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Wednesday, June 20


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#1 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:11 AM

A review of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet and the Cunningham company by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger of Newark.

Successful collaboration—let’s call it a marriage—is essential to all these works, as the Mariinsky Ballet’s deeply flawed revisions proved this season. Shchedrin’s scores, melodious and ingeniously expressive, are worthless to the stage without compelling choreography, but Alexei Ratmansky supplied utterly inane material. Nowhere in his “Anna Karenina” is there a particular step or a gesture, like Caroline smoothing her dress in “Jardin aux Lilas,” to define a character or a situation. In “Humpbacked Horse,” Ratmansky reveals his essential vulgarity by turning all the characters into buffoons, most awfully the Tsar-Maiden. Russian fairy-tale ballets need not be coarse.

Both Mariinsky productions offered grandiose scenery as compensation for this vacuousness. Maxim Isayev’s designs for “Humpbacked Horse” aped the colorful cut-outs of David Hockney; and Mikael Melbye’s more imaginative designs for “Anna” bowed to Tolstoyan realism with three-dimensional set pieces (a spinning train-car) and photographic projections. The dancers were simply window-dressing.



#2 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:14 AM

An interview with William Simmons, just accepted into the Estonia National Ballet.

But in the first term he slipped and broke both bones in his lower leg. His consultant didn’t think he’d dance again. But William was determined to prove him wrong – and succeeded.

Before graduating, he was injured again. He sprained an ankle after taking the lead in an end of term show. He then joined the Central School of Ballet, after a brief spell with Northern Ballet, and graduates this month with a BA Hons.



#3 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:16 AM

Carlos Acosta praises England's multiculturalism.

"It is the thing about England that makes it different - that foreigners have played a really large part in its history. It is extremely diverse and cosmopolitan and for me it's the best country in the world."

However, the generous welcome extended to international dancers did not damage Britain's own dance tradition, he insisted.



#4 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:29 AM

A brief report on The Fire Island Dance Festival 17 by Brian Scott Lipton for TheaterMania.

The festival was hosted by Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth and featured performances by Brian Brooks Moving Company, Brandon Bryant, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Sokvannara "Sy" Sar, and New York City Ballet principal ballerina Wendy Whelan and soloist Craig Hall.



#5 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

Questions arise about the future of Orchestra Victoria. Story by Robin Usher in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Orchestra Victoria's musicians are seeking an assurance that full-time employment will be guaranteed in a new workplace agreement being negotiated.

This uncertainty follows a study into the future of Melbourne's opera and ballet orchestra commissioned by the Australia Council, which suggested it should come under the control of the Australian Ballet with a reduced number of permanent players and the removal of ''restrictive work practices''.



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:38 AM

The National Ballet of Zimbabwe presents 'Cinderella.'

For the first time in years, the National Ballet of Zimbabwe is this month staging a full-length ballet production, featuring all the top local dancers as well as a principal dancer from the South African Ballet Theatre.



#7 dirac

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:53 AM

An interview with Damian Drake of Nashville Ballet.

What was your first real job as a dancer?
My first real job as a dancer was with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, when I was 20. Prior to that I was hired for a few shows at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Opera Omaha and other dance shows in Nebraska.

When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in dance?
I knew I wanted to pursue a career in dance when I was training and performing intensively in high school. The more experience I had on stage, the more I was convinced to keep training. I traveled away to study at schools in New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle. I was thrilled that I was taking classes from new teachers and with the professional dancers in these cities. Seeing awesome dance shows in New York City and Seattle kept me motivated.



#8 dirac

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 03:16 PM

A feature on the Australian Ballet's educational outreach program.

The company's educational program, Out There, will visit schools nationwide with young performers taking to the stage to promote movement skills, fitness and artistic engagement.

David McAllister, artistic director of the Australian Ballet, said dance was one of the forgotten arts in most school curriculums.




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