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Saturday, October 20


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#1 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:05 PM

Reviews of the National Ballet of Canada in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

Los Angeles Times

Sounds perfect for kiddies and their grandmas, except it’s nearly twice “Nutcracker's” length (just under three hours) and is even more incoherent as a narrative than most “Nutcracker” productions.

The opening scene seems to place Alice in a real 19th century environment from which she soon takes flight in fantasy. But an epilogue confirms that we are in her dream right from the start, and, along the way, as antic, hard-sell episodes pile up, only a few sequences make a strong effect....


LA Observed

The National Ballet of Canada's hugely ambitious production of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (in Los Angeles for a brief three day run at the Music Center) has much to offer. A world-class choreographer in Christopher Wheeldon, an original score by Joby Talbot, superb dancing, romance, and a surprise ending. There's even a tap-dancing, if slightly twisted, Gene Kelly-esque Mad Hatter. But for me, the real stars are the sets and costumes (by Bob Crowley) and the special effects.


Orange County Register

Wheeldon's "Alice" is indeed a wonderland – a wildly creative yet largely faithful adaptation of Lewis Carroll's 1865 tale, whose fantastical imagery and anthropomorphic creatures long ago became lodged permanently in the cultural consciousness. It's performed with the right balance of technical brilliance, comedy, acting and élan by Canada's premiere ballet company, an impressively disciplined ensemble that I wish would visit these parts more often.



#2 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:08 PM

A review of Pennsylvania Ballet in "Giselle" by Ellen Dunkel in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

This run of Giselle is notable as the last dance for beloved principal Arantxa Ochoa before she retires from the stage. (She has already begun the next phase of her career, as principal instructor at the newly reopened School of Pennsylvania Ballet.) Ochoa was to perform Friday night, as well as in a final performance at the Oct. 28 matinee.

But Julie Diana, who danced the title role Thursday, was wonderful as well. Her strong dancing and acting and delicate features made her believable as a young girl, and later a ghost defending her feckless lover, Count Albrecht, from the vengeful female spirits called Wilis. Albrecht was played by her real-life husband, the reliable Zachary Hench, the flirt who breaks Giselle's heart.



#3 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:10 PM

A review of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet by Luke Jennings in The Observer.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet was founded in 2003 by the Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Laurie. The financing of a New York-based dance company is no small matter, but with Laurie's fortune estimated at $3.9bn, Cedar Lake's future is probably secure. The company's artistic director, the French-born and fabulously-named Benoit-Swan Pouffer, has commissioned with a discerning eye, and when the company visited London for the first time last week he presented a triple bill which showed off its 16 dancers to spectacular effect.



#4 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:13 PM

A review of the Joffrey Ballet by Britt Julious for Gapers Block.

Romanticism in performative outlets is not merely a means to highlight ideas of the beautiful. The idea of the "romantic," - in this case, focusing on love and relationships and the complications that arise within - is one that should be handled with care. Like many of the other works performed as part of the Joffrey Ballet's Human Landscapes fall engagement at the Auditorium Theatre, the routines and struggles that most of us encounter throughout our lives elicit gripping storytelling. Each work featured the live accompaniment of the Chicago Philharmonic, escalating the presence and the physicality of the movements.



#5 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:16 PM

A review of the Minnesota Ballet in 'Dracula' by Lawrence Bernabo for The Duluth News Tribune.

Of the sixteen roles, only six are danced by the same performers as in last year’s World Premier, arithmetic that is hardly surprising given half of the ballet’s company is new this season. While it is clearly not intended that “Dracula” become a second perennial for the company, it is equally obvious that from time to time this production will need to see the light of day.



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:17 PM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Clara LaVelle in the Miami New Times.

Before the Miami City Ballet dancers performed for the first time without founder Edward Villella last night, new artistic director Lourdes Lopez took the stage to give thanks. Declaring that she was "back home," Lopez reminisced about growing in up a very different Miami -- one without MOCA, or the Colony Theatre, New World Symphony or the Arsht Center.

Since then, the arts scene in town has grown -- and is still growing -- in exciting ways, she declared, saying "I have a responsibility to continue the ongoing cultural development of South Florida."



#7 dirac

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

A review of Orlando Ballet in "Vampire's Ball" by Matthew J.Palm in The Orlando Sentinel.


With Orlando Ballet's revival of "Vampire's Ball," the happy answer is yes — the familiar thrills are there. Larry Rayburn's stylish sets, Helena Kuukka's eerie lighting and Eddy Frank Fernandez's decadent costumes are ingredients in this frothy concoction of Halloween fun.
Daniel Benavides and Katia Garza are back as the Vampire and Vampiress, whose feud is at the center of the storyline. The two bring sexual chemistry to the pairing: He flourishes his cape as he gazes at her with smug aloofness, she's a whirling dervish of flashing eyes, bared teeth and flowing hair.



#8 dirac

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:39 PM

A preview of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's 'Giselle' by Mark Kanny in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


“We do a traditional version, but much of this has really changed a lot because dance has evolved so much in the last 170 years,” says Terrence Orr, the ballet’s artistic director. “If we did it the way it was done back then, probably no one today would come to see it. This production is up with the times for our dancers technically. You will see incredible classical dancing with some fantastic acting as our artists portray these roles.”

Alexandra Kochis, who will be dancing her first Giselle, didn’t see the ballet until her senior year in high school — when she was a student in the professional division of Boston Ballet.



#9 dirac

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

A review of ABT in "Symphony #9" by Marina Harss in The Faster Times.

Here and in the movement that followed, the alternate-cast Veronika Part—a great dramatic ballerina—revealed powerful undercurrents of sadness. Where Polina Semionova’s twisting, supple body had given the duet the feel of an illicit tryst, Part’s powerful back and shoulders made it clear that the peril came from without. She communicated fear, desperation, and the desire to protect her lover from harm. Thus, it made even more sense to see the lone male figure—Jared Matthews, in this cast, Herman Cornejo in the first—as a guardian angel protecting the couple.



#10 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:52 AM

Hedy Weiss reviews the Joffrey in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Anyone who has seen the Joffrey Ballet perform in recent seasons knows that it is dancing better than ever. But with “Human Landscapes,” its current program of three works, the company demonstrates that it easily can go head-to-head (or foot-to-foot) with the finest of this city’s actors, too. The Joffrey has long been renowned for possessing something beyond exceptional technique. And with this demanding and very different mix of works, dancers have been given powerful opportunities to use their dramatic abilities.



A review of the company by Mary Ellen Shoup in DePaul University's student paper.

As the golden glow from the 24-karat gold-leafed ceiling arches faded, the audience was greeted by Joffrey's devoted executive director Christopher Clinton Conway. Conway warmly welcomed all in attendance and introduced the highly acclaimed Chicago Philharmonic as the accompaniment for the evening's performance. A short "behind-the-scenes" film provided the audience with a glimpse into the countless rehearsals leading up to the opening night as well as some of the stylistic choices for each of the separate acts. The film concludes with Joffrey's artistic director, Ashley C. Wheater, explaining that the purpose behind the evening's final part, Kurt Jooss' "The Green Table," is to "ask ourselves how we move forward as a world."



#11 dirac

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:58 AM

A review of Miami City Ballet by Jordan Levin in The Miami Herald.

Television journalist Michael Putney started things off Friday evening at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House with a tribute to departed founding artistic director Edward Villella. The gesture was probably necessary, but was rendered weirdly self-serving and uncomfortable by Villella’s absence – and was made more so by Putney’s praise for the leaders of the ballet board who ousted him.




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