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Monday, March 26


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#1 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

Reviews of San Francisco Ballet.

The San Francisco Chronicle

This 1966 version of "Raymonda" also interpolates three solos from the first and second acts of the ballet that were new to San Francisco Ballet's stage. In the first, Van Patten gave charm to a controlled series of releves on pointe, while in the second Chung hurtled confidently through light jumps, and in the third, Zahorian took on fiendishly difficult turns and balances with aplomb. In the opening czardas, led capably by Elana Altman and Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, energy was high, although throughout the ballet, deeper epaulement and use of the upper back would have given that much more Hungarian style to the proceedings.


The California Literary Review

The colorations of the three pieces made it seem as if a genie-in-a-bottle stagehand had encircled San Francisco Ballet’s Program 5 in a mood ring.

A brushfire of a work, Symphonic Dances, Edward Liang’s first commission for the company to Sergei Rachmaninov’s work by the same name, ignites with fiery bandeau-georgettes (the women) and shorts and tanks in the same color (the men). Two parallel lines reach from downstage to up, as male and female dancers angle into a copse-like snow break, from which they roll out as partners into expansive duets.....



#2 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:35 AM

A review of the English National Ballet by Mark Monahan in The Telegraph.

More successful is the piece that closes the bill – but, given that this is Kenneth MacMillan's delirious Rite of Spring, to the Stravinsky score that transformed music for ever, so it should be.

The company's full–blooded attack here more than compensates for the occasional lack of unity, and also for a Chosen One – Tamarin Stott – who tries hard but appears more bemused that terrified. It's a pity, then, that the entire troupe has been decked out by fashion designer Kinder Aggugini as if for a fascistic aerobics class.


Review by Lise Smith for Londonist.

The big news of the night is George Williamson’s reimagining of Ballets Russes’ signature work Firebird. Gone are Fokine’s scarlet tutu and apple tree, and gone too is the Russian folk-narrative of sorcerers and princes. In their place, we find an otherworldly Firebird dressed in a striking gilded catsuit, feathers steadily dismantled by the other characters who hope to gain some of her primal powers for themselves. A quick read of the notes reveals these allegorical figures are celebrities, military captains and an embodiment of Purity, although little in the choreography makes this clear.



#3 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

Charleston Ballet Theatre in crisis.

These developments have some members of the arts community wondering if the Charleston Ballet -- its performance company and its school -- can recover.

On March 6, the independent Charleston Ballet Guild, a group of volunteer fundraisers, elected to dissolve because of "resignations by the majority of the executive committee members of the Charleston Ballet Theatre's Board, coupled with recent negative occurrences by the management of CBT toward the Guild."



#4 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:40 AM

A review of Houston Ballet by Caroline Palmer in The Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Christopher Wheeldon's "Rush" (2003) set to Bohuslav Martinu's "Sinfonietta La Jolla" rounded out the program with a work that sometimes called for 16 dancers. The piece provided a thoughtful contrast to the two others with its geometric emphasis on symmetry, lines and a bold color palette for the contemporary costumes. Here the emphasis was on momentum and precision, but there was nothing robotic about the presentation. The duet for Nao Kusuzaki and Simon Ball showed that gliding and floating movement are important counterpoints to include in this type of work, suggesting that Wheeldon approached the endeavor with the eye of an architect as well as that of a choreographer.



#5 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:43 AM

Highlights from The Guardian's all day webcast featuring the Royal Ballet.

Relive the best bits of our live, all-day webcast from Covent Garden on Friday 23 March, presented by George Lamb. Warm up with ballet mistress Olga Evreinoff, Kristen McNally and the company, watch Christopher Wheeldon rehearse Alice's Adventures and meet outgoing director Monica Mason, who not only runs the Royal Ballet but has danced in some of its most renowned productions.



#6 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:49 AM

A photo gallery of Akira Isogawa's costume designs for the Australian Ballet's "Romeo and Juliet."

Legendary fashion designer Akira Isogawa (pictured opposite; photo by Stephen Ward) designed more than 150 costumes for the Australian Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet, which is on now at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. It was a mammoth project for the Japanese-born, Australian based designer, who spent 12 months working on the costumes.....



#7 dirac

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:45 PM

A study suggests that balletgoers dance along with the dancers -- in their heads at any rate.

In findings published in the current issue of the journal PLoS One, the scientists report that the spectators showed muscle-specific responses in their brain as if they were expert dancers — even though "they were clearly not capable of doing the actual movements," in the words of one author, Corinne Jola, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Surrey in England.



#8 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

Commentary on the previously posted article on Charleston Ballet Theatre by Erica Jackson Curran for Charleston City Paper.

The CBT's future prospects seem more grim every time we turn around, yet Bahr is focused on restructuring the board, asserting that the issues have been blown out of proportion. She's quoted in the article saying, "The harsh reality is that certain individuals continue to generate this negative press through social media and the internet."



#9 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

Sacramento Ballet presents a "Modern Masters" program.

It is unusual -- except for the annual holiday "Nutcracker" performances -- for the ballet company to be accompanied by live music. "Live music is such a great addition to the performance," said Sacramento Ballet co-artistic director Ron Cunningham. "It's also a little different each time. The musicians like to improvise," he said. Asked what effect that would have on the dancers, he said, "It makes them play close attention. Very close attention." The improvisation comes between set points that allow the dancers to mind their cues, Cunningham said.

#10 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

Matthew Neenan of BalletX makes a new work for Milwaukee Ballet.

During the break, Neenan said that the music inspired him to create The Last Glass. The title refers to the Beirut song that drives the seventh episode of the dance. The music gave him the feeling of “a masquerade – a family circus type thing.”
To fully create this effect, he had to develop characters, which is new to Neenan. But he was eager to take it on in preparation for choreographing Proliferation of the Imagination, an original dance theater collaboration between BalletX and Wilma Theatre. That interpretation of surrealist Guillaume Apollinaire’s Les mamelles de Tiresias premiered last spring.



#11 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

A review of San Francisco Ballet by Janos Gereben in The San Francisco Examiner.

As is typical these days, the dancing was superb on Friday's opening night at the War Memorial Opera House. But the works also soar on wings of intense contemporary music. The company's own Shinji Eshima (a bass player with the orchestra for more than three decades) wrote the score for "'RAkU"; John Adams' "Guide to Strange Places" accompanies Page's dance.

Among Yuan Yuan Tan's many triumphs, her Princess in "'RAkU," set in Japan's warrior past, is among her most memorable.



#12 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

Ballet Jorgen presents "Anastasia." Item in brief with audio clip.

Bengt Jorgen, Artistic Director of the award-winning ballet company is choreographer of the work. The score was commissioned from the Russian-Canadian composer Ivan Barbotin.



#13 dirac

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:32 AM

A brief review of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra's recording of the suites from Sylvia and Coppélia by Laurence Vittes for Audiophile Audition.

The results are thrilling: they capture the space (Skywalker Sound) so naturally and comfortably that the explosion of kettle drums in the high camp "huntresses" scene can be heard to the lowest depths of their sound without blowing up your speakers (unless you have the little kind which will probably not last the first few minutes unless you keep the volume way down—remember, I told you so). It's fullrange in the fullest sense.....




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