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Wednesday, December 26


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#1 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

Musings on "The Nutcracker" from Anne Applebaum for Slate.

There are, of course, other ways to deal with the production. In Russia, the focus is on the extraordinarily athletic dancers. I once saw Mikhail Baryshnikov dance the Nutcracker and still remember how he leapt into the air and appeared to hang there for several seconds. The Polish version, at least the one we saw last week, provides extraordinary sets, gorgeous costumes, and a plot revolving around a magic lantern that all of the characters enter, somehow, to dance out that long second act.


But while the ballet can be designed and choreographed in different ways, the audience never changes. Wherever and whenever I've seen the Nutcracker, it's always at Christmastime, and it's always in a theater filled with children. Many of the little girls, whether in Warsaw or Washington, are wearing velvet dresses.....



#2 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:52 AM

Video games have a lot in common with ballet, suggests Chris Suellentrop in The New York Times' blog.

Ballet is, in the words of Homans, “full of emotions and the feelings that come with music and movement.” And so are games. Ballet straddles the world of music, literature, art and performance. And so do games. And much like the way video games have struggled to separate themselves from sports, board games and toys, early ballet struggled to separate itself from music; dance was not seen as a distinct art form. Yet its earliest practitioners hoped to “create a new kind of spectacle,” one that “would harmonize dance, music, and language into a measured whole.” Replace dance with “movement,” sprinkle in a dash of cinematography and that sounds a lot like some game developers I’ve met.



#3 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

A review of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo by Robert Johnson in The Star-Ledger.

The divertissement from “Laurencia” appears on the first of two programs, a showcase for powerhouse dancers created in 1939 but making its American debut only now. As with “The Flames of Paris,” it will take a visit by authentic Bolshoi stars before a mainstream company like American Ballet Theatre notices this Spanish-flavored gem. In the meantime, the Trocks offer us their own, demented version—faithful to the most difficult steps, yet artificially sweetened and subtly twisted out of shape.



#4 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

The Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble sells the Tivoli Theater, a former vaudeville house.

Diamante, speaking on a guarantee of anonymity for the buyer until due diligence is completed at the end of January says, “It’s a sweet deal that will be good for everyone.”

Diamante rescued the building from the wrecker’s ball purchasing it for her CBYE dance company, from the Sniderman family, previous owners, for $2. Since then her organization has spent considerable sums making necessary repairs to keep the building sustainable.



#5 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

The Feijoo sisters talk about work and family. Video.

“A child is so powerful that it puts things in perspective in a beautiful way,” says Lorena. “It adds a tranquility to your dancing that is incredible. The dancers I’ve seen who’ve had children have become so much better. In Russia and Cuba it’s more common to see more people with kids. In America, it’s very competitive…In my company…there are maybe three or four moms out of 70 [who are mothers].”



#6 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

A review of the Trocks by Leigh Witchel in The New York Post.

The weak link of the evening was the premiere of “Laurencia,” an excerpt of a 1939 Spanish pastiche from the Soviet Union that’s never been seen in the US. After the on-target zinging of “Swan Lake,” it seemed pale — steps without satire.



#7 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

An Associated Press story on ballet student Jessa Balote of Ballet Manila's school.

The 14-year-old Jessa's unlikely success is as much a celebration of a unique effort by the Philippines' most famous prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja, to help slum kids of Manila by providing them a scholarship and classical ballet training for six to seven years.
More than a quarter of the Southeast Asian nation's 94 million people live in abject poverty, many in sprawling and unsanitary shanty towns like Aroma in the capital city. Despite a reecent economic upturn, there are not enough full-time jobs. Education skills are lacking and incomes are low. At least 3,000 Filipinos leave their families behind every day to seek employment abroad.



#8 dirac

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

Barnett Serchuk proposes works by Haydn and Schumann as suitable for ballet.

Let's take a brief look at these two composers. First there's Haydn. Talk about a successful career: an employee of Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy and then his brother Nikolaus, both from the richest family in the Hungarian nobility. I like the name "Paul Anton Esterhazy" It sounds like the name of a successful producer. Couldn't you just see it on a marquee: "Paul Anton Esterhazy presents Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews in My Fair Haydn?"



#9 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

A preview of Ballet Victoria's 'The Gift of Pandora's Box.'

Destrooper says he directs nods beyond young people to audience members of all ages. During one segment of the show, for example, performers will reference social dances relevant to each of their generations — from The Chicken Dance, for older performers, to PSY’s Gangnam Style, a dance that went viral on YouTube this year.

“I don’t want grandparents to be bored and only the kids to like it. I certainly don’t infantilize any of this. But I trigger the imagination of the kids, I try to speak to them,” he said. “At the same time we have all these little notes for the older people.”



#10 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:41 AM

Black Swan helps Natalie Portman to the top of the list of Forbes' most bankable female stars.

True, Black Swan won’t spawn any lines of Nina and Lily dolls or a spin-off TV show. But the film made an enormous profit. It was produced for an estimated $13 million and grossed $329 million at the box office worldwide.




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