According to objective sources, Kargman's film, which Indiewire posted an exclusive poster look at today, is actually as good as we're expecting it to be. Her account of 6 dancers headed to the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, or "the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition," was award bait on last year's festival circuit, picking up a Jury Prize at the San Francisco DocFest, Audience Awards at Doc NYC and the Portland International Film Festival, and 2nd place for the People's Choice Award at TIFF. It's also been compared to "Spellbound," which, as far as mainstream successful docs go, pretty much set the bar.
Monday, April 16
Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:54 AM
Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:56 AM
You don't usually get much ballet at a James Sewell Ballet performance. The Minneapolis-based company tends more toward the modern dance mode, with the pointes and plies of the ballet tradition seeming like ancestors a few generations removed.
But choreographer Sewell's classical roots are showing in "Opus 131," an involving and imaginative contemporary ballet that features the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet performing one of Beethoven's last and most innovative string quartets at each performance during the company's spring fortnight at the Cowles Center.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:59 AM
Stanton Welch's "Clear," a vehicle for seven men and one woman, turned out to be a happy acquisition that matched the talents of the male roster. Danced to recordings of J.S. Bach and replete with enigmatic and confrontational interactions between the men and Alexsandra Meijer, who flitted in and out of duos and trios, was perhaps less lucid than the title suggested, but that did not detract from the enjoyment of confident performances from Francisco Preciado, Damir Emric and Joshua Seibel.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:02 PM
The report also listed such issues as erratic scheduling and excessive work hours, intolerance for sick days, inadequate supplies of pointe shoes, disrespectful treatment of dancers and risks of injury. “Dancers are sometimes pushed to work when injured or when an injury is imminent,” the report stated.
Stephanie Bussell, who danced with the company for eight years until August 2011, said CBT dancers tend to form a tight-knit group to defend against the organization’s dysfunction. “In the last couple of years, things got so out of control,” Bussell said
But there's a reason many of the board members have resigned. Parker got his hands on some board meeting minutes and reports, "At a Dec. 14 board meeting, then-president Charles Patrick distributed copies of an article from The Nonprofit Quarterly titled "Not Paying Your Taxes? Your Board Could Be Personally Liable," according to the meeting minutes. 'Charles wanted to make clear that the board understood the IRS's position,' the minutes state. 'In a nutshell, the IRS will pursue not only a charity's assets but also the personal assets of individuals who were directly or indirectly associated with a nonpayment of taxes.' The ballet was known to have a balance due to the IRS of $23,612.67 at the time, according to the minutes."
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:23 PM
Boring. I meant about the fat dancers. Oh, right. Rojo has recently spoken out about the ballet world's unhealthy obsession with bodyshape. "I have preached and I will continue to preach," she said. "I have never been thin and I want for myself and for others to have long and healthy careers."
She's not exactly obese, I can't help noticing. These things are relative. By ballet's standards she is quite well-upholstered. The constant pressure to be obscenely skinny, critics maintain, puts dancers' well-being at risk, leading to eating disorders and injury.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:25 PM
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The romantic comedy "Coppelia" provided one kind of perfect conclusion to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 2011-12 season on Friday night at the Benedum Center. It was a high-spirited celebration of dance, showcasing the skill and personality of the dancers and supported by a beautiful live performance of the famous score.
After the exciting and challenging artistic ambition of the company's two previous productions -- "Uncommon" in February and "A Streetcar Named Desire" in March -- "Coppelia" was a return to the familiar pleasures of classic romantic-era ballet.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Occasionally it went over the top. I lost count of the men's aerial tours and beat combinations, although the audience responded heartily to their efforts, deservedly so. Dr. Coppelius' Charlie Chaplin walk was too precious to be included and Robert Vickrey's priest, although hilarious in his own right, might have been sipping at the sauce prior to the wedding.
But for the most part the comic timing was spot on, helped by the astute accompaniment of conductor Charles Barker and the orchestra as they romped through Leo Delibes' sparkling score.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:28 PM
The Seattle Times
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents a study in contrasts in its current program, which pairs George Balanchine's "Apollo" with Kent Stowell's "Carmina Burana." Both are staples of the company's repertoire, but absent from their stage for some years: "Apollo" was last performed here in 2005, "Carmina" in 2007. Both were warmly received by Friday's opening-night audience, which appreciated both simplicity and spectacle.
Set to Carl Orff's familiar score, the dancers emerge primordially under a giant wheel with the Seattle Choral Company cloaked in a loft rear stage. It takes nearly the entire Pacific Northwest Ballet company to perform the dance.
The company performed this masterfully, although the piece didn't match my tastes. Compared to the spare and deliberate moves in Balanchine's early work, the dancing in "Carmina" is baroque, ornate and abundant.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:31 PM
Despite the notorious challenges involved, Rojo has long had an interest in becoming an artistic director.
In 2007, she took part in an intensive seminar for future dance leaders organized by England’s DanceEast; its head, Assis Carreiro, is also Canadian. After that, Rojo was selected to take up a fully funded, one-month career placement with an artistic director of her choice: the National Ballet of Canada’s Karen Kain.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:34 PM
"It would've been my wish" to hire local dancers, Millepied said. But he said he was looking for dancers of a certain quality and caliber, and "most people that great usually have jobs."
He added that L.A. Dance Project is close to finding a permanent space in the city, and that "the goal is to have a home."
Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:33 AM
Saturday night began innocently enough with Petipa’s classical "Grand Pas From Paquita.” The dance is never performed in its entirety today. What has survived is a small suite of the most beloved dances. Christiana Bennett and Rex Tilton led four strong female soloists and a beautiful corps through the variations, with Bennett once again striking the balance between force and fragility and Tilton a study in refined strength with weightless leaps that defied gravity. The splendid costumes were a true work of art by David Heuvel.
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