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Saturday, October 15


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#1 dirac

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:51 AM

An interview with Mark Morris by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.

Often compared to the great ballet neo-classicist George Balanchine, he is unswervingly aligned with traditional principles of craft and quality in a modern dance world that increasingly ignores both in favor of radical deconstruction.

While his dances are mostly abstract, inspired entirely, he says, by their music, viewers often find them packed with emotion and meaning. They can have the grandest, most serious themes — or be startlingly, even campily, funny (as in The Hard Nut, his satirical, sex-saturated ’70s version of The Nutcracker).



#2 dirac

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:52 AM

A review ofKansas City Ballet in 'Tom Sawyer - A Ballet in 3 Acts' by Lisa Jo Sagolla in The Kansas City Star.

In attempting to translate the literary delights of the book to the ballet stage Whitener faces a troublesome challenge. A compelling story ballet is driven by action and the kind of deep emotions that can be expressed through striking body movements. But what makes Twain’s episodic novel so captivating are not the various adventures it relates, but how Twain so enchantingly describes the characters, their thoughts, foibles, and behaviors. The events of the narrative are far less enthralling than Twain’s humorous perspective, acerbic insights, and artful language.



#3 dirac

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:59 AM

A preview of Atlanta Ballet's season opener by Cynthia Perry in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Starting Atlanta Ballet’s 82nd season in high gear, “EDEN/EDEN” is a bold step. It’s the company’s first truly edgy, kinetic work since it announced plans to update its image about a year ago, intent on shaping a more contemporary profile and attracting audiences with a taste for the avant-garde. But Atlanta Ballet doesn’t plan to leave traditional ballet audiences behind.

Featured alongside “EDEN/EDEN” will be James Kudelka’s “The Four Seasons,” back by popular demand from its initial staging during the company’s 2009-10 season. Kudelka’s spare, elegant work, set to Vivaldi’s concerto by the same title, classically based and subtly infused with modern dance influences, tells a timeless story of Everyman’s journey from youth into old age.



#4 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 08:56 PM

A review of Ballet San Antonio in 'Dracula.'

Nevertheless, both are great dancers and we have other chances to see them in action. Both men have strong duets with Aujon who, as always, is light and lithe, with liquid extensions and gorgeous pirouettes, in one case turning with arms raised and hair flying around like an animated porcelain figurine. Morris, who hardly looks like Dracula from the movies, nevertheless realizes a convincing characterization of the evil nobleman but can’t help but be more sympathetic than the usual vampires. Thanks to Zertuche’s choreography, his final partnering with Aujon when he abducts her from her room — and ultimately gets killed by John and friends — is strong and expressive as well as daring. Ballet San Antonio should be congratulated for getting him back. Both he and Hopuy also regale the audience with clean high leaps and grand jetés across the stage.



#5 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 08:58 PM

A review of Scottish Ballet by Laura Bleiberg in The Los Angeles Times.

The pulsing energy of the Reich got the blood coursing, and it suited Elo’s harried momentum. His take on the Mozart was similar, and so felt less genuine. The adagio movement, however, consisted of lovely duets that demonstrated the company’s assured partnering. The two notable couples were Sophie Martin paired with Daniel Davidson and Owen Thorne with Eve Mutso (whose quirky opening solo was another high point).

MacMillan’s “Song of the Earth,” a subtle meditation on love and death, was a rare treat; Houston Ballet is the only American company that has this 1965 piece to Gustav Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” in its repertory. MacMillan illustrated the spirit of the lyrics, taken from an 8th-century Chinese poet, with a witty spirit and sculptured bodies. It received a respectful performance that bordered on the blasé; was this the same MacMillan who reveled in human passions?



#6 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:00 PM

Q&A with Christopher Wheeldon.

And was it the same with Edward Watson’s White Rabbit and Steven McRae’s Mad Hatter – did you create those roles around their particular characters?
Yes, they were all created with those characters specifically in mind. I think initially people were a little surprised that I didn’t reverse their casting and have Steven as the White Rabbit and Edward as the Mad Hatter.

Perhaps they associated the Mad Hatter with the neurosis Edward Watson can convey.

Exactly, and Ed’s so brilliant at subtly conveying the as you say neurotic and darker traits of human nature from his very big successes in the MacMillan ballets.



#7 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:09 PM

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

It was heartwarming to see obvious depictions of affection and sensuality between men treated so openly and honestly. Although dancing between men is common in contemporary dance, it's still rare to see examples where it's explicitly framed in a gay context on stage. It shows how far society has come in the past 35 years that a major celebrity, such as Elton John, can have his homosexuality acknowledged so publicly and be accepted.



#8 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:11 PM

The Guangzhou Ballet visits Canada.

The Guangzhou Ballet has only been around since 1994, but the company has already won critical accolades and an enthusiastic following at home and in the West. Its formidable founding artistic director is Zhang Dandan, a former prima ballerina with the National Ballet of China.

Zhang remembers a time when our familiar Romantic ballets were as exotic to the Chinese as their opera is to our Western ears. "As an artist, I have witnessed rapid, dramatic change in China, especially in the ballet world," said this ethereal yet steely slip of a woman, speaking in Ottawa this week through an interpreter.



#9 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:32 PM

A review of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in "Rodin/Claudel" by Paula Citron in The Globe and Mail.

The heart of the ballet is the 12-member ensemble, the six men and six women, whom Quanz calls Sculptures. Wearing flesh-coloured bodysuits, they are onstage for most of the ballet, creating the shapes that emanate from the minds of the artists. They also reflect the changing moods of the lead characters as a sort of Greek chorus in movement.

Michael Gianfrancesco’s set is simple and effective. There is a tiled wall that changes colour to reflect changing moods, and a large, rolling platform, a stage within a stage. The Sculptures are the set changers, hauling the platform across the stage as needed. Gianfrancesco’s costumes evoke the 19th century without getting in the way of the dancing.



#10 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:32 PM

A review of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in "Rodin/Claudel" by Paula Citron in The Globe and Mail.

The heart of the ballet is the 12-member ensemble, the six men and six women, whom Quanz calls Sculptures. Wearing flesh-coloured bodysuits, they are onstage for most of the ballet, creating the shapes that emanate from the minds of the artists. They also reflect the changing moods of the lead characters as a sort of Greek chorus in movement.

Michael Gianfrancesco’s set is simple and effective. There is a tiled wall that changes colour to reflect changing moods, and a large, rolling platform, a stage within a stage. The Sculptures are the set changers, hauling the platform across the stage as needed. Gianfrancesco’s costumes evoke the 19th century without getting in the way of the dancing.



#11 dirac

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:32 PM

A review of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in "Rodin/Claudel" by Paula Citron in The Globe and Mail.

The heart of the ballet is the 12-member ensemble, the six men and six women, whom Quanz calls Sculptures. Wearing flesh-coloured bodysuits, they are onstage for most of the ballet, creating the shapes that emanate from the minds of the artists. They also reflect the changing moods of the lead characters as a sort of Greek chorus in movement.

Michael Gianfrancesco’s set is simple and effective. There is a tiled wall that changes colour to reflect changing moods, and a large, rolling platform, a stage within a stage. The Sculptures are the set changers, hauling the platform across the stage as needed. Gianfrancesco’s costumes evoke the 19th century without getting in the way of the dancing.




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