For years, Ballet San Jose annually performed one of the most highly respected "Nutcrackers" in the country, the one choreographed by artistic director Dennis Nahat. But when Nahat parted ways with the troupe, he took his beloved "Nutcracker" with him. So this year, the ballet will introduce a new "Nutcracker" -- a world premiere production choreographed by ballerina Karen Gabay and based on blueprints from its artistic partner, American Ballet Theatre.
Tuesday, December 4
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:03 PM
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:04 PM
It is also, much of the time, a young person's first time dancing in a big production. The Grand Rapids Ballet makes a point of using local young dancers, so all the children's roles will be performed by Kalamazoo area dancers from 10 to 18 years old who auditioned in September.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:31 PM
This ballet’s charming set pieces also feature the airy and musical Maria Vinogradova as a Fisherman’s wife; Vladislav Lantratov as the sprightly Fisherman; and Denis Medvedev as Lord Wilson’s comic servant, a kind of Passepartout. Nina Kaptsova made the best of her simple part as Ramze, Aspicia’s Nubian slave, whose toe-tapping solo known as "the Mummy’s little foot" survives from Petipa’s original choreography.
Stolid Ruslan Skvortsov, whose appearance in these broadcasts has become inevitable, was again pressed into service as Ta-Hor, leading viewers to wonder if the Bolshoi has anyone else who can partner.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:35 PM
The grant, which will come in $1 million increments over 5 years, is the largest the company has received in its 27-year history. It was among $14 million in grants announced Sunday to institutions either based in or serving Miami-Dade County. Miami City Ballet also performs at the Kravis Center, and in Broward and Collier counties. The grants support organizations that “engage audiences in new and challenging ways, strengthen community bonds and build a sense of communal identity.”
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:39 PM
The world premiere's cast on November 23 demonstrated the technical depth in the company's current roster. Chelsea Perry's Clara is a golden child on the cusp of womanhood — a head taller than her friends, she gets toe shoes instead of baby dolls and has the gracious bearing of a debutante, and a smile that lights up her face. Isaac Akiba tore down the house with his Russian split jumps, and Misa Kuranaga offered a pristine, near-perfect Sugar Plum Fairy. (I do wish the variations were still called Coffee and Tea instead of Arabian and Chinese: 21st-century kids don't need silly ethnic stereotypes reinforced.)
Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:40 PM
My required performance weight was 105 pounds, and at 5'6" that was bone thin. My ballet mistress told me that I needed to be thinner than the other girls because of my "larger" breasts (my cup size was B!). Life under such pressure was hard, but being part of an elite dance community with extravagant productions and performances throughout the world was enthralling.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:04 PM
Performance artist (and sometime drag artist) Monique Jenkinson may have -- as they say -- left Ballet behind, but Ballet has not left her. It creeps into her fantastical creations either as a reference or in actual movements. For "Instrument", she has dug into its core as a means to examine the nature of performance. The piece needs tightening, particularly in the early parts, and a few of the references probably could be clarified. But this is a rich, evocative and entertaining work of dance theater for which the genius and person of Rudolf Nureyev provided the conduit.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:13 PM
The first moment a ballet dancer goes En Pointe during a performance is very exciting, but if you'd prefer shoes be used as a percussive instrument, then head over to the Marin Center. On December 15, Clara will get swept away by the Tapcracker. Christmas trees and presents will be dancing, mice will be rappin', and snow flakes will be totally unreliable. Now in its 13th year, students employ a variety of dance styles for a fresh take on a Christmas Standard.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:14 PM
Sadly, however, no étoile or senior soloist has been cast for this revival, and the performance suffered on opening night, with more than a few fumbled turns and landings. In the Middle requires full command of the stage and monstrous resistance through the body to project the fearless detachment needed, and there is nowhere to hide; Aurélie Bellet almost got there with diamond-cut precision in the final pas de deux, and both Vincent Chaillet and Marc Moreau took excellent turns, but international performances have set higher standards.
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