Stanislas de Quercize, president of Van Cleef & Arpels, explains the initial spark of the romance. “At the start of the 1960s, Balanchine, on his daily walk, used to pass in front of the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York. He was fascinated by the extraordinary beauty of the jewels,” he says.
“Balanchine became friends with Claude and Pierre Arpels and his appreciation of the art of the jeweller was the inspiration for his new ballet. The rest, as they say, is history and Balanchine came to be one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century and founder of the American Ballet.”
Friday, September 9
Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:08 PM
Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:10 PM
Composer and choreographer watched intently, often leaning together to confer in whispers. At the end the composer leaped to his feet with a standing ovation, exclaiming, “Whoo!” That “Whoo!,” high and sweet, could have come straight out of a Beatles song.
Which made sense, because the composer was Paul McCartney, trying his first ballet and being, it turns out, far more hands-on than a typical ballet composer. With “Ocean’s Kingdom” he has taken a part in everything: story, sets, costumes, even elements of the dance itself. As a novice to ballet composing, he approached the project in his own fruitfully naïve way. “The great thing for me was I never worked like this before,” Mr. McCartney said afterward. “One of the reasons I do this is to have new experiences in my life.”
Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:12 PM
Houston Ballet's opened its season Thursday night with Return of the Masters, a program composed of three masterworks by choreographic visionaries Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins and Kenneth MacMillan. All three works were premiered by Houston Ballet in the late 1980s. Sweet, subtle and strange, this night with Houston Ballet often left me speechless, and it's thrilling to see these three works come back in from the cold.
After Houston's recording-breaking heat and drought, a little snow was just what the doctor ordered. Nothing was more refreshing and invigorating than Ashton's "Les Patineurs," literally "the skaters," which brought a winter wonderland to the Wortham.
Song of the Earth is the main draw of "Return of the Masters," because it's so rarely performed and so masterful a musical work. Gustav Mahler wrote Song of the Earth as his last great musical work, following the death of his daughter and the knowledge that he too would soon die from a terrible sickness. The piece is dark and ruminates deeply on death, which Sir Kenneth MacMillan incorporated as a central theme in his choreography that premiered in 1965. The work employs five ancient Chinese poems, sung in German by two opera singers with the 63-piece orchestra. Even the large-scale musical production doesn't overshadow the ballet. The choreography is so different and intricate, it's hard to close your eyes to solely enjoy the music. It's all best experienced together.
Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:14 PM
Avis performed at the theatre as a youngster with the Co-op Juniors and attended a local dance school.
He said: "I'm just thrilled that Suffolk audiences are going to be able to see world-class ballet." Avis, 41, was a member of Ipswich Operatic & Dramatic Society, the Gallery Players and the Appeal Theatre.
Posted 09 September 2011 - 03:18 PM
While the city hosts TIFF, one of the premier arts events in its calendar, and cinephiles and stargazers try to rub shoulders with glitzy movie stars, the worried leaders of Torontos major cultural organizations met behind closed doors Friday morning to discuss the ramifications of a draft proposal by city hall to slash their funding.
The 90-minute meeting at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts included representatives from the Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet of Canada, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and other major arts institutions reportedly facing the axe.
Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:25 PM
It is with pieces like this that we see the true worth of Hougland as a resident choreographer; someone who knows the dancers' abilities intimately and choreographs in ways that both challenge and showcase them. He uses eight of the company's best in this work.
James Kudelka the former artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada, is a global choreographic power. And with "The Man in Black," an homage to Johnny Cash, we get an inkling of why.
Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:30 PM
Starting with the New York City Ballet in 1986, the Center has brought virtually every major dance company to Orange County over the years, many of them multiple times (the American Ballet Theatre 21 times). Judy Morr, the executive vice president at the Center and in charge of the dance seasons there, is praised by one and all for her efforts. The list of Broadway musicals performed there is long and notable as well, and both series have attracted large and loyal audiences. In recent years, the Center has increased its output of commissions and co-commissions – these have included a ballet from Twyla Tharp and Danny Elfman, a string quartet by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and an orchestral song cycle by William Bolcom – bringing new works to life.
Posted 11 September 2011 - 10:16 PM
"4 Choreographies” announced the advertisement for the opening of the Zurich Ballet´of the 2011/12 season. Hardly very appetizing fare, it seemed. And yet an ambitious start, its four authors including George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylián and Heinz Spoerli, artistic director and chief-choreographer of the company.
And there was more to it. For Balanchine, the master, and Forsythe, than a strapping teenager who had just started his carrer as a dancer of the Stuttgart Ballet, had been the first colleagues who Spoerli had invited to Basle, Switzerland, his home-town where he had been appointed ballet director in 1973, then a youngster of 33 years, after his apprentice years in Basle, Cologne, Winnipeg, Montréal and Geneve.
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