The Ballet West Academy kicked off the evening with Peter Christie’s “Défilé” showcasing a strong trainee program with a concrete sense for the poetry and precision of the art form. Ballet West II, the company’s apprentice-level dancers, performed the premiere of principal artist Christopher Ruud’s “Without Fall.” The piece mixed pedestrian movement with classical technique, matching Vivaldi’s musical upsurges and descents with bravado and invention.
Monday, October 29
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:36 PM
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:37 PM
So Sewell decided to expand on it with a performance full of ghosts, murders and the persistent specter of death. "Grave Matters" rises again on James Sewell Ballet's fall program, but it shares space with something far more traditional, a cemetery pas de deux with a ghost from the 19th-century ballet "Giselle." But the triumph of the program is "Takes on Poe," Sewell's fascinating five-part nightmare inspired by the writings of Edgar Allan Poe.
Granted, it's the perfect time of year for Poe. As the foliage falls and bare trees cut scary silhouettes into the night sky, the 19th-century author's death-obsessed words can create a chill to rival that of the fiercest wind. And Sewell's dances deftly capture the creepy spirit of Poe's poetry and short stories through discomfiting off-kilter choreography, imaginative stagings and intriguing musical choices.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:38 PM
Most story ballets open with some kind of village scene - Stevenson's "Dracula" saves it for the second act, and in Tulsa Ballet's production, it served as an introduction to two of the company's newest members, senior soloists Madalina Stoica and Ovidiu Iancu, as the story's romantic pair of Svetlana and Frederick.
Both recently joined the company from the Bucharest National Opera, the repertoire of which is almost entirely classical ballet. And the village scene is perhaps the most conventionally classical portion of "Dracula," though Stevenson's vocabulary of movement tweaks the conventions in subtle and tricky ways.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:43 PM
The ballet is not ready to release details about a purchasing timeline, how it plans to use the space or its financing, Nashville Ballet spokesperson Jan Morrison said, but after the purchase of Climb Nashville’s facility it will lease back the space to Climb Nashville until that business is ready to move.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:45 PM
Yet my own reactions to two of the works take me from one extreme to another. Cunningham is one of the greatest choreographers of the last 50 years, and this particular reconstruction of his “Winterbranch” proves a sensational revelation of both his theatrical imagination and the designer Robert Rauschenberg’s — it takes us places where even they never went. Meanwhile, Mr. Forsythe’s work is hollow. He creates non-worlds in which all human behavior — not least ballet — looks labored and freakish. His “Quintett,” shown here and long admired by many, is no exception.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:46 PM
The first decision to make regarding ballet workouts is which to attend. Options range from branded workouts offered by affiliated instructors who have received specific training to those put together by former dancers working at local clubs. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so the only way to judge is to try a few different classes and instructors.
I chose to visit DBS Studios, owned by veteran fitness instructor and trainer David Snively, who was having an open house for anyone willing to give the Xtend Barre class a try.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:50 PM
Closing the programme is Frederick Ashton's The Dream, with César Morales and Momoko Hirata bringing an exceptional lightness and fluency to the fairy leads. Lovely dancers though they are, however, they don't yet portray the full texture of Oberon and Titania's marriage, the tender sensual history that underpins its powerplay and squabbles.
BRB perennial favourite The Grand Tour is first off the mark, a stirred-not-shaken showboat ballet that flaunts the company’s comedic talent. The cast of 15 play off each other beautifully, with Samara Downs and Matthew Lawrence’s brooding portrayal of 1920s celebrity couple Gertrude Lawrence and Noel Coward the highlight. Yes, it teeters on the edge of pantomime and elicits more laughs than gasps but even after 42 years as a repertoire mainstay, The Grand Tour’s tender tribute to the days of yesteryear feels remarkably relevant.
Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:39 AM
Every year, the Ballet stages a choreographer's showcase, an in-studio production of original work designed and performed by the company. Two of last year's showcase entries will also be staged in Studio Connections. Ben Needham-Wood's "Apollo and Daphne" is a pas de deux based on the ancient Greek myth of a god helplessly in love with a nymph who transforms into a tree rather than marry. Rob Morrow's ensemble piece "Rainbow Connection" will feature music from The Muppets.
Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:01 PM
There’s an awful lot wrong with Anthony Dowell’s production of “Swan Lake”, not least the décor, but this is not the time to pick over old wounds. It does have the virtue of a reasonably authentic text, but reports on performances early in the run from ballet goers I trust did little to gladden my heart. The drunken cadets, uncouth jostling and improbable lack of good manners were all still there. But more depressingly the corps de ballet and many of the supporting cast were said to look not only under-rehearsed, but totally disengaged.
What a difference a few days can make. The corps was together in timing, style and intent. The national dances went with a swing and there were excellent performances from some of the soloists.....
Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:04 PM
As staged for the L.A. Dance Project by ex-Cunningham dancer Jennifer Goggans, assisted by Robert Swinston, with Robert Rauschenberg’s original lighting as reimagined by Beverly Emmons, Winterbranch is still a profoundly disorienting piece. Rauschenberg—who in 1964 was not only Cunningham’s resident designer but traveled with the company as a stage technician—made different choices about the lighting at every performance. Cunningham had requested a nighttime ambiance: “night as it is in our time with automobiles on highways, and flashlights in faces, and the eyes being deceived about shapes by the way lights hit them.” (Cunningham in his 1968 Changes: Notes on Choreography).
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