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Thursday, September 29


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#1 dirac

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:08 AM

More reactions to "Ocean's Kingdom."

Luke Jennings in The Guardian's blog.

http://www.guardian....m?newsfeed=true

That this hokum should be thought appropriate for an adult ballet audience is revealing. Try pitching it at a book publisher, TV exec or producer of commercial theatre and you'd be shown the door. Ballet's gatekeepers, however, tend to almost infinite credulity, and this, to a large extent, is why there are so many bad narrative ballets. Here in the UK there are dance directors who understand the nature and importance of story – Matthew Bourne, ZooNation's Kate Prince, the Royal Ballet's Will Tuckett– but many more who don't. And so we get slow-motion car crashes like last year's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, created for the Royal Ballet by Christopher Wheeldon, and Ocean's Kingdom.


Related item in The Economist's blog.

http://www.economist...classical-music

#2 dirac

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:13 AM

A review of the Royal Danish Ballet by Franziska Bork Petersen in The Copenhagen Post.

http://www.cphpost.d...-in-threes.html

If Bournonville set the standard for the Danish ballet tradition in the 19th century, then Harald Lander’s take on it dominated the 20th. Or, as the Royal Danish Ballet’s director, Nicolaj Hübbe, writes: “For a Danish ballet dancer, Lander’s Etudes is almost like the national anthem.” For Lander, Etudes was the piece that brought him international recognition. The one-act ballet begins with exercises at the barre (the handrail used during warm-up exercises) and develops into extensive bravura steps with which the dancers take over the whole stage. Like the two other pieces, Etudes has no narrative – it concludes an evening of celebrating the Danish ballet style with its sheer beauty.



#3 dirac

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 10:15 AM

A review of the Smuin Ballet by Paul Parish in The Bay Area Reporter.

http://www.ebar.com/...nce&article=190

A quarter-century ago, it was Michael Smuin's ballet To the Beatles that got similarly crushing reviews from the international ballet critics, who were covering the LA Olympics arts festival when To the Beatles led the bill for San Francisco Ballet's gig there. He was then co-artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet, and those reviews led to his downfall. The reviews, and the PR nightmares that followed – front-page news day after day, Smuin fired, SFB board members conducting proxy-fights on the front steps of the opera house – were media events on the same order as the OJ chase, the Jonestown mass suicides, almost on the scale of Harvey Milk's electoral triumphs and tragic end.



#4 dirac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:08 PM

A review of New York City Ballet in 'Ocean's Kingdom' by Marina Harss in The Faster Times.

http://www.thefaster...rk-city-ballet/

Deprived of internal logic and musical impulse, the choreography never gets off the ground. Many of the scenes seem to be filled with empty walking to and fro, a kind of vapid simulacrum of courtly etiquette. Not even the watery element seems to have stimulated Martins’s imagination; there is little suggestion of currents or sea life or the quality of underwater movement (such an ingenious feature of Ratmansky’s recent “Humpbacked Horse”). The costumes for the underwater folk, by Stella McCartney, are not particularly evocative either. There are moments of virtuosity (especially for the men), with fast, multiple jumps and jabbing legs, but they too lead nowhere....



#5 dirac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:11 PM

A review of the Smuin Ballet by Geri Jeter in The California Literary Review.

http://calitreview.com/20354

The spotlight for this season opener is the world premiere of Dear Miss Cline by Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert, which she has described as her most “Smuin-esque” piece to date. Set to ten classic Patsy Cline recordings, it is a sometimes comic, often touching, exploration of interpersonal relationships. The company has a real winner with this one. A big plus were the cheerful costumes by Jo Ellen Arntz (with Amy Seiwert). They captured the period of the late 1950s/early 1960s without descending into cliché-ridden “Hee Haw” country kitsch.



#6 dirac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

A preview of a new exhibition in Washington,'Degas’s Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint' by Anne Midgette in The Washington Post.

http://www.washingto...jP8K_story.html

The Phillips show centers on its own painting, “Dancers at the Barre,” newly restored and scientifically analyzed to reveal layers of underpainting demonstrating the care, the repetition, the echolalia of this thoughtful, restless, obsessive artist. The carefully balanced image has become iconic: two women who seem to be one organism, their torsos and limbs emerging from a single blue semicircle of diaphanous skirt, against a wall of contrasting orange....



#7 dirac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:31 PM

Reviews of La La La Human Steps at Sadler's Wells.

The Guardian:

http://www.guardian....w?newsfeed=true

Purcell's Dido & Aeneas and Gluck's Orpheus & Eurydice must be the most choreographed operas in the repertory. Their buoyant, punchy baroque rhythms, and the simple arc of their plots, lend themselves naturally to dance. Canadian choreographer Édouard Lock joins the illustrious line of Balanchine, Bausch and Morris in tackling these two classics.


The Arts Desk:

http://www.theartsde...k-sadlers-wells

So you chew over the story relevance, jettison it, and return your attention to the unflagging dancers, but the spell inevitably weakens over the 90 minutes, as it seems more and more inevitable that this top-speed quarrel between everybody will never end in resolution. Its climactic duet between a still extremely upset woman twisting and turning in one of the black-clad chaps’ grip is a turbo-charged echo (I take it) of Eurydice trying to catch Orpheus’s gaze, but by then this roller-coaster ride had tired me out.


The Evening Standard:

http://www.thisislon...lls---review.do

There's also a mildly transgressive appeal watching ballet dancers in pointe shoes performing in an un-balletic way - that is, stroppy and strongly, although we've long known that the frail, fainting ballerina is a theatrical construction and indicative of neither the performers nor the art form. However, having seen Lock's signature athleticism once or twice his appeal wanes as there are diminishing returns on his relentless pace and mono-emotional angst.



#8 dirac

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

Mark Monahan's review of the troupe in The Telegraph.

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

Canadian contemporary choreography is a generally grim phenomenon. As if the crutches-and-cleavage claptrap of Marie Chouinard and recent bum-in-your-face yuck of Dave St Pierre weren’t enough, Sadler’s Wells is this week playing host to yet another Quebecan calamity: New Work, created by Édouard Lock and performed by La La La Human Steps, the company he founded 30-odd years ago.

So, what is it like? Well, remember back in the days of vinyl, when you’d put on your favourite LP only to realise – too late – that you still had your turntable on 45rpm, and Jimi Hendrix (say) would fleetingly be transformed into a gabbling smurf?



#9 dirac

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 03:19 PM

A review of New York City Ballet by Carol Pardo for danceviewtimes.

http://www.danceview...-2011-by-1.html

A reprise of "Apollo" and "The Four Temperaments" provided another opportunity to see Robert Fairchild lead the muses. He is a change from the stream of blond classicists, from Peter Martins to Nikolaj Hübbe who have held down the part until recently at New York City Ballet. Their classicism announced their divinity: they had only to acknowledge it. But this Apollo is a wild child who has to discover both who and what he is. Fairchild is a very gifted dance actor, so it’s a wonderful voyage.

Lydia Wellington and Christian Tworzyanski got "The Four Temperaments" off to a rousing start in the best first theme I’ve seen in ages. They seemed to have internalized the entire ballet, music and steps alike. Fairchild, Wellington and Tworzyanski were all once debutants. Maybe, given time and performances, the newest recruits in "Union Jack" will shine as brightly.




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