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Friday, July 6


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#1 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:24 AM

Previews of the Paris Opera Ballet's New York engagement.

The New York Times

As Élisabeth Platel, a former Paris Opera Ballet étoile who now runs the school, pointed out, there is also, quite outside of the specific exercises, the fact that the children spend six to eight years as boarders together at the school.

“We grow up together,” she said in a telephone interview. “We have absorbed the same ideas, had the same teachers. There is an oral tradition passed down that is part of our way of being. We haven’t read about these things in books; we have lived them.”


The Star-Ledger

Speaking of the Paris Opera school, Lefèvre says that in addition to a typically French emphasis on aerial "batterie" and petit allegro, her dancers display the intimacy of long-standing acquaintance. Most of them have known one another since childhood, and these relationships add a human dimension to the troupe’s stylistic unity.

"It’s a rigorous style, but it’s not rigid," Lefèvre says.



#2 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:29 AM

A story on Les Ballets de Saisons Russes by Alison Smale in The New York Times.

The idea of bringing Rubinstein back to life on a Paris stage first occurred to Andris Liepa, the guiding spirit of this latter-day Ballets Russes, when he saw his sister, Ilse, dressed for the filming of his restoration of Fokine’s “Scheherazade” in a wintry January 1993.

“She arrived for the first rehearsals, and I saw that it wasn’t Ilse, it was Ida Rubinstein,” Mr. Liepa recalled during an hourlong conversation in the Elysées theater. Back then, his dance career ended early by a torn ligament, he was just starting to restore Fokine’s work. He resolved to find out more about Rubinstein.



#3 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:33 AM

An item on the opening night gala held for the Paris Opera Ballet in Chicago.

More than $2 million was raised to benefit Harris Theater's ongoing programs as well as their mission of supporting emerging and mid-sized performing arts organizations.



#4 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

Natalie Portman strikes poses for a new Dior ad.

Portman trained eight hours a day and lost 20 pounds for her Oscar-winning role as a troubled prima ballerina in the 2010 film. The movie also introduced her to fiance Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed the movie. (The couple's son, Aleph, was born last June, and the pair will reportedly wed next month in Big Sur.)


Related.

The Oscar-winning actress recreated the famous scene from Federico Fellini's 1960 film La Dolce Vita in which actress Anita Ekberg wades fully-dressed through the Trevi fountain in Rome.

And Portman - clad in a strapless black gown similar to that worn by Ekberg in the scene - also appeared to be drawing upon the ballet training she had for her role in Black Swan as she gracefully reached towards the sky.



#5 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:43 AM

A story on the cutting of New York City Ballet's Saratoga season to one week by Scott Waldman in The Albany Times Union.

City Ballet has been an essential part of SPAC's history for 47 years and the venue was built, with public money, for the group. George Balanchine a City Ballet founder, even helped design the stage. The venue's opening night, on July 8, 1966, featured City Ballet performing Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The troupe is widely considered one of the world's best ballet companies.

SPAC will pay the ballet company about $1.7 million for this month's two-week residency, according to White. That is about $150,000 less than SPAC's cost for the last three-week ballet season, in 2008.



#6 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:45 AM

Chris Ofili talks about his new work for the Royal Ballet.

In the tradition of Diaghilev, who commissioned Stravinsky and Picasso as collaborators, the ballets are the coming together of great names in music, dance and art. Composers for the event include Nico Muhly and Mark-Anthony Turnage; choreography is from stellar names such as Christopher Wheeldon and Wayne McGregor; and the designs are by three British artists – Ofili, Mark Wallinger and Conrad Shawcross.

The artists were asked to respond to Titian's great paintings of the Diana and Actaeon myth – themselves visualisations of episodes from Ovid's endlessly unwinding, sinuously inventive poem Metamorphoses. The story is of a hunter who comes upon the chaste goddess Diana and her nymphs bathing in a sacred grove. The goddess punishes the voyeur by transforming him into a stag, and he is torn to pieces by his own hounds.



#7 dirac

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

A feature on Michaela DePrince.

Yet despite all of this success, DePrince has felt the effects of racism in her ballet career. "Being a dark black ballet dancer, there's a lot of pressure on us, " Michaela told ABC News. "I feel like I have to work ten times harder than everyone else."

She is determined to break down the unfortunate--and often unspoken--race barriers that define the ballet world. DePrince said that she hopes to play the white swan in Swan Lake one day, hoping that people see past racial stereotypes.



#8 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:19 PM

Wiliam Whitener will step down from the artistic directorship of Kansas City Ballet after the 2012-13 season.

Whitener also commissioned 17 new works for the company by American choreographers, such as Jessica Lang and Donald McKayle, as well as presenting historically significant works.

In 2011, the Kansas City Ballet moved performances from the Lyric Theatre to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and opened the Todd Bolender Center for the Dance and Creativity. The company's budget has grown from $2.5 to $7 million.


Related.

As a dancer and a choreographer, Whitener, 60, has worked in a range of media and genres: formal ballet, Broadway musicals, film and television. After working almost exclusively with dance companies for 20 years, Whitener said, he wanted to get back to explore broader opportunities with different kinds of artists.

"I miss working with actors and singers and ice skaters," he said. "In my past I've had a wide variety of experience, which has been very interesting to share with people in the dance world. I most identify with those artists who have worked on Broadway and in dance companies. … My freelance work to date has been in musical theater, opera and television, and I'm gonna give it a go...."



#9 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:22 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre in "Le Corsaire" by Gia Kourlas in The New York Times.

Previous Ballet Theater performances of “Le Corsaire” have allowed for more humor — this is a work that can take a touch of camp — but they didn’t have Ms. Osipova as Medora. She is a glittering technician, whose grands jetés soar through the air with so little effort that the sight of her lithe form hanging high above the stage is a shock every time.

Still, her capacity for power is tempered by an innate gossamer fragility. In “Le Corsaire” Ms. Osipova possesses a winning freshness, but she’s funny as well. Some of her most charming moments were opposite Mr. Barbee’s pasha, as when she shuddered through her laughter while tickling his old-man beard.



#10 dirac

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:25 PM

A blog post by Maria Kochetkova for sfgate.com.

Last night was our second and final performance in Russia. While our first performance was a number of pas de deux along with performances by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and the Bolshoi Ballet, the second performance was Helgi Tomasson's "7 for Eight" and the pas de deux from his "Romeo & Juliet," which I performed with Joan Boada. It was great to interact with the Bolshoi dancers who were performing Yuri Possokhov's "Classical Symphony" on both nights. Because the work was set on a number of us who were there, we could empathize with the Bolshoi dancers who were talking about how difficult it was.




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