It is obvious that Welch understands the power of images. The production is more than old-fashioned Orientalist confection. There's strong implications in the visuals, particularly in the concluding moment of Act I. Concluding a ravishing pas de deux, the reserved Butterfly gives herself over to Pinkerton. He leads her to their marriage bed and places her beneath him, her hand reaching towards the stars in both hopeful anticipation uncertainty. Butterfly is thus conquered over a shrine to the United States, complete with an American flag and a naval officer's cap. In this way, Welch's ballet becomes a scathing post-colonial critique.
Monday, September 10
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:18 AM
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:20 AM
Imitating her performance was not teaching dancers how to work best with their own bodies. Kirkland came to agree with Chernov that the only way to have a lasting impact on students was to create their own academy. They set about learning the craft of teaching ballet by spending a year with Nina Osipyan, one of the great teachers of Russia's famed Vaganova method as taught at the Kirov Ballet. This is the same school of ballet that produced Nijinsky, Balanchine, Nureyev, Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova. By any criteria, the Vaganova system works. The curriculum at GKACB also includes instruction in music theory, acting, character dancing, mime, partnering and body conditioning in addition to classical ballet technique.
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:23 AM
This is going to be a real extravaganza, with one of the most elaborate sets ever seen in Bangkok, performed by some of the most prize-winning dancers from international competitions to ever grace a stage here. The 120-member dance troupe will be accompanied by 72 musicians for performances on the evenings of October 2 and 3 at the Thailand Cultural Centre. The shows are part of Bangkok's 14th International Festival of Dance and Music.
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:25 AM
Their first show (with new commissions by Javier De Frutos, Luca Silvestrini and Didy Veldman and a reworking of a duet by Mats Ek from 1991) is funny and touching and very accessible, demystifying much of the jargon around ballet. An extended skit on taking a bow (elbowing fellow dancers out of the way) is met with cheers, as is the pretend tension between veterans Akrill and Broom and hot young talent Clemmie Sveaas (last seen in the Pet Shop Boys’ The Most Incredible Thing).
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:29 AM
But the elephant in the room was the budget and the new government's relationship with the arts community. There was no mention of the axing of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and the cutting of other arts initiatives. Instead the conversation was largely aspirational and optimistic.
Two of the newly appointed arts leaders were there: Queensland Ballet's artistic director-designate Li Cunxin and Opera Queensland's Lindy Hume. Joining them were Queensland Theatre Company artistic director Wesley Enoch and Fiona Maxwell, state manager of the Australia Council's philanthropic arm Artsupport.
Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:39 AM
“It’s important to me to extend the box [of how we understand ballet], not just for the dancers and the company, but for the community,” Angelini said. “If we don’t continue to challenge ourselves and our audience, the art form will die. The only way to stay fresh is to go a little bit out of our comfort zone.”
TB’s program this weekend builds upon and totally reimagines the classical tradition with three contemporary works: Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang (who created last season’s world premiere Romeo and Juliet for the company), Slice to Sharp by Boston Ballet’s Jorma Elo, and PreSentient by the English contemporary dance phenom Wayne McGregor.
Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:20 AM
Whatever Acosta’s merits as a visionary though, he has tripped up so far in his attempts at managing public relations for the Ballet School project.
When Foster released initial plans for the renovation, generating a buzz in the international press, several prominent Cuban architects reacted angrily, raising questions about the ethical implications of changing Garatti’s original design without his consent.
Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:39 AM
Macaulay's responders combine vitriol with blockheadedness. One commenter argues in favor of the stupid and evil Muslim characters in Raymonda and Le Corsair because stereotypes, he says, are basically accurate. (They may have removed that comment...I couldn't find it this time.)
Other people cling to the notion of authenticity despite Macaulay pointing out that there is no extant original to adhere to--and this lack of anchor seems only to have made the caricatures more offensive, not less.
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