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Thursday, November 29


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#1 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:21 PM

The Laurel Ballet presents its Nutcracker.

For 55 years, Eleanor Viecelli-Tornblom has shared her love of dance with performers and audiences.

After extensive training in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, she opened Eleanor's Dance Studio in Irwin in 1957 and taught a variety of classes, including jazz, tap and ballet. She later concentrated on ballet and moved her studio to Greensburg. In 1993, her nonprofit Laurel Ballet joined the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra to stage its first collaboration of the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker." The collaboration has proved to be so popular, the two organizations have entertained audiences in the region with the classic every year since.



#2 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:22 PM

A review of the Smuin Ballet by Mary Ellen Hunt in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The seasonal menu changes each year, although there is always a little Bach and Mozart and a small riot would probably ensue among fans if the ballet didn't include the feather boa-framed "Santa Baby" and Satchmo's husky "Christmas in New Orleans." One of Smuin's best ideas, though, was to commission bite-sized treats from other choreographers, among them classical scenes from now-artistic director Celia Fushille, dazzling tap numbers from company stalwart Shannon Hurlburt, and snappy offerings from current choreographer-in-residence Amy Seiwert, who has four vignettes in this year's version.



#3 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

Daniil Simkin is promoted to principal.

Mr. Simkin, 25, was born in Russia and raised in Germany, and made his first stage appearances when he was 6, four years before he began his formal ballet training. His parents, Dmitrij Simkin and Olga Aleksandrova, are both dancers. Mr. Simkin began entering competitions when he was 12, and won first prizes at several, including international competitions in Vienna and Helsinki, as well as the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss.



#4 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

A story on the resignation of Christopher Stowell from Oregon Ballet Theatre by Marty Hughley in The Oregonian.

Stowell's resignation follows the recent departure of two other key staff at OBT: executive director Diane Syrcle and marketing and communications director Trisha Mead.

OBT has faced significant financial troubles in recent years but had appeared to be on steadier footing. Stowell said that changes to the board's leadership several weeks ago led to new conversations about streamlining the ballet's bottom line.



#5 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

An item on Alexei Ratmansky by Mindy Aloff in The Wall Street Journal, with excerpts from an interview.


.....In 2009, he set down roots with American Ballet Theatre where he serves as artist in residence— a position that allows him to pursue commissions elsewhere, including the New York City Ballet. His ballets have a particular evolving magic: They not only present the dancers as awe-inspiring athletes but also as sentient individuals, even when they take the stage as elements of a larger choreographic design. Those he works with speak of him with unconditional love. What the choreographer says of Shostakovich applies equally to Ratmansky himself: "His genius is in his sensitivity to the life around him."




#6 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

Colorado Ballet Auxiliary holds a Sugarplum Ball.


In the months leading up to the ball, the Sugarplums participated in a number of special events, including a mother-daughter tea, a father-daughter harvest party and a holiday-themed get-together.

In addition to raising money for Colorado Ballet, the purpose of the Sugarplum program is to build the audiences of tomorrow by developing an interest in dance.




#7 dirac

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

A strike by Spokane Symphony musicians threatens to leave Nutcracker performances without live music.

If the dispute isn’t resolved in the next week, “The Nutcracker,” a holiday tradition for many local families, will be performed with recorded music instead of a live orchestra.



#8 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:30 PM

Los Angeles dance listings, including Los Angeles Ballet's Nutcracker.

Choreographed by Christensen and Neary, this full length Nutcracker is set in 1912 Los Angeles and was the calling card when LAB made its debut seven years ago. Over the intervening years, the production has been polished to a bright patina and the dancing talent deepened as LAB continues to prove itself to be the top-drawer professional resident ballet company which has eluded this city.



#9 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

A review of American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger.

There never seems to be enough time, of course, to prepare this spectacle with
its enormous cast, including dozens of non-professionals. At the opening, ARB's
windmilling Snowflakes and iridescent Flowers all needed more rehearsal to match
the military precision of the Toy Soldiers wheeling in tight formation.

Despite the high jinx of the Candy Canes, the sultry allure of the Arabian
dancers, and the nimble antics of Cameron Auble-Branigan as Chinese Tea, the
second-act divertissement belonged to the company's ballerinas.



#10 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:38 PM

A review of the Nutcracker at Tivoli Gardens by Franziska Bork Petersen in The Copenhagen Post.

Casting Teele Ude, this production chooses a dancer. But her childlike looks make her fit so perfectly into the group of pre-teenage party guests that the suggested romance between her and the adult Nutcracker-turned-Soldier seems odd. The choreography is nothing special, and the dancing far from flawless. And the greatest disappointment is that Tchaikovsky’s fantastic music is played from speakers, instead of by an orchestra.

All this nagging aside – for most the key question will be: do kids like it? And the kids at the 14:00 performance I saw didn’t seem to take offence at the taped music or the weird age dynamics and were mostly watching in awe.



#11 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

Naples Ballet prepares its Nutcracker. Photo gallery.

“We are changing things up this year with a few interesting surprises from years past,” said Christophe Maraval, artistic director for the Naples Academy of Ballet and choreographer for “The Nutcracker.”

Even if there are some turns to polish yet and some entrances to be devised, it was still an impressive-looking preview, as photos from that dress rehearsal Nov. 17 show.

#12 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

Houston Ballet dancers talk about how they eat to keep going during Nutcracker season.

"With two shows per day, Nutcracker time is all about keeping the energy up," adds soloist Oliver Halkowich. "I find that a heavy protein diet keeps me going longer, so I’ll start with eggs and some delicious Revival Market bacon for breakfast. Then almonds and a banana before the matinee."

"I used to religiously walk over to the Hard Rock Cafe between shows and throw down a burger and fries, but my metabolism isn't what it once was and now I conservatively go for a kale salad with roast beef, avocado and cranberries" Halkowich continues. "And if I give a good evening performance, I treat myself to a few scoops of Häagen-Dazs."



#13 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:43 PM

The Rochester Dance Company presents its Nutcracker.

But most of all, it's because Sothern is living a dream as the new artistic director of RDC, working with a segment of Rochester's dedicated dance community of students, parents and teachers.

"I'm impressed with the training, the dedication, the discipline," Sothern said. "It's every ballet teacher's dream to have students doing what they want to be doing, instead of saying, 'This is boring.'"



#14 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

The 15th annual Nutcracker Gala is held on Martha's Vineyard.

This is artistic director Beth Vages’ 27th year putting on Tchaikovsky’s ballet, and her excitement of preparing the show has not diminished over time.



#15 dirac

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

The Ballet Theatre of the South presents its Nutcracker.

The theater troupe is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote ballet and theatrical dance. They’ve been teaching the ins and outs of pirouettes and plies since Albany ballet matriarch Maude Evelyn Murphy created the organization in 1980.




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