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Monday, October 10


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#1 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:12 AM

The Royal Ballet will launch a foundation to preserve the works of Frederick Ashton.

The situation of ownership is complicated. The bulk of Ashton's ballets, whether performable or not, are owned by his nephew, Anthony Russell-Roberts, formerly administrative director of the Royal Ballet. The choreographer left some of his (then) more popular ballets as financial gifts to close friends and artists including Margot Fonteyn and his principal male inspirations, Grant, Michael Somes and Anthony Dowell.

However, once the ballets become others' property their performing rights and financial benefit can be bequeathed to further heirs with no close connection to Ashton's work. It is not yet known to whom Grant bequeathed La fille mal gardée, which has become a globally performed and remunerative hit, requested around the world, nor Façade, his other bequest. Cinderella, another popular full-length ballet, is now owned by the widow of Michael Somes, Wendy Ellis Somes, along with Symphonic Variations. Fonteyn's ballets, Ondine and Daphnis and Chloë, passed to her sister-in-law via her brother.



#2 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:13 AM

Charles Askegard is interviewed by Stefanie Cohen in The New York Post.

What he won’t miss is the unrelenting cycle of rehearsals and performances. “The schedule is brutal,” he says, folding his 6-foot-4 frame into a chair in the building where he’s spent nearly every waking hour for years.

“We’re here first thing in the morning and don’t leave until 11 or 12 at night, and you see the same people every day. It becomes a little cloistered.”



#3 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:15 AM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in "Limen," "Marguerite and Armand" and "Requiem."

The Guardian

Wayne McGregor's Limen (2009) is shaped profoundly by its decor, the light and video installation of Tatsuo Miyajima. Miyajima's preoccupation with time, his projected number sequences and flashing LED lights, are matched by dancing where the performers appear like playthings of speed, forced and frantic as they submit to McGregor's superhumanly detailed choreography. But the eerie, exquisite middle duet, framed in a redemptive mist of light, reverses both the pace and the perspective. Limen may be one of McGregor's most characteristically abstract ballets, yet it is also a moving evocation of mortality, and an affirmation of the power of the human imagination to inhabit its own, brief, visions of infinity.


The Arts Desk

This latter is the formula of Marguerite and Armand, a compression of the Dumas tragedy on which Verdi’s opera La traviata and Garbo’s Camille are based. Once dismissed as an unrepeatable star vehicle for its 1963 dedicatees, Fonteyn and Nureyev, this fragrant, hothouse ballet was revived magnetically a decade ago by Sylvie Guillem and Nicolas Le Riche at Covent Garden. Now with Tamara Rojo and the young Sergei Polunin debuting as the mistrustful young lover Armand, here was another pair of exceptional stage artists who weighed out the ballet’s period drama and suggestions with the fastidiousness of jewellers.


The Financial Times

And, to show just how much we miss when we neglect one-act ballets, MacMillan’s faultless realisation of the Fauré Requiem. Its griefs tear at us. Its terrors chill the soul, yet its hopes are those of unshaken faith. Great swathes of movement speak the words of the text and give flesh to the score. It was superbly danced. For Leanne Benjamin at the very core of her artistry, to Marianela Núñez and their colleagues, vast respect. To them, and to the musicians and singers under Barry Wordsworth, much gratitude.


The Evening Standard

Ashton's gestures are lavish by today's lower-key tastes, and Polunin could have toned these down a notch. Excepting this, he and Tamara Rojo as Marguerite were a compelling combination.

No less impressive was Lauren Cutherbertson who made her debut in Kenneth MacMillan's Requiem. It is a complex, serious ballet set to Faure's famous score, and shows MacMillan at his most spiritual.



#4 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 11:47 AM

A review of Oregon Ballet Theatre by Martha Ullman West in The Oregonian.

Accompanied by the OBT orchestra, playing Stravinsky's difficult Petrouchka score particularly well, the dancers, a third of them new this season, performed with the passion of the 19th century and the fine-tuned technique of the 21st.

That's refreshing in an era in which hard-driving, dehumanizing ballets, deploying dancers like machines, have become the audience-pleasing plat du jour. Petrouchka and Carmen are about what it means to be human, and to be young, with all the virtues, vices and emotional turmoil that implies.



#5 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:37 PM

A review of Charles Askegard's farewell by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

Other men can be better at looking devoutly across the stage at her, as if she were the object of their love, but Mr. Askegard is the one whose devotion works best in practical terms, the best known among ballerinas for spotting possible trouble before they themselves do, and for being the safety net in whose sure hands they can never fall. His manner is usually calm, quiet and uncontentious. He has delivered the big spins and circuits of jumps that come in several ballets, but without displaying any big “I am here” statement; he usually looks at his ballerina as if they were old friends.

We in the audience seldom spot the most valiant deeds of such cavaliers, but Mr. Askegard’s ability to take on some of the most challenging partnering assignments in the repertory over the years has nonetheless earned him a lustrous reputation. He joined City Ballet in 1997, after a decade with American Ballet Theater, and over the years he has become the company’s most remarkable partner since the departure of Jock Soto, in 2005.



#6 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:42 PM

A review in brief of the Birmingham Royal Ballet by Diane Parkes in The Birmingham Mail.

Ninette de Valois’ Checkmate is a stark piece of drama played out on a chessboard. Victoria Marr plays a thoroughly ruthless Black Queen, Iain Mackay a strong Red Knight and there is a great piece of characterisation from Jonathan Payne as the doddery Red King.



#7 dirac

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:24 PM

More on Charles Askegard's farewell performance.

The New York Post

Even at his own party, Chuck let his partners take center stage. He played a death figure in Robbins’ “In Memory of . . .”as Wendy Whelan gave the performance of the season: wrenching and emotional as she took his hand and accepted her fate.

The show ended with “Western Symphony.” The final rondo suits him to a T, showing his aw shucks demeanor and ability to whack out turns even after three ballets.


Associated Press

And so, at curtain calls, they rose in unison to applaud the dancer known to colleagues as simply "Chuck," as one by one, his female partners came out with bouquets and kisses. One of them, the veteran dancer Wendy Whelan, stood behind him and snapped photos with a tiny camera she had brought onstage.

A gaggle of male dancers followed, with a more macho greeting — Askegard even got a chest bump. (You thought ballet dancers didn't chest bump?) The love-fest was topped off by a burst of confetti from above.



#8 dirac

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:52 AM

The National Dance Institute finds a permanent headquarters in Harlem.

http://www.nytimes.c...l?_r=2&ref=arts

On Tuesday evening there will be a ribbon cutting to celebrate the official opening of the National Dance Institute Center for Learning & the Arts, with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg expected to attend. City officials, community leaders and educators hope that the center will become a beacon for the arts in a changing Harlem.

“I think of the center as a crucible of learning and the arts,” said Mr. d’Amboise, 77, the subject of “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’,” which won the 1983 Oscar for best feature documentary. “It will be filled after school and before school and on the weekends, as we reach out to other arts organizations in the neighborhood, senior citizens and preschool children.”




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