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Wednesday, February 13


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#1 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in an Ashton mixed bill.

The Guardian

Simple as some of his effects appear, they can be fiendishly difficult to master, and La Valse runs some of its dancers a little ragged. Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell are outstanding as the wittily airborne couple in Voices of Spring, however, and the casts of both Monotones are very fine, folding and angling through the delicate origami of the first, whispering and curving through the second.



Financial Times

A programme of Ashton ballets arrived on the Covent Garden stage on Tuesday night, and barely touched the boards. From the master-choreographer of such seminal works as Scènes de ballet and Symphonic Variations, of Daphnis and Chloe and Ondine and so much grandly more, this bill was chronically light-minded and, I would venture, frivolous.



#2 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

More.

The Stage

The return of Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin to The Royal Ballet, albeit as guest performers, was the big draw of the company’s latest mixed bill. Rojo shifted careers last summer from dancer to the new director of English National Ballet, while Polunin made a dramatic exit a year ago for the freedoms of an indie career. Seeing them both on stage reprising their performances in Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand didn’t disappoint, with the two artists demonstrating unrivalled acting and dancing finesse.


The Evening Standard

Could the experienced Rojo and young buck Polunin match the passionate heights of that iconic partnership? They certainly went for it full pelt.

Polunin bounds into view with a stagey theatricality that is very Nureyev, all swelling chest and bared teeth. A fantastic dancer, Polunin is really developing as a dramatic artist, but you’re always slightly aware that it’s him, “performing”.


The Independent

The evening opened with a choppy performance of La Valse, and some delightful shorter Ashton works. Leanne Benjamin and Valeri Hristov have strong presence in the swooning “Meditation” from Thaïs. Yuhui Choe and Alexander Campbell are adorable in the Voices of Spring pas de deux, purring through the floating steps, musical and funny and having fun.



#3 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

An interview with Tamara Rojo.

“Sergei is the young one full of all this hunger and power,” said Rojo. “It’s probably good that I’m calmer. I don’t feel I have to prove anything. I can let it crash all over me.” She paid tribute to her much-tattooed partner whose partying once looked at risk of destroying his career. “Sergei is an amazing dancer,” she said.



#4 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents 'Moulin Rouge.'

Pittsburgh City Paper

Canadian choreographer Jorden Morris — whose Peter Pan the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre staged in 2011 — returns with his critically acclaimed 2009 box-office hit Moulin Rouge.

The only ballet licensed by the Moulin Rouge to carry its name, Morris' original story asks: If two good, innocent people were dropped into the cauldron of decadence, art and bohemian life that was Paris in the late 19th century, would they survive?


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"I worked in Paris a few times and went back and did some more in-depth study on the culture and what was happening in the arts community at that time," Mr. Morris says. "I spent a lot of time researching the actual Moulin Rouge itself."

He preserves the period by featuring music of the era, such as "Clair de Lune" and "La Vie en Rose." In total, the score spans 27 works from 14 composers. Mr. Morris also infuses traditional ballet steps with popular dance styles of the time, including the can-can and tango.



#5 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

A review of Ballet B.C. by Natasha Gauthier in The Ottawa Citizen.

While some leaders might have tried to revive the company’s fortunes by programming safe, popular repertoire, Molnar made a gutsy decision. She moved the company more squarely into the contemporary ballet niche, feeding Vancouverites a steady diet of challenging works by some of the dance world’s most exciting choreographers, including her own mentor, Forsythe.

The gambit worked. Ballet BC began seeing an economic turnaround to go with its artistic shakeup. By 2011, the company could boast a modest surplus. This season, the company has finally been able to resume touring outside its home province.



#6 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

An item on a new documentary short about Carla Körbes, with video.

In the stunning short documentary above from Patrick Fraser, Körbes speaks on the ethereal experience of dancing the ballet while she moves in slow motion through a black backdrop, navigating the empty space with delicate, but formidable, grace.



#7 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

A review of Ballet Idaho by Harrison Berry for Boise Weekly.

Where Carmen was probing and introspective, "Kitri's Wedding" was lavish, expansive and rich in visual puns and bawdy humor. Long solo performances, daring stage acrobatics and winking asides from beautifully conceived characters flooded the performance, which at times felt too big for the stage.



#8 dirac

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

An update on the condition of Sergei Filin from Reuters.

The agency said a Russian eye doctor had been present during the surgery in Germany but gave no further details.

The Bolshoi has said German doctors now treating Filin have requested that information on his health and medical procedures are kept to a minimum to protect his privacy. Such a move might also, however, help reduce the intense media attention on a saga that has damaged the Bolshoi's image.



#9 dirac

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

An interview with Peter Chu, who's making a new piece for Orlando Ballet's "Hollywood En Pointe."

"I'm thrilled to be in my home state," says Chu, 34. "And it's surreal to work with someone I've looked up to my whole life." That someone is Orlando Ballet artistic director Robert Hill. Chu and Hill both studied at Dussich Dance Studio in Merritt Island, though years apart.

As a 12-year-old, Chu watched as Hill returned to the studio as a guest dancer. They even spoke a few words. "I was asked to give him and his partner flowers," Chu says. Now they are collaborators.



#10 dirac

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:18 PM

BJM performs this weekend.

Get ready for top flight dance entertainment when BJM (formerly known as Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal) showcases three famous contemporary choreographers in BJM: works by Millepied, Soto and Marshall, this Friday and Saturday at the Vancouver Playhouse. Produced by DanceHouse, celebrating its fifth anniversary supplying Vancouver with the opportunity to experience the best the world has to offer in contemporary dance, BJM is a hot, hot, hot, date night.



#11 dirac

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

Marine Corps veteran and ballet dancer Roman Baca writes about his wartime experiences in The Village Voice. Thanks to rg for sending in the link!

When my girlfriend sat me down, instead of saying, "It's over," she said, "Let's figure out what we can do to fix this. If you could do anything in the world, and you didn't have to worry about money or time, what would you do?" I told her I'd start a dance company. And so we did.

On a very basic level, I had walked away from the arts, and figured that I needed to live a corporate life, a "normal" life. So this was recognizing that art could still be a part of life. We started working on choreography. Some of it was autobiographical, about a dancer who became a Marine and went to Iraq, and some of it was more about what it meant to serve in a war. It gave us the opportunity to bring the war into places where nobody wanted to talk about it and nobody wanted to think about it. And so it became more than just dancing.



#12 dirac

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

A review of the Royal Ballet by Judith Flanders for The Arts Desk.

The ebb and pulse of Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes suites permits Ashton to produce ribbons of dance: in Monotones I, a back-and-forth pull-push effect, at its most simple and beautiful in the travelling arabesques, the women then the man leading and returning, as though tied with invisible bonds; Monotones II is a more liquid unfurling of linked arms and posed arabesques, so seemingly unstoppable that, like the entry of the Shades in La Bayadère, the viewer feels bereft when the series ends.



#13 dirac

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

A preview of a panel on the subject of black women in ballet (or the lack thereof) by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

Male ballet dancers of many ethnic backgrounds have found considerable success in ballet—notably Arthur Mitchell, who founded Dance Theater of Harlem after performing with New York City Ballet from 1955 to 1969. The question of why black women have found that success so elusive weighs heavily in the field. Ms. Johnson theorized that because women are so central to ballet, they are held up as the feminine ideal—and for centuries, that ideal has not included women of color. "It has not been part of the history of ballet," she said. "It is a European art form."




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