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Monday, December 5


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#16 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:34 PM

A preview of Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet."

With The Christmas Ballet, Smuin Ballet marks this most wonderful time of the year a little differently, in part because the show is especially known for something that can be in short supply among the truly holiday-stressed: a sense of humor.

Of course, The Christmas Ballet's non-conformist holiday program does have some familiar touches, and the 2011 edition is no exception. The first act, also known as "Classical Christmas," includes pieces set to such favorite songs as "Carol of the Bells" and 'Sleigh Ride," a klezmer number and "La Virgen Lava PaNales," the last The Christmas Ballet contribution by late company founder Michael Smuin. The "classical" first half also offers a world premiere, by former Smuin dancer Amy Seiwert, set to Mannheim Steamroller's medley of "Patapan" and "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen."



#17 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:39 PM

A year of cross-cultural exchanges between Russia and Spain concludes with a gala.

The finale of the Russian-Spanish year is like a mirror reflection of its start. In early 2011, the company of Teatro Real de Madrid performed one of its best opera productions in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg hosted a marvelous exhibition of 60 masterpieces from Madrid`s main Prado museum.

Now it is vice versa - the stage of the Teatro Real de Madrid welcomes the companies of Russia’s two most renowned theaters while the Prado museum is hosting the collection of the Hermitage.



#18 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:54 PM

No ballet in the new movie version of the Nutcracker story, says the director.

Instead, he said the film will draw from the original story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, which inspired the famed Tchaikovsky ballet. “It hasn’t been told in the same vein as these new action-adventure fairy tale films, and yet it is definitely an action-adventure story,” said Shankman. “I didn’t want to do it if it wasn’t that concept….And we are going back to the original story too, because the ballet actually was a bit of a departure. So I am going back to the darker more action/adventure version. More like Snow White and the Huntsmen, [the Johnny Depp] Alice in Wonderland. It is in that vein.”



#19 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 12:55 PM

A review of Los Angeles Ballet's Nutcracker by Jean Lenihan in The Los Angeles Times.

Continuing to establish itself as a spirited and sophisticated -- if itinerant -- ballet company, Los Angeles Ballet opened its 2011-12 season over the weekend at the Alex Theatre in Glendale with a memorable cast for its distinctive, inspired “The Nutcracker.”

As helmed by artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, Los Angeles Ballet’s “Nutcracker” delivers an admirable depth and intelligence of design combined with a light-handed approach to the ballet’s traditional Christmas-party characterizations and plot line. Catherine Kanner’s luscious Act 1 setting is 1912 Los Angeles, an interior drawing room so plush and timbered that even with its electric lights it still feels redolent of Tchaikovsky’s time.




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