Hassall is to take up the new role of chief operating officer at Raymond Gubbay Limited in February 2012. He has worked for ENB since 2005, joining the company from Sydney Theatre Company. ENB has a longstanding working relationship with Gubbay, which will continue when Hassall takes up his new post.
A statement from the ballet company said that Hassall has overseen its most financially successful period to date.
Wednesday, November 9
Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:33 AM
Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:35 AM
The evening ended on a high note, with Tharp’s “In the Upper Room.” What a pleasure to see this powerhouse work, set to Philip Glass’s driving, exciting score, back in the repertory. There were rough edges—the unison passages were never really tight enough—and a certain lack of focus, but the work itself is a tremendous shot in the arm. Gillian Murphy, with her athletic, clean, un-mannered style, never looks better than as one of the “stompers” who open the ballet, wearing loose striped pants and shirts (by Norma Kamali) and sneakers; she moves like a boxer, a cheerleader, an aerobics instructor, or just a girl reveling in her strength and sex appeal. Isabella Boylston, one of the “ballerinas” (on pointe, wearing little red socks and short skirts), moved with an impressive go-for-broke freedom. And a new face: Luciana Voltolini, who joined the company in May of this year, immediately caught the eye with her deadpan glamour, cool demeanor, and strong technique. Look out for her.
Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:39 AM
''It'll be nice to retire and not be pushed out,'' he says brightly. ''And the 50th anniversary [next] year means there will be receptions and parties everywhere - and I'll think they're all farewell parties for me.''
After years running the Australian Ballet's education unit, Peasley passed on the baton this year.
Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:57 AM
The Evening Standard
Sergei Polunin, dancing his first Des Grieux, copes manfully with the central challenge of the role: how to forge a romantic lead from those two famously sexy qualities, abjectness and doglike loyalty. By the final harrowing duet the pair have gelled into a thrilling partnership - nothing left of her except bunched muscles and insupportable weight, nothing left of him except the determination to go on supporting it.
The Arts Desk
Like the men, I have been circling round Manon, danced for the first time by Lauren Cuthbertson, one of the Royal’s hopes for the future. She has been acquiring new roles at a formidable rate over the past year, since her return from serious illness. Manon is, emotionally, a fiendish part. What does she think? It is hard to know, but decisions must be made. Is she truly in love with Des Grieux? Besotted by sex? Does she go with Monsieur GM because her beloved brother sells her, or because she wants the riches that choice brings? The answers can be various, but they must be answered. Cuthbertson, if she has made decisions about the answers, so far is not able to show us what they are.
Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:17 PM
Since Ballet Theater’s eight-week spring seasons at the Metropolitan Opera House court those same clichés, its brief fall seasons disclose that the company has a divided soul. I don’t suppose any resolution will soon be found — these are problems for ballet itself, though nowhere more than with this company. But on Tuesday’s opening night it was certainly a welcome relief to observe that Ballet Theater had started at last to improve its gala technique.
Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:19 PM
In the subsequent months, Grand-Maître has made major revisions including cutting the length of some production numbers. For example, I Need You To Turn To, which seemed endless in 2010, is now short and direct. The scene is set in 18th-century France and features a Demonic trying to force cocaine on Elton Fan from a snuff box.
Grand-Maître’s editing makes for a more cohesive, even poignant, second half. While the homoerotic theme was always in place, it seems stronger in the tighter second act which begins and ends with a male duet. The shortened songs in between, including the drug scene, don’t blunt the message.
Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:21 PM
Shoemania, a fundraiser for Orlando Ballet, lets star-gazers bid on the footwear of the rich and fabulous through an auction of shoes from the likes of Ringo Starr (Nike Air Max sneakers), Paula Abdul (silver United Nude pumps), Ellen Degeneres (men's navy topsiders) and Britney Spears (pink Timberland sneakers).
It's a revival of a fundraiser that was successful several years ago when the Orlando Ballet needed money for pointe and other ballet shoes.
Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:17 PM
What was the moment of highest tension for you in this performance of “Giselle”?
I was going on for Act II and I lost my pirouette. I just kind of lost the feeling of being up on the leg and turning. We usually dance on a linoleum-type floor and this was a canvas floor, so it’s very slippery. So anyway I lost the feeling. And the director, Sergei Fillin, had seen it happen during the intermission. So he came up after two or three tries. He came up and said, before the preparation: “Just relax. No more emotion” — you know, in his broken English – “You don’t have to give emotion. You don’t have to emote. Just calm down, relax and just go for the pirouette calmly.” And it totally fixed it.
Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:40 AM
The night’s novelty was a new work, “Private Light,” by a young Argentine choreographer working in Germany, 25-year-old Demis Volpi. Set to the live strains of a solo guitar, it opened with five couples wearing shorts nuzzling in the dark. The music and costumes had a folksy touch -- Huckleberry Ballet.
As the men kissed them, the women rose up and tapped rapidly on pointe: the kind of response you’d want from a good kiss. But alas, the women got knocked around here, too.
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