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Thursday, December 1


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#16 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:43 PM

Erin Halloran of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will retire. Item in brief.

She will continue to work as a teacher with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.



#17 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

A preview of local Nutcrackers by Stephen Humphreys for Birmingham Weekly.

....... The 150 costumes, originally designed by NYCB costumer Barbara Karinska for the 1954 premiere have been painstakingly replicated by the Alabama Ballet’s costume shop. The production includes the company’s entire roster of 35 dancers in alternating roles and over 80 Community Cast members from the Alabama Ballet School and the Birmingham community.

This week we feature shots of the Birmingham Ballet rehearsing. The Birmingham Ballet production company consists of professionals dancers joined by a community cast of talented youth performing works by the original director, Alfonso Figueroa, who left for New York to concentrate on choreography for ballets around the country, and current director Cindy Free. The overhead shots show when The Snow Queen, Whitney Renfroe, enters.......



#18 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

Pics of Benjamin Millepied and Natalie Portman in L.A.

Speaking of Benjamin Millepied, the New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer has retired from one of the highest-regarded ballet companies in the world, choosing to devote himself to taking care of Aleph full-time - or becoming KFed, depending on which reports you believe.



#19 dirac

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:54 PM

A consideration of non-Nutcracker Christmas ballet options by Jessica Duchen in The Independent.

See, if you dare, the DVD of Ashton's version, filmed in the 1960s. Ashton himself and Robert Helpmann steal the show as the Ugly Sisters in drag. It's a priceless performance as they compete with vicious glee for the biggest oranges at the ball and at one glorious moment work out that the very short man with whom Ashton is obliged to dance is possibly Napoleon. But Ashton and Helpmann are no longer with us, and when this account is staged today the double-act tends to be sadly watered down. It matters because, ironically, the pantomime aspect of the Ugly Sisters was Cinderella's only actual connection with Christmas.

Speaking of animal costumes, here The Tales of Beatrix Potter takes the Christmas cake. Again, it's an Ashton classic, created for film in 1971 and transferred cleverly to the Covent Garden stage about two decades later. It's a pretty affair with keenly detailed characterisation and a tuneful John Lanchbery score, but I might not pick it for a family treat for a child older than about six. It's a bit long for a one-acter and kids become restive, especially now that they're used to computer games instead of... well, do they even know Beatrix Potter's stories? Meanwhile the adults can't help wondering what temperature it must be underneath those weighty mouse heads, or whether the dancing pigs can see where they're going.



#20 dirac

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:18 AM

A review of the Bolshoi Ballet's cinema simulcast of "Esmeralda" by Margaret Putnam for TheaterJones.

As ballets go, Esmeralda is just about as big and convoluted as a ballet can be in three and a half hours. But unlike another lengthy ballet created about the same time by Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty, Esmeralda has stayed mostly in mothballs. In fact, it has been over 60 years since it was performed even in Moscow, and the West knows about it only as Esmeralda's famous foot-kicking tambourine variation so popular with ballet galas.




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