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Wednesday, August 3


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#1 dirac

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:24 AM

Reviews of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet in 'Don Quixote.'

The Telegraph

Less baggy than the Bolshoi’s production, less brash than many more recent attempts, it has as much naturalistic delicacy as can possibly be expected from a story about an innkeeper’s daughter trying to marry her barber lover while a mad old knight runs around tilting at windmills and dreaming of dryads.


The Evening Standard

To call the Mariinsky dancers exceptional is an understatement. Last night's cast took a while to warm up but once they had they provided an almost embarrassment of talent. From corps de ballet to lead couple Anastasia and Denis Matvienko, they heap stardust on every step. Although it might jar in some ballets, the married Matvienkos have a stand-out style that is spot on for Don Q. She is the spirited Kitri and he the penniless Basil.


The Arts Desk

Both Matvienkos were eclipsed in Act I by the stellar Ekaterina Kondaurova (who had dazzled everyone as the Firebird last week) and the young soloist Alexander Sergeev (who will appear later this week in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony - hurry and get your tickets now!). Sergeev has that nameless thing that Anastasia so far lacks, the ability to shape a phrase, to surprise the viewer each time, even as a step is repeated. Kondaurova and Sergeev were worth the price of admission alone, and the audience knew it, roaring its approval despite their relatively circumscribed parts.



#2 dirac

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:26 AM

Greensboro Ballet hosts a dance competition.

The first-ever competition was open to dancers ages 12 and up and was free to register and view. Strutting across the stage was a variety of solos, duets, trios and group dances. Categories included jazz, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, clogging, ballroom or break dancing. Solos had 90 seconds to impress the judges and group dancers had no more than two minutes.

Maryhelen Mayfield, Greensboro Ballet artistic director, said the idea came from the explosion of dance seen on TV in such shows as “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With The Stars.”



#3 dirac

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:28 AM

Dancers from New York City Ballet perform in Israel.

Dancer Tom Gold, presenter of the ad hoc ensemble, choreographed Tango Fantasie which closed the program. It’s difficult to go wrong with Piazzola’s bunch of well trained dancers, but Gold managed just that. His attempt to maintain ties with the dangerous sensuality of the dark Tango and hold on to classical training idioms gave birth to a crossbreed tango that was neither.



#4 dirac

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:04 AM

Reviews of New York City Ballet Moves.

The Denver Post

The ensemble, called New York City Ballet Moves, made its debut at the Vail International Dance Festival with three programs beginning Sunday evening — the latest coup for this nationally recognized summer dance series.

Unlike some "Stars of . . . " ballet troupes, which typically perform little more than pas de deux and small excerpts, Moves has 17 dancers from across the ballet's ranks, including some of its biggest names — enough to do a range of substantive works.


The New York Times

The new troupe will bring limited satisfaction to those for whom City Ballet is above all a vehicle for Balanchine choreography. The reasons for the limited supply of ballets by its founder-choreographer are primarily musical. Most Balanchine ballets are to fully orchestral scores. City Ballet uses taped music only in those cases where choreographers approved it; and Balanchine’s only use of recorded music seems to have been “Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir.” That leaves the very small number of works he created to piano or chamber music and without scenery. In Vail, therefore, the sole Balanchine item was “Duo” (to Stravinsky’s score for piano and violin).



#5 dirac

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:07 AM

Katita Waldo writes for The Huffington Post.

One of the works the Company presented was George Balanchine's Symphony in C--not an easy ballet to perform, especially following the time off, but it looked great. I'm extremely proud of how hard the dancers have been working and Bonnie Borne has been here lending her expertise in rehearsing the work with us, in addition to helping teach the SF Ballet School's summer session. It's always nice to have a familiar face back in the building. For me, watching Bonnie work with the Company from the perspective of being a member of the artistic staff instead of a dancer really brings back wonderful memories.



#6 dirac

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:08 AM

An interview with 92-year old former dancer Elissa Fuchs.

"That was all I wanted to do, go on the stage. And at 16, my dream came true through just a miracle," she said.

Fuchs landed a job performing the Vaudeville circuit. That kicked off her career on Broadway, then performing with the world class Russian Ballet and then onto the Metropolitan Opera. Fuchs said she was doing what she was born to do.



#7 dirac

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:48 AM

A review of New York City Ballet Moves by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs for TheaterJones.

Robbins Dances at a Gathering was all lyrical movements that would not be out of place in Swan Lake, which was quite a surprise to an audience that might have expected something more along the lines of his creations for West Side Story. The work occupied the entire first half of the program and was based on the piano music of Chopin, which was beautifully played by Susan Walters. Ten dancers were costumed simply in pairs of colors. All of them were terrific, and many are soloists familiar to followers of the company. They ranged in age to very young to veterans. Chase Finlay was still an apprentice with NYCB in 2008, only joining the corps de ballet in 2009 and a soloist in 2011. On the other hand, Wendy Whelan, who joined the company in 1986 and was promoted to Principal in 1991. But you would never know it─she still dances as though she was in her 20s.

The surprise was the Bronx-born Amar Ramasar, who joined the company in 2001, and was made a principal in 2009. Armed with impressive technique combined, a killer smile and the shear force of his personality, he communicated directly with the audience. He was a joy to watch whenever he was onstage. A number of the devotees of the NYCB in the audience were all abuzz at the intermission about his performance.



#8 dirac

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:47 PM

A story on the Northern California Ballet.

If it were not for Northern California Ballet, the dreams of would-be Sugar Plum Fairies, Giselles, Snow Queens and Swans would be dashed before they started.

"Ballet is not a fair art," said Trudi Angel, Northern California Ballet director. "If you're too tall or too heavy or your hips turn out or your knees don't straighten all the way, a career as a professional ballet dancer is not going to happen," she said.




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