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Thursday, December 27


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#1 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

Reviews of the PBS broadcast of the recent documentary on the history of the Joffrey Ballet.

Daily News

Based on this admiring new documentary, the sometimes-quirky Joffrey Ballet proves there is value in a good vanity project.

It also suggests the limitations and perils of being an independent contractor in the often unpredictable world of the arts.


Newsday

With today as a framework, the history might have felt more like part of a vibrant story and less like ancient catch-up. Also, the emphasis on the Joffrey as the source of the first truly American ballets is nonsense. Tell that to Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins and, even with his Russian foundation, George Balanchine.



#2 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Boston holiday shows perform well at the box office.

The North Shore Music Theatre, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and Handel and Haydn Society all reported increases in ticket sales and revenues for their annual holiday programs this year. The Music Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” earned $1.1 million, and Jose Mateo’s “Nutcracker” revenues had reached $343,652 as of last week. (Final figures for the show, which closed Monday, were not available.) The Handel and Haydn Society did not have detailed figures, though a spokesperson said it beat last year’s revenue for “Messiah” by 7 percent.



#3 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

A review of the Royal Ballet in a triple bill by Clement Crisp in The Financial Times.


....Firebird’s brooding orchestral introduction was played to a bronchitic obbligato of coughs, but then Itziar Mendizabal flashed across the stage and we were in the presence of a grand interpretation. Mendizabal has the authority, the sustained technical resource – the role is notoriously a killer – and the dramatic intelligence that made her reading memorably fine. She was admirably matched by Bennet Gartside’s Tsarevich. Gartside enhances every role he plays, deploying an emotional subtlety that can entirely renew a character. (His gaoler in Manon a case in point.) Here he stresses both the peasant and the prince in the character, fights eagerly against Kostchey’s magic, and with Gary Avis’s spidery malevolence he has a worthy opponent. The performance was a fine realisation of Fokine’s great creation.



#4 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

A review of the new feature film of "Anna Karenina" by Sarah Kaufman in The Washington Post.

I found myself watching this film in a sustained state of wonder. Wright’s finesse with the conventions of theater and dance is at once imaginative and logical, even practicable, in a curious way. I could envision much of the film being reproduced before a live audience in a traditional playhouse. (Not the heartbreaking horse race, of course. But there, too, compressing it into an intimate indoor space works — crazily, unexpectedly — to ratchet up the emotional stakes.)



#5 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

A review of "Ballets de Noverre" at the Opera Comique by Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times.

Renaud et Armide, first presented in Lyon around 1760, shows from the get-go that the resulting hodgepodge of imitation and anachronism makes for dubious theatre. Based on Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered, it follows the witch Armida as she falls in love with her mortal enemy, the Christian knight Rinaldo. Massé attempts to close the gap between the ballet d’action and contemporary tastes by shunning some elements, including pantomime. The result – not helped by rather shallow performances – is neither here nor there: faintly ridiculous yet not coherent enough to pass for verisimilar Noverre.



#6 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:35 AM

Notable events during the past year in dance by Kevin Berry in The Stage.

At that same conference, Dance UK launched the long planned National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, a joint initiative with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Trinity Laban and the Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Also launched was the NHS’s first specialist dancers’ injury clinic, located at the aforementioned hospital. It is planned to be the first of many and, since 80 per cent of professional dancers are injured each year, it will be well used.



#7 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

Richard Rodney Bennett is dead at age 76.

In 1953 he began studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, part of a golden generation of British composers that includes Peter Maxwell Davies, Thea Musgrave, Cornelius Cardew and Harrison Birtwistle.



#8 dirac

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

Allison DeBona talks about her experience as the designated villain of "Breaking Pointe."

DeBona doesn’t dispute that she gave the producers what they needed to make her look like the villain. "I did everything that you saw on TV," she said. "So it’s not like they just are making things up. However, how they tell the story really changes what people think of me."
For example, she didn’t roll her eyes in Episode 1 because she wasn’t promoted to soloist. She rolled her eyes because her boyfriend of eight years had just told her — earlier and off camera — that if she signed that contract, they were through.



#9 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

Adam Sklute is interviewed about his time with the Joffrey Ballet.

Sklute was one of the last two dancers to be personally invited into the company by Joffrey, “and that is something I hold very close to my heart," he said.

To explain this fondness for the founder, Sklute says, “Mr. Joffrey was very intellectual, rather cerebral, always very calm. He was a man of great, great vision and great artistic taste and style. Mr. Arpino was very emotional and very passionate about his art form, (and) could easily get angry at the drop of a hat and kick everyone out of his studio while he was rehearsing.”



#10 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

A review of the Royal Ballet's triple bill by Judith Cruikshank for danceviewtimes.

Sarah Lamb and Frederico Bonelli – he hampered by a singularly unflattering jacket – were competent and conventional. And although Alina Cojocaru danced exquisitely in the final, passionate duet, little of the emotion came across. Only Zenaida Yanowsky, partnered by Nehemiah Kish really seemed to relish Robbins’s choreography, luxuriating in the movement, although she could with advantage, add a touch of wit to the affectionate nature of the choreographer’s take on a mature and loving relationship.




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