But that changes this weekend when Ballet Chicago, on a roll after last year's powerhouse performance, makes its delayed Harris debut with a program showing off its specialty, the works of ballet legend George Balanchine.
"It does feel like a kind of arrival," Ballet Chicago artistic director Daniel Duell said in a conversation from Copenhagen, where he has been teaching for several weeks with the Royal Danish Ballet. "It certainly means an opportunity for an enhanced performance profile, something the Harris has meant to all who ever got involved."
Wednesday, May 2
Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:17 AM
Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:19 AM
One of the most entertaining things in the film is the candor with which the principals discuss the loss of their so-called “normal” childhoods. You get the nervous anxiety they live with, the expectations and fears of disappointment experienced by their parents, and the heartbreak when their children fail or quit. You also get the creams, liniments, balms, salves and other medications to treat torn ligaments, stress fractures and constant injuries that can end careers. There’s a lot to absorb. More than just another docudrama about winners and losers like so many sports movies about underdog teams that turn their losing streak around to win trophies and pennants, First Position is about the lives of the dancers as well as the onstage Terpsichore. It’s a triumph, in more ways than one.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:20 AM
Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz perform Christopher Wheeldon's 'After the Rain pas de deux' during a dress rehearsal for Pacific Northwest Ballet's All Wheeldon season opener on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at McCaw Hall.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:22 AM
For the record, he is happily married to fellow American Ballet Theatre soloist Stella Abrera. "We don't get a chance to dance together as often as we'd like," he notes with a hint of regret.
As it happens, he has always been one to put family first. He returned to the U.S. despite rapturous applause at the Dutch National Ballet because of health issues in his family. He misses Europe, especially the widespread appreciation of the arts there. "It was neat to be somewhere where you say you're a dancer and people know what that means," he says, "They respect your work, and they consider you someone who enriches the culture."
Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:41 AM
Doctors believe he may have suffered a rare arrhythmia which causes sudden cardiac arrest in healthy young adults.
Around 2,000 people every year die from the condition.
Wollowitz said he received a personal thank-you note from Mikhail Baryshnikov, the famous dancer who opened the arts center in 2005.
In an interview with The News, the dancer said he had no idea what happened until his fellow dancers and mom told him when he awoke at Bellevue.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:52 AM
But in being faithful to the music, Ratmansky is also faithful to the project’s self-divisions, and that may well be the primary cause of my underlying unease. The falsehood that can be detected here is not just a matter of plot (how can you truly present a “happy, light, entertaining” portrayal of Soviet collective farms?), but also a matter of character: Shostakovich’s character, that is. Optimistic cheer was not a mode he found congenial, and whenever he put it on, it was always a noticeable mask. Here he is wearing the mask practically all the way through the ballet, and the effect—on me, at any rate—verges on the ghoulish. Once or twice the mask slips, as when the figure of Death enters the stage to a deliciously creepy waltz tune, causing one to think, “Here he is at last, the real Shostakovich!” But Death is quickly banished, and the composer once again hides his face behind the unremitting sweetness and light.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:27 PM
Kargman’s own life is a model of persistence in pursuing one’s passion. After graduating with a degree in fine arts from Amherst College in central Massachusetts, she worked at odd jobs, took a night class in writing, and even earned a real estate license. She later enrolled at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism (she says her experience there shaped her as a storyteller).
While in school, she landed an internship at National Public Radio’s business program “Marketplace,” where she learned how to produce a story concisely. In her last class before graduation at Columbia, Kargman found herself immersed in a documentary project on the juvenile justice system. She became emotionally affected by the story
Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:51 PM
The New York Times
A central part of the Balanchine experiment was the way that his choreography led his audience into the workings of difficult music. Now that his ballets are well known, we tend to think of that in the past tense. But because “Kammermusik No. 2” has never been a mainstay of the repertory and because its music is unfamiliar, a good revival brings back the whole present-tense excitement of the adventure.
Tuesday’s excellent revival was led, marvelously, by Sara Mearns and Teresa Reichlen. It was thrilling to see again that Ms. Mearns can be the most riveting dancer in American ballet; her juicy intensity does the heart good. Ms. Reichlen, the taller of the two, dances with a lighter tone; a bright solo she performs to a flute passage is a highlight.
The New York Post
But the piece didn’t get a classic performance — the leads were too quirky. Janie Taylor is wonderful in roles with a hint of weirdness; here she was just odd, her jumps jerky when they should have been smooth. Rebecca Krohn looked jittery and brittle, and Ashley Bouder appeared as if she’d arrived from some other ballet — even wearing an old-fashioned low hair bun, unlike the 19 other women onstage, who wore theirs up high.
“Serenade” was paired with “Kammermusik No. 2,” returning to repertory with a new cast. Sara Mearns and Teresa Reichlen have very different personalities, but they mismatch well. Mearns was ferocious as she ticked off rapid-fire poses, Reichlen sporty and humorous as she pranced across the stage.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 02:02 PM
"They want to earn money to be able to survive," says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, founder of the program and the Philippines' first prima ballerina. She believes in her students, personally paying for their lessons and uniforms.
Macuja-Elizalde's goal is to help these children become professional members of the company with incomes to match. They are among her most focused students, she says, not afraid to work hard and to push themselves and their bodies.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:23 PM
This weekend’s inaugural performances at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts by the company now known as Nevada Ballet Theatre will mark the group’s 40th anniversary—and serve as a testament to fine art in the entertainment capital of the world.
Saturday’s performance of classical and contemporary dance will mix NBT dancers with principals from American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet. The program includes works from Balanchine’s Serenade, a pas de deux from Swan Lake and a collaboration between Nevada Ballet and the Strip: a work by Nevada Ballet’s artistic director James Canfield, choreographed to the music of Matt Goss.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:43 PM
"Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet" is another challenge; the European nostalgia, the feeling of dancing in a lost world, doesn't really suit American optimism, and by and large, this got a pretty, chocolate box performance which missed the surging restlessness of the music. Abi Stafford and Sebantien Marcovici were the first couple and Stafford gave a neat, precise, and bright performance of a role that can be all shading. Sterling Hyltin's "Intermezzo", too, missed much of the smokey curves build into the choreography; she is all angles and her sprightly dancing had little mystery. Her partner, Robert Fairchild, however, gave a Byronic intensity to his dancing, as he focused on Hyltin with an almost physical force. His partnering, with the difficult one handed moves, was smooth and effortless, but what I remember most was his sweeping down on his bended knee and raising his arm in a fruitless effort to catch his vision. He was absolutely magnificent.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:23 PM
Liceica moved with ease and beauty and dramatic potency in a sliver from Weill and Brecht’s The Seven Deadly Sins. The sin here in question was pride. Choreographer Gertsacov set up a neat snare to enmesh her in what goeth before a fall. As wonderful as was Lynn Taylor Corbett’s recent production of this same score at New York City Ballet, there’s always room for more choreographic responses to this great work. Hopefully Gertsacov will now choreograph the entire work for Liceica. This concert included students and pros, among them NYCB’s Amar Ramasar. Everyone who danced evinced the right spirit.
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