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Wednesday, December 5


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#1 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

A preview of Ithaca Ballet's Nutcracker discusses the ballet's backstory.

The premiere was not a success (a fact difficult to believe in modern times) – much of the criticism was for the dancers, but some was reserved for the choreography and even the pacing of the score (which, as you will recall, Tchaikovsky had little control over). Part of the problem was the dancing, which some critics found confusing or sophomoric, although this could have been due partly to the fact that many critics bemoaned the prominence of children in the performance and the story. The main problem with the production most likely was the fact that the ballet was presented as the second half of a double bill. The first half, also a world premiere, was Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta.



#2 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:24 PM

Q&A with Natalia Makarova.

Q: How do these young dancers respond to your coaching style?
A: In the beginning, they are scared, but then they realize that I want only the best for them and that I am very generous when I coach. I don't keep my secrets or my knowledge to myself. What I look for in them is quality of movement and style, and I don't always see it in American dancers. You cannot dance an arabesque in "Swan Lake" and "Nutcracker" the same way.



#3 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

Wendy Whelan will perform at Jacob's Pillow with a quartet of cavaliers. Item in brief.

...A new work inspired and performed by Wendy Whelan, the New York City Ballet principal dancer, called “Restless Creature” will be unveiled this summer at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, organizers said on Wednesday. Ms. Whelan will dance four duets with a different male partner, each of whom choreographed their number.



#4 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:28 PM

A feature on the new exhibit of art from Mikhail Baryshnikov's personal collection. Photos.

“I never imagined that anyone would regard these works as a cohesive collection," Baryshnikov explained in an e-mail to The Huffington Post. "I didn’t go to auctions and didn’t accumulate based on scholarship or study like a proper collector. It was simply what caught my eye and what I could afford at any given time.”

The array of artwork's loose theme is definitely performance art. The pieces that don't directly address the stage were often created by choreographers like Trisha Brown and Jerome Robbins.



#5 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

The Malibu Ballet and Performing Arts Society presents its Nutcracker.

Malibu will be able to appreciate this annual theatrical treat thanks to the commitment and financial support of patrons like Weintraub, who regularly beat the financial bushes to drum up the donations necessary to meet the fiscal demands of staging a bigger and better performance each year.



#6 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

An interview with Karen Kain's husband, Ross Petty.

Although he began his acting career in diverse roles, including stints in London’s West End and on Broadway, Petty now says, “I don’t see that I’ll ever wander off and do anything else.” In addition to being hilariously entertaining, he believes his musicals are an accessible way to introduce children to theatre, fostering a lifelong appreciation for the performing arts. He jokes that in that respect he’s in direct competition with his wife, Karen Kain, director of the National Ballet of Canada, which puts on The Nutcracker, another family holiday favourite, every year at the same time.



#7 dirac

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

Elisabeth Murdoch, Rupert's mom, is dead at age 103.

A patron of the arts, Mrs. Murdoch supported the development of Australian ballet and became the first female trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria. She was a founding member of the board of the Australian Tapestry Workshop, which produces hand-woven contemporary tapestries and encourages weavers. A tapestry of Mrs. Murdoch in the garden at her Langwarrin home hangs alongside portraits of other noteworthy Australians at the country's National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, testament to her support.



#8 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:54 PM

A preview of Alabama Ballet's Nutcracker by Michael Huebner in The Birmingham News.

“Darla Hoover from the Balanchine Trust comes every year to oversee the rehearsals,” Alvey said.“Sometimes she gives a few little hints if they're doing something different in New York, and she will pass along the information and we make adjustments.”

What the Trust cannot control is the company's evolution. Dancers come and go. They trade roles, not only from year to year, but from performance to performance. Noticeably absent this year is Tatiana Ledovskikh, who has danced the starring role of Sugar Plum Fairy since 1995, when she joined the company after leaving the Bolshoi Ballet. Her recent retirement leaves an artistic void, but that is being filled by a host of dancers eager to fill her pointe shoes.



#9 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

Lone Star Ballet presents its Nutcracker.

Even after 41 years, McLean said the ballet company could never burn out on “Nutcracker.”

“Between the party kids and the mice and the soldiers and the Rat King, there are so many wonderful characters in the story itself it never gets tiring,” McLean said. “You never get tired of it because it’s constantly moving.”



#10 dirac

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

A review of the Royal Danish Ballet in 'The Golden Cockerel' by Helene Kaplan for danceviewtimes.

For the rest of the cast, Alexei Ratmansky's "The Golden Cockerel" made yeoman demands in mime, particularly in telling an unfamiliar story clearly and concisely, but as two-dimensional archetypes -- the coddling nurse, the sulky Princes, the maidens, the happy loves, the bereaved fiancee, the King's useless advisors, the Golden Cockerel -- and the development of underlying emotion was not an option for most of the ballet. This is the antithesis of what the Company does and what its audience expects from it.




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