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Saturday, October 22


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#1 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:38 AM

A review of Pennsylvania Ballet by Ellen Dunkel in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jeu de Cartes, set to Stravinsky, is nothing short of a delight. The choreography is headlong and difficult, but the dancers rose to the occasion. Dressed in purple and yellow, they bounded on and off the stage, and whipped off fast series of turns. Ratmansky - artist in residence at the American Ballet Theatre - creates layers of dancers, with the women bopping in a series of simple steps as the men leap around them.

The choreographer also inserts humorous movement from everyday life. Dancers energetically bounce up and down in place. They audibly slap their legs. A woman skips across the stage on pointe. One brusquely moves another's leg so she can get to a man. The piece is not literally the card game of the title, but Ratmansky makes references. At one point, Ian Hussey sits on the floor and plays solitaire. Near the piece's end, the dancers topple like a line of cards.



#2 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:42 AM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Lawrence Budmen for South Florida Classical Review.

Miami City Ballet’s opening program of the season found the company in top form on Friday night at Miami’s Arsht Center. Following this summer’s highly successful performances in Paris and the recent announcement of founding artistic director Edward Villella’s retirement in 2013, this program summarized the high standards and versatility that have been the hallmark of MCB’s first quarter century. A literal cavalcade of diverse choreographic styles and aesthetics, the four short, contrasting works showcased the dancers’ ability to encompass a wide balletic spectrum.


Jordan Levin's reviewfor the Herald. Video clip.

The first ballet, Balanchine’s sparkling, intricately constructed Square Dance, has become a company showcase (MCB performed it in New York in 2009; in Paris; and it’s also featured in their upcoming national television debut on PBS this Friday). In the repertory since the company’s second year, Square Dance is part of MCB’s DNA. On Friday you saw the result; the way the 12 dancers in the corps moved with the same bounding impulse, taut life and sense of joy in the complex, Baroque-meets-folk dance patterns.



#3 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:44 AM

A review of Ballet West in 'Dracula' by Kathy Adams in The Salt Lake Tribune.

Because this is a theatrical work, the very classical structuring of a lengthy grand pas de deux in Act II stuck out as unnecessary. The choreography was technically extremely challenging, although it was not bravura enough to impress, so the impact was understated. Stylistically, Michael Bearden as Frederick and Katherine Lawrence as Svetlana danced their roles as a classical couple in a theatrical setting. However, when the story unfolds in Act III, after the couple has been through a harrowing life experience, their pas de deux deepens, as does the dancers’ relationship and their performance.



#4 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:57 PM

A review of the l Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 'Svengali' by Paula Citron in The Globe and Mail.

How can a good choreographer go so wrong? That is the question to be directed at Mark Godden and his new full-length Svengali created for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Godden has abstracted the original 1894 novel Trilby, by George du Maurier, beyond recognition; in this case, unfortunately, that also means beyond interest. His attempt to work with archetypes and symbolism falls flatter than a pancake.

And here’s a second curiosity. The program says that Godden’s Svengali is also based on a film treatment by visionary director and Winnipeg local hero Guy Maddin. Yet, in a recent article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Maddin distanced himself from Godden’s ballet. Godden, in the same article, confirmed that his ballet contains nothing of the film treatment.



#5 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:00 PM

Reviews of "Kings of the Dance."

The Los Angeles Times

Lucky Ivan Vasiliev. Of the five stars in “Kings of the Dance,” the popular touring show that returned to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts this weekend, he was the only one to receive the proper coronation that he –- and the others -- deserved.

Without Vasiliev, and without German-born choreographer Patrick De Bana, who spectacularly uncorked Vasiliev’s animal strengths in a melodramatic 10-minute solo, it would have been an underwhelming night.


The Orange County Register

Gomes' work, "Still of King," is a curiosity. It looks like a highly stylized court dance with invisible partners. Choreographer Jorma Elo inserts some comic bits – Gomes breaks the fourth wall from time to time and outlines a shapely female figure at one point – but the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Matvienko's "Guilty" is a pensive work by choreographer Edward Clug set to a Chopin nocturne. He's an expressive and mesmerizing soloist, but the work is simple, often pedestrian, and too brief, leaving you with the feeling that his powers are largely untapped.



#6 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:02 PM

Oregon Ballet Theatre's costume sale sells out ahead of time.

Theater company historian Linda Besant milled about the warehouse, helping people pick out pieces for Halloween costumes or for fun, as she watched more than a decade's worth of production memories leave in the hands of happy customers. Local theater and dance companies had also shopped Friday afternoon.

"We had no idea it was going to be so empty so fast," Besant said Saturday morning.



#7 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:04 PM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Celeste Fraser Delgado in Miami New Times' blog.

Miami City Ballet is unabashedly bright and beautiful. One prime representative of the company spirit is principal Jeanette Delgado, whose smile alone could power the Arsht Center lights.

While my companion found her execution of the light passages of Balanchine's "Square Dance" too labored, I enjoyed the joyous power with which she leapt and turned, especially when she traced a circle around the edges of the stages, stretching her legs like the needles on a compass. Her partner Renan Cerdeiro, with his impossibly long legs and arms, brought a lighter touch to the Balanchine's intricate passages, but if their energy was mismatched, they were both a delight to watch.



#8 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:07 PM

A review of Orlando Ballet in 'Vampire's Ball' by Matthew J. Palm in The Orlando Sentinel.

Orlando Ballet artistic director Robert Hill talks a lot about making ballet relevant to modern audiences. But with an ad campaign based on the ballet "bringing sexy back," modern-dance influences can seem to be squeezing out classical dancing in the company's programs.

With "Vampire's Ball," though, Hill gets the mix of ingredients just right — modern entertainment sensibilities, some lovely classical dance moments, and, yes, a bit of sex appeal all bubbling together like a winning formula in some mad scientist's lab.



#9 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:09 PM

A review of Texas Ballet Theater in 'Giselle' by Margaret Putnam for TheatreJones.

As Giselle, Leticia Oliveira conveys with every little hop and beat the breathless eagerness of a girl in love. Albrecht (Lucas Priolo) seems equally smitten, if more bold. But when a hunting party brings the Duke, his daughter and a retinue into the village, the truth is out: Albrecht is engaged to a princess.

In one of those great, telling gestures, Albrecht greets his betrothed at first casually, as though she is only an acquaintance, but then turns away from Giselle to embraces Bathilde. From the time that Giselle grasps her hands on her head, Oliveira conveys disbelief, despair, and a painful reawakening. But when she goes mad and grabs Albrecht's sword, she is a little too over the top.



#10 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:12 PM

A review of Kansas City Ballet in 'Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in 3 Acts" by Robert Trussell in The Kansas City Star.

Yeston’s score is a gorgeous piece of music saturated with Americana. Certain passages bring to mind Aaron Copland and other American composers we associate with folk-based symphonic music. That sound has so permeated our culture that I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was actually listening to a film score.



#11 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

A CBC news story on the reopening of the Bolshoi Theater.

There are allegations embezzlement and fraud are largely to blame for the costs and delays, and a criminal investigation is now underway.

Khodnev said it has yet to be determined whether the money was well spent and whether the grandeur of the theatre will be overshadowed by its controversy.



#12 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

A CBC news story on the reopening of the Bolshoi Theater.

There are allegations embezzlement and fraud are largely to blame for the costs and delays, and a criminal investigation is now underway.

Khodnev said it has yet to be determined whether the money was well spent and whether the grandeur of the theatre will be overshadowed by its controversy.



#13 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:16 PM

A review of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Beijing Dance Theater by Luke Jennings in The Observer.

Checkmate, the chess ballet choreographed in 1937 by Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet, is a revered heritage piece. So revered, in fact, that its turgid pace and heavy-handed choreography tend to be overlooked. The dancers of Birmingham Royal Ballet seem to sense these shortcomings and they look uncomfortable in the work, which is the opener in the company's current Autumn Glory programme. The ballet's saving grace is its Arthur Bliss score, but given that one of BRB's stated aims is to win new audiences it seems perverse to invest in a revival as clunky as this one.



#14 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:19 PM

The life of David Y.H. Lui will be celebrated on Sunday. Item in brief.

David Y.H. Lui - A Celebration takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse. All are welcome to attend this free event.



#15 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:21 PM

Myron Johnson of "Ballet of the Dolls" says goodbye to solo performance.

Johnson, informed by his outsider’s perspective, works against the grain, turning classic ballets, from “Giselle” to “Swan Lake,” on their heads, injecting a sly naughtiness and brash wit that assails convention. It’s much the same aesthetic he witnessed in Paris, where artists constantly challenged the status quo, said John Clark Donahue, who first worked with Johnson at CTC.


“But there is no mean edge in his work, Donahue said. “I don’t think he has a resentful or dark side. His work has been celebratory of the human spirit.”




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