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Wednesday, December 28


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#1 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:49 AM

Reviews of the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the O2.

The Telegraph

The kindest response to Act I of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker at the O2 on Tuesday – and not only because of the otiose hors d’oeuvre of crooning from 2009 X Factor winner Joe McElderry – would be to pretend I’d failed to turn up in time. Unlike Romeo and Juliet – which the Royal Ballet brought so successfully to the same, cavernous venue in the summer, on an entirely open stage – this stupendous 1991 production brims with complex stage trickery that has to be hidden behind a proscenium arch, and it therefore needs to be looked at more or less straight on for the magic to work.


The Arts Desk


If you sit in a £72 seat on the upper side close to the stage, as I did for 10 wretched minutes last night, you will see about a third of the scenery, virtually nothing of the big screen, and not a scrap of what the production can deliver. Fortunately for me, if unfortunately for BRB, there were many unoccupied spaces to enable a quick move to better positions, which rescues my review from a wholesale protest to a half-cheer.



#2 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

The annual too-many-Nutcrackers article, this one by Clement Crisp in The Financial Times.

I offer this depressing catalogue since it casts some light on both audience expectations and performance dilemmas. It is a regrettable aspect of Dame Ninette de Valois’s policies in building ballet in this country, that she showed her audiences that the old masterpieces of the Imperial Russian repertory (which she acquired in honourable versions) were essential foundations for a company and irresistible for its public. In effect, she went back from the determined innovations of the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, in which she had danced, to the classical bed-rock of the Mariinsky repertory at the turn of the 20th century. (Of course, she also understood that new work by national choreographers – Ashton and herself – was no less vital.)



#3 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:48 PM

A preview of Ballet Victoria's Cinderella & the Fairy Tale Ball.

“The story is still very much the Cinderella story, but based here,” said Ballet Victoria artistic director Paul Destrooper.

For this, his third year staging the show, Destrooper also tweaked some of the plot details. The prince character, for example, is now an actor looking for his leading lady.



#4 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:50 PM

Emily Molnar and the late David Y.H. Lui make a list of Vancouver's tops in the arts for 2011.

Not only was he one of the founders of Ballet BC and the Scotiabank Dance Centre, Lui was the producer of major theatrical hits including Godspell and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. In October, family members, friends and admirers packed the Vancouver Playhouse to celebrate his life and say goodbye to a Vancouver original



#5 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:53 PM

Vancouver arts organizations are doubtful about "tweet seats" for the present.

Like Vancouver Opera, Bal-let BC also performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. More than a year ago, Emily Molnar, the company's artistic director, started talking about using social media during her speech to the audience before performances. She took a positive approach by encouraging people to Twitter or Facebook during intermission or after the performance. Molnar considers it part of the marketing campaign. Because Ballet BC's performance run is so short at three shows on consecutive nights, getting the word out early is crucial to getting people into the theatre, she said.



#6 dirac

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:44 PM

Frankie Levy, the founder of Georgia Dance Theatre, is dead at age ninety.

Levy was intent on exposing her blossoming dancers to the best of the dancing world. She traveled with her students to New York City to see shows, meet outstanding teachers and visit places such as the Russian Tea Room, McManus said.

Levy choreographed original, full-length ballets, including one for the 250th anniversary of the city of Augusta that was later performed in London. Her company also performed Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel on stages at Bell Auditorium and Augusta State University’s Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.



#7 dirac

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:57 PM

Boston Ballet's Nutcracker bear goes into permanent hibernation. Photo.

This is the last year that the Boston Ballet will perform the holiday classic with these costumes; wardrobe for next year’s performances is being designed by Robert Perdziola, who’s done work for the Metropolitan Opera and, according to the Internet Movie Database, was an assistant art director on 1994’s “Interview With the Vampire.” We had to ask the ballet whether our favorite bear would be given another job.

A shot of Robert Kretz as the bear in the air.

“I knew I had missed the harlequin doing the full split, so I was hoping to get the bear,” says Globe staff photographer Essdras M Suarez, who arrived at the Opera House while Boston Ballet’s dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker was underway.


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