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Friday, September 23


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#1 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:40 AM

A story on the retirement of Edward Villella from Miami City Ballet, announced yesterday.

http://www.sun-senti...0,2573372.story

Changing the leadership at a complex institution such as a major ballet company needs to be done carefully, says Arlene Shuler, president and CEO of City Center of New York, which presented MCB's triumphant New York debut in 2009. She cited the process at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where the transition from longtime artistic director Judith Jamison to new leader (and Miami native) Robert Battle took more than two years, as a successful example.

"When there's a major figure who's either the founder or a star figure -- or both -- one definitely has to plan in advance," Shuler says. "It takes a while to find the right person. You don't want to rush."



#2 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:41 AM

A review of "Degas and the Ballet," the Royal Academy's new exhibition, by Souren Melikian in The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.c...ian24.html?_r=1

But problems crop up right away. Uncertainty surrounds the period of some major pictures left undated by the artist. The admirable “Rehearsal” from the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is prudently placed around 1873-1878. Another “Rehearsal,” on loan from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, is believed to have been painted around 1874. Blatant differences in style as in mood raise a question that is not discussed in the book. Why does such a gap separate works dealing with the same subject?



#3 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:43 AM

Philip Neal coaches the Georgia Ballet in 'Who Cares?'

http://www.cherokeet..._news_1st_right

Neal said he is used to working with larger dance companies with 50 to 80 professionals.

"I really like working with the smaller companies, because there's a more intimate feel and there's good camaraderie amongst them," he said. "They've very disciplined, they're very polite, so you get things done quickly, which speaks of who's managing it. ... I like to help them grow because I think in a place like Marietta, people need to know how important the arts are, and what it contributes to the community."



#4 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:44 AM

Benjamin Millepied is interviewed by Lydia Slater in The Evening Standard's magazine.

http://www.thisislon...th-the-stars.do

He now has several new projects on the go, including a reworking of Les Sylphides and Le Spectre de la Rose. Next year, he starts work on a new ballet with the American wunderkind composer Nico Muhly (who's just written a new opera for the ENO), with whom he previously worked at the Paris Opera.

And inevitably, given his fiancée's profession, he's also dipping a toe into film - he says he has a few dance-related projects in the offing. Funding these projects will have become a good deal easier since he was signed by YSL. Now his brooding gaze smoulders out of the Patrick Demarchelier-shot campaign against a New York skyline. There is an accompanying TV advertisement, shot by the 21 Grams director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, in which Millepied pirouettes down New York's streets to the astonishment of passers-by, before soaring effortlessly into the sky. 'It's great to have a dancer for a change, someone who's involved in the arts rather than an actor or a model,' he says.



#5 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:47 AM

A review of New York City Ballet in "Ocean's Kingdom" by Melissa Whitworth in The Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph...ork-review.html

As the lights dimmed and the dancing started it was clear that the performance was ballet for beginners, however. The story, which McCartney helped create, was childishly simplistic: boy meets girl - in this case an ocean dwelling Princess called Honorata – girl is kidnapped by a wicked queen, boy and girl are reunited in a finale, which had something of a school play feel to it, despite the stellar performances from the members of one of the finest ballet companies in the country.


Review by James C. Taylor in The Los Angeles Times' blog.

http://latimesblogs....n-new-york.html

You might not want to listen to the whole thing on your iPod, but that's the case with a number of classic ballets. Give McCartney credit — his music does manage to convey the setting and underscore the action. If only the action was worth watching. Peter Martins' dances are not just forgettable, they're boring. There's running around in circles and cheerleader-style symmetry that looks as if the choreographer were setting the piece on student dancers — not one of the finest companies in the world. Besides a brief acrobatic duet by Megan LeCrone and Craig Hall, there was nothing that showcased the artistry of the City Ballet principals or corps.



#6 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

More "Ocean's Kingdom"-related articles, with photos and slideshows of Macca, his fiancee, et al.

http://www.google.co...4fc27898f2a.761

But the gala premiere late Thursday in Manhattan was certainly a smash hit in terms of the scene, with A-listers and Beatles fans eager to see McCartney make his own bit of musical history.

NY1 television, which keeps a close eye on the city arts, said "the biggest star at Lincoln Center was not a dancer or the choreographer or even the many celebrities in attendance. Rather, the big star was the composer."


http://www.examiner....n-scene-reports

It was a new venture for Paul McCartney, but reports from fans say the new ballet "Ocean's Kingdom" that debuted Thursday night was a big success.


http://in.reuters.co...-59516920110923

McCartney, 69, posed for photos and fans with fiancee Nancy Shevell, 51, along with fashion designer daughter Stella McCartney and actors Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Watts and Alec Baldwin at a packed house at the New York City Ballet gala held on Thursday for "Ocean's Kingdom."


http://www.style.com...Cartney_Ballet/

By all accounts, Sir Paul took a very active role in the production—Stella told us after the show that the striking tribal tattoo motifs were his idea. "My dad just gets on and does it, you know? He loves making music and it comes very naturally to him," she said. At the premiere, the pop legend tried valiantly to deflect attention from himself at curtain call. But as Stella put it, "I think he would have been a fool not to have known that he was the star of the night."



#7 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 10:58 AM

A review of the Royal Ballet in 'Jewels' by Caroline Jowett in The Daily Express.

http://www.express.c...yal-Opera-House

Alexander Campbell jumps well in the pas de trois while Ryoichi Hirano has a tendency to haul Rojo around but this slight awkwardness might just be a result of stepping in at the last minute to replace the injured Federico Bonelli.

Things liven up considerably in Rubies set to Stravinsky’s Capriccio. Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb are on scintillating form in the duet (a slip from McRae which causes a brief stumble on landing is sheer bad luck) while Zenaida Yanowsky’s Amazonian angularity is marvellously suited to the angularity of the music. She is like a Twenties Chiparus figurine come to life.



#8 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 11:01 AM

A story on Stella McCartney's costumes for "Ocean's Kingdom" by Melissa Whitworth in The Telegraph.

http://fashion.teleg...rst-ballet.html

She asked her father, "'How do you see this? Do you want tutus?' We had to make it all work well together; the music, the choreography and the visuals.

"I am providing a technical need within the whole structure," she said. Her father clearly had his heart set on modern costumes as part of his vision for Ocean's Kingdom. Call me old fashioned, but the odd Stella McCartney tutu would have been nice.



#9 dirac

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:34 PM

A review of New York City Ballet in "Ocean's Kingdom" by Mary Cargill for danceviewtimes.

http://www.danceview...y-love-him.html

....Had his name been Paul McGillicuddy, the company probably would not have spent $800,000 to produce his ballet, and he wouldn't have been greeted with the echoes of nearly fifty year old squeals, but I suspect that any choreographer would have jumped at the opportunity to use the music. After all, melodic, atmospheric, rhythmic, vivid and danceable scores don't turn up everyday. There were apparent nods throughout the score to other composers--Debussey in the misty overture, Stravinsky in the knotty music for the bad guys, and even Tchaikovsky in the mini-apotheosis, but it has lovely melodies and distinctive rhythms, and was both clear and enjoyable. The evening opened with the orchestra rising to ground level to give a "see the music" tour of the new score. The conductor, Fayçal Karoui, introduced the excerpts, and spoke eloquently about their beauty; he did seem genuinely thrilled to play the score, and the audience seemed genuinely delighted with it.



#10 dirac

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:26 AM

A review of "Ocean's Kingdom" by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.c...dom-review.html

Paul McCartney’s first ballet score, “Ocean’s Kingdom,” is in no way an important addition to the corpus of ballet music, but it deserves a better staging than the one it’s been given by New York City Ballet. Never less than agreeable, it has plenty of color and melody. Curiously, it sounds as if it had been composed in the neo-Romantic era before the Beatles: some of its most expansive tunes have hints of Borodin and Samuel Barber; some of its atmospheres evoke Ravel; and its jolliest passages are on the cusp of Bernstein’s “Candide.”



#11 dirac

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:44 AM

San Francisco Ballet will visit Southern California.

http://www.dailybree...ure/ci_18964891

The Segerstrom Center visit offers two programs - a mixed bill featuring Possokhov's "RAkU," Tomasson's "Trio" and George Balanchine's "Symphony in C" on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Tomasson's lavish full-length "Romeo and Juliet" Friday through Sunday.

"RAkU" and "Trio" - the two Southern California premieres - are highly emotional pieces of choreography that take divergent approaches to love and remembrances.


Ricardo Bustamante writes about the visit in his blog.

http://blog.sfgate.c.../sfb-in-the-oc/

In order to present such a diverse and large repertory, we will travel with the full company, plus apprentices, and the SF Ballet School Trainees. We also have administrative and artistic staff traveling, as well as our music director, company photographer, wardrobe, and our experienced crew. The group will be over 100. Normally we’d have a little less personnel, but these programs are huge, with lots of scenery and hundreds of costumes.



#12 dirac

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:45 AM

A review of Houston Ballet's 'Giselle' by Molly Glentzer in The Houston Chronicle.

http://www.chron.com...lle-2185531.php

Houston Ballet's new staging of Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli's 1840 classic, by Ai-Gul Gaisina, brought the experience about as close to pure Romanticism as it gets at Thursday's opening night performance. Peter Farmer's wispy long tutus float in the air around ballerinas who seem to have absorbed that visual magic into their bodies.

Especially Danielle Rowe, whose gossamer-spirited Giselle was a dream. As the happy peasant girl who loves to dance, she was infectious in the early part of Act I. Then, crestfallen as she learned her lover was already betrothed and out of her social league, she tugged your heart down with her, holding you enthralled as her eyes went blank and her movements filled with graceful lethargy.



#13 dirac

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:46 AM

Colorado Ballet presents "Swan Lake."

http://www.ourcolora...1f96b07671.html

Choreography will be after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, (1895), with the addition of original choreography by Amanda Mc Kerrow and John Gardner, former principal dancers with the American Ballet Company. It was first set on Colorado Ballet in 2008 and attracted sold-out audiences. Working with Colorado Ballet’s Sandra Brown, they added a waltz in the first act and a new fourth act.



#14 dirac

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:36 AM

A blog review of "Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet" by Stephen Manes.

http://www.classactt...-of-ballet.html

Through Manes’ watchful eye, you’ll discover many facets and secrets of the Land of Ballet such as: What it takes to keep the holiday cash-cow known as Nutcracker running year after (endless) year; how the company survived its most tumultuous, injury plagued and downright stressful staging of Roméo et Juliette; the harsh reality of “body is destiny”, and just how much a dancer will (can?) put up with – physically and emotionally – before calling it quits.

You will be a fly on the wall during artistic director, Peter Boal’s most difficult decisions and discover why he and others in his position must be “willing to be hated”. You’re there as members of the “Who’s Who in Choreography” (Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, Jaime Martinez, and Bernice Coppieters), give corrections and guidance for proper staging of their work. You’ll also witness the drama that surrounds a dancer’s life – the fiery contentions, the painful jealousies and cherished friendships.



#15 dirac

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:07 PM

A review of the National Ballet of China by George Jackson for danceviewtimes.

http://www.danceview...phenotype-.html

Closest to convincing was "Red Detachment". Even though its heroes and villains are devoid of depth and turn all they touch into melodrama, beneath the cardboard were hearts that throb. Zhu Yan, who danced the heroine, relished her role's perils - leaps with the rear leg bent as if to scalp, whirlwind spins, arabesques stretched like suspension bridge cables and endless manhandling by bad guys. As the heroine's savior and potential love, Zhou Zhaohui was pliantly, humanely noble while also giving his relationship to a young sidekick some humor. As the youth, Wang Hao stood his ground. Jiang Wei and Huang Zhen were juicy villains. None of the cast caricatured the proceedings but by showing that these were performances - examples of skilled acting and dancing - they made "Red Detachment" plausible. The 1964 choreography by Li Chengxiang, Jiang Zuhui and Wang Xixian interwove ballet, gymnastics and pantomime but did not not merge them.




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