2. VD: What is one of your most memorable experiences as a performer?
RF: The first time I danced “Opus 19/The Dreamer” by Jerome Robbins was at an outdoor amphitheater in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was the most exhausted I'd ever been in a performance and there was steam from our bodies that created an unbelievable atmosphere on stage at the end of the ballet. To top it off I looked up and saw the moon shining through the balcony.
3. VD: If you could meet any choreographer, living or not, who would it be and why?
RF: Without a doubt George Balanchine. He constantly shapes my world and teaches me new things about myself through his choreography. I never met the man, but his history is capable of doing things like that in my life.
Friday, August 12
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:47 PM
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:49 PM
Probably the largest and most direct intersection of the two dance realms so far will take place Saturday evening, when the Vail International Dance Festival presents "Dance TV," a program featuring Roberts and seven other contestants and guest stars from three of the most popular shows.
Artistic director Damian Woetzel has been wowed by the buzz surrounding these TV programs and the quality of much of the dancing, and he felt like the festival simply could not afford to ignore the phenomenon.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:52 PM
In the early years, gay men similarly showed up at Dance for Life to mourn and embrace defiance. Now, just as the money goes to dancers of both sexes with various illnesses, patrons include gays and straights, urbanites and suburbanites, who come for the life-affirming party. "I'm busy at the event, but I always try to find time to peek at the audience and soak up their reaction," Elliott says. "It's two things together. They gave, and they're glad, and they get this amazing show bringing the city's top dance talents into a single program."
Though much younger, the Dancing Festival's impact has already been immeasurable and has expanded the Dance for Life equation by bringing stellar troupes from all over into the local mix for the ideal ticket price: free.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:53 PM
It’s no surprise that the hard-driving former White House chief of staff has big plans for his home town. And given Emanuel’s dance background — at his mother’s prompting, he trained in ballet and modern dance as a child and at 17 won a scholarship to dance with the Joffrey Ballet — it’s not surprising that he champions the art form. But his announcement that he wants to turn Chicago into an “international destination for dance,” as he told the Chicago Tribune — well, that’s not your standard mayoral initiative.
Then again, what other mayor has ever had such a strong interest in dance and endorsed the art so publicly? In June, Emanuel was named honorary chairman of the Joffrey Ballet’s board. In July, he addressed the opening reception of the annual Dance/USA conference in Chicago, jabbed a finger at the assembled company directors and declared, “This city will be the heartbeat of dance in the entire country.”
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:56 PM
It's not every day you see a prima ballerina fall flat on her derrière and the moment Diana Vishneva, below, ended on her rump brings a gasp from the audience.
Recovering well she continues as the adulterous tragic heroine of Tolstoy’s novel rendered into ballet by Russia’s busiest dancemaker Alexei Ratmansky.
Anna Karenina is the one new work in the Mariinsky's London season. It was created by Alexei Ratmansky, a choreographer who usually shows a gift for story ballets. His Anna Karenina falls very flat, scrambling through Tolstoy and trying to keep up with its music.
Rodion Shchedrin's score is full of lurching melodrama, short on melody and contrast. Though Ratmansky has streamlined the action, he doesn't do enough to establish his large cast as individual. These flurried dances are too rushed to develop character.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:58 PM
Handmade and intricately embroidered, the dancewear was valued at $16,800. Four women's bronze and red dresses, four pairs of velvet dance trunks, four men's beige dance trunks and one man's gold and brown vest were pilfered, the dance company reported.
The costumes, on loan from the Parsons Dance Company, were worn by 17 and 18-year-old dancers who performed an excerpt of choreographer David Parsons' work "Wolfgang" at the Youth America Grand Prix dance competition at City Center in March, said a Manhattan Youth Ballet representative.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:00 PM
Last night's cast hardly helped the ballet's awkward form. Victoria Tereshkina's dancing is a wonder of nature, but her cool manner and physical exactitude mean she's miscast as the melting Nikiya. She'd be much better as her rival Gamzatti, while the opening night Gamzatti (Anastasia Matvienko), would have made a spot-on Nikiya. Vladimir Shklyarov's Solor was dazzlingly danced, albeit short on projection and giving little sign of being in love with Nikiya.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:01 PM
Julia Olsen-Rodriguez, founding artistic director of the San Gorgonio Ballet, and Martin Vitous, a composer of classical/contemporary music from the Czech Republic, exchanged wedding vows Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:09 PM
From the vault: Judy Graeme's LA Observed video of behind-the-scenes photos at the ballet's studio. More images from the video after the jump.
Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:15 PM
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Media City Ballet, a Burbank-based dance company, will make its debut appearance tonight at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. It kicks off its performance season with "Axis Mundi: A Global Multi-Cultural Celebration of Dance."
"This show is about how ballet started, and cultural dances played a huge role in that," said Natasha Middleton, Media City Ballet artistic director and principal choreographer of the show. "We are going to depict different countries and reflect their cultures."
Posted 13 August 2011 - 04:08 PM
There had been talk of cancellation but the Royal Opera House decided to tough it out and Tuesday night’s packed London premiere of Anna Karenina went ahead.
It’s a handsome piece. Mikael Melbye’s ravishing costumes solve the button-boots-and-bustles dilemma by reimagining the cumbersome frocks and tailcoats in gauzy chiffon and organza, giving the 19th-century wardrobe an airy substance.
Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:31 PM
Choreographed by Stacey Tookey, Emmy Award-nominated for reality TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" and commissioned by arts advocate and donor David Herriman, the short dance will have continued life in public spaces in the region.
Herriman said he challenged ballet artistic director and CEO Victoria Morgan to create something edgy that could be performed in places where people gather. He'd like to see the new dance performed at shopping malls, unannounced. "Take people who don't think about dance by surprise."
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