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Monday, March 19


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#1 dirac

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:54 AM

A preview of the 3D broadcast of Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake," with Southern California locations and times.

Bourne is said to be pleased with this 3-D film, starring principal dancers Richard Winsor and Nina Goldman, which was recorded at Sadler’s Wells in 2011. Cast with threatening male swans, the high-intensity ballet (glimpsed at the end of the film “Billy Elliot”) features camerawork shot from above and below that is said to capture and enhance stage patterns, momentum and the ballet's menacing tone.



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

Reviews of Northern Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty."

Herald Scotland

It's in the details of the design, the live orchestral music – an astute mix of Saint-Saens, Bizet, Debussy, Poulenc and Glazunov – that creates a telling mood-scape, and it's in the nuances of Nixon's choreography, especially in the pas-de-deux that reflect the leading couple's evolving rapport.

His narrative opens in a mirrored hall with the narcissistic Prince Orion (Tobias Batley) obsessing over his own good looks. Vanity, it seems, will prove to be the inner ugliness that brings out the Beast (Benjamin Mitchell) in him.


Edinburgh Evening News

The dancers are clad in costumes that accentuate form and narrative, fairy La Fée Luminaire floats about the stage in much the same way that one might imagine that Rolls Royce’s hood ornament the Spirit of Ecstasy to do if she were real, the Beast is a roving mix of tortured Wolverine and giddy Mr Tumnus. Beauty, a beguilingly nimble Pippa Moore, retains her character’s modest, simple styling even when clad in finery. Nixon is at his best exploring the vanity and foolishness of his characters, Prince Orian and Beauty’s sisters are ripe for ridicule and their vapid entourages provides much comic relief.



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

The Telegraph

It is still, inevitably, at the mercy of its source material’s episodic structure, and its creator Christopher Wheeldon as ever seems a talented choreographer who has yet to find a distinctive “voice”. But this is nevertheless a craftsmanlike piece of dance and great, giddy, fun for young and old, and Wheeldon has now altered it intelligently, too.


The Independent

Created in 2011, when it was an immediate hit, Wheeldon’s Alice wrestles to create a coherent plot from Carroll’s surreal progression of incidents. Nicholas Wright’s scenario starts with an Oxford party held by Alice’s parents. The guests then turn up in the Wonderland of her dream. Lewis Carroll becomes the White Rabbit; the gardener’s boy Jack becomes the Knave of Hearts; Alice’s own overbearing mother becomes a monstrous Queen of Hearts. Wright and Wheeldon add real-life counterparts for every major character, until the stage is distractingly crowded.



#4 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:43 AM

An AP article on the transmission of Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" in 3D.

For Bourne, whose 1996 "Swan Lake" was a hit on Broadway and in London's West End and has toured the world on and off ever since, the prospect of a third dimension was at first daunting, but ultimately very exciting.

"The astonishing thing about the 3-D is that it gives a sense of space," the British choreographer said in an interview from London. "Suddenly you can feel the space between people. It's quite special — so much better than I thought."



#5 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

A Q&A with Nina Goldman, who plays the Queen in the 3D broadcast.

PC: You shine in your big dance roles though - in Stroman’s CONTACT and your work with Matthew Bourne, especially. How did you get involved with the theatre scene in the first place?

NG: Well, you know, I grew up in New York City and I was very, very fortunate that, while working at the American Ballet Theatre, I also had the opportunity to study with the American Dance Machine under Lee Theodore. So, I got some great foundation for musical theatre training. The company is no longer around, but - just like American Ballet Theatre - it felt that its purpose was to resurrect and maintain great musical theatre numbers. So, training there, you learned Jack Cole and the Charleston and the Lindy and all of these different choreographic vocabularies. So, given that foundation, I chose shows with a strong dance component, but, also, shows where I didn’t have to rise up and sing too much.



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:49 AM

Cutbacks at Ballet San Antonio, including layoffs.

The company started incurring debt for the first time last fall following its outstanding but expensive original production of "Dracula." But it was the relatively poor tickets sales for the February staging of "Coppelia" that prompted the board to act. Only about 800 tickets were sold.

As a cost-cutting measure, the last show of the current season, the spring showcase of new choreography titled "Off Center," has been moved from the large, high-rent Lila Cockrell Theatre to the smaller, more affordable Carver Community Cultural Center. It has also been scaled down from two performances to a single outing on Sunday.



#7 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

Utah Regional Ballet presents "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Ballet giants Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton and John Neumeier are the yardstick by which all other "Midsummer’s" are measured. But Colledge said it was the work of Ballet West founder Willam F. Christensen in combination with the eloquence of the original language that inspired her as she was creating this version.

"I went directly back to Shakespeare’s words so I wouldn’t be too influenced by those very well-known interpretations," Colledge said. "But in depicting character and creating a sense of drama, I really felt the hand of Mr. Christensen."



#8 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:02 AM

Reviews of Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The Seattle Times

Pacific Northwest Ballet's latest collection of contemporary premieres, showing in a program entitled "New Works," is an evening of interesting dance that doesn't entirely click as a whole. Each work has moments of real beauty and power; each showcases talents of both choreographer and dancers; each might have shone a little more brightly in a different setting....


The SunBreak

PNB’s New Works programs, under Peter Boal, don’t always create storms of applause–though this one did on Saturday night–but they represent the company’s most direct attempts to help audiences encounter ballet as a living art form: taking risks, exploring alternative paths, giving new choreographers a chance at the spotlight. This time around, New Works (through March 24 at McCaw Hall) presents Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Victor Quijada, and David Dawson–though the specter of William Forsythe is also present.



#9 dirac

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:31 PM

A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet by Alice Kaderlan for Crosscut. Hat tip to sandik for forwarding the link.

The program opened with David Dawson’s whirlwind “A Million Kisses to My Skin” which Dawson created in 2000 in a farewell to his performing career. Dawson was just 27 at the time and “A Million Kisses” was his first full-blown ballet, a combination of facts that almost defies belief given its sophistication in structure, musicality and intricacy. Dawson has said he wanted to accomplish two things with the work — to pay tribute to what he had learned as a classical ballet dancer and to capture the joy of dancing that drives every professional performer. He easily succeeds on both counts.



#10 dirac

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 09:44 PM

An obituary for Cris Alexander, photographer, actor, and lover, latterly husband, of Shaun O'Brien, who has died at age 92.

Mr. Alexander later embarked on a second career as a celebrity photographer. For many years, he was the official photographer of the New York City Ballet. He was also chief photographer at Interview magazine for a time. Using posed pictures of models in costume, he contributed photographs to Patrick Dennis' fictional autobiographies "Little Me" and "First Lady."



#11 dirac

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet's "New Works" program by Marcie Sillman for ArtDish. (Thanks to sandik for sending in the link!)

Although PNB’s version of Cylindrical Shadows is essentially the same dance presented by Whim W’him in early 2011, it diverges in a couple of ways. First, choreographer Lopez Ochoa has expanded the piece, adding several dancers to the mix. Although Lucien Postelwaite and Andrew Bartee were in the original cast, this Shadows has a very different feel with the new PNB cast members. In particular, the opening scene of the original version felt sharper, the movements more precise. PNB’s Shadows is less staccato, more mellifluous. Nevertheless, the work still packed an emotional punch.




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