The most lustrous of the upcoming gems is the Paris Opera Ballet, arriving for a rare Kennedy Center sojourn, July 5-8. Its “Giselle,” with unique elements such as restored mime sequences and a first-act showcase for eight women, is one to see even if you think you’ve had your fill of this frequently performed romantic-era tale of rustic virtues, broken trust and love beyond the grave.
Friday, June 1
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:35 AM
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:42 AM
Collard and his partner, singer Suzannah Espie, will accompany the dancers in the premiere of a new ballet, Sweedeedee, choreographed by Tim Harbour with performances by dancer Steven Heathcote and his daughter, Mia. It is expected to be a highlight of Let's Dance, which features eight Australian dance companies.
''I thought they must just want me to play a little harmonica,'' Collard says, opening his laptop to call up an image of American harmonica player Larry Adler with dancer Paul Draper, whom he accompanied in the 1940s. ''I was really flattered. But to think that they want me to sing as well is even more flattering. I guess the ballet to me seems more like the real world … I haven't studied music professionally. I can't read music.''
Posted 01 June 2012 - 10:44 AM
Still, a docu-series should have more up its sleeves than melodrama: We should learn something. Unfortunately for Breaking Pointe, the series doesn't have much to teach us about the "underbelly" of the notoriously cutthroat profession, because it's, well... notoriously cutthroat. And the series doesn't even have to open our eyes to the terrible things young women say to each other when they're in competition to be the prettiest, most flexible pretty lady because we've got 18 cycles of America's Next Top Model to go on, and those girls know how to backstab, scream, and insult each other better than anyone.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:46 PM
On Wednesday night New York City Ballet presented one work by George Balanchine (“Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3,” 1970), one by Jerome Robbins (“Moves,” 1959) and one by Christopher Wheeldon (“Les Carillons,” 2012) at the David H. Koch Theater of Lincoln Center. Though Balanchine and Robbins died in the last century, we can still feel the immense structural risks they took in these works. It is not easy to explain why their ballets satisfyingly hang together, or why Mr. Wheeldon’s — in some ways a far neater piece, and one that contains perhaps the most kinesthetically appealing movements of the program — nonetheless crumbles while you watch it.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:48 PM
Dance lovers everywhere have been anxiously awaiting the debut of the CW's new series, Breaking Pointe, but the opening episode appears to be more of an introductory piece, rather than a true insider look at the ballet world. As part of the set up, viewers are taken into the studio at Ballet West in Salt Lake City to meet all the players and define their roles.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:56 PM
Worse, the dancing remains faceless, with ragged corps passages and assorted mistimings contributing to the impression of ruinous under-rehearsal. The lead couple in "Diamonds" cautiously works through its glorious duets as if trying to avoid mistakes. The central male in "Rubies" so carefully husbands his energy that he looks bottled up until the end. "Emeralds" fares best, marred chiefly by soloists trying to make an impression instead of bonding with the music. Even so, the men's final pose of heart-sore yearning achieves a promising level of interpretive depth in an evening of glittering disappointments.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:57 PM
Pennsylvania Ballet named the final program of its season for this company premiere, which opened Thursday night at the Merriam Theater. If you like West Side Story, Opus Jazz shares its choreographer and has a similar look and feel (minus the brawl). Dancers snap their fingers, shake their hips, shuffle around the stage in a circle, and strike a pose with a leg in the air in second position. (New York City Ballet’s filmed Opus Jazz, performed in gritty urban settings, aired in 2010 on PBS’s "Great Performance" series.)
Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers looked young and fresh on stage against a series of backdrops that looked like paintings, stained glass, and a schoolyard. But they would look equally fantastic in Love Park or the courtyard at City Hall, with colorful outfits against gray stone and an audience of passersby.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:59 PM
......Fully half of the Ballet's members now are graduates of the San Francisco Ballet School.
Still, this proportion might strike you as low, given the thrilling and precocious artistry on display Wednesday at the first of three Student Showcase performances. (The program repeats Friday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Novellus Theater.) And the debt to Lola de Avila - who has directed the school for 13 of the last 20 years and is now returning to Spain to run the famed school her mother founded - is clearly immense. Her imprint could be seen everywhere, in what was easily the finest Ballet school showcase I've witnessed in a decade of relishing this elevated dance recital.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:28 PM
Alice: What were some of the other things you were looking for?
Lucien: I really wanted to dance with a company that does international touring. Next year for example we’ll be in Buenos Aires, Belarus, São Paolo, Beirut, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico and Israel. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along very often and I wanted to take advantage of it when it did.
Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:25 PM
Alexei Ratmansky's "The Bright Stream", to Shastokovich's boisterous, danceable music, returned in all its delicious silliness. Yes, high-jinx on a Soviet collective farm might seem to be an odd basis for a good-hearted, loving comedy, but the stylized plot, with its disguises, its tricks, its straying husbands and forgiving wives, is one that Mozart would recognize. There is a formal underpinning to the seemingly topical ballet that gives it a human universality. Ratmansky has managed to blend classical structure (the first act is almost all pure divertissement, with beautifully formal corps dances merging into individual variations) with clear exposition (well, reasonably clear, though reading the plot summary is recommended) and brilliant character variations. The underlying message--people (especially men) are vain and foolish, but can laugh at themselves and learn from their mistakes, is timeless.
Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:09 PM
What resonated with O’Day, now artistic director of Ballett Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany, was the emotional connection of father and son.
"It’s addressing the father that’s within us. Your father that you can’t escape that’s genetically printed on you and in you,” he says of the work, first performed by the Stuttgart Ballet in 2008. “For me, it was kind of a way to release the past...and address the fact that the imprint of a father on me is something — what? Positive, negative, what is it?”
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