While Polunin was granted special permission to dance at Sadler's Wells last weekend, when he appeared in Men in Motion by another former Royal Ballet principal Ivan Putrov, his scheduled performance at the English National Ballet's gala evening at the Coliseum next month will not take place without special dispensation. The company is working to resolve the issue and artistic director Wayne Eagling has spoken of offering the dancer, previously tipped as a successor to Rudolf Nureyev, a more permanent position with the English National Ballet.
Thursday, February 2
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:24 AM
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:26 AM
The engagement opens on June 12 and 13 with Infinity, an all-Australian triple bill. First up is Luminous, a multimedia retrospective coupled with a diverse selection of pas de deux that will showcase the company’s rich history, followed by Wayne McGregor’s Dyad 1929 (created on The Australian Ballet’s dancers in 2009). The final piece, Warumuk – in the dark night, is a new work in collaboration with Indigenous dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre, choreographed by Bangarra’s artistic director Stephen Page. Featuring a mix of dancers from The Australian Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre, this work combines Western ballet with the spirituality of Indigenous dance.
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:30 AM
All the buzz was for "Viscera," Scarlett's first work for an American ballet company, and his reputation is deserved. Done in bookend ensembles with a central pas deux, it's a blend of classical tradition from British ballet, the asymmetrical floor work of American ballet and some jazzy ripples thrown in at the right moment.
But watch closely; there are no refrains here. Every scene is inventive and energetic, even when it is the slow progression of one body over another, such as Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg's constantly changing balance points atop partner Carlos Miguel Guerra. Similarly, during the opening section, Jeanette Delgado is hoisted by two males and quickly drops into a splits in mid air.
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:36 AM
Ashton's Shakespeare-inspired comedy is a meditation on love; coloured in shades of fantasy and tenderness, it features some of the most quirkily beautiful choreography Ashton created. MacMillan's epic meditation on mortality brings the darkest places of the choreographer's imagination into luminous clarity. In one evening, we're given the ballet equivalent of a wedding and a funeral, and the breadth is exhilarating.
McRae was already down to dance Oberon this season. Over the past year, he and Polunin have often been cast in the same roles, giving the company’s two young virtuosos a chance to outdo each other. It must be a weird way to make your debut in an already challenging role, but McRae is superb.
The Evening Standard
The wit is more severely rationed in Kenneth MacMillan's Song of the Earth, which is perhaps why this double bill felt so unbalanced even though the second half is barely 10 minutes longer than the first. Nevertheless, there was a general audience chuckle during the third of Mahler's songs ("Of Youth"), when Sarah Lamb, after getting swung through the air by four lads who then rotate her like a ferris wheel, skips as light as a carousel prancer straight into the arms of death.
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:38 AM
Carlos Acosta outshone himself in that role on opening night. Now in his late thirties, the Cuban star is no longer at his virtuoso peak, but his professionalism and artistry more than compensated for any small loss of form. Tamara Rojo as the Woman was equally impressive, solemn in expression and serious in intent. Rupert Pennefather made his debut as the Man, and gave a performance noteworthy for its composure and gentleness, although, perhaps inevitably, he made less of an impression alongside Acosta’s megawatt charisma.
The Arts Desk
Oberon in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream was the hurdle at which the ferociously promising young Sergei Polunin refused when he quit the Royal Ballet last week, and whether it was the deceptive complexity and difficulty of it that caused his sudden exit, last night’s opening gave his replacement, the brilliant Steven McRae, such a run for his money that it wouldn’t be surprising if the role had indeed left Polunin in a blue funk.
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:40 AM
The Royal Ballet’s director, the classical choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, then commissioned van Dantzig to create The Ropes of Time for Nureyev and Monica Mason (the Royal Ballet’s present director). The piece had Nureyev as an existential traveller writhing in pas de deux with Death and Life (Mason and Diana Vere). Originally the Life figure was intended to be the Royal Ballet’s star ballerina Antoinette Sibley, but she fell into depression as she tried to master the different plastique and withdrew.
Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:41 AM
Côté told Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning Thursday that the video is intended to catch the dancer ‘in the moment’, unencumbered by costume or set. He said it shows the physical nature of the dance and how dancers make complicated, strenuous moves look simple and smooth.
Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:35 AM
How did a new cast of principals change "DGV" from the company’s premiere performance of the piece on Saturday? Why is it that I always forget how lusciously satisfying "Tarantella" can be until I see Ashley Bouder perform it? How did several young dancers fare in their debuts in Robbins’s "Interplay," and how were they led by their more seasoned colleagues? And how many more chances will there be to see the great Wendy Whelan perform twice in one evening?
Robbins’s "In Memory of ..." (1985), an extended, pathos-laden death scene that seems longer every time, is not a ballet I’m keen to keep watching. But it’s worth it to see what Ms. Whelan makes of the central role: how she resists then gives into, then once more struggles against her fate (danced with menacing finesse by Ask la Cour; Jared Angle was Ms. Whelan’s earlier, courtly partner).
Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:37 AM
“Eleanor Rigby” also marks the final Corvallis performance by Jennifer Martin (also dancing to “Yer Blues”), an 18-year Eugene Ballet Company veteran who’s retiring after this season to take a more prominent role backstage. “Many audience members have come to know Jennifer and love her work,” Pimble said. “She will be missed. She’s very valuable to me.”
“All You Need Is Love” features 19 pieces in all, with songs prerecorded by Portland’s Nowhere Band. It’s preceded by “Concerto Grosso,” set to the music of Ernest Bloch, the legendary Swiss-born composer (1880-1959) who retired to the Oregon coast in 1941 and whose house still stands atop a high bluff over Agate Beach.
Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:40 AM
Ballet megastar Anna-Marie Holmes was in Salt Lake City last week to stage one of the hallmarks of classical ballet, “Don Quixote,” for Ballet West. In 1962, Holmes became the first ballerina from the West to jeté past the Iron Curtain and dance with the Kirov Ballet. “All great ballet companies should have a ‘Swan Lake,’ a ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ a ‘Giselle’ and a ‘Don Q,’ ” Holmes insists.
Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:41 AM
You would have to search long and hard for an ugly photo of either Carla Körbes or Karel Cruz. Finding an unflattering photo, film clip, or an awkward moment of the two of them together is impossible. You might as well be fighting windmills. Is there a more sublimely regal presence on stage than Carla? Watching Karel leap as if only the ceiling of Pacific Northwest Ballet's rehearsal studio is his limit and land as if he were made of cotton is astounding. The two of them dance the leads in the American premiere of Alexei Ratmanski's Don Quixote and they along with the rest of the company are not to be missed.
Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:15 PM
....What we see of Joffrey’s own ballets, like “Astarte” and “Gamelan,” shows a choreographer more interested in spectacle and engagement with his times than with real innovation or form. But the liveliness and eclecticism of the company speaks to a greater connection to the culture at large than at either ABT or NYCB. And some of the dancers, especially Gary Chryst—who played the Chinese Conjurer in “Parade” and the Profiteer in “The Green Table”– come across as electric, utterly unique performers. It is difficult to imagine them in any other company.
....Violette Verdy, in particular, is able to articulate the most subtle detail, as when she distinguishes between two swoons in a pas de deux from “Liebeslieder Waltzer”: in the first one, she tells the ballerina that the woman “fait semblant d’être soumise” (pretends to be submissive), while in the second, “je crois que c’est du vrai” (I think it’s for real). In explaining a passage from “Sonatine,” with music by Ravel, she tells the ballerina that a certain, playful moment, is “très Ginger et Fred.” It changes the quality of the movement completely, makes it more free, less effete.....
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