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Friday, March 8


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#1 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:04 PM

Los Angeles Ballet prepares a Balanchine festival.

In previous years, Los Angeles Ballet has faced criticism for its high turnover of dancers, which has included Melissa Barak, a former New York City Ballet dancer turned independent choreographer, and Corina Gill, now an acclaimed dancer with Boston Ballet. Currently, many of the company's dancers hail fresh out of conservatories, but all of its principal dancers, including former Miami City Ballet soloist Allynne Noelle, have been with the company at least three seasons.



#2 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:06 PM

Milwaukee Ballet announces the schedule for its next season.

True to form, Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink will stage two of his full-length story ballets next season: a revival of "Romeo & Juliet," and a brand-new work based on the Snow White tale.



#3 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:12 PM

An interview with Ben Phillips, Boston Ballet's production manager and technical director.

“I wouldn’t use the word mastermind, but I’m the poor schmuck who’s 
responsible for all this,” Phillips said.

The humble creative problem solver had a blast with the “All Kylian” sets. “To have ’em drop on my desk an 18-foot-wide, 20-foot-tall tree with a crane makes you smile a little bit,” he said while looking at his creation hanging upside down in the Opera House.



#4 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:14 PM

A review of the Pennsylvania Ballet in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by Kat Richter for The Dance Journal.

This is due, in no small part, to the strength of the company’s lesser known dancers. Principals Jermel Johnson and Julie Diana were majestic as Oberon and Tatiana, King and Queen of the fairies, but Alexander Peters was fabulous as the impish Puck. His exaggerated tiptoes and hapless attempts to rectify the mix-up of the forest’s unsuspecting lovers had the audience in stitches. He’d leap into the wings, arms raised and knees nearly beating against his chest, only to reappear seconds later from the other side of the stage to continue weaving his web of confusion.



#5 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:16 PM

A review of Houston Ballet's new "Rite of Spring" by Theodore Bale for CultureMap Houston.

The choreography does not look particularly balletic, at least in a classical sense, and it appears that Welch was striving for something more archetypal and primitive. He has succeeded. Often, the dancing looks more like what average people do when they gather in groups. There is lots of pounding the earth and jumping towards the sky, and it works.



#6 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:20 PM

A profle of David Hallberg by Alex Hawgood in The New York Times.

Although Mr. Hallberg said his feet were firmly planted in the ballet studio for now, he is happy to keep the door ajar. “There is a mold in the ballet world that has worked really well for almost 100 years,” he said. “And with that comes a mentality that is very one-way, and that frustrates me.”

Mr. Hallberg cleared his throat as he put on a scarf. “Many dancers are content with the repertoire they’re given,” he said. “Others are dissatisfied but don’t know why. Then there are a few like me that are curious and grab at everything. Can that curiosity thrive in the ballet world or should it exist elsewhere? That’s the eternal question.”



#7 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:22 PM

The Joffrey presents a program of new works by this year's winning Choreographers of Color.

......This year’s winning choreographers are Jeremy McQueen, William McClellan and Ma Cong, and the new pieces they've created speak volumes, albeit through very different voices. This Sunday’s “Winning Works” program at the Harris brings these works to the stage with the help of the young dancers of The Joffrey Academy of Dance, the official school of the Joffrey.



#8 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:24 PM

Q&A with the director and choreographer Bronwen Carter, who teaches acting to dancers.

BWW: Why do you think people believe dancers can't be actors?
BC: I think it's an antiquated belief based primarily upon the lack of training dancers receive in acting technique. Dancers train so ferociously on their lines, their strength, their flexibility, their "tricks"...but for the most part, they don't learn how to build and perform a nuanced, evocative character with objectives, relationships and a storyline. Give them training and suddenly astounding abilities start to reveal themselves. The very first thing I say in each new class is divorce yourself from the mirror. Dancers have a relationship, in my opinion, an unhealthy one, with the mirror. As an actor, you cannot, must not "check" to see how you look as you work!



#9 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:30 PM

Another installment of Sara Mearns' video blog for The Huffington Post, Barre None.

Safe to say that the food and the service in Vegas is top notch. All my dinners were amazing. Yes, overpriced, but I guess that's allowed in a place like Vegas. I also went to a Burlesque show production called "Jubilee," which is what the movie "Showgirls" was based on. I really wanted to be able to share that with you, but the outfits and subject matter at times were just not appropriate. But wow what a show! It included gymnasts standing on each other's heads, a man swinging from a single piece of fabric, and then, of course, some of the most outrageous feathered head dresses you have ever seen. The women were dressed in nothing but jewels, and there were about 100 of them standing on stage at once.



#10 dirac

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:35 PM

Marie Rambert remembers the making of Nijinsky's "Rite of Spring."

Diaghilev and Nijinsky had come to Dalcroze’s academy near Dresden, watched classes and asked that the 20-year-old Rambert help Nijinsky. When, in 1962, Kenneth MacMillan was preparing his Covent Garden production of Sacre, I recalled that Rambert – whom I knew slightly – had been Nijinsky’s assistant, and I asked her if she would tell me about his staging.


And so, one afternoon at her house in Camden Hill, she spoke for more than two hours, memories flooding back, demonstrating steps and positions from Nijinsky’s choreography. “With a huge German rehearsal pianist – we called him ‘Kolossal’ – I would count out the music into sections and then go through it with Nijinsky.”



#11 dirac

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 05:19 PM

A review of Northern Ballet's 'The Great Gatsby' by Louise Levene for the Telegraph.

Nixon insists he’s not interested in ‘”translating the book word for word”, but the story still needs to be told – and I fear dance may not be capable of it. The car smash was handled with commendable restraint (is that a spoiler?) but elsewhere Nixon’s treatment seems to take his audience’s familiarity with the novel too much for granted.



#12 dirac

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:00 AM

A review of Boston Ballet's all-Kylián program by Kris Wilton for WBUR.

Kylián’s innovative sets receive much praise and attention — perhaps too much here, as the mise-en-scene threatened to overpower the dancing. Pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama appeared regal atop her perch, with jaunty graying hair, a long, heavy black dress with a keyhole on the back, and swinging earrings. She and the piano were so striking, in fact, that one viewer told me she could hardly pay attention to the dance, while my companion and I could hardly remember the three male dancers’ contributions afterwards.




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