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Monday, July 2


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#1 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:15 AM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in a mixed bill.

The Guardian

The evening's light relief comes with Ashton's Birthday Offering, a piece of dazzlingly tricky classical invention. And this summer, as athletes aim to smash every world record, it's worth noting that in 1956 (when the work was created), the Royal could field seven ballerinas capable of inspiring choreography that, even today, pushes dancers to the edge of their musical and technical limits.


The Independent

Created in 1923, Nijinska’s Les Noces is a stark masterpiece, evoking a Russian peasant wedding in fierce, stylised dances. The bride and her friends form a pyramid of faces, a geometric pileup. Feet stomp, or stab at the stage in sharp pointework. The corps de ballet churn and stamp through the pounding rhythms of Stravinsky’s harsh score.


The Stage

In contrast, Zenaida Yanowsky’s portrayed a gamut of emotions as the bored, spoilt but hopelessly enamoured heroine Natalia Petrovna in Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country. Made in 1976, it was Ashton’s last great work, artfully condensing Turgenev’s play into five memorably pas de deux. The eight-strong cast were all good, although Yanowsky, as ever, stood out, as did Rupert Pennefather who as the Tutor Beliaev showed his increasing maturity and assurance as a lead dancer.



#2 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

More.

The Financial Times

It is, indeed, so tremendous an event that the rest of this triple bill – Ashton’s Birthday Offering and A Month in the Country – can be forgiven for its moping. The first boasts Glazunov at his most luscious, Ashton at his most beguiling in making eight Fabergé variations for ballerinas, and it looked as if it had been left out in the rain overnight. A Month in the Country is Turgenev’s small summer tragedy given exquisite form, and was here a staging by the Crummles’s dramatic troupe, too laboured even to be funny. Scenery was rarely chewed to less purpose.


The Arts Desk

But there’ve been injuries and also Mason’s own dislike of flamboyance, and so the line-up was not a blinding A-1 team of ballerinas consistently throughout. With Rojo naturally centre, it called up sweet Yuhui Choe, crisp Laura Morera, courteous Sarah Lamb and dainty Roberta Marquez and a goodly selection of male cavaliers, but I wondered why Cojocaru and Nuñez weren’t in that A-team. We ought to gorge on ballerinas in Birthday Offering. And the second cast could be all the youngsters rising whom Mason puts her bets on.



#3 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:21 AM

Dancing tanks at an arms exposition in Moscow. Video.

In the opening movements, the T-80 and T-90A tanks maneuver to techno music. There is a brief tango interlude. For the classical portion, the Russian arms company enlisted a ballet director from the Bolshoi Theater, Andrei Melanin. He choreographed the machines, which range in weight from about 42 to 46 tons based on their configuration, to excerpts from “Carmen,” the opera by George Bizet.

The Russian tanker crews seem to coax their machines into delicate, even coquettish advances on other tanks. They pair up and separate, lower their guns like lances and charge at each other. At one point, two tanks twirl in a creaky, diesel-smoke-belching embrace.



#4 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:23 AM

A dancer who was critically injured after a mugging prepares for a return to the stage.

Jack Widdowson, 19, was told he might never dance again after suffering serious spinal injuries in an attack in Cardiff in November.
Now he is rehearsing for his first public performance on stage on Friday.



#5 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:26 AM

Jean-Christophe Maillot will create a new ballet for the Bolshoi.

The full-length dramatic ballet, the title of which remains to be announced, is expected to premiere at Moscow's main ballet and opera house next season, the Bolshoi's 237th.

"In the past 20 years, I haven't set a single performance in a troupe other than my own. But it wasn't because I didn't want to, it was because to make a ballet I need to have a strong relationship with the dancers I work with," Maillot said.



#6 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:30 AM

Napoleon Perdis writes on helping the Australian Ballet put on its makeup. Photos.

Along with helping to set the mood for the audience, makeup can also play a major role in getting dancers into the performance mindset. My dear friend Brooke Lockett, a coryphée with The Australian Ballet (and a self-proclaimed fan of my brand!), says her favorite part of preparing for a show is sitting down to do her makeup. (Yes, the dancers create those gorgeous looks themselves!). "It's when I get into the character I'm doing and when I center myself. I feel most beautiful when I have my stage face on and I'm dancing on stage," she tells me. "We always do our own makeup and I've loved it since I was a little girl so for me, it's an integral aspect of the whole experience of performing."



#7 dirac

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:31 AM

Ballet Idaho hires a development director. Item in brief.

As development director, Chaney will work with Ballet Idaho’s board of directors and development staff to develop a plan to meet the company’s annual fundraising goals.




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