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Thursday, December 1


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#1 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:07 PM

Pennsylvania Regional Ballet presents its Nutcracker.

Kathy Aumiller, executive director of PRB, said that the company stayed away from joining the fray of presenting “The Nutcracker” for years until it became clear that experience with this most popular of ballets was essential for young dancers as they continued their preprofessional training. They needed to know the story and have direct experience with what Aumiller called “the ins and outs” of dancing the production.

More than five years ago, PRB made a decision to use a live orchestra as opposed to recorded music to accompany the dancers. Violist Alice Bish assembled a cadre of instrumentalists, an ensemble that has remained mostly the same since. The live music component has made all the difference to the dancers, according to Aumiller.



#2 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:10 PM

An interview with Amanda Foster Hipperson of the Civic Ballet of Chicago.

Hipperson is a featured dancer in “The Nutcracker,” which will be at Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theatre for two 3 p.m. performances Dec. 10 and 11.

This is the classic Ruth Page version of “The Nutcracker,” the one that was first performed at the Arie Crown Theatre in 1965. It features grand sets, costumes and a full-length realization of Clara’s journey to a magical land.



#3 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:11 PM

Ballet Tennessee presents its Nutcracker.

While it may be considered a risk to place young dancers in ballerina roles, especially when last year’s draw was professionals from New York City Ballet, "The programs work," said Ms. VanCura. The company upholds standards of excellence at all levels and consistently creates professional quality performances that are delightful and exciting to attend.

The ballerina roles will be performed by Alondra Gomez, 14, TIP and PTP dancer, student of CCA, as the Sugarplum Fairy, partnered by Sean Hilton, and Candace Ricketts, 15, PTP dancer, as the Snow Queen, partnered by Fredrick Davis.



#4 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:14 PM

A preview of the 31st annual Topanga Nutcracker Ballet.

You can imagine how truly delighted I was to see an article in a recent Good Housekeeping magazine about a study of 50,000 people in Norway. The scientists discovered that going to see a Nutcracker ballet (among other arts activities) actually raised people’s self-perception of health, happiness and wellbeing. So, when you come to see this year’s 31st Annual Topanga Nutcracker Ballet, you will have some extra “health” benefits, as well.



#5 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:16 PM

A Reuters interview with Vladimir Kekhman.

"We usually get the dancers we want," said Kekhman, who founded his Joint Fruit Company in 1997 and became general director of St Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre in 2007. "David Hallberg is no exception. Even though he chose the Bolshoi when I offered him a position with us, I think he can still dance (as a guest star) at the Mikhailovsky. There is a lot he can do here," he said.

The secret of attracting the ballet's big names, Kekhman says, is to compensate dancers for joining a smaller stage with creative freedom but also apartments and "decent" salaries.



#6 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:18 PM

Smuin Ballet brings "The Christmas Ballet" to Carmel.

In the spirit of attracting audience members of all ages to the medium of dance, youngsters at the Saturday afternoon matinee will get a sweet surprise after the performance, when Santa will appear in the Sunset Center lobby with sweets and treats.

"We're a ballet company that has tap and jazz," said Shannon Hurlburt, artist and rehearsal assistant, who will be celebrating his 14th anniversary with Smuin this season. "It's a fantastic alternative to 'Nutcracker.' No matter what version of 'Nutcracker' you see, you expect a certain layout. But with Smuin, we have our own format."



#7 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:20 PM

A father's view of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker.

Our daughter was, needless to say, thrilled. She tried on several outfits and was chagrined to find that last year’s ensemble had mysteriously turned into a miniskirt. However, once she found an appropriately fabulous dress she spent a lot of time speculating on which dance would be her favorite this year. The peacock is always a top choice, as is the Waltz of the Snowflakes. She revised her list numerous times as the date of the performance approached.

Our son has always been a snappy dresser — I think these things skip a generation, as he certainly doesn’t get it from me — and was happy to slip into some sharp duds. For him, however, it wasn’t as much about the dance as the sets and the costumes, and frankly I can’t blame him.



#8 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:22 PM

A radio interview with Alice Kaderlan on Nutcracker season.

Alice Kaderlan is a Seattle dance writer who contributes to Crosscut.com and Seattlepi.com. She discovered that the dancers, stage crew and musicians at Pacific Northwest Ballet feel that same way about a familiar tradition that they participate in every year: the "Nutcracker" ballet. Alice speaks with KUOW's Dave Beck.



#9 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:24 PM

An interview with Eduardo Blanco of the National Ballet of Cuba.

At eight, Blanco went to Havana to study with Alicia Alonso’s Ballet Nacional de Cuba. “That’s when I tried to make my own ballets. I called my first one Play and Dance. I was such a kid, really, totally charmed and obsessed by the dramatic effect of dance.”

Blanco realized all too soon he wasn’t going to grow into Prince Charming. “That’s when I knew I would have to express through others what I could not do myself.”



#10 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:28 PM

Ulster Ballet Company presents its Nutcracker.

The complete opposite of this will be presented this weekend at the Ulster Performing Arts Center – a heartwarming and dazzling production of dance at its most wondrous. The 17th annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” by the Ulster Ballet Company, will be a much more comfortable version of the Dickens' classic.

And it'll be a huge version. More than 60 dancers, actors and stage professionals have united for the Ulster Ballet Company production, which is well oiled. It's choreographed and directed by Sarah Miot, who has also directed “Caravan” and “Nocturnes” for Ulster Ballet, and previously danced with the New York City Ballet.



#11 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:32 PM

Philadelphia lawyer Kenneth Schneider gets fifteen years in a sex abuse case.

Forty-seven-year-old Kenneth Schneider of Berwyn was sentenced Thursday. Prosecutors say he began a long relationship with a 12-year-old Russian boy in 1998. They say Schneider paid for the boy's ballet school and had him move in to his Moscow apartment.

He also was charged with bringing the boy to Philadelphia for a 2001 summer program and continuing the sexual relationship.


Related.

In the summer of 1998, Schneider, founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, traveled to Moscow, Russia, where he told two ballet instructors at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography that he was willing to provide “assistance” to students attending the academy. The instructors identified a 12-year-old student whose family could no longer afford to pay his board. Schneider convinced the boy’s parents to allow him to live with Schneider in an apartment a few blocks from the school. Between August 22, 2000 and November 22, 2001, Schneider engaged in a sexual relationship with the victim, bringing him to Philadelphia for a summer program in 2001, then returning to Moscow with the victim in August 2001 to continue the sexual relationship. Schneider was arrested March 27, 2010 in Larnaca, Cyprus.



#12 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:34 PM

Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka presents its forty-third Nutracker and its artistic director announces plans to step down.

Landrith, 71, has announced she will retire this summer after wrapping up the current season, which will include a spring performance and this weekend's staging of the holiday classic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Negotiations, Landrith said, are under way with a professional ballerina who will become the MBT's next artistic director and operate Landrith's dance studio.



#13 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:35 PM

A photo gallery of the Newton Performing Arts Center's Nutcracker.

#14 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:40 PM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet in "Cinderella" by Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times.

The ballet was created in 1986 for a young Sylvie Guillem, and Nureyev, who made her a star during his time as director in Paris, cast himself as her producer and guardian angel, a character originally named “Pygmalion Diaghilev”. Guillem left the company soon afterwards, and while the production celebrates its 100th performance this season, this Cinderella feels like an increasingly empty shell.



#15 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:42 PM

The Kennedy Center gets a $5 million gift from a Russian billionaire.

The gift, a first from Russia to the Washington center, includes additional funding from Potanin's foundation to renovate an Opera House lounge at the center. It will be renamed the Russian Lounge and redecorated to feature Russian culture when it reopens in late 2012.

Potanin, 50, is a founder of Interros Company and the biggest shareholder in the world's largest nickel producer, Norilsk Nickel. For years, he has been locked in a dispute with rival Oleg Deripaska over control of the mining giant.




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