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Friday, December 23


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#1 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:48 PM

An ABC News story on Nutcracker season. A feature will also run on tonight's "Nightline."

"We lose money on everything else," Mikko Nissinen, the artistic director of the Boston Ballet, told ABC's John Donvan. "It's the only thing that goes to the positive direction."

For most dance companies, "The Nutcracker" is their best seller of the year, but with constant competition for ticket sales, some ballet troupes have tweaked the classic story to create alternative versions.

#2 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:52 PM

Ballet San Jose announces plans for a partnership with American Ballet Theatre.

In

addition, Thursday's announcement did not make clear what role longtime Ballet San Jose artistic director Dennis Nahat would have in the company's future, saying only that "the Ballet San Jose board of trustees is in discussions with Artistic Director Dennis Nahat to define a continuing relationship that attempts to preserve his outstanding legacy, ensure his works remain in the repertory, and honor the enormous artistic contributions he has made to the organization."

Nahat, whose connection to the ballet company began in the 1980s when it was part of a two-city co-venture known as the San Jose Cleveland Ballet, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.Ballet San Jose announces plans for a partnership with American Ballet Theatre.



#3 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:54 PM

An interview with Peter Wright on the Birmingham Royal Ballet's plans to stage their Nutcracker at O2.

For Wright has a show to put on – and nor is it any ordinary show. Following in the wake of the Royal Ballet’s successful staging of Romeo and Juliet at the O2 last June, its Midlands-based sister company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, is now out to conquer the same, Valhalla-like venue.

This time, the piece on offer is Wright’s uniquely magical 1991 version of The Nutcracker, to Tchaikovsky’s resplendent score, and 5,000 tickets are on sale for each of its six performances (which start on Tuesday evening). Add to this the fact that the production was originally designed for the 1,935-capacity Birmingham Hippodrome (as opposed to a room that at full stretch can seat 23,000) and no wonder Wright, when we meet earlier this month, tells me: “It’s goodbye to Christmas!”

#4 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:00 PM

An appraisal of NYCB's and ABT's Nutcrackers by Marina Harss in The Faster Times.

The cavalier exists only to suport Sugarplum, to allow her to fully extend her range of motion, to catch her as she dives forward after a turn, to hold her aloft in floating lifts across the stage, and, in a final coup de théâtre, to pull her forward as she balances on a hidden platform that makes it appear as if she is floating across the surface of the stage. All pretense of storytelling has evaporated: this is a show, an abstraction, a symbol. Here, again, Tiler Peck was triumphant, but without airs; she is truly a wonder.

Ratmansky’s take could not be more different. He isn’t interested in symbols or abstractions, not really. His “Nutcracker” is more human, more down to earth, while at the same time it taps into a sense of exoticism and whimsy quite unlike Balanchine’s. His children are slightly older, which makes them less cute, and more complex.

#5 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:03 PM

Miami City Ballet dancer Bradley Dunlap talks about his 2011.

This year [Villella] announced his retirement, signaling a new era for MCB and its dancers, including Dunlap, who is currently dancing The Nutcracker across South Florida.

He's been able to witness a cultural flowering around him, not just in dance, as Miami itself also appears to be entering a new era. In 2011, Dunlap left the studio and stage to take in these highlights:


#6 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

A review of Scottish Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" by Zoe Anderson in The Independent.

With Antony McDonald’s brilliant designs, the production never looks small scale. The Victorian lawn is framed by glimpses of a grand conservatory. We move inside it for Aurora’s sixteenth birthday, the dashing pinks and oranges of the costumes standing out against a lush hothouse jungle. The dresses are opulent in colour and cut; the scenery is airy and inventive.

Page has kept some touchstones of the original Petipa’s original choreography: a few mime scenes, Aurora’s solos. I mean it as a compliment to Scottish Ballet when I wish he had kept more of the original setpieces: I’d like to see these alert soloists test themselves in Petipa’s demanding fairy variations.

#7 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:29 PM

A review of "Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition" by Jill Sykes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

This time, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is providing the dancers for the English National Ballet production, and they present it crisply and sympathetically in solos, duets and neat ensembles. While there is still not a lot in the choreography of Antony Dowson to get excited about, especially in the first half, it cheers up by the end.

The best thing is that the audition process shows there is more to dance than classical ballet. Students offer solos that take them into contemporary styles, Irish dancing and even tap; the tap finale in sparkling gold costumes, a homage to A Chorus Line, is a highlight.

#8 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:32 PM

A story on the latest from San Jose Ballet in The San Jose Business Journal.

It is unclear from the release how longtime Ballet San Jose Artistic Director Dennis Nahat will be involved with the company going forward.

The release states: "The Ballet San Jose board of trustees is in discussions with Artistic Director Dennis Nahat to define a continuing relationship that attempts to preserve his outstanding legacy, ensure his works remain in the repertory, and honor the enormous artistic contributions he has made to the organization."

#9 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 08:37 PM

A preview of the new season at Jacob's Pillow by Tresca Weinstein in The Albany Times-Union. Photo gallery.

The festival’s 80th season reflects Baff’s dual commitment to presenting international companies and fostering emerging choreographers. The schedule features dancers from nine countries and five continents, including the Hong Kong Ballet, Israel’s Vertigo Dance Company, Mimulus from Brazil, Circa from Australia and a handful of companies from Europe and Canada.

New companies and new work will be highlighted, including one-time-only productions that won’t be staged in any other venue. Among these is a Pillow-specific performance of “From the Horse’s Mouth,” a dance/theater production that incorporates both movement and personal stories. A rotating cast of more than 20 dancers and choreographers — New York City Ballet legend Jock Soto, Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell and tap master Jason Samuels Smith are just a few — will pay homage to Pillow founder Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers.

#10 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

An exhibit of previously unpublished photos of Alicia Alonso goes on display in Havana.

Organized by the National Museum of Dance with the purpose of showcasing pictures that were unknown to the public, the display includes snapshots portraying Alonso on social events, on stage and private occasions taken by different photographers, among them: Alberto Korda, Ernesto Fernandez, Liborio Nodal, Sandro Miller, Nancy Reyes and Luis Alberto Alonso.

#11 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:57 PM

A review of Portland Ballet Company's Nutcracker by Jennifer Brewer in The Maine Telegram.

“The Victorian Nutcracker” is very theatrical in spirit, with many interesting dramatic touches and a nice continuity between the first-act party scene and the divertissements of the second act.

The production is in constant evolution, thanks to a collaborative approach between artistic director Eugenia L. O’Brien and her artistic staff, so that each year’s show is likely to have a few surprises to delight even the most Nutcracker-jaded in the audience.

#12 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:10 PM

Laura Morera and Justin Meissner will hold master classes in Canada.

Meissner, who trained at the Royal Ballet, is a gold medalist at the prestigious Adeline Genée and Prix de Lausanne competitions. He knows the value of good training and master classes like those his organization offers throughout the world.

"Having attended similar dance programs as a young dancer, which led directly to my acceptance into the Royal Ballet School and ultimately the Royal Ballet, I wanted to provide auditions and master classes that reflected this experience that would educate and inspire young dancers to want to learn," he said.


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