"It's the anchor for our whole season," said Donna Muzio, artistic director of the Brandywine Ballet in West Chester and director of the Dance Center, the company's school.Between 5,000 and 6,000 people will see her show this year at West Chester University's Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall.
For many people - audience members as well as baby ballerinas - "Nutcracker is their first introduction to the art form," said Roy Kaiser, artistic director of Pennsylvania Ballet.
Friday, December 7
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:02 AM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:04 AM
Tchaikovsky's score for the 5-minute adagio helps flesh out the nature of that conversation, Stowell says.
"There's a huge shift in what Tchaikovsky was doing with this Pas Des Deux," he says. "On paper, it says it's the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and a Cavalier is not even an equal. But there is a real sexual and romantic nature to the music. It's not designed to be a romance, but you can't ignore that it's the most-swelling, most-sensual music in the ballet."
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:07 AM
Tillia started dancing when she was five years old. Her first role in the Nutcracker was in the Chinese Core. She loved it because it was one of the only parts that used a prop. “We got to work with umbrellas, which was really cool,” she said. This past summer Tillia attended her first summer ballet intensive at the Texas Ballet Theatre. “The audition process was very fun. Then, when I arrived I was surrounded by dancers who really wanted to be there to learn. It was a wonderful five weeks,” she said.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:08 AM
Of course, the ballet is the real delight of the season, and the golden anniversary will include all of the fantastic images and nostalgia that The Nutcracker has conjured for years. The Mouse King, Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara will be attendance, as will Mother Ginger and her bon-bon children. And in traditional Ballet Austin fashion, the larger-than-life Mother Ginger will be played by a rotating cast of local (and not-so-local) celebrities, including Jenna Bush Hagar, Sarah Hickman and Sandy McIlree.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:14 AM
Q. Last year the company was in the headlines because of alleged drug abuse among dancers, and you were implicated. What happened?
A. It is a serious business, but I never believed there was a problem. If you have dancers abusing drugs, you can see it. And in the end nothing could be substantiated — we did a full investigation — and the administration supported me from the start. But the whole thing was kind of nasty. My name was splashed across every paper in Denmark and dragged through the mud. I got sort of paranoid because of all the press, but I’m a firm believer in finding solace in work. That was how to keep my head up, to go into the studio and do what I believe in and prove no, I am not the sort of person the press made me out to be.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:17 AM
The girls bought a book, eventually contacting the author for more advice. They also watched YouTube videos which showed the intricacies of tutu construction.
A single pancake tutu takes between 40 and 60 hours to complete and requires about 50 yards of tulle. It is built in layers. A 52 inch-long piece of tulle is laid out and one long edge is scalloped. The piece is then tightly pleated until reduced to seven inches in length, then stitched onto a panty made from a high performance fabric called powernet. The whole process is repeated until the pleated tulle forms a circle, completing the top layer. The next layer is two inches narrower. It takes about nine layers of pleated tulle to create a tutu.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:25 AM
The Huntsville Ballet Company continues the 2012/2013 season with their 44th annual production of The Nutcracker. This magical holiday classic has been a Huntsville tradition for over four decades. Don’t miss the magic this holiday season as Huntsville Ballet Company, with choreography by Artistic Director Phillip Otto and accompanied by Huntsville Symphony Orchestra with the Voices of Ars Nova Chorus, brings this enchanting story to life at the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. All children performing are registered students of The Huntsville Ballet School.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:48 AM
That said, Guillaume Cote is not ideally cast as Giselle’s faithless lover, Albrecht. He’s so boyishly charming with radiant smile and handsome physique, it’s difficult to imagine an arrogant bone in his body. His Albrecht, as a result, may be foolish and silly, but he’s never imbued with the coolness of a cad.
Greta Hodgkinson on the other hand summons up the very essence of lovesick Giselle. With this gently nuanced performance, Hodgkinson joins the great Giselles of our time. Here is the sweet innocence of Evelyn Hart, the lost passion of Alicia Alonso and the heartbreaking desperation of Natalia Makarova.
Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:56 PM
When the “Nutcracker” begins its two-week run at the Aronoff Center Friday night, sharp-eyed return viewers will notice a few things that are entirely new.
“With ‘Nutcracker,’ one of the true joys is that you get to revisit it a second time and a third and even a fourth,” says Morgan, noting that the last “Nutcracker,” choreographed by Val Caniparoli, was in the repertory for 11 years. “It’s really fun trying to go back and find ways to tell the story a little bit better.”
The “snow box” is based on a long-favorite illusion in which the magician produces snow out of his hand. Eubanks and his team had to translate it into the context of the ballet and create props for dancers (not trained magicians) to execute.
Eubanks allowed that the “snow box” is comprised of three components “that allows snow to blow and be illuminated.” He is mum on the details.
Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:07 PM
Margo Dean's Winter Wonderland (re-staged and directed by Webster Dean) features two pas de deux and one pas de trois (the dancers are Shannon Beacham, Christa Beacham, Ruben Gerding, Michal Christian, Caradee Cline and Stewart) is an enjoyable appetizer, performed with clean lines and solid pointe work.
Lori Soderbergh's Flamenco Hanukkah mixes Spanish dance with Hanukkah themes and music, with some kids joining flamenco dancer Perla Montoya for the final celebration. Montoya's finesse speaks for itself.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:59 AM
......Live music has been promised for the entire Ballet San Jose season of three programs. Let us celebrate that, as well as some lively programing choices (but why a “Green Table” when the Joffrey is bringing theirs to Cal Performances?) and let us deliver a few hopes in relation to what is currently on view.
First, that if Alexsandra Meijer is to continue as queen bee in a company with many deserving talents besides her own, she is paired with a better partner than Jeremy Kovitch. Newly appointed a principal dancer, he is strong and enthusiastic and survived a virtual pentathlon of lifts and leaps, but as a classical danseur he is out of his depth.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:34 PM
Tomasson’s Nutcracker, with its blithe pacing, superb dancing, and genuine heart (particularly in its final moment, when Clara awakens from her dream, safe at home, and ascends the living room staircase at her mother’s side) is a feast that never cloys. A pause here to honor the brilliant costume designer, Martin Pakledinaz (1953-2012) and to mention Michael Yeargan, scenic design; James F. Ingalls, lighting design; and Wendall K. Harrington, projection design. Kudos to conductor Martin West and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, surging brightly Friday night despite a couple of errant bleeps from the right side of the pit.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:50 PM
At a stroke there's a dramatic new element of tension in the plot that keeps it alive all the way through the dreamy pastoral fantasy of act three – a silvered, mirrored forest peopled with sleepwalkers – to Caradoc's hellfire party in act four, where he appears triumphantly on the verge of claiming, and killing, Aurora. Adding in a vampire dimension (the Lilac Fairy turns out to have teeth), this Beauty romps through to its denouement with gleeful style.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:47 AM
Washington Contemporary Ballet director Ken Kaiser has three passions: dance, special needs kids and the military. This year’s “Nutcracker” honors all three.
The dance part is obvious – WCB has put on a high-quality production every year for a long time, featuring well-trained students in the solo and corps roles and their parents as adults in the party scene.
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