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Wednesday, October 24


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#1 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:39 PM

A review of Ballet Next by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

But the makeup of the company has remained vague and therefore problematic. Even the day after the opening the Joyce Web site said that “guest artists slated to perform include Georgina Pazcoguin and Ana Sophia Scheller, New York City Ballet; Jason Reilly, Stuttgart Ballet; Karina Gonzalez, Houston Ballet; and Carla Körbes, Pacific Northwest Ballet.” Ms. Scheller and Ms. Körbes aren’t, however, part of the season. Since Ms. Körbes, a ballerina too seldom seen in New York these days, is currently in the high summer of her gifts, this is cause for real disappointment.



#2 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:42 PM

A review of Ballet Theatre of Maryland in "The Dancing Princesses" by Mary Johnson in The Baltimore Sun.

For each of the nine scenes in this two-act ballet, Cuatto chose ideal musical accompaniment by such 19th century composers as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Camille Saint-Saens and Leo Delibes. Stirring, lively, romantic or dramatic music added charm, atmosphere and magic to all dance segments.



#3 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:43 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger.

In its purity and innocence, Mark Morris’ “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes” makes a terrific showcase for this company’s youthful talents. José Limón’s “The Moor’s Pavane,” among the greatest dances ever conceived, remains a taut, dramatic vehicle for actors who can rise to its magnificent heights. Antony Tudor’s “The Leaves are Fading,” deceptively delicate, seems a holdover from a time when choreographers were able to turn the academic vocabulary to markedly personal ends. Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room” continues its glorious run, steaming and scintillating. Only Agnes de Mille’s “Rodeo” seems out of place. A twisted attack on women, this creaky Western farce from 1942 is long past its expiration date.



#4 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

Ballet Minnesota celebrates its twenty-fifth season with a free concert.

Andrew Rist, the company's artistic director, will be choreographing original routines to George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" and Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge" for the fall concert.

Rist said less than a handful of American dance companies have attempted Handel's "Messiah," a piece he has been wanting to choreograph for 20 years.



#5 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:46 PM

A review of New York City Ballet MOVES by Caroline Palmer for The StarTribune of Minneapolis.

Forsythe's "Herman Schmerman (Pas de Deux)," portrays a complex kinetic relationship between principals Maria Kowroski and Robert Fairchild. The dancers' limbs alternately extend to their utmost potential and then curl up into one other. Hips and torsos swivel with an almost elastic ease. The piece has tiny surprises, notably pratfalls transformed into elegant moments against Thom Willems' deconstructed funhouse score. Both Kowroski and Fairchild perform this 1992 work, the evening's highlight, with subtle wit and sophistication.



#6 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

Q&A with Fernando Alonso.

HT: Ballet, like every kind of art, continues to develop as time goes on. Reflecting on this affirmation, is this a concern for Fernando Alonso?

Fernando Alonso: Yes, I’ve already had some concern with this: in the first place we have fallen into an exaggerated preoccupation with the technical, due to the public’s enthusiasm for the spectacle, for the circus. It’s extremely important that the technical aspect be extraordinary, but we can’t overload the choreographies with so many difficult steps that the public often doesn’t even note and doesn’t calculate “Oh, that is very complex.”



#7 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:49 PM

Q&A with Bruce Steivel.

California Literary Review: You are now Artistic Director for two companies, one in the States and one in Europe. Other than personal economics, what do you see as a benefit to combining the two assignments?

Bruce Steivel: Being an Artistic Director of two companies an ocean apart is certainly an interesting assignment. I plan to incorporate the dancers from both countries into several productions. I already have brought one male dancer from San Mateo to perform with the company in Belgrade and intend to bring three dancers from Belgrade to San Mateo to perform this season. It will be an interesting cultural exchange and benefit both the dancers and the companies.



#8 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:56 PM

Reviews of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Financial Times

Our headline title is owed to Birmingham Royal Ballet for the opening triple bill of this week’s season in ancestral Rosebery Avenue. If opposites do indeed attract, then this is an oddly unattractive event. Three ballets without narrative, with lean casting, and scores by Dave Brubeck, Grieg and Beethoven, are danced in minimal design, and – ô rage ô désespoir, as a Racinian heroine once remarked – seem calculated to give your critic the ho-hums. The graph throughout the evening of my own désespoir was a line plummeting to the lower edge of the paper.


The Guardian

Yet Lang has an exceptional stage imagination. Her major innovation in this piece is to have the dancers construct the set as they move. Sheaves of concertinaed black paper, like giant expanding files, are moved deftly into position at various points throughout: they are made to spiral into mazes, they are stretched into pillars and walls, and spread into Japanese fans. A fascinatingly organic relationship develops between set and choreography as the patterns of the dance form around the logic of the paper designs, and new landscapes are conjured to suit the musical affect of each piano piece.


The Evening Standard

“Polite” is the word you would best use to describe Birmingham Royal Ballet. They are wholly inoffensive. They are the kind of ballet company you could take round to your grandma’s for tea and they would wear nice dresses and have good manners and make well-spoken conversation while your gran nods off in the corner.



#9 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:58 PM

A preview of Cincinnati Ballet in 'Alice (in wonderland).'

And with lively choreography from Cuban-born Septime Webre of The Washington Ballet — who previously lent his talents for the company’s popular Peter Pan production — the dancing promises to soar and capture the imagination of adults and children alike. The Ballet is really taking all aspects to new heights with this bold new production that just premiered at The Washington Ballet in April: magnificent scenery, sets and lighting — plus the premier of an expanded score for 55 musicians, played live by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra...



#10 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:02 PM

An interview with Arantxa Ochoa.

Her decision to retire from it now, she confesses, is hard to put into words. “It’s the right time. Other performers always say that you will know when the time comes. I never thought that I would, but then something clicks, and you just know it’s time to move on and try other things.” And while she’s had her share of injuries—including breaking her fifth metatarsal—she says that the physical demands of ballet are only one factor in her decision to retire. “It’s a little bit of everything. It is your mind, as well as your body. I’ve had a wonderful career. And it is just the right time.”




#11 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:06 PM

A NBC News story on Keenan Kampa. Video.

An outsider at Vaganova, Kampa remembers her first year as “full of silence.” Unable to communicate with her Russian peers and away from her family for the first time, she struggled to adapt to a foreign culture and an unfamiliar style of ballet. “Everything about that move was uncomfortable- mentally, emotionally, and then physically, too, because the work ethic there is so different from what we as Americans are used to,” she said.



#12 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

A review of Miami City Ballet by J. W. Arnold for South Florida Gay News.

If any instability remains within the administrative or fundraising functions of company, it wasn’t apparent on stage as the dancers gave stunning performances to an enthusiastic audience.

Program I, selected before Lopez’s appointment, began with Les Patineurs (The Skating Party). The temperature inside the Ziff Ballet Opera Theatre immediately dropped as the curtain rose to reveal a Victorian-era ice skating rink, surrounded by stark trees. Set to traditional romantic music by Giacomo Meyerbeer, Sir Frederick Ashton’s ballet introduces groups of skaters, effortlessly gliding across the floor with precision and grace that could earn an Olympic medal in fur-lined, sequined jackets designed by William Chappell.



#13 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:08 PM

The Bad Boys of Dance visit Israel.

“This is show business, first and foremost,” said Thomas. “I’m an artist. I was trained in Vaganova ballet my whole life. But ballet is a dying art form, and something has to change. Abstract contemporary dance is unfair to the audience. It is 100 percent imperative to put the audience’s enjoyment first. Within what they allow you to do, you give them as much art or commerciality as you can. The truth is that contemporary dance can be entertaining. Ballet can be entertaining. All dance can be entertaining.”



#14 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:10 PM

David Hallberg and Stephane Bullion pull out of Australian Ballet's 50th anniversary gala, pleading injury.

They were the big drawcards on the international guest list for the ballet's grand birthday performances at the State Theatre next week.

They have quickly been replaced by artists from the San Francisco Ballet, Sofiane Sylvie and Pierre Vilanoba. The ballet yesterday declined to comment on the unexpected drama, but has confirmed the changes.



#15 dirac

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:13 PM

Festival Ballet Providence presents a series of in-studio performances.

These newbies are sprinkled through the nine dances in the program. Ruth Whitney and Alan Alberto are soloists in Marius Petipa's Le Carneval de Venise and featured in Viktor Plotnikov's new piece Given, along with newcomer Casey Dolson. Whitney and Alberto execute classic steps with aplomb in Carneval: the spins, the lifts, the pirouettes, the jumps. What makes the extended pas de deux unusual is that four couples shadow the main pair; when Alberto takes his solo, the women frame his moves. When Whitney goes solo, the four men step out with lutes in hand and echo her turns across the stage. She also does some very tricky stepping variations while on point.




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