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Tuesday, May 1


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#1 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

A review of Natalia Makarova's gala at the Youth America Grand Prix by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger.

The Makarova gala crowned three, remarkable evenings of performances by international artists and by Youth America Grand Prix hopefuls. Earlier events spotlighted new choreography, most notably "Toccare," a terrific duet choreographed by Gomes and danced by an electric Misty Copeland. Among the crush of competition hotshots, here are four names to remember: Kimin Kim, whose variation from "Don Quixote" drew gasps from the crowd; the stalwart Derek Dunn; precocious Black Swan Tyler Donatelli; and Rachel Richardson, a stately Queen of the Dryads.



#2 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:17 AM

A review of the English National Ballet in "My First Sleeping Beauty" by Catherine Finta in the York Press.

Matthew Hart's production for chldren aged three and upwards had a simple but stunning set of the palace interior, with beautiful costumes and the story shortened to target the younger audience.

There were some promising ballet pieces and good technique, making it an ideal showcase for the talents of the company’s third-year students and to inspire dancers of the future.



#3 dirac

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:25 AM

A new ballet is based on the life of the late Xenia Chlistowa.

"Xenia Goes West," the true life story of the Russian prima ballerina and Holocaust survivor, is scheduled to be performed by the College of Southern Nevada Dance Ensemble and Concert Dance Company and the Nevada Repertory Dance Theater.....

The production is the brainchild of CSN Dance Program head Kelly Roth, who was instructed by Chlistowa about 25 years ago. About 25 students and professional dancers are to help Roth shine a light on the late artist's harrowing life.



#4 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:27 AM

A review of San Francisco Ballet in "Don Quixote" by Sean Martinfield in The Huffington Post.

The problem with perhaps cutting the scene, even for the sake of brevity, is that we would also miss the brilliant performance of Clara Blanco as the wing-ed "Cupid." Following her superb performance as the headstrong "Olga" in the Company's Opening Night and premiere performance of Onegin, Clara Blanco is now transformed into a mystical force that recalls fantastic images from Max Rheinhardt's 1934 film masterpiece, A Midsummer Night's Dream. And after the recent breath-taking apperance of Sofiane Sylve in Edward Liang's Symphonic Dances, I am not willing to forsake her solo as the "Queen of the Dryads"; not while she's sporting the biggest tiara in town. So, I guess the scene stays. And so will this production of Don Quixote.



#5 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:28 AM

A National Public Radio story on "First Position."

"I told the competition, 'Here are all the types of people I'm looking for,' " Kargman says. " 'Go through registrants and whittle down [to] a couple hundred, and then I'll make calls. And I'll call these people, I'll email these people, I'll show up at their houses.' "

Kargman went all over the place, from Palo Alto, Calif., to Cali, Colombia. She says it took her and a small crew a year of filming and then another year of editing. She submitted First Position to the Toronto International Film Festival, and Elizabeth Muskala, one of the festival's directors, was not surprised to learn that Kargman had been a dancer herself.


Review.

Structurally similar to the documentaries “Spellbound’’ (about the National Spelling Bee) and “Waiting for `Superman’’’ (about public-school students hoping for chances at a better education), “First Position’’ reveals the home lives of these youngsters as they prepare and lets us get to know their families, all of whom have made huge sacrifices to foster their children’s dreams. They come from varied backgrounds but they’re all inspiring in their focus and discipline, as well as their willingness to embrace a childhood that is far from ordinary.



#6 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:32 AM

A review of Boston Ballet's "Don Quixote" by Marcia B. Siegel in The Boston Phoenix.

The current revival, directed by Maina Gielgud with Amanda Eyles, seems to have made the dancing its priority; noted French ballerina and coach Monique Loudières was brought in as regisseur. In featured roles opening night, we saw Kathleen Breen Combes and Yury Yanowsky as Spanish dancers Mercedes and Espada; Rie Ichikawa and Dalay Parrondo as friends of Kitri; Artyom Maksakov as Lorenzo, the father; and Paulo Arrais as Gamache, the foppish suitor. Molina as the Don seemed to have a clear idea about his character, but the others were still working out of ballet's book of stereotypes.




#7 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

New moves for Alberta Ballet.

Negotiations are also in the works to take Love Lies Bleeding to Germany and the U.K. in 2013, and with sights set on future Love Lies Bleeding tours to the U.S. and Australia, Alberta Ballet’s executive director, Martin Bragg, envisions this made-in-Alberta pop ballet project leading to big ticket sales worldwide.

“It could actually become a kind of Riverdance phenomenon,” says Bragg. “One of the things I want to do, if I can get the green light from Elton’s people, is that whenever Elton is not performing in Vegas, we just move the ballet in … we’re probably not going to have six ballets going on in Vegas at the same time like Cirque du Soleil, but what I love about this province and this company is that we think big. And we have the potential to achieve stuff that has never been attempted before.”




#8 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

Les Ballets Eloelle perform in Australia.

Trevino heads Les Ballets Eloelle, an all-male New York comedy ballet troupe that has risen from the ashes of the men-in-tutus ensemble Les Ballets Grandiva.

The company might play for laughs but the ensemble includes dancers from such celebrated mainstream companies as the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Berlin State Opera and Hong Kong Ballet.




#9 dirac

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:24 PM

Gerard Charles leaves BalletMet Columbus to become ballet master at the Joffrey.

A search committee, headed by BalletMet board member Susan Porter and Development Director Nancy Strause, will conduct an international search for a new artistic director.

Charles, who has worked at BalletMet for 22 years, moved from Milwaukee to Columbus in 1986 to dance with the troupe. He left early in the 1990s to work four years in Montreal, then returned to dance and later became ballet master, associate artistic director and interim artistic director. Late in 2001, he became artistic director.



#10 dirac

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

Q& A with Christopher Stowell.

When setting a Balanchine work on a new company, what do you emphasize the most — technique, musicality, speed, flair?
The first step is to make sure the steps are accurate and clear to the dancers and to emphasize that the musicality is paramount. I always want to make sure to get past that, though, so that the intent and spirit of the work is alive — and that no one is holding back.

With the Balanchine ballets, is there any flexibility in altering a step or step sequence if the company you are working with has difficulty with the existing material?
I would never alter a step, but in some works there are alternative versions of certain steps or passages, and I may select a different one depending on the particular strengths of a dancer. Tarantella, for instance, is a showcase for the dancers’ virtuosity, and the effect the steps have is very important.



#11 dirac

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:52 PM

A review of the live broadcast of the Bolshoi Ballet in "The Bright Stream" by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

The Bolshoi has always had a talent for comedy, but “The Bright Stream” has multiple shades of caricature and clowning that make us feel as if we were seeing a whole new company. I have admired the handsome Ruslan Skvortsov in several roles on screen, not least as Prince Siegfried in “Swan Lake”; I could never have guessed the fun he has as the Ballet Dancer, who, dressed as a sylph, improbably lures the Old Dacha Dweller (Alexey Loparevich) into indiscretion. The joke lies in how good and how bad a ballerina he makes: he has line, he has adagio, he even performs point work, but he never takes ballerinadom very seriously, and at one point he pauses to scratch his hairy chest.



#12 dirac

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

A review of "First Position" by Lewis Segal in The Los Angeles Times.

Although the music editing is crude and often undercuts the dancers’ excellence, the film editing remains masterly, fusing location footage, performances, interviews and reprocessed home movies in an entertaining and uplifting whole. Yet, there’s a dark side to “First Position,” starting with at least one stage mother as recklessly obsessive as the ones in “Black Swan” and the first “Center Stage.”

There’s also plenty of evidence to validate Isadora Duncan’s belief that ballet technique deforms women’s bodies. Yes, it’s easy to look at Michaela DePrince, Rebecca Houseknecht and Miko Fogarty in their tutus and imagine them dancing in a professional “Swan Lake.” But it’s just as easy to imagine them a few years after that lining up for hip replacements.



#13 dirac

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:48 PM

A review of San Francisco Ballet in 'Don Quixote' by Rita Felciano for danceviewtimes.

Closing its current season with a new production by Martin Pakledinaz, Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov's 2003 beautifully danced "Don Quixote" cannot overcome its inherent problems for all but the most ardent balletomanes. But then the libretto of "Napoli," whose Blue Grotto act may have inspired Pakledinaz' aqueous dream ballet setting, stands on pretty wobbly legs as well. The problem with DQ, of course, is Ludwig Minkus' score whose brassy oompah-oompah beat will haunt your own dreams long after the curtain has come down on this evening of sugar and spice. 'Nuff said about what can't be helped, particularly, since the orchestra under Martin West, did such a magnificent job with inferior material.



#14 dirac

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:56 PM

An interview with Cranko heir Dieter Graefe.

Dieter Graefe, then secretary at the Cranko-directed Stuttgart Ballet, was 33 when his friend, former housemate and colleague choked to death during a trans-Atlantic flight, leaving the dance world reeling.

"John's loss was a big shock to everybody, just tragic," Graefe says in Sydney ahead of the Australian Ballet's opening performance tonight of Cranko's Onegin. "At that time I was just a no one. A nobody. I'm not a dancer or a choreographer. I was a secretary. I didn't even know John had made a will, let alone (declared me its sole benefactor). Suddenly, I had all this responsibility."




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