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Tuesday, May 7


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#1 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

Sandra Jennings and Darci Kistler help Ballet Chicago stage Balanchine's "Swan Lake."

Though enthusiastic about Ballet Chicago, which is run here by artistic director Daniel Duell, another New York City Ballet alumnus, Jennings said she finds training today less insistently corrective--literal moves are enacted, but without the finesse, perfection and artistry Balanchine inspired. "When you visit to stage something, a lot of artistic directors don't like you to correct their dancers, which makes for a strange environment," she said. "When I was a young dancer, we had this ethic we were forever students. You didn't just go to class to warm up, but to learn."



#2 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

The Berlin state ballet goes bondage.

Berghain and ballet fans who failed to get tickets have tried to sneak into the plant in the day and wait for the show.
"You couldn't have a classical ballet here, just as a contemporary ballet like this wouldn't necessarily fit into your usual opera house," said Stahlberg.

The Berlin state ballet company, one of the largest in Europe, said the show was also a chance to reach a new public.



#3 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

Grand Rapids Ballet Company revives "Romeo and Juliet."

Radacovsky, director of Ballet Bratislava, in the capital city of Slovakia, created the piece for Grand Rapids Ballet Company, premiering the work in May 2011 in Barker’s first season as interim director of the company.

Three seasons and several personal changes later, Barker said the company was ready to return to it. “The company was smaller, a little rougher around the edges,” she said of the premiere performances to years ago. “I wanted this company to do this work in all Mario’s technical brilliance.”



#4 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

A list of the debs debuting at the annual Ball of Roses benefiting the Alabama Ballet.

The Ballet Guild, founded in 1959, is an invitational organization of young women dedicated to supporting the ballet in Birmingham through fundraising and volunteer work. Since its inception, the Ballet Guild has raised more than $1 million for the Alabama Ballet.



#5 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:20 AM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet's new "Bolero" by Céline Piettre for ARTINFO via The Huffington Post.

Despite its martial opening, this "Boléro" was incredibly fluid. Black soon gave way to the white of transparent veils. The pounding of the drums yielded to the refrains of the flute. The dancers, most of whom were stars of the Paris Opera Ballet, spun around like whirling dervishes caught in a trance -- but a gentle trance. The bodies were anchored to the ground, supple and sensual, but at the same time almost ethereal, constantly submitted to an upward force.

As so often in Sibi Larbi Cherkaoui's work, the dancing was liquid and wave-like......



#6 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:24 AM

An obituary for Frederic Franklin by Judith Cruickshank in The Guardian.

As well as dancing leading roles in the Ballets Russes repertory – more than 45 according to some accounts – and creating several roles for Massine, Franklin also appeared in the first performances of Balanchine's Danses Concertantes and Agnes de Mille's Rodeo. He co-founded and directed the National Ballet of Washington, acted as adviser to the Dance Theatre of Harlem and worked with a large number of regional companies throughout the US.



#7 dirac

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

Changes are made to the board of Australian Ballet.

Former executive director Valerie Wilder announced in October she would step down from the post, and the company has undertaken an international search for a replacement. Her contract ends in June.

Knoblanche, who served on the board for for 12 years - four of them as chair - said Cousins and Murdoch would lead the AB in a positive direction. "They are both are eminently qualified and are well-known to the arts community, using their business acumen and commercial nous to make things happen,'' he said.



#8 dirac

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:44 AM

A preview of the Royal Ballet's new "Hansel and Gretel."

Now Liam Scarlett - appointed artist-in-residence at the Royal Opera House in London at 26 - has created a full-length ballet about the young brother and sister who get lost in the woods and encounter an evil witch.

"The Grimm tales were always in the back of my mind as possible material for ballet. Partly it's their malicious dark side. But I also love their simplicity: they were meant for children and most are only a few pages long. The sentences are simplistic and to the point and the writing works brilliantly."



#9 dirac

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:47 AM

Report from a preview of the National Gallery of Art's new Diaghilev/Ballets Russes exhibit by George Jackson for danceviewtimes.

.....As bold as was the use of color during the Ballet Russe’s early years, equally impressive are examples of color restraint during the company’s latter years. Certainly this show amply illustrates such design innovations. Diaghilev’s great contribution, though, was his concept of what a ballet should be. Not just novel design, dance, music and idea but a singular synthesis of these things into a sensual, intellectual entity that mirrors and disputes life. Could any exhibit fully present Diaghilev’s synthetic, reflective and adversarial skills?



#10 dirac

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

Reviews of "Nikolai and the Others."

The New York Observer

David Cromer directs, and it’s both beautiful and fascinating to watch how he places and moves this sprawling cast around Marsha Ginsberg’s three-part set, in which rotating walls separate the yard from the house from the barn, the other spaces partially visible even when not at center stage. That cast is excellent, impressively imbuing each of these many characters with a recognizable personality. And I am by no means a balletomane, but watching Natalia Alsonso (as Balanchine’s wife, Maria Tallchief, a dancer) and Nicholas Magallanes (another dancer) perform portions of Orpheus, narrated by Mr. Cerveris as Balanchine, was breathtaking.


Vulture

But it would be wrong to say that all of this beautiful shaping is natural. In an author’s note, Nelson disclaims factual fidelity. (The people are real, but there was no such weekend; Stravinsky had already seen the ballet in rehearsal in New York, and Sudeikin died in 1946.) The work of the imagination creates imperatives of its own, which Nelson no less than Balanchine has been happy to obey. That there is a potentially sinister side to all this accommodation is a point that emerges late in the story, first with the cheerful pimping out of one character to another, and then with the arrival of an uninvited guest bearing vague ultimatums......


The New York Post

This could have been John le Carré in a tutu, yet those flabby scenes never take off. The brightest moments revolve around the rehearsals for “Orpheus,” as Stravinsky comes up with extra music on the spot, and Balanchine works with dancers Nicholas Magallanes (Michael Rosen) and Maria Tallchief (Natalia Alonso), his wife.



#11 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:35 AM

A preview of the "On Your Toes" revival by Susan Reiter for Playbill.

Although Balanchine seemed to be the perfect choreographer for the job, Rodgers was initially wary of the collaboration. "I expected fiery temperament," the composer is quoted as saying in Bernard Taper’s Balanchine biography. "He was Russian, artistic, a genius. I was scared stiff of him." What Rodgers hadn’t realized was that for Balanchine, the music was everything in terms of choosing projects. He recognized the genius of Rodgers’ score in no time; for him it was about quality, not categories. "He used the music just the way I had written it, and created his dance dance patterns to conform," Rodgers wrote.



#12 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:40 AM

A story on the revival of "On Your Toes" by Jesse Green in Elle.

If that tradition is now all but dead, the reason isn’t just the usual culprit—money—though it’s true no contemporary producer could afford the troops Balanchine had at his command on Broadway: On Your Toes originally featured two dancing ensembles, one ballet and one tap, totaling more than 40 performers. (Today you’d be lucky to get 10.) Nor is it just a change in choreographers’ sense of popular musical taste; Twyla Tharp sets dances to Sinatra with much the same panache Balanchine brought to Rodgers. But with the enormous emphasis on lean storytelling that has emerged in the past few decades to compete with television’s fast-twitch sensibility, theater has lost its patience with classical dance as a practical narrative mode. Even very good choreography on Broadway is now ruthlessly efficient. There’s no time for legato.



#13 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

An obituary for Merrill Brockway in The Hollywood Reporter.

Earlier, as a student at New York’s Columbia University, Brockway had seen Graham perform for the first time. In his words, “I went, and there was this little woman alone onstage. She grabbed my gut and pulled it out and tossed it around and smashed it on the stage. Martha’s language was mother’s milk for me. I was hooked.”

Brockway later pioneered dance on television on the Emmy Award-winning Dance in America, which debuted on PBS in 1976. It featured the great artists of the day, seeking to remain true to their choreographic visions, transitioning from the stage to the small screen. Balanchine was among those who forged the new, interpretive model for televised dance.



#14 dirac

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:54 PM

David Holmes has died at age 77.

His widow, Kathy Holmes, said her husband committed suicide after being removed from the family home where she lives with their two daughters, 12 and 14, after B.C. Children and Family Services officials learned about a month ago of his convictions for the sex offences.


Related article from last month.

Holmes was convicted on two counts of gross sexual imposition for touching a three-year-old girl inappropriately in 2006 while he was living in Dublin, Ohio, although he pled not guilty at the trial and has always proclaimed his innocence.




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