Among the alternatives, Christopher Wheeldon’s “Thirteen Diversions” was surgically divided with the two halves of this ensemble piece stretched apart so they could frame the evening—a bizarre and unsuccessful operation. In a charming Polonaise showcasing the ABT Studio Company and students at the JKO School, an exceptionally musical 20-year-old, Shu Kinouchi, wiped up after the others with virtuosic pirouettes, “brisés volés” and lightning-fast changes in direction. Kinouchi, who danced “Tarantella” brilliantly with the Studio Company earlier this month, has major talent. Another highlight was the Pas des Odalisques from “Le Corsaire.” Buoyantly danced by Isabella Boylston, it was given chiseled definition by Misty Copeland and vivacity by Sarah Lane.
Friday, May 18
Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:46 AM
Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:49 AM
Having had the experience of struggling to master the steps of a choreographer who felt compelled to assign specific steps to every single note of a piece of music I can tell you that Michael Uthoff's choreography feels good on a dancer's body. One movement flows naturally into the next and it always feels as though you will eventually get it if you just work a little harder. This is another key component of keeping his eye on the big picture. He is able to get dancers to make the supreme sacrifice of keeping their bodies constantly in peak physical condition and in return he offers them greater access to that exalted state of grace that every dancer seeks. His dancers always moved more passionately and freely than those of other companies. Many of his best works openly celebrate this exalted state and they are pure pleasure to perform.
Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:02 AM
“Erik brought with him that knowledge of the Danish tradition,” say Ransom. “And he had his own special take on rhythm and co-ordination. It was hard as students to acquire his particular way of moving, but it was fascinating to experience.”
As the years progressed, a talented group of male students, many of whom progressed to stellar professional careers, blossomed spectacularly under Bruhn’s mentorship to the point he decided they deserved a work to showcase their accomplishments. Thus Here We Come, a suite of dances for 12 men, set to Morton Gould marches and with a jaunty nautical air, was born.
Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:04 AM
As a young woman, Welch launched her dancing career with the Dorothy Hilde Dancers at the Chicago Theater. She later danced with the Schubert’s Operetta Revivals and the Chicago Opera Company Ballet Troupe with Ruth Page at the Chicago Civic Opera House.
When she completed her professional career, Welch returned to the same place she learned to dance and began teaching ballet, tap, jazz and ballroom dancing.
Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:06 AM
Patrons, critics and dancers agree that live music elevates a ballet performance to higher artistic levels. Contracting an orchestra is one of the Company’s largest expenses. For MCB, that is approximately $600,000 per season.
Patron support in the last two years has helped make live music possible. But in order for MCB to receive the Knight Foundation's grant, it must raise matching funds...and that is where we need your help.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:05 PM
The Chicago Sun-Times
While no one would mistake “First Position” for a work of genius comparable to Wim Wenders’ recent “Pina,” or, at the other end of the spectrum, a vampire-like melodrama like Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” this winner of multiple film festival prizes is an intensely insightful and realistic look at what is involved in trying to forge a ballet career. (Many dancers, it should be noted, completely sidestep competitions like the Grand Prix and still find success.)
Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:09 PM
It was the first ballet I saw twice (I returned the next night); I am still finding new things in it. Wednesday’s audience included some who have been watching it longer than I, but just as happily. Tweets, screened during the intermission and afterward, made the experience thrilling: Viewers all around the world shared their delight.
There were three brief blips in Wednesday’s transmission when the screen went blank; there were several moments in Ross MacGibbon’s direction when the camera did a close-up of other characters while the heroine was dancing; there are a few moments in which the Royal now dances a corrupt version of Ashton’s dance text. None of this diminished my regard for the ballet, which included tears as well as laughter.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:10 PM
According to the Joffrey’s executive director Christopher Clinton Conway, this will enable the troupe to afford more performances with live music than when it was associated with the Chicago Sinfonietta, which served as the company’s official orchestra from 2003 through this spring. Scott Speck will continue as the Joffrey’s music director.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 03:12 PM
Did you feel the film was accurate? Why/why not?
I felt the film was a very accurate portrayal of a dancer’s life and their trials and tribulations. For instance, watching (dancer) Michaela deal with her injury is something we all have to learn to do. It’s so heartbreaking when you’ve been rehearsing and working so hard and then at the last minute you have to decide if you can dance through the pain or not. Then there was Rebecca. She was rehearsing so well and then she went on stage and freaked out. She wasn’t able to do what she had been doing in rehearsals; sometimes that happens! When it does you have to keep going pretend like everything is fine and finish strong. Of course it’s discouraging, but you have to move on so that it doesn’t become mental.
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