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Thursday, August 23


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#1 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:40 AM

Gene Kelly is celebrated on his 100th birthday.

The Telegraph

Kelly was a relative latecomer to screen stardom. He had made his way as a dance teacher before he started to work on Broadway; he was 29 before the Hollywood talent scouts came calling and his early rise was interrupted by two years war service in the Naval Air Service – though since he was only working in the photographic unit, he used the time to learn more about cinema.


NPR

But it was never easy. In 1982, Kelly spoke about the hard work of dancing, which he identified as a form of masochism.

"You have to punish your body," Kelly told an audience at the National Press Club in Washington. "Your muscles have to be tough enough and hard enough so that you can pick up the girl, and at the same time your legs have to be strong enough so you can jump over the table without taking 40 steps."


Slate

Kelly’s legacy can also be found all over music videos. The photographer Mike Salisbury shot Michael Jackson for the cover of Off the Wall in the “Gene Kelly white sox [sic] and loafers”—a signature look for the movie star, which would soon become the singer’s own recognizable brand (with added sparkle). Just a few years later, Jackson and Paul McCartney paid homage to Kelly and Singin’ in the Rain co-star Donald O’Connor in their video for “Say Say Say,” which features outfits almost identical to the Singin’ number “Fit as a Fiddle.” Paula Abdul, first known primarily for her dancing and choreography, referenced Kelly’s famous dance with Jerry the Mouse in her kitschy video for “Opposites Attract,” which includes a final tap-dance breakdown.


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Kelly's hometown paper)

The idea of a statue for Kelly has certainly been kicked around, before ultimately being kicked to the curb. He and his umbrella were going to be embronzed in Gateway Center back in the '90s, right there for all passing traffic to spew their state-limited emissions upon. Then Kelly's widow, who married him in 1990 despite nearly half a century of age difference between them -- he was the older one, in case you were wondering -- put the kibosh on any public statue plan.



#2 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:41 AM

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

The unexpected something was Stanton Welch's "Son of Chamber Symphony," which had its world premiere at the Pillow Wednesday. Mixing moods and allusions, the piece artfully matches the intriguing arrhythmia of John Adams' composition of the same name. The opening is particularly powerful: four men, their limbs snapping and shuddering like overwound robots, surround a single spotlit woman (Yumelia Garcia) stretched in an arabesque, her disc of a tutu quivering around her hips. It's as if aliens or humans from the future read about ballet and tried to reconstruct it without visuals.




#3 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:42 AM

Tulsa Ballet acquires seven new dancers.

The new company members are: senior soloists Ovidiu Iancu and Madalina Stoica of Romania; demi-soloist Ruslan Mukhambetkaliyev of Kazakhstan; and corps de ballets members Jiyan Dai, Jia Sun (both of China), Shu Kinouchi and Takashi Okita (both of Japan).

Iancu trained with the English National Ballet before returning to his homeland to work with the Bucharest National Opera, where he rose to the rank of principal dancer. He has won numerous awards for his dancing and performed as a guest soloist throughout Europe, Angelini said.



#4 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:43 AM

Ballet Austin holds a day of free classes.

Come Dance! 2012 classes will represent the broad range of dance styles and levels available through Ballet Austin’s BCS, which includes ballet, Ballet Fit, theatre dance, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, hula, jazz funk, tap, Turbo Kick, Videodance, modern and West African. Ballet Austin’s Come Dance! celebration has become one of Austin’s favorite free dance events, with up to 1,000 participants. An up-to-date schedule of classes is available at the Ballet Austin website.



#5 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:44 AM

Diablo Ballet will host a screening of West Side Story next month.

Before the screening, Lauren Jonas, Diablo Ballet Artistic Director and local film critic Beau Behan will share fascinating facts about the making of the film.

During the summer, Diablo Ballet’s Dance on Film series presents some of the finest examples of dance captured in popular movies.



#6 dirac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:11 AM

Ballet San Jose announces its 2012-13 season.

In addition, the company -- which danced to recorded music during its past season -- will return to live music with new musical director and conductor George Daughtery.

Perhaps the biggest break with the company's past is the new "Nutcracker," choreographed by longtime lead dancer Karen Gabay and with fresh sets and costumes. Since the company was formed, it has danced a critically-acclaimed "Nutcracker" choreographed and staged by co-founder and former artistic director Dennis Nahat. Nahat's departure was just one aspect of a troubled period for the company that also included the resignations of leading board members, a truncated season and the decision to use recorded music.



#7 dirac

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:13 AM

Nicholas and Laura Schultz will teach a master class.

Nicholas Schultz joined Grand Rapids Ballet in 2002 and has had the opportunity to guest with companies in Michigan and internationally. He has studied at both the Joffrey Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. He has been the choreographer for Children's Opera Workshop for the past 2 years. Nicholas joins Young People's Ballet Theatre this season as Artistic Director.



#8 dirac

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:36 PM

An essay on Alonzo King and his company by Jennifer Homans in The New Republic (August 23 issue).

If ballet is languishing today, it is not for want of funding, or a failure of dance companies to attract the social media crowd, or a polarization between high culture and popular culture. These are all problems, of course; but the real crisis is a crisis of ideas and imagination. Too much choreography today feels locked into mere steps and technical execution—those arid chain reactions. And this locks the dancers in, too. They are not free really to dance, to think their way into and through a dance.

Alonzo King is one of the few ballet choreographers working today who is genuinely thinking and asking his dancers to think, too.....




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