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Monday, July 8


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10 replies to this topic

#1 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:59 AM

A report from Moscow on the state of play at the Bolshoi Ballet  by Mark Monahan in The Telegraph.

 

Central to the Bolshoi’s standards is its policy of mentoring. Where Western companies will tend to have an overall ballet master or mistress and draft in specific coaches for specific roles, the Moscow troupe swiftly furnishes each of its most promising new dancers with a personal mentor – usually a retired company dancer, though sometimes a current senior performer – whose job is as much pastoral as it is balletic. Each mentor may have a number of wards, but each ward will at any given time have only one mentor.

 

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:10 AM

Former Royal Winnipeg Ballet student Jeppe Hansen says he was kicked out of school for appearing in porn videos.

 

CBC News

 

Hansen said he left the school in late March. In April, he left Winnipeg and moved to New York City to pursue adult entertainment full-time under the screen name Jett Black.

 

Royal Winnipeg Ballet officials told CBC News they cannot comment on personnel issues due to privacy concerns.

 

Canadian Press

 

The RWB will only say that the school has a code of conduct for students and won’t comment further on personnel issues due to privacy concerns.

 

The code of conduct, which is included in the school’s student information handbook, says nothing about side projects, such as the video Hansen was in.

 

 

Related.

 

Well at least the story has a happy ending. In any case, I braved a Google image search, and discovered that Hansen is indeed a gay porn actor who has been in two all-male productions from “Cocky Boys,” including Get Karter and Paint It Black. Seems a bit tame for porn titles, and also, isn’t calling this Hitler youth “Jett Black” sort of false advertising? Or are the gays just that much more appreciative of irony?

 

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:02 PM

Reviews of the Boston Ballet's second program in London.

 

The Boston Globe

 

“Polyphonia” might not have been my choice for the middle work on the program. To me, this neoclassical piece set to piano compositions by György Ligeti still looks like Balanchine-lite. Bradley Schlagheck was a courtly partner for Ashley Ellis in the slow, hypnotic “Wedding Dance II: Quickly Come Here Pretty,” and she spun out her subsequent solo beautifully. Dancing to “Musica Ricercata III,” Adiarys Almeida and Jeffrey Cirio zipped about with panache. But in their two big duets, Lia Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili seemed merely gymnastic. And the piece didn’t show the company doing anything it hadn’t already done better in “The Second Detail” and in its performances, Wednesday and Thursday, of George Balanchine’s “Symphony in Three Movements.” Boston Ballet’s principal pianist, Freda Locker, was stellar as always; I was surprised she didn’t join the dancers in their curtain call.

 

 

The Stage

 

The company were more assured in Christopher Wheeldon’s mesmerising Polyphonia, which he made for New York City Ballet back in 2001. It is set to Gyorgy Ligeti’s shimmering compostions, and the dancers exactly captured the spirit of the thistle-down softness of the steps. Jiri Kylian’s more densely texture Bella Figura closed the evening. Although plotless, the piece implies intense emotions that the Boston Ballet dancers ably conveyed.

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:55 PM

Q&A with former dancer David MacGillivray.

Q. You left the National Ballet after graduation. Why?

A. When I was in the National Ballet School, Alexander Grant was the director of the Company, and had been for as long as I could remember. But when I was ready to audition for the company, Erik Bruhn was just taking over as Artistic Director and making some big changes to the company. The outcome of my audition for the company was that no position was offered to me. In hindsight, it was really the best thing to happen to me. I was not as good a dancer as I needed to be, and if I had been accepted into the corps, I probably would have stayed there for the duration of my career.

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:17 PM

A former student at the Washington School of Ballet  writes about the ways in which ballet training helped shape her life.

 

Although I did get injured the following year and had to sadly stop dancing, my experience at TWSB gave me more than I can even put into words. I gained discipline, perspective as well as the ability to constructively take criticism and grow stronger every single day from tough situations. My time at the Washington Ballet helped me become the person I am today. Even though the years have gone by and I've lost quite a bit of technique and flexibility, I still retain a lot from my training: a tight knit group of friends with which I'm still very close; a work ethic and sense of ambition that is incredibly valuable and something unique to ballet dancers. We are trained to never say no to challenges to push ourselves to the limit and then some. We learn to never give up until perfection is achieved.

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:47 PM

A item noting Mads Mikkelsen's former career as a dancer. Video.

 

"Knowing that Mikkelsen had a career before acting might not be that surprising. What is surprising, however, is finding out that he wasn’t a real-life serial killer, or a real-life Viking, or a shady businessmen who had his underlings killed when they disappointed him. No. He was a dancer. Not just any dancer, either: He trained as a gymnast in his youth, then studied dance at a ballet academy, and embarked on a decade long career as a professional dancer before taking up acting."
 


#7 dirac

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:50 PM

An online chat with Jeppe Hansen  aka Jett Black.

 

According to Hansen, school administrators asked him to sign a letter stating that he voluntarily withdrew from the program.

 

Hansen said he never wanted to leave the RWB, but he felt that officials had already made up their minds on the matter.

 

 

The Los Angeles Times

 

The official website for Jett Black states that he studied ballet in various cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:31 PM

More details re Jeppe Hansen.

“I don’t blame the Winnipeg Ballet,” Mr. Hansen said. “I grew up in the ballet world, I know how conservative and high brow, as they call it, it is … I do understand to a certain degree why they made the decision they did.”

 

He realized his extracurricular activity might raise eyebrows with the school, and that he would have to address it with them. But he did not think he would get kicked out — he knows other dancers in larger cities who have also done erotic work.

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 04:53 PM

An interview with Leanne Benjamin by Matthew Westwood in The Australian.

Married to Tobias Round, a theatre producer, Benjamin has had a side interest in property investment. She has enrolled in an architectural design course and has thoughts of working as an interior designer.

 

"That said, I'm not closing the door on ballet forever," she says. "I just think it's time to follow another interest for a while, let my retirement as a performer settle in my head. I imagine it will take some adjustment."

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:11 AM

A review of the play "The Old Woman" by Ben Brantley in The New York Times.

 

Mr. Baryshnikov and Mr. Dafoe have accepted the Wilson mathematics and stay afloat. I’m not sure you would recognize either of them if you hadn’t been told in advance who they were. They are eerily robotic and satanic, and at times interchangeable windup imps set at varying speeds. Moving within a geometric landscape that keeps changing color and shape — making two dimensions feel like three, and vice versa — they take turns telling the same stories, or shards of stories, with Mr. Baryshnikov sometimes speaking in Russian.

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 09:57 PM

Talking style with Tamara Rojo.

 

You don't often get to compare bunions with a prima ballerina, so here I am in Tamara Rojo's office at the English National Ballet HQ behind the Albert Hall in London with my shoes off.

 

Humiliatingly, I think mine might be bigger - and it's only a fashion legacy. At least hers is an honourable dancing wound, although there's some debate about that. She's addicted to high heels, preferably from Prada - like many dancers, she finds flats painful.

 

 




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