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Monday, May 14


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#1 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:41 PM

A review of New York City Ballet's gala performance by Margaret Fuhrer in The Huffington Post.

Mes Oiseaux's cast promises to bloom soon. The stars of Benjamin Millepied's newest ballet, Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle, are in full flower. And Millepied gave them an uncharacteristically romantic showcase in Two Hearts, set to a new score by frequent collaborator Nico Muhly.

Millepied has a sophisticated sense of form and structure, of how to manipulate large groups and create duets of engrossing complexity. But most of his older works seem dry and cool, driven only by a compulsive need for order and logic. Two Hearts, on the other hand, has a warm, tender center in its various pas de deux for Peck and Angle, echoed and refracted through the 12 members of its corps de ballet. It's the story of two people as embodied by 14. The gentle folk accents in Muhly's luminous score add to the sense of pastoral community (though Rodarte's jarringly graphic black-and-white costumes would place it at a 1940s beach party).



#2 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:44 PM

Nashville Ballet presents "Emergence."

Formerly a biennial event, Emergence becomes an annual performance event this year at the intimate studio theater of The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet. Emergence features four short original pieces set to live music with visual and interactive elements, creating a live performance art gallery for audience members.



#3 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

Stephen Moonesamy, a former dancer with the English National Ballet, has been arrested on a charge of fraud after allegedly promising children that they would appear in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

According to the Northampton Chronicle, Moonesamy choreographed three different dances for the young performers which allegedly were to be incorporated into the closing ceremony, except for the fact that the dances were never to be included in the ceremony whatsoever; Moonesamy simply made that up.

#4 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

Reviews of West Australian Ballet.

The West Australian

Jeu de cartes (1965) is set to the Stravinsky score of the same name, based on a game of poker. The work is infused with Cranko's trademark slapstick humour. Firecracker Andre Santos was delightfully naughty as the wily joker. Cavorting about the stage, he was the ultimate cartoon character, with his comic-book facial expressions and magic elevation.

It's not often that the first mention of a dance work goes to the design but the lattice-like backdrop, through which light falls in gentle beams, is central to the beauty of Moreland's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune. The abstract pattern created by the fall of the light on the floor pays clever homage to Bakst's original design for Nijinsky's 1912 interpretation of Debussy's score.


The Australian

And finally, Diamonds provides key roles for WAB's most senior and best-loved dancers, Jayne Smeulders and Darryl Brandwood, and audaciously summons the ghosts of three of classical ballet goddesses: Marie Taglioni, Anna Pavlova and Margot Fonteyn. All this in six short pieces. Phew.

In an evening offering many riches, special highlights were Brandwood's mesmerising calm and gorgeous plasticity in Moreland's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune from 1985 and Smeulders -- sinewy and sinuous at the same time -- in the delightful opener, Maria's Dream (2002).



#5 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

A review of New York City Ballet by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

The company’s most remarkable ballerina, Sara Mearns, was one of five women featured in Saturday afternoon’s performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s work “Les Carillons,” but after her first pas de deux, the ballet continued with only the other four. Ana Sophia Scheller, one of them, gallantly stepped in to dance Ms. Mearns’s solo. Only in the finale did many in the audience become aware that a lead dancer had gone missing. (Ms. Mearns suffered a back injury.)

On Sunday afternoon Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle replaced Ms. Mearns and Jonathan Stafford in the second movement of George Balanchine’s “Symphony in C.” Ms. Kowroski, giving her finest performance of the season so far, looked softly spectacular in the famous second movement, with superb partnering from Mr. Angle.



#6 dirac

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

An article on Michael Uthoff's time with Ballet Arizona by Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn for The Huffington Post.

Uthoff has much to say that is positive about his tenure in Phoenix even though it didn't end well. The big sky and massive landscape of the Southwest were all that he had hoped for in terms of personal inspiration and it opened up his choreographic style in a way that he had never experienced before. Where in New England he felt that his work had been closely wrought and intricate, he was painting his dances with broad, bold strokes in Arizona. He was able, as he had hoped, to collaborate with regional composers, designers and musicians and that helped to build substantial interest in a new and authentic style which he believed would prove essential in making Ballet Arizona a relevant artistic entity.



#7 dirac

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

A review of NYCB's gala by Leigh Witchel in The New York Post.

Martins and Millepied have cunning and savoir-faire to spare, but instead of moving us, their ingenuity holds us at arm’s length. Until someone makes more great ballets, star ballerinas like Mearns and Bouder are the reason to buy tickets.



#8 dirac

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:08 AM

An interview with Miriam Wenger-Landis, who has written two ballet-themed novels aimed at young readers.

Not so much autobiographical as inspired by, the book tackles issues that young dancers face as they train and try to win a position with a dance company. There's intense competition, heartbreaking injuries, struggles with depression and eating disorders and more. "It’s definitely rooted in my own experience," Wenger-Landis said.

Wenger-Landis says that ballet dancers live in a world where if they haven’t made it by the time they’re 18, they’re not going to make it at all. Her novel seemed to be facing the same odds.



#9 dirac

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:19 AM

A story on Roman Baca, a veteran of the Iraq War and a co-founder of the Exit 12 Dance Company. Thanks to YouOverThere for sending in the link!

Growing up in Albuquerque, N.M., and Tacoma, Wash., Baca says his devotion to ballet saw him through family disputes, financial hardship and periods when he lived at friends’ houses. His father bought him his first pair of ballet shoes.

The war in Iraq took him to Fallujah in 2005. He served with TOW Platoon 25th Marines as a machine gunner and fire team leader for an anti-tank missile assault force.



#10 dirac

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:14 PM

Pix from NYCB's gala from New York Social Diary.

There were over 800 guests in attendance and the event raised $2 million for NYCB. The evening’s décor transformed the promenade to make guests feel as if they were in France. The French themes implemented were interpreted as the Empire Period and extended to a garden theme.



#11 dirac

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

An item in brief on the new reality show Breaking Pointe, with link to trailer.

As far as titles go, The CW has the edge on ABC Family in terms of their upcoming ballet-themed programming. But there's no reason ballet fans have to choose between the two. While ABC Family's Bunheads is a scripted drama with a ballet theme, the CW's upcoming series Breaking Pointe is an unscripted look at the art and "sport" of ballet.


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