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Carreno Dance Festival Festival of Stars


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:58 PM

I just got back from Sarasota, FL where I saw the Carreno Dance Festival's Festival of the Stars (two shows).

The first half starred Jose Manuel Carreno (Albrecht), Julie Kent (Giselle), Melanie Hamrick (Myrtha), and Gennadi Saveliev (Hilarion) in Act 2 of Giselle.

Carreno and Kent showed that they are true artists. They were touching as the lovers. Carreno may not be as amazing as in his prime, but he makes up for it in being dramatically alert. Same with Kent who showed off better balances in the second show. Although she was hard working and good Hamrick made the role of Myrtha look as hard as it is. She's young, so there is time for her to grow in this. Saveliev was a great Hilarion.

This was the Cuban version staged by Loipa Araujo and one example was that the Willis were much more aggressive (played by intensive students who took part in the summer intensive leading up to these performances) and demonic especially when killing off Hilarion than the American version.

For once I got to see alternating dancers as Sulma (one of the solo Willis) lift their legs and circle completely around. That is so much better than the leg coming down behind. Cristian taught me about this.

After intermission it was mostly modern stuff, although some nods to ballet. The first piece was done like a class for dancers.

Then, came a "Spanish Fiesta" which I suppose is interesting and nice in its own way, but it looked mostly flamenco based with little actual dancing and lots of stomping of feet and arms moving up and down in unison. I think the student dancers gave their all, but the choreography by Eduardo Veitia was not very inspiring, in my opinion. I have seen Flamenco dancing at the Columbia restaurant in Tampa, FL many times that was more exciting.

After that "A Contemporary Explosion" showing off the students doing all sorts of modern dancing which included ballet moves as well. I suppose it is wise to train young dancers to do this type of dancing since many of them will probably find work in music videos, but I have to say that for the most part, as much as I find it entertaining and occasionally impressive, it is not my cup of tea. There were some 6:05 or 6:10 leg lifts!

Then, something totally unexpected. Rubinald Pronk (previously a dancer with the Dutch National Ballet and now a contemporary artist) did an amazingly flexible yet artistic and jaw dropping dance "L'effleure".....I've never seen anything like it. His body was like a snake who learned to use his arms like Mariinsky dancers. It was very modern yet very ballet derived and if modern dance were always THIS interesting I would want to see more! I had never seen him before but found clips on YouTube. You might want to check out this fascinating dancer.

Pronk was supposed to dance a new piece with Misty Copeland, but she cancelled due to injury.

Taras Dimitro was supposed to dance a piece with Gennadi Saveliev but he also cancelled, so they moved Saveliev to Hilarion in Giselle.

The final piece was choreographed by Carreno. It was set to Ponchielli's famous ballet music Dance of the Hours" from La Gioconda which caused audience members to laugh. I guess they were reacting to knowing it from Fantasia. The first bars ("Hello, Mudder, Hello Fadder.....") were done while student dancers were seated in circles. I think that music cries out for pointe work myself, not just arms rising up and down. But they eventually did get up on pointe. It was very entertaining in the end and the young Arcadian Broad ended the show doing turns in second as the curtain fell (sort of like the Blue Boy in Les Patineurs. He is a young dancer to watch and the show gave him solo moments throughout.

Overall, I had a good time, but I wish they would have done Act 2 of Giselle at the end instead of at the beginning. It was also unfortunate that Misty Copeland and Taras Dimitro cancelled (apparently both cancelled due to injuries).

#2 Birdsall

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

Here are the faculty members of the Summer Intensive that led up to the Carreno Dance Festival of the Stars:

Loipa Araujo
Yuri Fateev
Rinat Imaev
Julie Kent
Gennadi Saveliev
Magaly Suarez
Eduardo Veitia

I thought some people would find this interesting. A very interesting mix of teachers!

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:41 PM

Here are the faculty members of the Summer Intensive that led up to the Carreno Dance Festival of the Stars:

Loipa Araujo
Yuri Fateev
Rinat Imaev
Julie Kent
Gennadi Saveliev
Magaly Suarez
Eduardo Veitia

I thought some people would find this interesting. A very interesting mix of teachers!


Interesting to see Suarez-(an exiled "black sheep")-sharing space side by side with Araujo, the ultra-conservative pro-Alonso iron lady.

#4 Birdsall

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 04:44 AM


Here are the faculty members of the Summer Intensive that led up to the Carreno Dance Festival of the Stars:

Loipa Araujo
Yuri Fateev
Rinat Imaev
Julie Kent
Gennadi Saveliev
Magaly Suarez
Eduardo Veitia

I thought some people would find this interesting. A very interesting mix of teachers!


Interesting to see Suarez-(an exiled "black sheep")-sharing space side by side with Araujo, the ultra-conservative pro-Alonso iron lady.



Maybe they respect each other in ballet if not in other areas of life. You never know. I have Republican friends even though we disagree about issues a lot.

#5 Kristen

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

Bart - Thanks for the report. Sorry I was out of the state last weekend and didn't make it to Sarasota.


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