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Tuesday, June 19


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#1 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:32 AM

A review of the Australian Ballet in "Swan Lake" by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger.

The Australian production, which made its local debut Friday at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, follows Matthew Bourne’s lead in exploiting the misfortunes of Britain’s royal family. In Murphy’s view, the Odette-Siegfried-von Rothbart triangle mirrors the Diana-Charles-Camilla tabloid scandals. This silly approach makes the ballet topical, rather than timeless and poetic. Not to mention, by now, that’s old news.

Then there’s the choreography. Murphy drops hints to let us know he’s seen the real "Swan Lake," not to mention referencing George Balanchine’s "Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux," which pops up unexpectedly in the Baroness von Rothbart’s lair. Lyricism is entirely absent, however, with profiled figures clenched and drooping from the waist when they should breathe, expand and float. The duets are larded with acrobatic stunts—Siegfried clutches Odette’s leg so she can dive into a precarious, midair "arabesque penché"—that recall an ice-skating competition.



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:33 AM

Tiffany Glenn is dead at age 33.

She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in June 2006 at the age of 27. After undergoing a mastectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, she returned to Ballet San Jose with a shaved head to dance in the Nutcracker that December.

A Nichiren Buddhist by choice, Glenn performed with Dance Theatre of Harlem and trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center before coming to California. She taught hip hop dance at a San Jose dance school when she wasn’t with the ballet.



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

A review of the Richmond Ballet by Shelley Pinto-Duschinsky in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

In its international debut Friday, the Richmond Ballet performed to a sold-out audience, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, at the Linbury Studio Theatre, an underground theater within London's Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, made famous by Margot Fonteyn.
Many had traveled from Richmond to witness what turned out to be a beautiful evening. This ensemble company deserves international attention and has caught the eye of the Royal Ballet School.



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:04 PM

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre moves to new digs.

A new state-of-the-art facility will fill a 19,000+ square foot space at 1800 MacLeod Avenue, on Sugarloaf Parkway directly across from Gwinnett Technical College. Five spacious studios, offices, a student study area, dressing areas with showers, a costume shop, and large storage areas for sets and costumes will give GBT more room than ever in which to fulfill its mission of offering the highest quality dance education and performances to the community.



#5 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:05 PM

A story on dance injuries.

Dance injuries have not been as extensively studied as many popular sports, but there is a growing body of study in the area of dance medicine, most of which is focused on ballet and modern dance. The majority of knee injuries in dancers are known as “overuse” injuries, including patellofemoral pain (pain in area of the knee cap) and jumper’s knee or patellar tendonitis (an inflammation of the tendon that attaches from the bottom of the kneecap to lower leg bone). This type of overuse injury is also common in other female athletes and often related to alignment of the leg with squatting, running or landing from jumps. Traumatic injuries such as torn ligaments or cartilage in the knee are much less common in dance than in sports such as soccer or basketball.



#6 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:07 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre in "Firebird" by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.

Wonderfully aided by strikingly vivid scenic designs by Simon Pastukh and costumes by Galina Solovyeva, all further enhanced by Wendall Harrington's projections, ABT's 2012 "Firebird" is closer to a Tim Burton movie than to a Ballets Russes panoramic pageant.

At times the 13 maidens—with their piled, powdered coiffures seemingly held in place by tangles of green cobwebs—could be so many Helena Bonham Carters. Likewise, slinky Kaschei, with his green tuft of a pompadour and sharp-tailed morning coat, could easily be a Johnny Depp character.



#7 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

A story on Chris Ofili's work for a new Royal Ballet piece by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.

So he turned to Titian's source material: Ovid's story about the young hunter Actaeon, who spies on the virgin goddess Diana while she is bathing with her nymphs; as a punishment, he is turned into a stag and torn apart by his own hounds. Ofili found it a "genuinely gripping read. All of its themes – desire, temptation, pride, beauty, the joy of the kill – felt relevant. The project got into my veins as a story." His confidence was boosted by his first serious meeting with the choreographers, who were all interested in staying close to Ovid's narrative. "We got on well, and it was easy to decide between us which were the most important elements of the story."



#8 dirac

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:28 AM

A note on the death of Tiffany Glenn by Sal Pizarro in The San Jose Mercury News.

Glenn, who retired from the company after the recently completed 2012 season, died Monday at age 33 in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Her last performance with the company was in March.

When word spread last week that her condition was grave, there was an outpouring of support and prayers posted on Facebook and emailed directly to her. Tuesday's San Jose City Council meeting was adjourned in her memory, at the request of Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen.



#9 dirac

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:48 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre and the Australian Ballet by Robert Gottlieb in The New York Observer.

Given the oddity of certain of Ratmansky’s choices, what makes this Firebird so joyous, so gratifying? As always in his work, there’s endlessly ingenious contrivance. Who else today deploys groups of dancers so clearly and tellingly? There are magical forest sets (by Simon Pastukh)—sometimes grotesque, sometimes beautiful. There are powerful and judiciously handled projections. The just-Russian-enough costumes (by Galina Solovyeva) are appealing. But most crucial is the way the action plunges propulsively ahead, with the struggle between good and evil hanging in the balance, until at the end the Firebird prevails, the girls emerge from their captivity with long golden tresses and long white dresses, and in a coup de théâtre, the captive boys are freed from the gnarled trees that have confined them. Stravinsky’s glorious climax ignites in Ratmansky a stirring affirmation of humanity and a vision of happiness restored.




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