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Wednesday, January 25


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#1 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:24 AM

More on the resignation of Sergei Polunin from the Royal.

The Telegraph

However, he has previously spoken of wanting "a life outside ballet" and even expressed an ambition to open a tattoo parlour.


Sources told The Daily Telegraph that the dancer has told colleagues that he doesn't "want to go on dancing".



The Evening Standard

His mother Halina told the Standard she had taken a call in the middle of the night from her son, adding: "I would like to know very much what he is planning to do next.

"I know Sergei is a talented young man, he must know what he is doing. Believe me, he will never be lost in this world. If he made up his mind to do this, he must have thought it over very deeply indeed. He did not tell me the reason for it or what he is going to do next. He just said he was leaving."


The Guardian

On Friday Polunin is due to dance in Men in Motion, a programme at Sadler's Wells focusing on male dancers.

He was due to take the lead in The Dream at the Royal Ballet next week. The role is now likely to be danced by Steven McRae.



#2 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:26 AM

BBC News report.

Polunin commented on his decision on Twitter, saying: "Just have to go through one night!!! then will make my next moves."

He also updated his biography to say: "Principal Dancer of ?"


Related story on the pressures of a ballet dancer's life.

Whatever Polunin's reasons for his departure - and he is keeping quiet for now - it has once again raised the issue of the pressures faced by professional dancers, highlighted dramatically in Darren Aronofsky's 2010 film, Black Swan.

Sara Matthews is the director of the Central School of Ballet and a former professional dancer. She told Channel 4 News that dancers can only deal with the pressures of reaching the top because they love dancing.



#3 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

A review of Company C Contemporary Ballet by Ann Murphy in The San Jose Mercury News.

Featuring four works by a quartet of male choreographers, the program underlined the aesthetic variety of today's genre of contemporary ballet, now a container so broad that almost any work that uses ballet-trained bodies can be included in the category. However, it also revealed how easily a chamber company's purpose turns muddy. With the troupe short of star power, opaque work is harder to transcend than it is for large ballet companies, where the massive scale of large theaters, expensive sets and live music can make up for humdrum dances.



#4 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:38 AM

A preview of San Francisco Ballet in "Onegin" by Andrew Gilbert in The San Jose Mercury News.

The company has rented a sumptuous new set by Santo Loquasto, commissioned for the National Ballet of Canada's acclaimed 2010 production, which means that "Onegin" offers a visual as well as emotional feast. Like Tchaikovsky's 1879 opera, Cranko's ballet is based on Alexander Pushkin's verse novel "Eugene Onegin," a beloved classic of Russian literature. The story follows the exploits of the eponymous protagonist, a disaffected, dandyish aristocrat who earns hard-won self-knowledge at the cost of his best friend's life and the chance of marriage with the woman he loves.



#5 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:39 AM

The Joffrey Ballet is the subject of a new documentary.

The film, by director Bob Hercules, charts the turbulent progress of the ballet company founded by Robert Joffrey in the early 1960s in an effort to provide a modern American take on ballet in a city that was then dominated by two traditional companies, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.



#6 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:44 AM

A review of New York City Ballet by Apollinaire Scherr in The Financial Times.

Drawn from his Broadway haunts to the rarefied clime of New York City Ballet, Jerome Robbins sometimes succumbed to self-restraint, banning from his ballets fun, allusions to the world – anything that came easily to him. Last weekend, for example, the 1975 In G Major had only bland cheer to offer, despite Erté’s charming beach costumes and backdrop and glints of Rhapsody in Blue in the Ravel score. And narrative murk would have sunk the late In Memory of… if not for Wendy Whelan’s transfixing performance (repeating January 26 and February 1) as a doomed girl who returns as a spirit. The veteran dancer responded to the long eerie lines of violin in the Berg concerto with a pulse of yearning as soft and steady as light.



#7 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:55 AM

A review of the Royal Ballet's "Draft Works" program by Clement Crisp in The Financial Times.

On Tuesday evening no fewer than 10 aspirants laid their tributes on Apollo’s altar. Some were burnt offerings, others came under the heading of bloody sacrifices, but that they were there, on stage, is cause for rejoicing, and long may these events continue.

I retain best memories of two pieces. One was a frivol by Thomas Whitehead – i lean and bob, in which Sian Murphy and Ryoichi Hirano were merry lovers to some sly music by Analogik, and Whitehead was happily guided by his score. The other was from my hero of last year’s Draft Works programme, Valentino Zucchetti. With his Bach-inspired Brandenburg Divertissement, Zucchetti again shows an honest musicality, producing neo-Balanchinian patterns, securely academic, for four couples........



#8 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:56 AM

More on Polunin.

But rumours that he was showing a lack of commitment behind the scenes were denied by the company, who pointed to the ecstatic reviews he had recently received. Rojo added: "He was doing his work – his performances had been consistently exceptional. I honestly don't understand."

Polunin was born in Kherson, a ship-building port in southern Ukraine, where, he said, "ballet didn't exist". Just before Christmas, he told the Guardian's Judith Mackrell that he had been pushed into ballet by his parents, who were very poor and saw it as an opportunity to attain a better life. He said he would like to retire at 28.



#9 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

A preview of Northern Ballet's spring tour.

It will feature a mixture of work from both new and established choreographers including Northern Ballet premier dancer Kenneth Tindall’s debut piece, Project#1. This moving and accomplished piece is set to Dinah Washington and Maz Richter’s stirring ‘This bitter earth – on the nature of daylight’.



#10 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

BBC television news clip on Polunin's resignation.

Principal dancer Sergei Polunin has surprised bosses at the Royal Ballet by resigning from his post, less than two years after he was promoted.



#11 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:59 PM

A Huffington Post entry by Katita Waldo on preparing dancers for San Francisco Ballet's "Onegin."

Choreographically, the ballet is devilish and the partnering is unbelievably hard! The biggest challenge though, is to master the choreography while transcending the difficulty of the steps to tell the story. It is an intensely dramatic ballet and it is the emotional story which must come through. Tricky, when on top of the choreography there are numerous timing issues with the music and the placement of certain moments within the music. A lot to have to manage all while never losing character! It will be a wonderful experience for some of our younger dancers to get the chance to step into these roles, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself as I help them and watch them grow and learn.

#12 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:01 PM

Another county heard from on the departure of Polunin : Louise Levene writes for The Telegraph.

Reports of a ballet world “in shock” might sound like overkill – nobody died, for heaven’s sake – but the sudden loss of this extraordinary young star was proving hard to bear and almost impossible to fathom. Why on earth was he leaving? Where would he go? And (the show must go on, after all) who could they possibly cast in his place?


Polunin’s unprecedentedly abrupt departure was front-page news, but the 22-year-old star has long been food for headlines. His teenage debut as the snorting, tiger-slaying hero in the 1877 melodrama La Bayadère prompted comparisons with the young Rudolf Nureyev and, for once, the hype was justified: the same supercharged classicism; the same haughty sensuality; the same instinctive mastery of stagecraft.



#13 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:03 PM

A review of the new documentary, "Joffrey, Mavericks of American Dance" by Mark McDermott for Easy Reader.

Narrated by Mandy Patinkin, the production values of this film are of the highest quality with a special mention for the outstanding editing by Melissa Stern and Leonard Feinstein. The pace never lags leaving the viewer wanting more, never less than what has been presented. Interestingly, there is one early credit that shouldn't be missed, that of the producers. Sitting together at the 2008 Joffrey Ballet Spring Gala in Chicago, friends Una Jackman, Jay Alix, Harold Ramis and Erica Mann Ramis, discuss how the history of the company should be recorded before the passing of Gerry Arpino. From this conversation came this wonderful film.



#14 dirac

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

A day in the life of Susan Roemer of Smuin Ballet.

9:30 AM: We start class, which lasts an hour and fifteen minutes or an hour and a half, and that’s to warm up the body and maintain continual training. We have to maintain fitness within the classical realm.

11 AM-4 PM: We begin five hours of rehearsal. It doesn’t always mean were in every hour of that rehearsal, it might be broken up into two hours of one day and then three hours of some other show that we’re working on.



#15 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

C.C. Conner Jr., managing director of Houston Ballet, is retiring.

While Conner officially hands the reins to James Nelson in February, don't expect the long-time ballet boss to be sipping Mai Tais in Tahiti and sending postcards our way. Conner still plans to assist his ballet baby with fund-raising.




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