. "But then I add. I think I've got like six or seven new ones this year."



#12 dirac

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:38 AM

A review of the Royal New Zealand Ballet by Ismene Brown for The Arts Desk.

All the same, when we come to Javier De Frutos’s Banderillero, this is a higher plane of expertise altogether. If De Frutos’s work with the Pet Shop Boys, The Most Incredible Thing, was choreographically weak in the face of all its determination to entertain the masses, this shows just what the Venezuelan Londoner can fashion in dance at his best.




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