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Monday, October 31


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#1 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:10 PM

A review of Lines Ballet by Larissa Archer for The Huffington Post.

In Resin, many of the dancers of both sexes wear minimal costumes, even going tights-less, revealing the musculature of their legs that sometimes resemble long cables of the substance of the work's namesake. The women wear soft shoes. It isn't always obvious who is supporting whom; the women grapple with their partners' bodies in ways we are used to the men doing with women -- and the grappling isn't obscured by all the prettifying tricks of classical ballet, part of whose magic is in the illusion of ease. This is dance as contact sport and some moments look more like wrestling, the body's weight and tactility emphasized rather than concealed. She supports his sacrum as he arches backwards, or foists his leg over her head as he turns. If you could take snapshots at different moments within a single piece, there would probably be an equal number of him as the "star" of the image as there are of her. King also devises single-sex pas de deux, further dismantling the gender clichés associated with the courtly dance. This allows the men to show the gracefulness and the women the athleticism that their respective roles in the classic pas de deux do not always highlight. It isn't a secret to anyone who knows ballet that ballerinas are formidably strong, but you don't always see it exhibited as clearly as when one uses her strength to support another.



#2 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:11 PM

A preview of American Ballet Theatre's new season by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

As he watched the current company try out the Cunningham choreography in rehearsals, Mr. McKenzie said he was reminded of just how challenging it is to switch from ballet to modern dance. "I'm watching them have the same reaction I had about 30 years ago," he said.

One of the biggest adjustments is that "Duets" is rehearsed without music. Eight versions of the music can be used for a performance, and the dancers don't know what's coming until the last minute. "The original score by John Cage was a manipulation of cassette tapes," said Ms. Lent. "Every night was a little different. There was an eight-channel system, and it could be changed in the speakers."



#3 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:13 PM

A review of Tulsa Ballet by James D. Watts Jr. for Tulsa World. Photo gallery.

The program was made up of three works: Twyla Tharp's "Nine Sinatra Songs," and two new-to-Tulsa pieces - William Forsythe's "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated," and Jiri Kylian's "Sechs Tanze (Six Dances)."

These last two pieces were what made Friday's performance so spectacular. Each makes punishing demands on the dancers, requiring them to move in ways that play merry havoc with the requirements of classical ballet and at speeds that seem at the limits of what the human body can do. Yet Tulsa Ballet's dancers gave performances that did not so much push the envelope as shred it into confetti. Every dancer on stage attacked these works with a ferocity and fearlessness that was something to see.



#4 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:14 PM

A review of the Royal Ballet in 'The Sleeping Beauty' by Clement Crisp in The Financial Times.


Some necessary facts: the Royal Ballet has revived its staging of The Sleeping Beauty and has (happily) restored many of the costumes that Oliver Messel designed in 1946 for the parent text of this version. That, on Friday, I left the theatre in a state of euphoria I owe not to the lacklustre manner of the company, but to the performances of Sarah Lamb as Aurora and Steven McRae as Florimund.

Lamb’s gifts, of beautiful physique, of unforced technical authority, are ideally focused in her Aurora. She has the easy grace, the purity, the role demands. Like those great Petersburg Auroras, Irina Kolpakova and Zhanna Ayupova, she does not force her effects or apply the factitious glamour of bravura tricks to show choreography distorted by a ballerina’s ego. The role lives in the exactitude, the sweet clarity of her dancing, which justifies her performance, the role, the score itself.



#5 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:16 PM

Trouble in the ticket line for Nutcracker performances at the Bolshoi Theater.

Seats for the late December Nutcracker performances – some of the first on the meticulously restored stage – went on sale early Monday. Fans said they lined up before dawn. But a large contingent of tough-looking young men who seemed more the type for boxing than ballet had rigged the line, fans said.

“They go in, buy a ticket and then go back into line just in front of their friends and go back in again. And we’re just left standing here,” said Elena Zabelina, a 55-year old retiree who said she was buying tickets for her son.



#6 dirac

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:18 PM

An interview with Christian Lacroix about designing costumes for the ballet.

“I was often accused — when people did not like my work — of doing couture that was too ‘theatrical,”’ said the designer. “Yet when I was a child, I never thought about fashion but only about making costumes.”

He agrees that he is to a certain extent continuing the same career, keeping the kernel of the couture he worked on for nearly 30 years. And that he is fortunate in working for grand houses like the Opéra Garnier and the Comédie-Française that allow him to use couture quality fabrics and do hand-tinting and embroideries — but always with the proviso that the dancers have freedom of movement and that sweat-drenched costumes can be easily cleaned.



#7 dirac

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:03 AM

Nicholas T. Goldsborough is named executive director of Miami City Ballet.

The Rochester, N.Y.-born Goldsborough chatted last week in anticipation of the announcement. He said: “I’m creating a short- and long-term plan that will strengthen Miami City Ballet from a financial perspective.”

“I’d like to see a $30-million endowment for this institution, built over five to 10 years, both from pledges and estate gifts,” he said, noting that the company now has a small endowment of a few million dollars.

#8 dirac

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 11:26 AM

Nashville Ballet recruits young dancers for its Nutcracker.

Performers were selected in community-wide open auditions of young people from the School of Nashville Ballet and other schools of dance throughout Tennessee. Members of the youth cast come from 11 Middle Tennessee counties, including Wilson, Davidson, Sumner, Rutherford, Bedford, Maury, Williamson, Dickson, Cheatham, Montgomery and Robertson, as well as Kentucky.



#9 dirac

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 04:22 PM

High profile ballet fan Tony La Russa retires from baseball.

He had an abiding interest in leadership. He would develop an interest in dance, performing for several years in the Oakland Ballet's holiday season rendition of "The Nutcracker."

Then there was the May 1990 night when La Russa rescued a cat that had wandered onto the field during a game. Dismayed to discover there wasn't a no-kill animal shelter in the East Bay to which he could deliver the stray, he began to brainstorm. ARF, created in 1991, is the result.

#10 dirac

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:38 PM

A review of Morphoses in "Bacchae" by Tobi Tobias in her blog, "Seeing Things."

Bacchae is also crammed with smart-alecky tricks that fizzle and arch devices that are simply ludicrous. A little wooden puppet--a strung-up version of those small jointed wooden figures that help visual artists get anatomy-in-action right--appears early in the piece and never returns to clarify its purpose. Veggetti might usefully have a look at Crystal Pite's Dark Matter to see how richly such an avatar can be used. And then there was the much-repeated effect of having the dancers enter the stage by crawling--awkwardly, too--underneath the yards of black fabric that curtained the three walls of the stage. I could go on; the list is substantial.




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