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Monday, November 21


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#1 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:10 AM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet.

The Telegraph

For this is a programe that shows – thrillingly, movingly, delightfully – not only where British ballet has been, but also where it is going. The three pieces are sufficiently similar in tone to make it feel like a coherent package, and yet more than varied enough to avoid any repetition. And what is so heartening about this particular tripytch – the generally high quality of the performances aside – is that it suggests a future every bit as rosy as the past.


The Guardian

Asphodel Meadows, his 2010 setting of Poulenc's double piano concerto, is impressive in so many ways: in its flickering, textured interaction between principals and chorus and in its masterly handling of the music's stylistic transitions. Acid to sweet, jazzy to mournful, it would be easy to let Poulenc's argument dominate the choreography. But Scarlett sidesteps the obvious, and instead draws the music into his own world. It's a world of lovers haunted by death and, in the opening cast, the touchstone performance is Leanne Cope in the middle duet: her limbs liquefying in remembered tenderness and hardening with sudden desire.



#2 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:12 AM

A report from New York by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian's blog.

Essentially they couldn't help but make it balletic: injecting a more lyrical flow, a more juicy deliberation to the stretch of the foot or arch of the back; bringing an instinctive tendency to round out each phrase to more regular, recognisable rhythm. Only one couple, Adrienne Schulte and Sean Stewart, had the quality I associate with a pure Cunningham dancer – of seeming to perch lightly, inquisitively, detachedly on the impulse of the dance. But there were others, notably Julie Kent and Jared Matthews, who made me believe in their own version of Merce's style as a credible and lucid alternative.

Duets set the theme for a programme that was all about variations in coupling and partnering. Twyla Tharp's Known by Heart duet is a duel of wits and erotic powerplay which references boxing and tap and a little bit of street dance along with the ballet. It's a piece that requires two dancers who are equals. Last weekend, however, Gillian Murphy's potent mix of glamour and sass needed something more to play against than the rather inert muscle power of Blaine Hoven. Knowing that Steven McRae had so recently performed on the City Centre stage made me think how well he would suit the role's mix of combativeness, insouciance and devilment.



#3 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:14 AM

Alastair Macaulay writes on choreography, plagiarism, and "borrowing" in The New York Times.

I'm afraid I can’t get exercised about the subject: Ms. De Keersmaeker’s simple movements are scarcely of striking originality in the first place. The way Beyoncé and Ms. Petty have chosen to fill the screen with them makes the parallel far more intense than it would appear onstage.

But then, Ms. De Keersmaeker’s choreography follows the tradition of many postmodern choreographers in being concerned not with original movements but with recontextualizing ordinary ones. We aren’t wrong, as a rule, to consider George Balanchine among the most original of choreographers — yet we can also see why he liked to stress the other side. When people praised him as a creator, he’d say, “God creates — I assemble.” Assemblage, not invention, is the choreographer’s basic task.



#4 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:16 AM

A review of Diablo Ballet by Mary Ellen Hunt in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Opposition seems to be on Caniparoli's mind - Sugano's legs develop into lines stretching upward, even as her torso curls down, as if crushed by gravity. Dekkers and Yamazaki sift through subtle interactions and broad strokes shifting gears rapidly. As the tempo picks up, there's a wonderful off-kilter feeling to the steps, and if there's one thing Caniparoli knows, it's how to create a solidly structured dance and give it a rhythmic compass so that - no matter how brief - a work builds to a satisfying conclusion.

On a more subdued note, Dominic Walsh's "Spectre de la Rose" opens the Diablo program. Walsh created this work for his Houston-based company back in 2006, following the same story as the 1911 ballet by Michel Fokine. Like the original, the music is Carl Maria von Weber's "Invitation to the Dance" - in this instance, a recording of an unusual arrangement for string trio. So, unfairly or no, it's hard not to compare it to the lush and gem-like Fokine version.



#5 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:17 AM

Andrew Jackson Public School in Philadelphia gets its own ballet.

The rock concert and the ballet were the culmination of a six-month collaboration among the school, choreographer Matthew Neenan, and composer Robert Maggio, to create Jackson Sounds, a ballet inspired by the movement and sounds of the 400-student school.

Last spring, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum awarded Maggio a $10,000 Community Partners Grant,which challenges composers to engage a community in the creative process and compose a work reflective of that community's culture. In May, Maggio and Neenan, of BalletX, the Wilma's resident contemporary company, visited Jackson for the first of six sessions with the school's rock band.



#6 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:33 AM

The Metropolitan Ballet Company presents "Coppelia."

“Coppelia” is part of Metropolitan Ballet’s Family Concert Series, which brings well-known stories to the stage. Previous performances have included “ansel & Gretel,” “Cinderella,” “The Rainbow Fish,” “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” “Peter Pan” and “Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly.” Talented MBC dancers performing in this year’s production are all from the Philadelphia area, ranging in ages from 9 to 18.

Dr. Coppelius will be played by two special guest stars — MBC’s alum, Jonathan Tavares, and principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet Academy’s (MBA’s) faculty member, Alexander Iziliaev

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#7 dirac

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:36 AM

A review of the National Ballet of Canada in "Romeo and Juliet" by Denise Sum for danceviewtimes.

Ratmansky is lucky that with “Romeo and Juliet”, an enduring, universal narrative and lush, cinematic score are already in place. His role is to bring them to life. With the depth of talent in the NBoC, he was able to do so. Ratmansky’s “Romeo and Juliet” is recognizable and has a familiar feel. It is inoffensive and has not radically deviated from other versions performed by classical companies. Ratmansky has added fresh touches and produced a slightly less sentimental “Romeo and Juliet” with crisp, pared-down storytelling. Mime sequences have been simplified, while the dense choreography goes into a bit of overdrive. The tragedy moves with a swift pace and characters and events develop believably along the way.



#8 dirac

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:17 AM

Benjamin Millepied will be the director of the new L.A. Dance Project. Story by Laura Bleiberg in The Los Angeles Times' blog.

Millepied is not creating a traditional company but rather an “art collective,” bringing together some of his longtime friends and associates, including composer Nico Muhly and producer Charles Fabius. The goal is to collaborate with writers, artists and arts institutions in Los Angeles. One idea is to create a site-specific work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Millepied has begun talks with museum officials.

“To do a dance project today, and build a kind of vision, it’s so difficult that you cannot just take the old method,” Millepied said during an interview at a Silver Lake restaurant.



#9 dirac

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:33 PM

An interview with Samuel Wilson, appearing in Peninsula Dance Theatre's Nutcracker.

"I talked to Arthur Mitchell (the founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem), and told him I wasn't going to be able to stay if I didn't have a job. I wasn't very technically strong, because I hadn't really been dancing very long. But I really felt like I belonged there."

Mitchell, a former dancer himself, hired Wilson, and he's been with the company — performing, teaching and touring — ever since.




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