Although the process of transferring a musical composition from a gleam in the composer's eye into a handwritten manuscript and, finally, a performance-ready score has come a long way from the days of copper-plate engraving, it's a process rife with the possibility of transmittal error. "Usually, it's a note here or there or a missing dynamic indication, which will be weeded out by conductors, musicians, librarians or musicologists," says Mr. Orenstein, a Ravel scholar of 45 years and the author of "A Ravel Reader" (1990). "Typically a composer's biggest problem is the battle against wrong notes. It's unusual to find a four-measure error such as the omission of the bassoon part in "Mother Goose's Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty.".....
Tuesday, December 27
Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:11 AM
Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:30 AM
Scènes de ballet was Ashton’s favourite among his own works, his 1948 essay in spiky neo-classicism. André Beaurepaire’s original set designs adorn the Nationaltheater stage and his geometrically patterned costumes remain a balletic New Look intended to shake Britain out of postwar drudgery. Stravinsky’s score, as sharp and sophisticated as a skilfully mixed martini, was expertly played. The Munich dancers settled into Ashton’s challenging homage to Petipa, not least the corps of 12 women and four male soloists, but the leads will need to muster more chic and style fully to do their roles justice. It was, nevertheless, a doughty first performance.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:32 AM
10. The Nutty Nutcracker, Texas Ballet Theater at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth (Dec. 23)
When an iconic figure becomes embedded in one's consciousness—whether it is the Mona Lisa or the Sugar Plum Fairy—someone is bound to take a pot shot at it. And Texas Ballet Theater did exactly that for its hilarious spoof on its annual Nutcracker. Not only did the characters from The Wizard of Oz take over the Stahlbaum's Christmas Eve party, but so did a motley crew that included Elvis, a hyped-up Dirk Nowitzki and Joan Crawford in a mean mood. Too, too funny in the Kingdom of the Sweets were a well-oiled Arnold Schwarzenegger preening and strutting, and Michael Flatley tearing across the room at breakneck speed.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:33 AM
The penguins' isolation is interrupted when they become fascinated by a mysterious Christmas box that has dropped onto the stage. (It brings to mind the monolith in "2001: A Space Odyssey.") Out pops Beane's version of the Nutcracker in the form of the young, tall, thin and nimble actor Brandon Oliver Jones. He's motionless for a while (the trouper doesn't even blink!) and his stillness gives us time to take in his spectacular circus-toy makeup and costume (again by Beane). Luckily, Jones is even more magnetic when he comes to life and tries to communicate with the penguins.
Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:46 AM
And change is the main subject of “The Nutcracker.” George Balanchine’s production for New York City Ballet has a whole series of moments that illustrate this, but it’s worth pointing out three, when the same child dancer does the same lower-body gesture or step. The step in question is simply a pointing of the turned-out leg and foot to the side (tendu side): it transforms the leg by charging it with energy in a straight line from hip to toe.
First Drosselmeyer’s little nephew does it, during the formal Grossvater Tanz (grown-ups on our left, children mirroring them), as does his partner Marie. Then, after battling the mice, the Nutcracker does it, holding one of the slain Mouse King’s seven crowns aloft. Finally the Little Prince does it in the moment when his Nutcracker outer husk slips off him.
Posted 30 December 2011 - 11:32 AM
Is there no end to the wonders of Ratmansky, who provided one of 2010’s best works, Namouna, and is single-handedly rescuing the multi-act narrative ballet from the ponderous ineptitude that mark many such efforts?
Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:12 PM
The cuts will eliminate 60 administrative and technical positions, 35 artistic positions, and five leadership positions.
According to Byron Mildwater, a ballet dancer and a spokesperson for the Royal Theatre, the job losses will affect the theatre’s artistic output. “It will mean, for example, that we can no longer perform the large ballets like ‘The Nutcracker’ or ‘Swan Lake’,” Mildwater told Politiken. “There will simply not be enough swans to dance in the large ballets that we are world-renowned for. It will markedly reduce the quality of our company.”
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