A handful of superlatives to begin. The new Royal Ballet programme of Ballo della regina and La Sylphide is tremendous. Johan Kobborg’s staging of La Sylphide is the best I know, the most sensitive to Bournonville’s drama and manner. And Steven McRae’s James is the finest (bar one) that I have known in all my years of adoring this beautiful flower of Romanticism.
Here is a ballet which I saw as the Royal Danish Ballet ventured from Copenhagen for the first time in the 1950s, and an old repertory had not been amended and infuriatingly rethought, and Bournonville was still an enrapturing novelty. Kobborg’s virtues in this production have been to choose honourable scenery, to open cuts in the score and use his exceptional knowledge of Bournonville to borrow the master’s own steps.....
Wednesday, May 23
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:29 AM
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:43 AM
Cunningham studied and taught at the School of American Ballet in New York. And if there's a generalised homage to ballet going in this quartet, there's also some kind of bloodline back to George Balanchine's neo-classical masterpiece Apollo. Cunningham, when pressed, actually cited Krishna and his handmaidens as the starting point for this quartet. But Apollo and his three muses must surely have been in the creative data bank too. Watch the daisy chain configurations in Balanchine's choreography (0.18 -0.55) and then the slowly unfolding phrases with which the three women revolve around Cunningham (0.7; 0.24; 0.41; 1.01; 1.13 etc), looping their arms around his, fanning out in angled, asymmetrical balances. It's as if Merce is working out how many variations he can create on the original.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:45 AM
“We chose ‘The Lady of the Camellias’ for the Korean tour because of Kang, who has been received as a hero here as one of the first Korean pioneers of international ballet stardom,” Reid Anderson, Stuttgart artistic director said in an e-mail interview with The Korea Times.
“We selected the work because it is one of Kang’s greatest roles and it is perfect for her at this time in her career. It just felt absolutely right,” Anderson said.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:47 AM
.....An issue the film does address, in some small measure, is whether the intense dedication to forging a career is robbing these kids of a normal adolescence. “I think I’ve had the right amount of ballet and childhood,” contends Miko, 12. But like all of Kargman’s subjects, she displays a striking maturity that’s at once endearing and disconcerting. “She becomes an adult when she dances,” says one mother of her child. She, and Kargman, regard this as a good thing. I’m not so sure.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:50 AM
Dancers in the National Ballet of Japan, the country’s only national ballet troupe, are only paid for each performance, not on salary. They earn an annual income ranging between 3 million and 3.6 million yen (approx. $37,500 to $45,000), and that’s without retirement pension. Facts like these are what have young Japanese ballerinas leaving the country, Oyama says.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:16 AM
As the rival who wants for nothing, Ms. Murphy’s Gamzatti is severe and glittering, yet possesses a sad sort of pride that allows her to imbue the clarity of her technique with emotion. While few dancers possess Ms. Murphy’s power, her dizzying turns, especially in her third-act variation, are less about speed than desperation. Some dancers play Gamzatti too harshly; Ms. Murphy is grand. She shows how the character is vulnerable without making her weak.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:19 AM
The evening opened with a beautiful enigma: We’ll never be sure exactly what happened in “Liebeslieder Walzer.” Accompanied onstage by two pianists and four singers, four couples danced in an elegant ballroom. They exchanged glances — and occasionally partners. Midway, the women changed from gowns and heels to skirts and pointe shoes. Were they dancing their dreams?
Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:53 AM
Veronika Part is glorious in the role of Nikiya. Usually a strong, stately, sometimes stiff and dramatically flat performer, as the sensuous Indian dancer Part is both lusciously supple and sympathetically vulnerable. Though cast against type -- or perhaps because of that -- she exudes a newfound liquidity and easy assuredness that dissipates only momentarily during her rigid execution of some tricky turning phrases in Act 2. Her portrayal is enhanced by bare-midriff costumes designed by Theoni V. Aldredge out of soft fabrics, which make Part look less severe and more girlish than usual.
Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:56 AM
Last November, actress Liang Danni filed a complaint in Beijing's Xicheng District Court against the National Ballet of China on behalf of her 87-year-old father, claiming 550,000 yuan ($86,968) in compensation and demanding a public apology.
The court began hearing the case in mid-April, learning that like the ballet itself, the copyright dispute carries the imprint of earlier times in China.
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