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Wednesday, February 15


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#1 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:27 AM

Kimberly Cowen is retiring from Kansas City Ballet.

Cowen, a native of St. Louis, said her association with the Kansas City Ballet began when she was a child. In those days the company was called the State Ballet of Missouri and would perform both in Kansas City and St. Louis.

They had a summer program, and they came and performed ‘The Nutcracker’ every year,” she said. “So when I was a kid I enrolled in their summer program in St. Louis and there I met Mr. (Todd) Bolender and he showed an interest in me right away. I believe I was 12 at the time. And then I also did ‘The Nutcracker’ in St. Louis as a student. And then I came to Kansas City for spring break one year and I took classes at the school.”



#2 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

The Trocks perform this weekend.

That will come Saturday, when Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male ballet company, performs at Wharton Center. The program opens with “Swan Lake” Act II and also includes another ballet classic,” Le Grand Pas de Quatre.” This work dates back to 1845, when four of Europe’s most illustrious ballerinas agreed to appear together for just four performances.



#3 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

Ballet Austin presents its fourth biennial "New American Talent/Dance" competition.

Not only does the program consist of a trio of world premiere pieces choreographed by top up-and-coming dance artists, following the performances the audience is invited to cast their votes for their favorite of the three via text message. A panel of experts will also be voting, and altogether over $20,000 in cash will be awarded. Find out more about the jurors and competitors here.



#4 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:36 AM

The National Ballet of Cuba presents "Don Quixote" in Vancouver.

“Culture is very important, and it’s at the level of the people; taking part is something everyone is encouraged to do,” Valdés says in a phone interview during a tour stop in Victoria. “Everyone who wants to see the ballet can afford a ticket; it’s about 50 cents or a dollar for a ticket. Shows are sold out, and the audiences in Cuba are really knowledgeable. They’re demanding but they appreciate every detail.

“It’s not only about work and routine every day then going home to take dinner,” Valdés adds in heavily accented English. “It’s about having a life, to have those feelings that you experience when you watch a live performance. You can grow up that way; you can dream. It’s not just ballet; it’s music, painting… The arts are very popular here.”



#5 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:41 AM

Q&A with Suzanne Farrell.

SD: You’ve described the process of developing the dances Balanchine created for you as “whipping up this dust, and after hours and days, it becomes a ballet.” Were you aware, in those moments, that you were making history?

SF: When Mr. B started working on a ballet for me, there would be no one in the room except Gordon Boelzner at the piano, George and myself. He would show me a little something and I would try to imitate or shape or decode what he indicated.

Choreography is not born as choreography; it grows out of a suggestion and then it gets shaped into choreography. Rarely would he say, “That’s not what I wanted.” Our collaboration was very special and filled with trust. He would put the ball in my court and allow me to run with it. Sometimes he would have a mistake become part of the choreography — not that every mistake can be put to music and become beautiful, but he made us see life differently.



#6 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:43 AM

A Russia Today story on the Mikhailovsky Theater's canceled New York season.

The contracts include a no-competition clause applied to both dancers, barring them from performing with other ballet companies anywhere near ABT’s shows. Ironically enough, Mikhailovsky’s summer 2012 tour was meant to pass through Manhattan's Lincoln Center – just around the corner from the New York Metropolitan Opera, which is scheduled to host ABT’s performances at about the same time.

The decision to bar Osipova and Vasiliev from performing with Mikhailovsky in New York reportedly came from ABT’s Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Both the dancers’ agent and Mikhailovsky’s tour organizer Sergey Danilyan were aware of the no-compete clause, yet somehow expected the ABT to be "friendly.”



#7 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:44 AM

A preview of Alberta Ballet's "Cinderella" by Bob Clark in The Calgary Herald.

As well, having the prominent American choreographer and classical guru Kirk Peterson in Calgary on numerous occasions during recent seasons to create Alberta Bal-let's Sleeping Beauty in 2010 (and this spring, a new Swan Lake) has done wonders in teaching him how to make narrative ballet stylized, yet still natural, Grand-Maitre says.

It all adds up to a new self-assurance that has resulted in a trans-formed Cinderella. "And this time, I've got stronger dancers."

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#8 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:14 PM

An appreciation of Zina Bethune.

Just last Friday, Zina called me regarding collaborating with her to develop a new warehouse performance space in NoHo. Her determination and excitement for this project was contagious. I have known Zina for 12 years and during that time I continued to be in awe of her loving nature, talent and desire to bring art into everyone's world. Zina has touched the lives of thousands and thousands of people. She was a beautiful prima ballerina who took her talent and shared it with the world.



#9 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

A review of Atlanta Ballet in "The Princess and the Goblin" by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.

Feet and footwear figure in both MacDonald's story and Ms. Tharp's dance. Young Irene is the ballet's central force, and Atlanta Ballet dancer Alessa Rogers's impressively long, arched and pliant feet make the 24-year-old's presence in the role extra vivid. The pointe shoes she acquires as a result of her contact with Great-Great-Grandmother Irene (a somewhat one-note Christine Winkler) lead her to rescue the kidnapped youngsters from the barefoot goblins. Finally, Irene returns everyone home, where she leads the rescued children and formerly fatuous adults into a realm of formally patterned harmony and soaring spirits. While Don Holder's sensitive lighting enriches the stage pictures, it's too bad it couldn't somehow pinpoint and highlight the foot focus of Ms. Tharp's dramatic action.



#10 dirac

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

A review of New York City Ballet in "Romeo + Juliet" by Howard Kissel for The Huffington Post.

Martins' choreography is essentially straightforward. He delivers the moments of passion as well as the abundant moments of wit skilllfully if not with great force. Not surprisingly, some of his best and most vigorous steps are for the subsidiary male characters -- Tybalt, Mercutio and Benvolio. These roles were danced with great abandon and finesse by Gonzalo Garcia, Daniel Ulbricht and Antonio Carmena.

Martins made the piece in 2007 on Sterling Hyltin as Juliet and Robert Fairchild as Romeo, who repeat their roles here. The body of the very slim Hyltin still suggests an adolescent (in the play she is 14.) This helps her convey the sense of a youth carried away by things beyond her comprehension. This emotional vulnerability underlines her elegant dancing.



#11 dirac

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Seven members resign abruptly from the board of Charleston Ballet Theatre.

Whitley, Fava, and Votaw were part of a sub-committee focused on giving dancers a chance to express their concerns and discuss ideas as to how to improve the company. The formation of the group was inspired by the October City Paper cover story about alleged mismanagement and the improper use of copyrighted material by CBT choreographers. According to an e-mail sent to some CBT dancers by the sub-committee, the three board members interviewed company members and provided some suggestions to the board, including a summary of health and safety concerns and contract and ethical issues. They also recommended the drafting of a dancer's bill of rights to ensure everyone's protection and to create a clear grievance procedure.



#12 dirac

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

Holly Brubach is displeased with the new biographical novel about Tanaquil Le Clercq in The New York Times Style magazine.

O’Connor’s book confines itself to their 16-year marriage, and though the author’s note suggests that she never met her protagonists, she has clearly done her homework — consulting the archives, familiarizing herself with the repertory, collecting details about the décor of their Upper West Side apartment and the arrangement of the furniture in their house in Weston, Conn. More surprising than the things “The Master’s Muse” gets wrong (some of them major plot points) are the things it gets right — if “right” and “wrong” can be said to apply to a form that grants the author zero accountability.




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