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Tuesday, November 15


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#1 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:16 AM

The Norman Ballet Company presents its tenth "Oklahoma Nutcracker."

“Oklahoma Nutcracker” was created and choreographed by Marjorie Kovich, the ballet company's executive director. It was first performed in 2001.

Kovich's version of the ballet classic focuses on an Oklahoma historical family, the Overholser family, in Act I. The Overholser family helped develop Oklahoma City after the Land Run of 1889. The Overholser Mansion in Oklahoma City was Kovich's inspiration for the first act's setting.



#2 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:18 AM

A story on Edward Villella's departure from Miami City Ballet by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.

Former Board Chairman and President Mike Eidson said board members had more current financial concerns. MCB has frequently struggled with budget shortfalls. The current budget is about $14.5 million. About half of that comes from ticket sales, and the company is dependent on individual donors.

Villella’s management and executive responsibilities were reduced last April, when he went from being artistic director and CEO to only artistic director.



#3 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:21 AM

Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto will appear in the National Ballet of Canada's Nutcracker.

Toronto Star

Ford, a high school football coach not known for his affinity to the arts, will wear a multi-coloured “Petrushka” costume for about two minutes onstage, said ballet spokeswoman Catherine Chang.

The mayor will appear with another cannon doll and a professional dancer who will roll out a cannon. One of the dolls is eager for the big gun to go off, while the other is supposed to be “afraid and timid,” Chang said.


Toronto Sun

The mayor will play one of the cannon dolls in one performance but a date has not been set yet.

“It’s a featured role for celebrities that we have every year,” Kain told the Sun. “Councillor Michael Thompson has already done it with his daughter, sometimes people do it with their wives and we have special costumes that accommodate everybody, small, tall.”



#4 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:24 AM

A Russia Today story on Vasiliev and Osipova's departure from the Bolshoi.

Vasiliev has also zigzagged the world, dancing with his wife and the troupe of the English National Ballet in London.

“We are making progress, we want to move on, move forward, but it's very difficult to change our line of roles at the Bolshoi, where we once shone so brightly. We don't want to lock ourselves into two or three so-called 'signature roles', we want to dance more, especially new choreography.”



#5 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:37 AM

An interview with Shannon Glover, South African Ballet Theatre's newest principal dancer.

Talking about her latest role and others she’s done, she says, “Princess Aurora is a role you want to do, but it’s one of the hardest classical roles to do. So you have to try to overcome that fear of how difficult it is and gain some confidence. And I learn so much from people like Bernice.

“I did my first principal role for SABT in 2007 in Romeo and Juliet with Ian MacDonald and he’s taught me so much. I enjoyed playing Carmen in Veronica Paeper’s Carmen-the-Ballet because it’s such a sexy ballet where you get in touch with your body and there’s a lot of acting. I also loved playing Kitri in Don Quixote. Some ballets work better with my personality and others are a challenge.”



#6 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:35 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre by Robert Gottlieb in The New York Observer.

The Tharps were a mixed blessing. ABT’s In the Upper Room lacks punch, and Tharp without punch is like a home without love. This time around the piece was even more lackluster than it was last time. Sascha Radetsky threw himself into it with his usual no-holds-barred enthusiasm, almost looking out of place amid the general tameness. These dancers do their best, but they’re not trained in the fierce energies and attack that characterize Tharp; she just isn’t second nature to them.



#7 dirac

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:39 PM

Commentary by Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on an online piece by Michael Kaiser, "The Death of Professional Criticism."

I think Kaiser's most significant point here is the fact that professional critics have been vetted - and are, in fact, continously vetted while being held to professional and ethical standards. Most bloggers are not.

Everyone's a critic, but not everyone has to support their opinions in the way that professionals do. Until some better, more complete means to judge amateur bloggers emerges, the arts will still need dedicated professional critics.


Kaiser's piece.

While I have had my differences with one critic or another, I have great respect for the field as a whole. Most serious arts critics know a great deal about the field they cover and can evaluate a given work or production based on many years of serious study and experience. These critics have been vetted by their employers.

Anyone can write a blog or leave a review in a chat room. The fact that someone writes about theater or ballet or music does not mean they have expert judgment.



#8 dirac

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:22 PM

An essay on Degas and ballet by John Berger in The Guardian.

Degas was obsessed by the art of classical ballet, because to him it said something about the human condition. He was not a balletomane looking for an alternative world to escape into. Dance offered him a display in which he could find, after much searching, certain human secrets. The exhibition tellingly demonstrates the parallels between Degas's highly original work and the development of photography and the invention of the movie camera. These technological advances both led to discoveries about how human and animal bodies move and operate: a horse galloping, a bird flying, etc.



#9 dirac

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:26 PM

An interview with Stephane Lissner of La Scala on the future direction of La Scala and the Bolshoi.

"The fact that the theater is newly redone doesn't mean it's a modern theater, but it creates a certain atmosphere for the modernity to emerge," he said.

Honouring its long cultural partnership with the Bolshoi, La Scala became the first foreign company to perform on the historic Bolshoi stage, which opened two weeks ago after a six-year $700-million revamp. Lissner, whose passion for ballet classics evolved from modern dance, said that while the two centuries-old theatres needed to preserve tradition, it was important not to be bound by convention.




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