Escapism is part of ballet: O.K. But what these story ballets now offer is not escape any longer — it’s insultingly frivolous. Despite decades in which dancers of African, Asian and other backgrounds have shown they too can excel in ballet, these productions casually imply that it actually remains a white art form in which dancers of color may come and go as guests. Ballet is larger than any one race; but not so in these stagings.
How far should we tread in the uneasy quagmire of political correctness? You can spend a lot of time arguing about whether the Chinese or Arabian dances in “The Nutcracker” are racially offensive. I’ve seen “Nutcracker” productions where some of the national dances were replaced by others to more ethnographically correct music; these only prove that you unbalance “The Nutcracker” when you inject it with elements of non-Tchaikovskian music.
Wednesday, September 5
Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:55 AM
Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:58 AM
Other big productions in the 2013 season include the much loved Don Quixote, La Sylphide and Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake.
Artistic director David McAllister said he wanted to present an iconic year of work to back up from this year's ambitious 50th anniversary celebrations.
He created Scuola di ballo with the Australian Ballet in 2009, part of a triple bill called Concord, but has not created a full-length work in Australia before.
Ratmansky’s Cinderella is the highlight of the Australian Ballet’s 2013 season, announced on Wednesday at the Ballet’s Melbourne storage centre in Kensington. It is the last season launch the company will have at the atmospheric but crumbling former wool store; it is building a new $10 million production centre in nearby Altona.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:05 AM
In other dance news, the Abrons Arts Center has announced the appointment of Robert La Fosse, a veteran of American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet, as its new director of education. Mr. La Fosse will head the arts training program, which dates back to founding mission of Henry Street Settlement in 1893.
At the Abrons, La Fosse will lead a program that offers more than 100 classes a year and has an annual enrollment of more than 500 students. He also is charged with the direction of the Abrons Dance Ensemble and Urban Youth Theater, as well as the Abrons' extensive programs in New York City public schools.
Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:12 AM
In July, executive director Nicholas Goldsborough, who was hired nine months earlier as a big-gun fund raiser, lost his job. Chief Financial Officer Jonah Pruitt is now serving as executive director.
Also in July, Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., was brought in to advise the company on its strategic plan and strengthening its development efforts. Outcomes from the organization’s work with Kaiser will be announced by October, Pruitt said.
And to Villella’s inventory of wounds we can now add his heart. MCB on Tuesday abruptly announced that its 75-year-old founder would leave his post this week, more than seven months before an agreed-upon departure date scheduled for April.
The official statement released Tuesday by MCB was a well-rehearsed pas de deux, with niceties exchanged on both sides.
Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:32 AM
I enjoyed your article on the lack of black ballet dancers (G2, 5 September) – finally the issue is being discussed. But the article did not mention Trinidad-born Céline Gittens, the stunning soloist from Birmingham Royal Ballet.....
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