.......Joining the company in 1995, [Ghiselin] remembered being “scared to death” in his early days of pointe work. “It was like walking on stilts,” Ghiselin said. “I thought, this must be what that big giant clown feels like walking around in the circus.”
But ultimately, he said, the body adapts — “it’s like a tool, anyone can use a tool. Your feet are built to hold your weight; you just have to develop new muscles and a different way of carrying yourself.” Nowadays, he said, a lot of new Trocks arrive having already learned to dance on pointe. “They come into the company pretty much ready to go.”
Monday, May 13
Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:55 AM
Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:57 AM
Although having danced with eminent foreign performers including the late Russian defector Rudolf Nureyev, Brind recalled a time when the company was almost exclusively English.
Lauren Cuthbertson is currently the only British woman among the leading performers and Edward Watson and Rupert Pennefather the only men. More British people now need to be performing to inspire future talent to flourish and keep up the homegrown numbers, according to Brind.
Link to original interview.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:00 AM
This new ballet company also drew an enthusiastic male audience of intellectuals and cultural sophisticates. Significantly, a good part of this audience was gay. (It’s not for nothing that Proust, reclusive and ailing, made the effort to attend the “Renard” after-party.) With Diaghilev, an acknowledged homosexual, as its leader; his lovers — Nijinsky, Massine, Lifar — as its stars; and the frank eroticism of so many of its works (“Scheherazade” was one big orgy; “Afternoon of a Faun” was a living wet dream), the Ballets Russes was an oasis for gay men.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:03 AM
It’s not often that ballet leaves you gasping one moment and laughing the next but Pennsylvania Ballet’s latest program, a triple bill featuring two classic Balanchine works, Ballo Della Regina and The Four Temperaments, followed by Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals, did just that.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:09 AM
Ma Cong’s Ershter Vals provided everything that Chasing Cello did not, however, for those of us who need to feel like our hearts are being ripped out of us and pirouetted upon. I recognized it instantly as one of the first studio series performances I’d seen back in 2010—flowing, sherbet-hued costumes for the ladies and a sort of peasant/farmer/Spanish-guy getup for the fellas, who move emotionally, energetically, and smoothly all at once to traditional songs from Jewish WWII ghettos, performed by Italian klezmer group KlezRoym. It’s…not as upsetting as it sounds, but it’s certainly intense.....
The Richmond Times-Dispatch
New cast members since its debut lend the work a different energy than the original.
The versatile Cecile Tuzii, in her last season with the company, appears to have taken over the featured role initially danced by former company member Kara Brosky. There also was the unexplained addition of the lovely but unseasoned Elena Bello from the Richmond Ballet II.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:10 AM
The San Jose Mercury News
Smuin Ballet is evolving, and nothing says it quite so eloquently as what happened when the dancers met Pickett's "Petal". Their movements were more undulant and lush, their bodies more articulate and mature, and the stage design that swallowed them was so sophisticated that the company seemed to have arrived in a new country. "Petal" uses a deliciously saturated color palette of vibrating pink and ethereal red, humming mango and warm coral, and at times the dancers seemed like insects on the petals of vibrating flowers in a garden in Palm Springs.
The San Francisco Chronicle
What came before and after the Pickett Saturday afternoon at Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, was genial, if scarcely earthshaking. However, "Petal" riveted the attention from the opening moment. The title suggests something vernal and the stage picture, a box bathed alternately in hot yellows, pinks and oranges, might lull you. The eight hardy dancers who invade, inhabit and constantly transform the stage space, perform as if they had been tossed a do or die challenge and are determined to transcend their training.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:11 AM
“We saw a dip in enrollment for a while as cheer schools and competition dance schools popped up,” says Megan Ostroski Ware, Kate’s daughter, who grew up at the studio and now teaches there.
“For a while, many studios were relying less on ballet. But it didn’t work. Most recognized that the lack of ballet foundation was hurting the overall quality of their dancers. Our enrollment eventually picked back up, and has remained steady.”
Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:58 AM
When Robbins made “Glass Pieces” in 1983, Philip Glass’s music was downright trendy. Postmodern choreographers had adopted it, and two of the pieces Robbins used came from an album with legitimate aspirations to popular success.
Once again, Robbins transcended the moment, fixing it accurately but in his own vision. In the opening “Rubric” section, people rush about like commuters trying to get home, an anything-you-can-do nod to the postmoderns that corresponds perfectly to one strain of the music’s oscillating repetitions. Another strain is answered, just as neatly, by ballet dancers, like gods fallen to earth, preserving ballet as an exalted sphere.
Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:59 AM
Webre appears to have just let his imagination roam—conjuring up great giant mystical masks at a parade for the running of the bulls in Pamploma, creating a bullfight, letting the can-can dance loose in a rush of bright skirts and garters and yelling. The backdrops are flickering silent movie newsreels of the times, giving us a hint of the frantic energies on display and the even bigger disillusionment it hides. And always, Hemingway’s words appear as opera-like supertitles, most memorably when Jake offers that he and Brett being in love would be "fun." “It would be hell on earth,” she says.
Posted 14 May 2013 - 12:00 PM
The artistic highlights of the evening, though, turned out to be not the quick hits, with all their physical pyrotechnics, but the two full ballets on offer: a rousing rendition of George Balanchine's classic "Symphony in C," which hadn't been performed by ABT in a decade, and Alexei Ratmansky's "Symphony (hash)9," part of a trilogy of ballets by the popular Russian choreographer to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich (the other two parts will be unveiled later this month).
Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:25 AM
The piece begins where Eifman's 1994 Don Quixote ended: the asylum, where Claudel spent the last thirty years of her life. Dressed in corseted pajamas, inmates circle the stage like happily lost dolls. Camille, danced with poignant intensity Friday by Lyubov Andreyeva, stands stiff as a statue, sits with her knees poking up next to her ears, gnaws her forearm, peers through the grid of her fingers, the mind's madness expressed in its violence against the body. She wrings a mass of clay that Rodin, the inscrutable Oleg Gabyshev, attempts to wrench from her hands; as with most obsessions, it's unclear whether he loves or resents her.
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