Unfortunately, this potential isn’t realized. The majority of the choreography, by Alexei Ratmansky, is adequate but not exciting. Everything seemed a bit flat, as if the dancers were going through the motions with forced smiles. Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes (one of four lead pairings taking the role of Clara, the Princess and Nutcracker and the Prince) are technically lovely.
Gomes, always a gracious partner, is strong, and Part is crisp with a charming smile; both whip-off the pirouettes, jumps, and leaps that make ballet audiences gasp. But the pair is wooden, having little chemistry, something this “love story” badly needs. The precision needed within the core, the exactness of legs rising to the same height, arms positioned like mirrors that makes classical ballet so entrancing, is also missing. This could be due to opening night flaws, but the structure of the choreography calls out for precision and “acting.”
Wednesday, December 21
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:42 AM
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:44 AM
Mateo’s troupe didn’t end up at the Strand — its home base is the marvelously refurbished Sanctuary Theatre in Harvard Square — but its extensive outreach program in Duxbury, where the Ballet Thea-tre offers dance lessons and annual performances of “The Nutcracker,” is a model for future Strand collaborations.
“For 15 years, we’ve run a young-dancers program in Duxbury, bringing ballet to an underserved but different audience,” he said. “We’ve established a model to base our program on, and in Dorchester we are engaging a much broader part of the community. It goes beyond just teaching a finite number of dancers and doing a finite number of productions...."
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:50 AM
The ballet, based on Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is the last major piece commissioned for the company by outgoing artistic director Ashley Page. It is to be created by theatre and film director Nancy Meckler with Netherlands-based choreographer Anabelle Lopez Ochoa. The ballet will feature a jazz score from composer Peter Salem.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 11:54 AM
But on the dark side, the year has seen deaths and losses of local dancers and choreographers; often in situations of severe poverty.
During this year Durban has marked the deaths of dancers Eric Shabalala, Hugo le Roux and, most recently, Nobuhle Khawula. There were no state funerals, no city remembrances for dance practitioners that have spent their lives adding to eThekwini’s cultural life and cultural mapping.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:03 PM
And indeed, no fewer than four very different versions of The Nutcracker are pirouetting their way around London stages this festive season.
The Coliseum, which has performed The Nutcracker every Christmas since its foundation in 1950, hosts the English National Ballet’s production until December 30. It revels in the Edwardian nostalgia of a frost-covered, enchanted Christmas Eve.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:22 PM
This year the ballet will be performed eight times, including two matinee performances. Though the ticketing offices have promised that there will be an audience, taking into account the current circumstances and ongoing violence and demonstrations in Cairo, music lovers are raising questions regarding the validity of artistic events at present.
“The message we are sending to our audience is that we keep going and that we are stronger than ever,” Erminia Kamel, the Cairo Opera Ballet Company Artistic Director told Ahram Online. “As artists at the Cairo Opera Ballet Company, we have many worries. Yet so far we did not receive any direct threats from any parties, and there are neither limitations imposed nor cancellations; we continue our work as usual.”
Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:24 PM
Kudelka’s contemporary choreography reimagines The Nutcracker with snowball fights in the Snow Queen’s kingdom and fast-paced acrobatic movements through a Christmas kitchen. Along with more modern costume and set designs, the ballet still stays true to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s energetic score.....
Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:25 PM
Dancers Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild from The New York City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” posed for a photo after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday in New York City.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:27 PM
Tamara Rojo on Sylvie Guillem:
The intelligence she brought to her career also inspired me. Instead of absorbing all the adulation, she challenged her public and herself with collaborations such as Sacred Monsters with Akram Khan. This gives me courage when I am told I am "difficult" – because she has made me see it's an artist's duty to question everything.
Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:19 PM
1. Listen Closely as You Watch
First, follow the sage advice of the Doobie Brothers and listen to the music.
Richard Wagner called opera a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. For him the music, the costumes, the scenery and the story were equal partners in spinning a great tale of adventure and drama. The same can be said for the ballet. There’s much more to a Nutcracker than dance. Any fan of Wagner also knows that his music easily stands alone. With Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, that’s especially true. There’s a reason his Nutcracker Suite was more popular than the ballet for several decades, and is now one of the best known pieces of music in the world. It’s darn good.
Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:22 PM
For The Nutcracker, they generally stick with tradition and spectacle because they must; people like it. Along with the Christmas tree, everything gets bigger; the number of shows, casts, sets, costumes and ticket prices. And so are the risks. With some luck, tickets sales from the Nut can fund an entire year of other productions.
While San Diego’s big three have similar financial goals, their virtues and aesthetics are wildly different. Unless you are a real “bun-head” or know someone in the production, a child or a friend perhaps, you might not be aware of the distinctions or care. Most people can’t even keep the company names straight!
Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:24 PM
The partnership came after Robert Weiss, artistic director and CEO of the Carolina Ballet, thought that infusing the holiday production, hefty on magic in its first act, with the real thing would sell tickets. Ticket sales had been declining over the decade, and the ballet faced the threat of losing more audience members to the Radio City Rockettes, who were scheduled to perform in that area for the first time.
Weiss first turned to a magician in Raleigh, N.C., where the ballet is based, but was underwhelmed and wanted something more impressive. So he reached out to Rick Thomas, who during his 12 years in Las Vegas has made tigers and motorcycles disappear at the Stardust, Tropicana, Sahara and Planet Hollywood.
Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:27 PM
This year alone, Las Vegas saw jazz versions, Philadelphia a Harlem style take with black dancers, Virginia an urban dance, Vermont a hip-hop extravaganza and even an adults-only "Nutcracker Burlesque" has played in Portland, Maine.
Hundreds more local productions have been featured at dance schools, city workshops or end-of-year school shows where children get to dive into the many roles available.
Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:14 PM
Homage is paid to the photographers who helped capture each decade of the Australian Ballet. The changing nature of dance photography, both in terms of the product itself and the role that product plays, is discussed, though perhaps not in quite enough detail for lovers of dance photography.
That said, it is the photography that stands centre stage. From the dynamism of Branco Gaica's shot of Nicole Rhodes in Red Earth (1996), to the cool, crispness of Justin Smith's image of Madeleine Eastoe for La Sylphide (2005), this book is a sumptuous banquet of dance photographs.
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