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Thursday, October 6


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#1 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:07 PM

The North American distribution rights to the ballet documentary 'First Position' are sold. Link to trailer included.

http://www.indiewire..._first_position

“First Position” follows six young dancers as they compete at one of the most prestigious student ballet competitions in the world: the Youth American Grand Prix.


Review in brief by Kevin Griffin in The Vancouver Sun.

http://www.vancouver...4320/story.html

The film’s central characters are an unbelievably skilled and diverse group of young dancers who appear more poised than most adults I know. They include an orphan who survived the child soldiers of Sierra Leone and pushes herself to compete despite a swollen Achilles tendon; the son of a working-class family from Cali, Colombia, who travels home to see his family and gives his adoring younger brother his first ballet lesson, and an 11-year-old boy from a U.S. military family in Rome whose cigarette-smoking French coach recognizes him as a once-in-a-lifetime student.



#2 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:09 PM

An interview with Travis Halsey, who is designing the costumes for the Joffrey Ballet's 'Don Quixote.'

http://www.suntimes....or-quixote.html

“Yuri [Possokhov] said he wanted the ballet to be colorful, playful, fun and clever. I started by making collages, with the realistic costumes in earthy browns and greens and charcoals, and then the more colorful fantasy outfits with bright colors I took from the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe and other sources.”

Then it was off to New York’s fabric shops — first to collect swatches, and then to spend a whirlwind two days shopping for every piece of fabric used in the ballet, including two miles of netting for the tutus.



#3 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:10 PM

A preview of Alberta Ballet's 'Love Lies Bleeding' by Kevin Griffin in The Vancouver Sun.

http://www.vancouver...0664/story.html

So when choreographer Jean Grand-Maître was developing his ideas for Love Lies Bleeding, his contemporary dance production based on the duo's songs, he knew he couldn't ignore those memories - his own included.

"That's usually a problem I have when I make ballets like this," said Grand-Maître. "When you're using legendary recordings and music, people may have their own ideas of Elton John, what he represents and what his music should look like. That's always our challenge . to create ballets inspired by these very famous contemporary icons and try to surprise the audience - and see something unexpected."



#4 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:12 PM

Columbia Classical Ballet presents 'Swan Lake.'

http://www.thetandd....1cc4c03286.html

The Columbia Classical Ballet Company will live up to its name with performances of "Swan Lake" on Friday, Oct. 14. This is the first time the company, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has done a full-scale production of the classical ballet masterpiece.



#5 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:15 PM

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde says farewell to "Swan Lake." (maybe).

http://www.bworldonl...t.php?id=39501f

Dancing opposite Ms. Macuja-Elizalde as Prince Siegfried is David Makhateli, principal dancer of The Royal Ballet in London. They first met in 1988. Mr. Makhateli was 11 years old; Ms. Macuja-Elizalde was rehearsing with his father. (It bears saying that the BM artistic director, like boxer Manny Pacquiao, has retired many men throughout her career. She has outlasted her male partners, who span four generations.) "It’s a great honor for me," said Mr. Makhateli, who never imagined that he would be dancing with the prima ballerina.

Those close to Ms. Macuja-Elizalde are taking her Swan Song Series with a large grain of salt. They don’t believe that these performances will truly be her last full-lengths. "I don’t see her strength waning. I give her a hard time but she can still do it," said ballet master Osias Barroso, Ms. Macuja-Elizalde’s longtime dance partner who is thinking of coming out of retirement just to perform with her again.



#6 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:18 PM

Ismene Brown collates some online clips of Alexander Grant.

http://www.theartsde...y-and-dangerous

You hear the names of the princes and romantic heroines in ballet, but the global success of 20th-century British ballet had much to do with its dramatic acuity and nuancing, the unexpected side characters who in the ballets of Ashton and MacMillan were vastly more interesting than the stock supporting roles of 19th-century ballet. Alexander Grant was the key man in the growth of sophistication in British ballet in the Forties and Fifties, a character performer of powerful personality, and a performer who could out-dance almost any leading man.



#7 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:20 PM

A review of New York City Ballet in 'Jewels' by Leigh Witchel in The New York Post.

http://www.nypost.co...W7uwPwKoAh1kW1M

In the finale, a girl was a diamond’s best friend as Sara Mearns capped the evening in a larger-than-life performance.

Partnered by Charles Askegard, who makes his retirement bow on Sunday, Mearns started “Diamonds” off cool, but by the finale filled the stage with romance and abandon, her every breath a swoon.



#8 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:23 PM

A story on Ethan Stiefel's move to New Zealand by Valerie Lawson in The Australian.

http://www.theaustra...6-1226159550383

His NZ appointment has excited potential dancers, with 75 turning up for an audition in New York, more than 50 in London and more than 30 last month in Wellington. The hopeful dancers are competing for just two to four positions that will become vacant with imminent departures from the 32-strong troupe. An added incentive is their chance to work with two of America's leading dancers. Stiefel's partner, ABT principal Gillian Murphy, will become a RNZB principal guest artist next year.

Stiefel was one of 56 applicants for the job and one of three who made the short list, the others being Greg Horsman, a former principal of the Australian Ballet, and British choreographer Christopher Hampson.



#9 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

Yuri Possokhov talks about his new "Don Quixote" for the Joffrey.

http://www.suntimes....on-quixote.html

“Frankly, when Ashley [Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey] asked me to do my own, specially designed version for the Joffrey, I wasn’t so excited,” Possokhov confessed. “But I’ve completely changed my mind. I could be much freer this time — not under the control of my boss. And it was a real challenge, because I wanted to make the whole thing shorter, and with much more of a sense of mobility, turning a three-act ballet into a two-act ballet, and making the story clearer.”

Possokhov also has focused his version more on the perspective of Don Quixote — that bookish gentleman of La Mancha, Spain, who is so beguiled by the chivalric code of knights-errant that their world becomes more real to him than reality itself. And while he has cut the ballet’s gypsy dancing scenes (though he knows they are popular with audiences), he has saved all the Spanish flair, complete with the flashing capes of matadors and the flicking fans of their female admirers.



#10 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:34 PM

Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform in Minneapolis.

http://broadwayworld...-Stage-20111006

The Spirit & Place Festival is a distinctive event in Indianapolis. As a signature civic engagement project of IUPUI, Spirit & Place brings together cultural, religious, and community institutions to create "never-seen-before" programs-and often "never-seen-again"-which prompt citizens to think and act differently on behalf of their communities. Its mission is to be a catalyst for civic engagement and enduring change.



#11 dirac

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:43 PM

A review of New York City Ballet by Gia Kourlas in The New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.c...nd-martins.html

But the New York City Ballet program at the David H. Koch Theater wasn’t entirely the stuff of dreams; it also included Peter Martins’s “Fearful Symmetries,” a soulless piece of movement mechanics from 1990. Even with dancers like Chase Finlay, Tiler Peck and Lauren King — whose pretty smile and graciousness bring some warmth to the work’s relentless pitch — “Fearless Symmetries” never moves beyond John Adams’s bustling score.

The evening opened with George Balanchine’s 1957 “Square Dance,” set to Vivaldi and Corelli and meant for those who pine for petit allegro, those brisk, intricate steps and jumps that draw the eye directly to the foot. But really, it’s for anyone in need of a shot of joy. Here the leads, Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley, combine their strengths to pave the way for clean, unaffected dancing.



#12 dirac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:33 PM

Things are looking okay financially for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

http://saratogian.co...f3721496912.txt

This summer, New York City Ballet revenue and attendance went up 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively. However, Philadelphia Orchestra revenue and attendance were down 9 percent and 12 percent, respectively, and 41 percent of all orchestra patrons viewed concerts from the lawn, the least expensive seating area at SPAC.

“We’ve got to do a better job of getting people in the amphitheater,” SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White said.



#13 dirac

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:03 AM

A preview of "Love Lies Bleeding" by Gail Johnson for straight.com.

http://www.straight....nie-and-jet233s

Love Lies Bleeding, which Alberta Ballet is bringing to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, isn’t a bio of the flamboyant musician. Rather, songs like “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man” are used as a springboard to launch into topics such as homophobia and enduring love—and into some wildly varied dance moves, from jazz to hip-hop.

Alberta Ballet artistic director Grand-Maître says the work came about serendipitously. He’d finished Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum, his 2007 ballet centred on a collection of the folksinger’s tracks. Mitchell had told a friend about the production, someone who happens to work closely with Elton John. A week later, Elton was in Calgary on tour and, intrigued, arranged for Grand-Maître and a few of the dancers to meet him backstage before the show. They gave him a DVD of the Mitchell ballet.



#14 dirac

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:18 AM

Mark Brew makes a new work for AXIS Dance Company.

While his earlier training and performance in the more traditional ballet, including the Australian Ballet Company, may have focused on the abstract, Brew says his own work has become more personable.

"That training and discipline, including abstracting shapes for ballet, is a part of my work," he said. "But I think about humanity, who we are as people. That really had to adjust and change according to my circumstances. Being in dance, accepting who you are, in your new body. It did make me more interested in how we connect to each other as people. With all my work, I do try to build this human connection. Just by having two people onstage, they have a relationship. So I explore that, the connection between us, the physical conversation."


Related article.

Brew was a dancer with the Australian Ballet Company before he became disabled in an auto accident that left him paralyzed. He has an ideal perspective for creating for Axis, Smith said.

“He knows both sides of the fence, being a nondisabled dancer and a disabled dancer,” she said.




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