Tuesday, December 20
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:06 PM
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:07 PM
The most breathtaking dancing came in the Grand Pas de Deux finale for the Sugar Plum Fairy and Nutcracker Prince. Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili (who are married in real life, but also form the most felicitous of onstage partnerships), held the audience at rapt attention with the flawless beauty and exquisite line of their every move. These two breathe as one when dancing, and the audience holds its own breath for the duration of the magic they generate.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:08 PM
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:12 PM
Artscape's Theatre stage is a tad too small for the exuberant mazurka danced by the full company, and the effect is somewhat crowded. However, the corps manage to achieve the requisite ensemble, despite limited space for this, arguably, the most familiar and best-loved piece in the ballet.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:15 PM
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:26 PM
Dancers, choreographers and artistic directors of yore including Dame Peggy van Praagh, Rudolf Nureyev, Sir Robert Helpmann and Marilyn Rowe loom large in the book, along with more recent luminaries such as Graeme Murphy, Steven Heathcote and McAllister, who joined the Australian Ballet in 1983 and became artistic director in 2001.
The book also includes rare images from early tours of Ballets Russes in the 1930s and 1940s, and the Borovansky Ballet, the precursor to the Australian Ballet. These images, by photographers such as Max Dupain, were taken when dance and performance photography was just emerging, thanks to improvements in camera technology. By the 1970s, shutter speeds were faster again and performance shots were as detailed as studio photographs.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:36 PM
The white muslin tutus had to be custom-made as stores with dance apparel do not carry the plus sizes these ladies wear.
'When I see myself in this costume, I completely forget that my waistline is 120 centimeters (47 inches) in size!' exclaims Monika Bator, 65, who worked as a saleswoman in a tobacco shop for 40 years.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:38 PM
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:40 PM
The fog machines used at the opening of the second act poured out enough mist that for a moment, some dancers could be seen only through openings in the haze. (A few in the front rows waved their hands and programs about to dispel the fog enveloping them, too.) But most effects worked fine and added much, including the impressive lighting, the detailed costuming and the dramatic "growth" of the Christmas tree.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:42 PM
Getting to tour the building was a treat for me. I thought about all the little ballerinas that dream of dancing at the highest level in Virginia. I also appreciated the architectural design and style, as the building is a mix of industrial and art motifs. The company dancers spend an extraordinary amount of time in the building and it seemed like a welcoming space. It also has a great view of the James River (although it was raining the day I visited).
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:44 PM
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:46 AM
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:48 AM
20 year old Sophia Lee was surprised to be selected to dance the principal role of Clara. She is a member of the Corps de Ballet. "I didn't think it was going to happen this early, to be honest. I'm worried, still, but excited, for sure.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:56 AM
In the featured roles -- in this one performance only -- will be American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Gillian Murphy, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Jose Manuel Carreno, who retired a few months ago as principal dancer with the ABT and is now making guest appearances around the world.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:30 PM
More than 600 boxes of documents and film and audio footage will also be preserved. The VHS collection, which is currently at risk, will be digitised with many items available online.
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