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Monday, April 30


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#1 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

The Joyce Theater announces its 2012-13 dance season lineup.

Also on tap is Ballet Next, the new classical ballet company founded by former American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet luminaries Michele Wiles and Charles Askegard. And speaking of ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the brilliant and beloved all-male troupe, will take the Joyce stage for a three-week run during the holiday season. FOCUS DANCE, an exciting week-long celebration of American choreography, will highlight the work of eight companies.



#2 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Orlando Ballet student Blake Kessler wins the Junior Grand Prix Award at the Youth America Grand Prix.

That's the top award for all dancers, male and female, in the 12-14 age bracket; Blake is 14. With the award came a full scholarship to the summer session of the Royal Ballet Company in London, a huge honor in the ballet world.



#3 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:32 AM

A review of the Smuin Ballet by Claudia Bauer in The San Francisco Chronicle.

More good signs were apparent in Smuin Ballet's spring season, which began Friday at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Saturday's matinee opened with "Swipe," created last year by the San Francisco Ballet's Val Caniparoli for the Richmond Ballet in Virginia. Caniparoli excels at making highly technical ballet steps fit organically into a contemporary context, and "Swipe" demands développés extended to dizzying height, allegro footwork, inchworm floor crawls and full-out sprints from its cast of four men and three women.




#4 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:33 AM

A review of Tulsa Ballet by James D. Watts Jr. in Tulsa World.

For example, a ballet "on a theme of submission" might lead one to expect a dark, disturbing piece. But "Septet" by Douglas Lee is more a work dealing with the concept of trust - how much one person is willing to give over to another, to cooperate, to follow, to exchange, to relent.

Lee was for most of his performing career a member of the Stuttgart Ballet, the German company that has been a starting point for choreographers as diverse as John Cranko, Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe. His choreography is sleek and powerful, requiring a snake-like flexibility of the dancers.



#5 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:34 AM

A review of San Francisco Ballet's "Don Quixote" by Allan Ulrich in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Still, too many ensembles suffer from lack of motivation, too many bits are there merely as frenetic applause machines, too many comedic turns are reiterated to the point of tedium. Dressed in purple, Myles Thatcher's fop, Gamache, comes on like an eggplant on coasters and delivers the same shtick for more than two hours. And while nobody can top my admiration for Sarah Van Patten's Mercedes and Pierre-François Vilanoba's bullfighter Espada, their sexy cavortings, bordering masterfully on self-parody, wear thin the third time around.




#6 dirac

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:48 AM

The Ballet Boyz perform in Beirut.

Ballet Boyz's BIPOD performance was a beautifully articulated blend of classical and contemporary – arabesques and pirouettes juxtaposed against a consistently modern soundtrack and accompanied by video projections ranging from a reality-TV style audition scene to grainy, late-night-in-London film noir.

Friday's show featured three works – "Torsion," "Alpha" and "Void" – each of which succeeded in being both memorable and highly individual – despite the group's blended dance style, which created natural similarities among the performances.



#7 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:08 AM

Natalia Makarova is honored at the Youth America Grand Prix.

It’s in the nature of the art of dance that we almost never get to hear the artists speak. That’s why it was a special pleasure to hear Makarova, in taped interviews broadcast on a huge screen, describe her life, interspersed with footage of her dancing.

As graceful as the dance excerpts were, it was a treat to hear her recount things that perhaps didn’t go so well. She described once getting stuck in a tiny elevator lifting her to the stage; at the time, she was trying to get into the spirit of the Swan Queen. She heard the music playing without her, and finally had to break character to scream at technicians, which she ably demonstrated in the film clip.



#8 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:10 AM

A review of SFB's "Don Quixote" by Janos Gereben in The San Francisco Examiner.

In the huge cast – I counted 50 before giving up – many stood out Saturday night: Sasha DeSola and Dana Genshaft among Kitri's friends, Sofiane Sylve as the sultry Mercedes and Vito Mazzeo as Espada.

Garen Scribner and Courtney Elizabeth sizzled as the gypsies, and Sarah Van Patten as Queen of the Driads led forces that included Dores André, Koto Ishihara, Elizabeth Powell, Wan Ting Zhao and more.



#9 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:13 AM

Reviews of Smuin Ballet.

The San Francisco Examiner


Onstage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the spring program includes “Swipe,” a recent work by Val Caniparoli, which opens with brisk, pulsating movements. Five dancers stand in a circle, swinging their arms, flicking their wrists and flexing their backs quickly — a gut-busting move for those with back problems.


The San Jose Mercury News

"Swipe" is a work that requires ballet's precision, the curve and attack of earthborne steps and the relaxed ease of walking, and the dancers packed it with silky attack and a nuance that put them at a new level of fluency. Difficult but masterfully crafted work serves them well.



#10 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:15 AM

A review of the English National Ballet in "My First Sleeping Beauty" by Katharine Wootton in The Yorker.

Performed by graduating students from the English National Ballet School and choreographed by award-winning former Royal Ballet soloist Matthew Hart, this was a production that aimed to make ballet accessible and understandable to children as young as three without losing the professionalism, technique and artistry of a normal ballet. With Princess Aurora’s nurse narrating us through the action and a strong pantomime element throughout, it enthralled the imaginations of the children and had them booing, cheering and no doubt carefully sussing out their career plans as the next prima ballerina.



#11 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:22 AM

A plea for public funding for the arts by Carla Escoda in The Huffington Post.

Detractors may argue that the private sector does a more effective job of funding the arts than the federal government. However, as we have seen many times over, private patronage is often little more than self-gratification; art that is paid for by billionaires and private corporations usually -- and not unreasonably -- reflects their narrow priorities and aspirations, not the larger community's. When the New York State Theater must give up its perfectly good name to be rechristened the David H. Koch Theater, and when John Fry can fly in a foreign ballet star to partner his girlfriend at Ballet San Jose because his donations eclipse everyone else's, it's clear that private arts funding is no longer serving a broad public purpose.



#12 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:02 AM

A story on Karole Armitage's "Rave" in The Wall Street Journal. Subscription only.

Karole Armitage's "Rave" features 26 dancers in a celebratory half hour of mixed styles including voguing, ballet and capoeira. As the performers, painted in Willy Wonka-esque Pantone shades, body-roll and snap their wrists en masse downstage, it's quite a sight—one never seen in New York despite being inspired, in part, by the cultural and political upheavals following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.




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