Thursday, December 29
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:46 PM
There are certain downsides to the intimate feel of ABT's production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. They include those moments where you really want grandeur, on the scale of George Balanchine's famous version for New York City Ballet: the Mice vs. Nutcracker battle, for example, seems scaled down too far, and the growing Christmas tree, awe-inspiring in the Balanchine version, is decidedly underwhelming here.
On the other hand, the children are given more of a chance to act, and the smaller stage brings their facial expressions closer to the kids in the audience. On Wednesday evening, Mikaela Kelly as Clara, Theodore Elliman as the Nutcracker Boy and Kai Monroe as Fritz were all fun to watch — as was the adorable Justin Souriau-Levine as the Little Mouse (you only saw his unmasked face at the curtain call, but boy, that smile lit up the house.)
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:48 PM
Another ending comes Saturday night with the Boston Ballet’s final performance of this version of “The Nutcracker.” New sets and costumes will be unveiled in 2012.
We also bid a fond farewell to Boston Ballet principal dancer Larissa Ponomarenko, who retired without fanfare in May. She danced with the ballet for 18 years. She slides into the role of ballet master with the company and will assist in productions and teach new dancers.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:50 PM
And, impressively, it is pretty darned successful in its aim. This entertaining ballet is, ostensibly, set on the familiar Cinderella fairy tale. Yet Destrooper, using texturally rich music by Prokofiev, has transformed it in a manner reminiscent of The Nutcracker. Cannily, he provides a similar assortment of crowdpleasing entertainment and serious ballet, in order that no one leaves disappointed.
To jazz things up, the Cinderella story is imbued with a thick pinch of Hollywood glitz. The Prince is a movie-star type who sends his film director to scout new talent. The ball is a bit like a film première party, with its guest list populated by such "stars" as Peter Pan, Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:52 PM
This is Brock’s first time conducting a ballet, but under the wing of music director David Briskin he found himself growing through the new artistic medium. “[It’s] an experience outside of the box for me and one that I think I will really cherish,” he said.
A mostly symphonic conductor, Brock has found himself gaining a new perspective on the familiar score through working with the dancers and choreographers.
“It’s a very familiar score, but then to have to reappraise it and to rethink and to accept it in these different ways is really interesting,” says the young conductor, adding that the experience is both challenging and rewarding.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:55 PM
And behind those memorable performances was a man of enormous personal generosity, more likely to laugh at his own failings than those of others, who always spoke his mind — sometimes injudiciously — but never from malice, and who had a gift for encouraging the best in people.
His capacity for loyalty and friendship was extraordinary, from the renowned and mighty to the cleaning lady.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:56 PM
The opening scene demonstrated that while Dimitry Sobolevsky, taking the lead solo role at the tender age of 20, might be young, he’s certainly mature enough to carry off the part. His leaps across the stage were breathtaking and tireless and his more romantic dance moves were elegant and convincing.
Anna Aulle, as the tragic White Swan, was almost unbelievably graceful as she floated, feather-like, through the air and her romantic partnership with Prince Siegfried was perfectly presented. She totally changed her mood when interpreting the role of the Black Swan, with her dancing featuring evil undertones aplenty. Her pirouettes were unbelievable and beautiful to watch.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:59 PM
Best Bodies in Space Award: England’s Wayne McGregor, for Entity, which toured to Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., and in which imaginative combinations of bodies translated into magnificent, complex and intriguing choreographic patterns.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:01 PM
A press call on Tuesday showed a glimpse of what awaits the audience. Korea National Ballet's star ballerina Kim Joo-won leaned back and slowly moved her arms in circles, frowning slightly, at the preview of what's to come. She frantically searched for something but only seemed to fall into a greater despair, seemingly abandoned by something or someone each time.
Lee Jeong-yun, principal dancer at the National Dance Company of Korea and the choreographer of the show, joined her on stage, scooping up invisible sand from the ground and letting it shift between his fingers. He followed Kim and held her as if to share her agony. Drops of sweat, or perhaps tears, dropped down Kim's cheeks when the scene, "Solitude," ended.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:26 PM
Royal Ballet Metamorphosis: Titian 2012. This programme of new works is Monica Mason's farewell present to herself as she retires as director of the Royal Ballet. Inspired by Titian, choreographers including Wayne McGregor, Will Tuckett and Liam Scarlett collaborate with three visual artists: Mark Wallinger, Chris Ofili and Conrad Shawcross.
Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:27 PM
Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso is featured in two postage stamps issued here Thursday with her image in the "grand vals" of one of her greatest works as a ballet dancer: "La Bella Durmiente" (Sleeping Beauty) on the 80th anniversary of her debut as a dancer.
Issued by the Cuban Ministry of Information and Communications, the stamps reproduce two photos of that historical December 29, 1931, when Alicia Alonso danced this piece for the first time at the age of 11.
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