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Thursday, May 9


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15 replies to this topic

#1 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:24 AM

Reviews of "On Your Toes."

Playbill

Irina Dvorovenko, the Kiev-born ballerina who joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1996, takes top honors as Russian ballerina Vera Baronova. She dances well, naturally enough, but also has a charming way with comedy (albeit with a thick accent). Shonn Wiley (My Vaudeville Man) undertakes the Ray Bolger role as the hoofer-turned-college professor who unaccountably finds himself on his toes in the two ballets. Wiley excels in the hoofing component, although on opening night—after that brief rehearsal period—he did not yet demonstrate the level of musical comedy charm that the role calls for.


Daily News

That killer climax was originally choreographed by George Balanchine and is staged here by Susan Pilarre, the ballet mistress of the ’83 revival. Before that climax, though, there’s a story to get through — a pretty silly one concocted by Rodgers and Hart and George Abbott.


Associated Press

As good as those ballets are, the highlight is when the musical theater dancers and the muscular ballet dancers face off in the title tune. As each group ratchets up the tricks - the tapping hoofers smack boards for percussive effect, while the ballerinas do their steps while being held upside down - one of the most thrilling dance numbers of the season is unveiled.



#2 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

More.

The Huffington Post

But wait, there's more good news. "La Princesse Zenobia," Balanchine's spoof of Ballets Russes "Scheherazade" exotica that ends the first act with genuine laughs--especially for balletomanes with long memories--gets many of its yuks thanks to Wiley, His clowning as a last-minute substitute dancing slave fulfills Carlyle's requirements. Dvorovenko is hilariously imperious as the princess in question.


TheaterMania

Fortunately, the large troupe of dancers really gets to shine thanks to Warren Carlyle, who uses the many guns in his arsenal to keep us entertained. The show's opener, "Two-a-Day for Keith," is a wonderful vaudevillian tribute, performed to perfection by Randy Skinner, Karen Ziemba, and Dalton Harrod. Carlyle has great fun putting his own stamp on the ridiculous "La Princesse Zenobia Ballet," in which the fleet-footed Wiley garners laughs for his awkwardness and abandon. De Luz (a longtime veteran of both ABT and New York City Ballet) earns frequent applause for his amazing leaps. Most impressive is the director-choreographer's roof-raising take on the show's title song, a spectacular dance-off between Dolan's tap-happy students and the ballet troupe that almost has the audience on its feet.



#3 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:46 AM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in 'Hansel and Gretel.'

The Telegraph

Straitened times, a broken home, domestic violence, child abduction, murder – small wonder that Liam Scarlett figured Hansel and Gretel to be a tale for today. In telling the famous 1812 Grimm fairy tale in dance, the Royal Ballet’s 26-year-old artist in residence has left no grim stone unturned, stripping off any trace of the sugar-coating that Engelbert Humperdinck applied in his 1893 opera, and setting the action in an unforgiving corner of McCarthy-era America.


The Financial Times

http://www.ft.com/cm...l#ixzz2SpIvyYfF

For a first act lasting an eternal hour and a second act of a mere 40 minutes, Scarlett rings the all-too-predictable changes on innocence abused and the rampant clichés attendant upon a beheaded teddy bear, a puppet-doll as alter-ego, wicked stepmother and defeated father, with a great deal of vehement choreography that follows well-worn paths in portraying anger, psychosis, guilt and whatever it is that the Sandman is presumed to be feeling. (Regret at leaving the vegetable drawer is my guess.)


The Times

The characterisations tend towards the cartoonish, and could be toned down a little. But Laura Morera is a delight as the vulgar, leggy, controlling Step-Mother; Bennet Gartside is affecting as the slovenly, ineffectual Father; and James Hay and Leanne Cope, as Hansel and Gretel, go from sweet, innocent youth to the blind panic of captivity. Indeed the image of Hay and Cope banging on the door of the Witch’s cottage in a futile bid to escape is disturbing, especially given the news this week from Cleveland, Ohio.



#4 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:51 AM

More.

The Stage

Dan Jones’ commissioned score is magnificent, juxtaposing dramatic and dense piano chords with chiming percussion and tinkling xylophone melodies. The music is impelling, building tension and dissipating in complimentary ebb and flow to the choreography.

Stephen McRae is remarkable as The Charlie McCarthy inspired Sandman luring the children to their fate in the woods. Moving like a broken doll he is jerky, disjointed, angular and surreal, but spins fluidly and has control of his softer, scarecrow-like movements.


The Guardian

The scale of the venue does, however, work against Scarlett as well as for him. Often the choreography feels squeezed for space; and while Leanne Cope and James Hay give alert, detailed performances as the two children, their first playfully innocent scenes are marred by overprojected body language and facial expressions. It's as though we're in The Nutcracker, not Psycho.


The Independent

Scarlett casts two young Royal Ballet dancers, James Hay and Leanne Cope, as Hansel and Gretel. He has shorts, she has pigtails, and they’re both stuck playing balletic children, skipping about with non-specific joy. Hay and Cope do slightly better with fear and anger, but the characterisation remains paper-thin.



#5 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

A review of San Francisco Ballet by Paul Parish in The Bay Area Reporter.

The show is fabulous – there are moments when your hair stands on end and you feel like your head is going to explode. The deep coherence of the show is tremendous, but it's tricked out in delicacy and fancy. It's as good as Toy Story, with overwhelmingly wonderful music by Serge Prokofiev, one of his most visionary and mysterious scores. Every turn of the story has been freshly imagined, fitted to the music in an original way. Opening night was a sensational hit; it will be fascinating to see how well the spectacle stands up to repeated viewings.



#6 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:56 AM

Australian Ballet releases a short documentary, "Ballet Men." Video.

Adam Bull, Christopher Rodgers-Wilson, Cameron Hunter and Cristiano Martino star in the video, sharing their triumphs along with acknowledging the injuries and the pain behind athletic male dancing.



#7 dirac

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

Pix from New York City Ballet's gala.

"We wanted something playful, but American," he explained. "And of course we did a lot of tests because I don't know how to move in those costumes!" Unbeknownst to just about everyone in the audience (including the designer), Peck's strap came undone from its hook and eye 15 seconds before the performance's end. No matter. She brushed off Altuzarra's blushing apology with a smile--it wasn't his fault, after all. And Peck was already moving onto other sartorial matters. After a surf and turf-style meal, she shyly approached Valentino to ask him to make her wedding dress. Judging from her beaming smile, she liked his answer.



#8 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:09 AM

A review of White Bird Dance's season programming and Ballet B.C. by Marty Hughley in The Oregonian.

Ballet BC artistic director Emily Molnar's "Aniel," by contrast, was more overtly playful – reminiscent in some ways of the Portland troupe BodyVox. The dancers dressed in hot pastels, Benetton colors not so much united as gleefully clashing. The score was a set of John Zorn's jaunty (and, for him, surprisingly mild-mannered) klezmer interpretations. And the movement included recurring motifs such as rooster's strut, the forearm posture of a praying mantis, men kissing their own biceps, a piston-like, hip-centric walk, and other images suggesting pride and predation.



#9 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:11 AM

Two more reviews of "On Your Toes."

The New York Times

Nobody preens better than Ms. Dvorovenko, whose legs immediately need to be registered as weapons of mass destruction. Even executing the taxing back-bending moves of the “Slaughter” number (recreated per Balanchine by Susan Pilarre), Ms. Dvorovenko’s Vera maintains the ecstatic smile of someone who adores being adored.


The New York Post

It’s also tough for Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” to kill when the orchestra fills up half the stage. And once again, Wiley is overshadowed by his partner, Dvorovenko.

She’s so effortlessly hilarious as a flighty diva that it’s hard to believe this is her first speaking role. New York City Ballet’s Joaquin De Luz is also quite funny as another petulant, overly dramatic Slav.



#10 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:18 AM

A review of New York City Ballet's gala by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

This devotion to American music demonstrates courage and tenacity on the part of Peter Martins, the company’s ballet master in chief. Twenty-five years ago City Ballet’s original American Music Festival, featuring an unprecedented quantity of new ballets, was intensely controversial. Most of the creations — nine by Mr. Martins — were ghastly; the company, as Arlene Croce observed the next year in The New Yorker, received the worst block of reviews in its history.

Yet Mr. Martins, undaunted, has never let the American music theme drop. This gala justified his persistence.....



#11 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:32 AM

A report on the gala by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

"A Place for Us," which had its world premiere on Wednesday night, is set to a mix of two pieces of music: an early work by Leonard Bernstein, "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano," and "Interlude" from "Clarinet and Piano Sonata" by André Previn.

Mr. Previn attended the performance and found the experience of watching his music with choreography a new one. "It never occurred to me that it would be danced," he said.



#12 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:46 AM

A preview of free upcoming performances in Central Park by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

In addition to the free Central Park shows, the festival is marking its 10th year with three world premieres, commissioned by City Center, from choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa (for Ballet Hispanico), Justin Peck (for Ms. Mearns) and Liam Scarlett (for the Royal).



#13 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:32 PM

An obituary for Merrill Brockway.

His death was confirmed by his partner of 17 years, John Eric Roybal, his only immediate survivor.

Mr. Brockway’s work introduced many people to George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and other giants of dance.



#14 dirac

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:53 PM

A preview of Ballet West's annual "Innovations" program by Kathy Adams in The Salt Lake Tribune.

This year’s guest choreographer, Jodie Gates, will premiere "Mercurial Landscapes," a new work set to Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons." It’s a score that should be recognizable to most people — but will it? Gates chose composer Max Richter’s reimagining of Vivaldi’s masterwork, in which he substitutes his own signature sound while retaining the overall spirit of the score — much as Gates does with the classical ballet vocabulary.



#15 dirac

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:05 PM

Q&A with Roberto Bolle.

Who are some of your favorite ballerinas? Who do you love dancing with?
Ah, I love dancing with Svetlana Zakharova (Bolshoi) - she's so perfect physically and technically - so beautiful. I also love Julie Kent - we're working on Frederick Ashton's A Month in the Country at ABT - a debut for us - working in a piece like that is very interpretive and emotional. Julie's a great artist and I like to share the stage with her. Sometimes I miss Alessandra Ferri - she's great - we hope to dance together again in the future.




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