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Thursday, July 19


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#1 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:27 AM

A review of the Hong Kong Ballet by Tresca Weinstein in The Albany Times Union.

The troupe, made up of mostly Chinese dancers, is up to the challenge. In Christe’s “Symphony in Three Movements,” from 1983, set to Igor Stravinsky’s composition of the same name, they are constantly on the go, running, whirling and rolling across the floor in changing arrangements and numbers. A section featuring 12 men is disciplined and ceremonial, like a series of martial-arts forms, with repeated arm gestures and pirouettes in the air. Some of the ensemble sections feature 24 dancers—a big crowd for the Pillow stage—moving in either perfect unison or perfectly timed alternation.



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

Two reviews of New York City Ballet by Jay Rogoff in The Saratogian.

Romeo + Juliet

Martins initially gambled that teenaged dancers would project Romeo and Juliet’s innocence; after all, Shakespeare’s Juliet is 13. But Hyltin and Fairchild now combine their technical mastery and dramatic understanding to create a complex impression of youthful freshness and boldness.


Mixed bill

The high kicking grew ecstatic in the finale, with Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle’s nonstop gypsy rondo. Kowroski kept flinging a sensational leg skyward over her head, forward and back. She and Angle pranced side by side, and he lofted her in gigantic aerial splits before she plunged into his arms with a drop-dead backbend to end it.

At the other extreme, Jerome Robbins’ “Moves,” his ensemble ballet without music for 12 dancers, provided more tense and mysterious excitement.



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

Northern Ballet offers a "try before you buy" program.

It will also offer a preview of their latest production, Ondine, which will be on stage in September. Rehearsals take place twice daily on 9, 23 and 30 August starting at 1.10pm and 5.40pm and last for less than an hour. Tickets cost just £5 and include a packed lunch at the lunchtime events. The evening events include a drink.

The ticket price is fully redeemable against the cost of a ticket to see Ondine at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds between 8 and 15 September.



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:08 AM

Social notes on the Paris Opera Ballet gala, with pix.

On July 11, a beautiful summer evening welcomed guests to cocktails, a performance, supper and the chic, lively experience of simply dancing the night away. The event took place at the spacious David H. Koch Theater, serving as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. The Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Ballet), the oldest national ballet company in the world, was the heartbeat of the night and the spirit that lingered in the hearts of the spectators.



#5 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

An interview with Bess Kargman and Michaela DePrince.

“Because I’m black, people think I’m not capable of being delicate, only athletic,” she says. “I want to show that black people can dance ballet as well as white people. Recently, two little black girls saw me perform and afterwards told me they didn’t know that black dancers could do ballet, because they’d never seen it before.”

Kargman got the idea for the documentary a few years ago, when she chanced upon a group of a 100 young dancers outside a theatre in Manhattan. It turned out to be the Youth America Grand Prix.



#6 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:17 AM

Morihiro Iwata retires from the Bolshoi.

At the end of the performance, the 41-year-old first soloist, who joined the company in 1995 and has won recognition for his cabriole (a type of leap in which one leg is thrown upward and then both legs are beaten together) and expressiveness, sat on the stage Japanese style and bowed deeply toward the audience of almost 1,000.

"I have been happy during my 17 years here surrounded by good dancers and good people," Iwata said afterward. "The Bolshoi is great."



#7 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:31 PM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker's blog.

Because “Giselle” is such an icon, we often get mausoleum-type performances. Everyone is trying to live up to the ballet. But strangely—or perhaps logically—P.O.B., which more or less owns “Giselle,” does not go in for this. Their production was appropriately mythic. You have never seen such Wilis—doom in pink shoes. (And the ensemble was huge: twenty-four women, as opposed, for example, to American Ballet Theatre’s eighteen.) On the other hand, the show was full of persuasive acting. When Albrecht is blowing kisses to Giselle in Act One, he actually makes smooching sounds. As the curtain goes up Act Two, where Albrecht will meet Giselle’s ghost in the forest, there are men playing craps in the mist, by lantern-light. You can hear the dice knocking around in the cup. Nothing is presented as “This is the great ‘Giselle.’” It is all real.




#8 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:36 PM

A feature on the YouTube ballet tribute videos of 13-year-old Tamara Pkhakadze by Toni Bentley in The New York Times.

From books and the Internet she gathers the photos (all in the public domain) for her videos, she said, and then places them in “a special order”: childhood and family images followed by work and dancing images. After choosing the music, “I focus on the rhythm and appropriate images to the moments of music,” she wrote in an e-mail. Several years ago her mother taught her how to use Photoshop, Corel and Moviemaker, the computer programs she uses. She frequently “discusses and argues” with her parents about the various art themes, she said.

She noticed a few years ago that “very few documentary videos” on Toumanova exist, “so I decided to make some myself. This is a way for me to tell people about this great choreographer, the composers and ballet dancers whose names are not popular today in wide society.".....



#9 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:39 PM

Reviews of "First Position" from the Canadian press.

The National Post

The viewer, and maybe even Kargman herself, eventually forgets these little athletes are children. They are always poised in interviews and on-camera. Their dancing is breathtaking. There is no drama, no meltdowns. There are also no villains — just the tyranny of the work and a war with oneself to do the best possible.


The Montreal Gazette

First Position follows the stories of seven dancers, ranging in age from 10 to 17 as they prepare for the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest ballet competition for students. The film has been a crowd favourite on the festival circuit during the past year.


The Toronto Star

She’s deliberately chosen to profile kids who fall outside of the princess-pretty ballet cliché ideal — although there is one, 17-year-old American Rebecca, whose penchant for pink Barbie-wear belies a fierce will.

Far more interesting is 14-year-old Michaela, who was born in Sierra Leone and whose parents were killed during that country’s civil war. Adopted by a white, middle-aged American couple, the liquid-eyed beauty credits her recovery from war-scarred child to confident American girl with fantasies of being a ballerina. She is astonishingly powerful, leaping and turning midair with seemingly effortless grace.



#10 dirac

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:42 PM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet in "Giselle" by Marina Harss in The Faster Times.

....Until last night (July 18), when I saw Dorothée Gilbert in Giselle, I had admired the company as a whole, but was not particularly
drawn to any of the ballerinas; they have a certain cool reserve that keeps one at arm’s length. But Gilbert (an Étoile since 2007) is a dancer I would like to see again and again: she seems to have all the attributes of the French school but also to transcend them with her own personal qualities as a dancer and actress. Yes, she is slightly more showy in her technique, while never tipping into excess. She has that special quality particular to great dancers: she fills the stage with her presence and makes you feel you are experiencing the ballet anew.




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