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Friday, March 2


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#1 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:13 AM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.

While very different from Liam Scarlett’s Viscera, the other world premiere MCB commissioned and presented this season, Symphonic Dances shares two attributes with that work. One is the sheer speed and density of the choreography — call it classical ballet 3.0. The other is the way Ratmansky brings out new facets of the company, whether from individual dancers — particularly striking in lead performances by two young Brazilians, a powerful, liberated Kleber Rebello and an impish, dynamic Nathalia Arja — or in the free-flowing physicality and emotion expressed by the company as a whole. That’s one of the almost incalculable benefits of having a ballet made for your company: You don’t need to fit into the dance; the dance fits you.


Jeff Haller's review for ConcertoNet.com.


Ratmansky gives us three separate narrative ballets. The first and third seem to have common themes and characters; the second has a more traditionally romantic story. Upon first viewing it doesn’t seem altogether clear how they are related. But the choreography is very fluid and will strike most as traditionally classical. Like Liam Scarlett’s Viscera which premiered in January, Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances will have a long life. It was clear that the audience’s enthusiastic response was genuine. This is a work that aims high; there is tremendous beauty but it is the cerebral exercise that keeps us engrossed. Ratmansky encourages us to use our imaginations.



#2 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:19 AM

A story on the Segerstrom Center's lineup for its 2012-13 season.

"The Little Mermaid," an updated dance adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story choreographed and directed by John Neumeier for the Hamburg Ballet, will have its local debut. The company's last visit was in 2007 when it presented "Death in Venice."

The Trey McIntyre Project will unveil a new piece commissioned by the center. The work will be a site-specific piece that brings together American and Asian dance influences. Two Russian companies -- the Mariinsky and Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg -- round out the dance schedule.



#3 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:22 AM

The Yuri Grigorovich Theatre of Ballet performs next week.

The Grigorovich Ballet's "Legends of Russian Ballet" program is part of its "65 Years of Choreography" tour and marks the troupe's first tour of the United States in 10 years. The program features scenes from "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Scheherazade," "Don Quixote" and "Spring Water."



#4 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

Russian viewers will be able to see the Bolshoi Ballet live on YouTube.

Live broadcasts of the Bolshoi ballets have been on in 300 cinema houses in 22 countries since March 2010 but ironically, Russia was not on the list.

YouTube users will be able to see the ballet Le Corsaire on its premiere night.



#5 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:36 AM

A review of Ballet Black by Zoe Anderson in The Independent.

Now eleven years old, Ballet Black has a confidence and spark. Initially founded to promote black dancers in classical ballet, the company has become an end in itself. This is a taut evening of new work by rising and established choreographers, fluently staged and danced.

The main event, Christopher Hampson's Storyville, is a mixed bag, with some stylish dancing and very predictable plotting. Hampson, a British choreographer who has spent much of his career abroad, becomes director of Scottish Ballet this summer. With Storyville, he uses a small cast to evoke a period and place, the New Orleans red light district in 1915.


Review by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.

Ballet Black may have been founded as a platform for black and Asian classical dancers, but you have to love it, too, for the opportunities it gives to choreographers. Martin Lawrance is primarily a creator of modern dance, yet in his second commissioned work for Black Ballet, he uses classical vocabulary to create what may be his best work to date. Captured is an erotic, angry chamber piece set to Shostakovich's 11th String Quartet. And the fiery emotion that flares across its music galvanises both Lawrance and his four dancers.



#6 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

A preview of the Vancouver International Dance Festival.

Bringing together the different dance traditions of butoh and ballet, the festival starts this evening with Alonzo King LINES Ballet at the Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts. All other performances take place at The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre.



#7 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:41 AM

Reviews of the Birmingham Royal Ballet in an Ashton double bill.

Daily Express

That is the simple story of The Two Pigeons, a 17th-century French fable. In the hands of Frederick Ashton, who made it into a two-act ballet in 1961, it becomes a soaring, heartrending romance of almost-lost love.

Updated to 19th-century Paris, where a Young Man (Robert Parker) is trying to paint a portrait of a fidgety Young Girl (Nao Sakuma), it captivates from the start.


Lichfield Live

Set in ancient Greece and filled with references to ancient Greek dance, this is a tale of a young man (Iain Mackay) who falls in love with Chloe (Elisha Willis) who is captured by pirates but returned safely to her lover thanks to the intervention of the god Pan. Sadly the Mackay/Willis partnership never really caught fire, he not ballet’s greatest actor and she often seeming a coldish fish in this anodyne exploration of a preposterous tale. Despite Ravel’s sumptuous score full of mystery and magic the whole thing came over as silly and rather camp. As an homage to Royal Ballet history it may deserve an occasional airing but the muted audience response to this nearly-hour long piece proved it had missed its mark.



#8 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

Larry Keigwin talks about his new work for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

"The music came first. It anchors and moulds the work. When we moved into the studio, I shared my ideas with the dancers. We worked together to ensure that they were comfortable in creating the work. There is a certain 'New York' style at play here; a slightly Mad Men quality which emerges with other influences ranging from Andy Warhol to Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. These are fairy tales for the contemporary world."

The work joins Benjamin Millepied's 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini and George Balanchine's iconic Who Cares?, in a dance collation inspired by the spirit of the Big Apple. The brainchild of RNZB artistic director, Ethan Stiefel, the season opened in Auckland last night before beginning the national tour which sees it performing at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre on March 14 and 15.



#9 dirac

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

A review of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance by Michael Crabb in The Toronto Star.

Yet nothing can quite prepare you for the impact of McGregor’s own London-based troupe, Random Dance, performing his 2008 work Entity. The yelps, whoops and ecstatic applause at Tuesday’s Harbourfront opening confirmed that.

In the course of an intermissionless hour, McGregor’s 10-member, gender-balanced cast takes us on an analytical journey through the human body, exploring in precise, sometimes almost painful detail, its capacity for articulation, flexibility and speed.



#10 dirac

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

A review of Ballet Black by Clifford Bishop in The Evening Standard.

Cassa Pancho set up Ballet Black 11 years ago to tackle these prejudices, and has obviously made progress. Becoming a Royal Opera House Associate Company was a coup, and opening a season with four newly commissioned dances is remarkable for such a small troupe — it works out at more than half a ballet each.

Mystifyingly, though, the company is only scheduled for 25 performances this year. Two seasons ago they were struggling to reach double figures — understandable if Ballet Black were just a piece of PC tokenism but Pancho has developed a professional, accomplished outfit, and in Damien Johnson and Cira Robinson she has a couple whose charisma and sex appeal should be able to draw crowds to any stage in the country.



#11 dirac

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:19 PM

An appreciation of Shaun O'Brien by Joseph Dalton in The Albany Times Union.

"When I first met Shaun I was a kid and he was doing Drosselmeier and he showed me how to do the makeup," recalls David Otto, another retired City Ballet dancer and director of Saratoga Ballet Academy. "Every time I saw him he was smiling and happy. I don't remember him ever being in a bad mood or complaining. His was a gentle Drosselmeier who didn't come across as scary to the children but as a quirky old man. I'm sure he put something of himself into the role."

Robert Maiorano, also a retired City Ballet dancer and Saratoga resident, fondly remembers dancing a brief soft-shoe duo with O'Brien in Jerome Robbins' "Fanfare." At the time O'Brien was the company's oldest member and Maiorano its youngest. Grateful for O'Brien's friendship, Maiorano was also impressed by his gifts as a raconteur.



#12 dirac

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:26 PM

A preview of the third annual Olympia Dance Festival.

Actually, he forgot the belly dancing. Groups participating – each offering one or two dances for a total of up to 10 minutes – are Ballet Northwest, Debbi's Dance Etc., Johansen Olympia Dance Center, Mas Uda Middle Eastern Dancers, Radco (Random Acts of Dance Collective), Slieveloughane Irish Dancers, Southwest Washington Dance Ensemble, and Studio West Dance Theatre.

The African dance, "Two Voices," will be performed by Ballet Northwest. It is choreographed by Joanne Holbrook, who teaches at Johansen Dance Center and is from South Africa.



#13 dirac

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:29 PM

Mobile Ballet wraps up its season with Swan Lake.

“Other ballets are open to interpretation and I can change my choreography to match whatever dancers we have on hand,” he says, “but with ‘Swan Lake’ you can’t do that -- you can, but you really shouldn’t. Let me put it that way.”

Corey, artistic director for Mobile Ballet, should have all the requisite components for a successful staging of the Marius Petipa classic, including a strong corps de ballet and one of his own protegées, Kathryn Morgan, in the dual role of Odette/Odile.




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