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Thursday, January 19


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#1 dirac

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:15 AM

Q&A with Damian Smith.

Where is your favorite place to bring out of town friends? Backstage at the Opera House during a performance is always exciting. And I love to hike to Cavallo Point, ending with oysters and wine on the terrace.

How has the city's ballet and dance scene evolved since you first arrived? I think there's more athleticism in dance now. But otherwise, I've always thought that the Bay Area provided a lot of opportunities to witness great dance -- that really hasn’t changed.



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:21 AM

Ballet Memphis will perform in Palm Beach.

Another highlight will be the premiere of Jane Comfort’s S’épanouir, with its uplifting theme of rebirth and transformation in the throes of crisis. Comfort collaborated with jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who was raised in Memphis, on S’épanouir, and the abstract dance earned the endorsement of the National Dance Project.

For more than 20 years, Ballet Memphis has been competing with companies from larger cities with larger budgets. Two dancers in 1986 has grown into more than 20 dancers and trainees, and its $75,000 budget to $3.4 million. And they keep it fresh with fresh faces, fresh ideas, and bringing more fresh works to the stage each season than other national ballet companies.



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:21 AM

Ballet Memphis will perform in Palm Beach.

Another highlight will be the premiere of Jane Comfort’s S’épanouir, with its uplifting theme of rebirth and transformation in the throes of crisis. Comfort collaborated with jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who was raised in Memphis, on S’épanouir, and the abstract dance earned the endorsement of the National Dance Project.

For more than 20 years, Ballet Memphis has been competing with companies from larger cities with larger budgets. Two dancers in 1986 has grown into more than 20 dancers and trainees, and its $75,000 budget to $3.4 million. And they keep it fresh with fresh faces, fresh ideas, and bringing more fresh works to the stage each season than other national ballet companies.



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

A preview of La La La Human Steps in "New Work" by Kevin Griffin in The Vancouver Sun.

Lock's career has bridged the distance between contemporary dance and classical ballet. In his early years he established a reputation for creating dance works requiring extreme physicality such as his groundbreaking Human Sex in 1985-86. In 1990, he co-conceived and was artistic director of David Bowie's Sound and Vision world tour. He also collaborated with Frank Zappa on his Yellow Shark concerts.

Lock made a radical change in his choreography in 1997 when he adopted the pointe shoe, the traditional footwear worn by female ballet dancers that allows them to dance on their toes.




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#5 dirac

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:48 AM

Boston Globe story on the "defection" of Keenan Kampa. Subscription only.

The 22-year-old graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia — the first American student to earn a Russian diploma at the Kirov Ballet’s school — will be the first American to join the Mariisnky Ballet, according to the press release announcing the move. (When reached on deadline, Boston Ballet declined to confirm the news.)



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

A preview of San Francisco Ballet in "Onegin" by Janos Gereben in The San Francisco Examiner.

On opening night Jan. 27, Rubén Martín Cintas will dance the role of Onegin, with Yuan Yuan Tan portraying Tatiana. (Three other pairs of dancers alternate in other performances.)Cintas, who has been rehearsing since July, calls the character “coldish” and “calculating — trying to keep feelings inside, then everything coming together in an explosion.”

Thrilled with the assignment “to develop a role from beginning to end, to be seen here for the first time,” he is being coached by Cranko specialist Jane Bourne, in San Francisco to stage the production.



#7 dirac

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

Company C Contemporary Ballet celebrates its tenth anniversary.

"I'm very, very careful to have a mix of high-cachet art with something accessible that somebody who's never been to the ballet is going to go, 'Wow, that was really cool,' " says Anderson. Beyond planning each show, Anderson, a former New York City Ballet dancer, pursues choreography for its own sake, like a curator. Though he created Company C's first pieces and continues to contribute new works, he says, "I said from the start, 'This isn't going to be the Charlie show.' For me, the rep is the star."
It takes audacity to found a young company on world-class choreography; it also takes dancers with training, athleticism and versatility. So Anderson pays attentive care to the dancers' physical, emotional and artistic well-being.



#8 dirac

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:01 PM

A man accused of throwing his ballet dancer girlfriend from a 15-story flat is out on bail. Story by Paul Bibby in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ms Harnum, a trained dancer, plunged 15 storeys to her death from the couple's apartment in the Sydney CBD in July last year.Neighbours say they heard the couple arguing loudly shortly before Ms Harnum died.

In a recorded video interview played in court today, a witness who allegedly saw Ms Harnum fall said he heard a man screaming.

#9 dirac

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:09 PM

A review of New York City Ballet by Mary Cargill for danceviewtimes.

The New York City Ballet's winter season opening night had no gimmicks, no so-called theme, no major debuts. It was "just" an all-Balanchine evening, and pretty pink-and-white Balanchine at that. But it had some enjoyable, entertaining, and magnificent performances. The evening opened with a belated Christmas ballet, "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", danced by Megan Fairchild and Daniel Ulbricht. These dancers, always technical marvels, found ways to give a hint of depth to their characters.....



#10 dirac

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:25 PM

A preview of Nashville Ballet's annual fundraiser, Ballet Ball.

Ben Folds and The Civil Wars will perform some of their most well-known songs alongside Nashville Ballet dancers as the company performs in original works choreographed by Nashville Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Paul Vasterling at this one-time only appearance.

#11 dirac

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:43 AM

The State Street Ballet presents "The Jungle Book."

The ballet, which comes to San Luis Obispo for an afternoon show Sunday, was the brainchild of Rodney Gustafson, who founded the State Street Ballet. While many Americans remember the animated Disney movie from 1967, the ballet is based on the original “Jungle Book” — a series of stories written by British writer Rudyard Kipling in 1894.

While that means the ballet didn’t need any special permission from Disney, it also means they had to find other music. Luckily, a ballet company in the Czech Republic had done a “Jungle Book” show a decade earlier. And Czech composer Milan Svoboda had written a score that the State Street Ballet could use.


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