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Thursday, January 26


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#1 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:23 AM

Poluninapalooza continues.

The Guardian

When I interviewed Sergei Polunin just before Christmas I certainly got no sense that he was about to do a runner from the Royal Ballet – yet there were some comments, even then, that stuck me as odd. We were in discussion with Ivan Putrov about the changing profile of men in ballet and Putrov was talking with passion about his desire to extend his career well beyond his 40s, and well beyond the role of classical princes. "Dance is dance," said Putrov happily. "I love it." Yet when he turned to Polunin for agreement, the latter simply laughed and said: "I want to retire when I'm 28."


Associated Press

And Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House -- home of the Royal Ballet -- appeared to leave the door open to a return.

"I think we've just got to support him -- he deserves that -- through his thinking at the moment about his life," Hall told Channel 4 News. "The pressures on him are of course enormous."


The Independent

One ballet insider said: "This is really unexpected and it is really quite shocking, he was ballet's boy wonder and a remarkable dancer." They added: "In career terms, it doesn't sound like a brilliant decision. He was given a lot of backing by the Royal Ballet and he was their biggest star."

It is believed that Polunin had become frustrated that his performances at the Royal Ballet meant he could not accept guest invitations with the American Ballet Theatre and in Russia, but there was no clue as to what triggered his departure.



#2 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:26 AM

Ballet Theatre of Maryland lose a bet with Boston Ballet after the Ravens lose to the Patriots in the AFC championship game.

The wager was that the ballet associated with the losing team would have to post a video to the Internet of the entire company announcing, "We love the ..." As it turned out, the Ballet Theatre of Maryland dancers were the ones to swallow their pride and declare their "love" for the Patriots.

Also, as part of the bet, the losing company's artistic director had to wear the other team's jersey.



#3 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:30 AM

A preview of Miami City Ballet in "Viscera" by Harriet Howard Heithaus for The Naples Daily News.

"This company excels beyond everything I thought could be done. They are open to anything," said Scarlett several days after the premiere, which his own company's new artistic director came to see in Miami.

"Working with Jeanette Delgado (the soloist in 'Viscera") was wonderful. She is one of most fantastic dancers in any company," he added. Scarlett recalled one rehearsal during which Delgado came to him, insisting that she wasn't correctly creating the move he intended.....



#4 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

The State Ballet of Russia brings "Romeo and Juliet" to Chicago.

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia, featuring 65 dancers, was founded in 1961 as the Voronezh State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Lyudmila Sycheva acts as artistic director of the company while Igor Nepomnyashchy is the director.



#5 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

A review of San Francisco Ballet's gala by Paul Parish in The Bay Area Reporter.

The curtain rose on a heavenly vision – or at least, heavenly to a gay man – the sight of young men flying, soaring, cavorting with each other like kids on skateboards, getting air-time, showing style, flourishing their talents, while dancing the strictest and most difficult steps in the ballet canon, in the "Gavotte" from Yuri Possokhov's Classical Symphony. SFB is a man's company –every guy in the troupe could dance Apollo, as Jacques d'Amboise said years ago when he came to set Balanchine's great ballet......



#6 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:06 AM

Northern Ballet dancers talk food.

“I don’t know any dancers that go on fad diets like cutting out carbs,” says Dreda. “We need carbohydrate to keep our energy levels up. If we don’t eat well we can’t concentrate and can get injured. We want to dance for as long as possible. Our jobs depend on eating well.”

Matthew Broadbent, 21 and Anglo-Dutch agrees. “Men need carbs. If our bodies run out of energy, muscle is broken down and we lose strength. There would be no act three if I didn’t eat carbs. I would run out of energy.”



#7 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:09 AM

The significance of Sergei Polunin's tattoos is pondered by Stephen Bayley in The Telegraph's blog.

Tattoos transmit powerful, if crude, signals about self and group identity. This is one reason why they are so often favoured by crims and gangs. And a reason it is startlingly incongruous that a sensitive primo uomo is decorated like an unrepentant Gulag lifer. Indeed, a popular publication among amateurs of low-life has recently been the three volume series published by Steidl called Russian Criminal Tattoos: a more compelling catalogue of depravity cannot be found. That the graphic language of tattoos is functionally limited, does not diminish their power to offend.



#8 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

A brief video clip of American Ballet Theatre in "La Bayadere."

In this clip from Natalia Makarova's staging of Marius Petipa's great Russian classic La Bayadere, the ballet features the famed vision of the "Kingdom of the Shades," showcasing the corps de ballet in gossamer white tutus, filling the stage in unison, as sublime as spirits arriving from the afterlife.



#9 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:53 PM

A review by Robert Everett-Green of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's performance of "The Miraculous Mandarin" in The Globe and Mail.

Choreographed productions of that dance-pantomime from 1926 are rare. The music is a wonderfully prickly bundle of sensuality and aggression. It's also very difficult to play. You've really got to be committed to the piece to bring it off, and to carry an audience with you.

The TSO and the young American conductor James Gaffigan took on the challenge this week, and rewarded a somewhat sparse audience on Thursday with more thrills than a ride through a house of horrors – which is what Menyhert Lengyel's libretto more or less describes. No major composer has chosen a more sordid tale for a ballet.



#10 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:56 PM

A story on the previously reported discovery of a missing bassoon line for Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye.

Though the "Mother Goose" manuscript contains more errors than any other manuscript he's ever worked with, Orenstein says he doesn't criticize Ravel. Ravel had his mind on the new ballet he'd already begun composing, "Daphnis et Chloë," the manuscript of which is also housed at the Ransom Center. On top of that, Stravinsky was composing what would become his seminal ballet "The Rite of Spring" and playing it for Ravel.

"All of these exciting things are happening. He just may not have given his fullest attention to 'Mother Goose,'" Orenstein said. "It's a battle for perfection which you can never win. Ravel said the same thing: 'My goal is technical perfection. I can strive unceasingly, but I know I'll never be able to achieve it.'"



#11 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:58 PM

Sylvie Guillem will perform at the Joyce.

Ms. Guillem stars in this new evening featuring the work by three choreographers: Mats Ek, William Forsythe and Jirí Kylián.

About the show: 6000 miles away, a reference to last spring’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, features iconic dance-maker William Forsythe’snew duet, Rearray, for Ms. Guillem and Teatro alla Scala Ballet étoile Massimo Murru. Acclaimed Swedish choreographer Mats Ek will contribute a solo, Bye, for Guillem, set to Beethoven’s last piano sonata. Completing the evening is a duet from Kylián’s work 27’52,” performed by dancers handpicked by him.



#12 dirac

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 03:05 PM

A preview of Houston Ballet's Cinderella.

Ms. Fote continues, "One of the challenges for me in this version of Cinderella is that she is a tomboy where I am naturally more feminine. In order to make this believable I need to pay extra special attention to my walk and mannerisms, as they are definitely not second nature. Also, I am fighting with my step-sisters, who are played by men in our company. Although a lot of it is acting, the fight scenes take a tremendous amount of strength in order to make them look real."

The music of Serge Prokofiev's famous score for Cinderella inspired Mr. Welch to choreograph the ballet. "I first fell in love with Cinderella through its music. I was able to find a story of my own through the Prokofiev score, without seeing a ballet version until much later," he observed.



#13 dirac

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:57 AM

A review of "Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance" by Sarah Kaufman in The Washington Post.

Archival footage is somewhat spotty — sadly, there’s not much of Joffrey’s professional and romantic partner Gerald Arpino, either as a dancer or as the company director after Joffrey’s death from AIDS in 1988. Mostly, the film is a colorful, fast-paced tribute to founder Joffrey and his wish to create a truly American entity: a modern-leaning ballet company.

Not for him, the Old World standards — the “Swan Lakes” and “Sleeping Beauties.” When he did turn to Europe, it was to dig up its avant-garde. And so the troupe that danced the sexy “Astarte” also revived the surreal, cubist “Parade” of 1917, a Ballets Russes stunner with costumes by Picasso, libretto by Jean Cocteau, music by Erik Satie that calls for typewriters and sirens and choreography by Leonide Massine.



#14 dirac

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:01 PM

A preview of Miami City Ballet in Liam Scarlett's "Viscera" by Jan Sjostrom in The Palm Beach Daily News.

The choreographer also designed the costumes — sleek dark red, blue and black leotards with low backs that expose the dancers’ movements.

The completed work more than measured up to Villella’s expectations. “I did not see just potential,” he said. “I saw a fully executed concept.”

#15 dirac

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

Orlando Ballet will hold another of its "Uncorked!" series of events. Item in brief.

Hill will also discuss why he chose to integrate classical ballet movements with famous rock anthems of the '60s and European techno music. Additionally, patrons will get a look at "the making of a male ballet dancer," in anticipation of the opening of the Broadway touring production of "Billy Elliot" in February, featuring Orlando Ballet School dancers Blake Kessler, Arcadian Broad and Austen Acevedo

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