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dirac

Tuesday, August 13

11 posts in this topic

A look at the Bolshoi dancers in class, with commentary from Sarah Crompton, in The Telegraph. Video.

But that much you can glean from books. What is exceptional about watching great dancers in class – and all dancers in a company like the Bolshoi are terrific dancers – is that you glimpse the concentration, discipline and devotion that have taken them to the top of their profession. In seeing them stripped bare, as it were, you see the ingredients that make up the company.

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An interview with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev by Jessica Duchen in The Independent.

Moving companies, though, is not without its challenges. The Bolshoi’s distinctive style – larger-than-life, with thrilling, open extensions and unquenchable virtuosity – is quite a contrast from the Royal Ballet’s, which is somewhat more restrained and lyrical. Osipova and Vasiliev have found themselves having to adjust to different traditions around the world, from New York to Australia. And they love it. “To dance in just one style is not interesting,” says Vasiliev, “but it’s very interesting to change the approach, because when we are young, when we have power and energy, we must learn and try these things.”

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A preview of the Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition.

This year's competition has attracted more than 200 entries from as far afield as Australia and Russia. That's more than double the 80 hopefuls that lined up for 2011's inaugural event.

There's some buzz around the news that one of the entrants is a rising star at Moscow's legendary Bolshoi Ballet. The annual competition is all about creating opportunities to enable ballet to thrive in Hong Kong, says So, who broke barriers when he became the Hong Kong Ballet's first locally trained male principal dancer.

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An obituary in The Telegraph for David Howard, dead at age 76.

He opened his David Howard Dance Center in New York in 1977, and it became the haunt of every ballet star in New York. Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Makarova and America’s great ballerinas Gelsey Kirkland and Cynthia Harvey were among his constant students. In 1995 he closed the centre and became a freelance teacher at ballet companies worldwide, among them the Royal Ballet; American Ballet Theatre; San Francisco Ballet; Joffrey Ballet; and the National Ballet of Canada.

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The Royal Winnipeg Ballet hires two new dancers.

Artjom Maksakov, a Ukrainian-born dancer who most recently danced with the Boston Ballet, joins the RWB as a soloist.

Olga Malinovskaya, who studied at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy before joining the Estonian National Ballet in 2008, joins the corps de ballet.

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Reviews of the Bolshoi Ballet in "Jewels."

The Evening Standard

The company are still getting Balanchine into their bodies and, sure, the famous Bolshoi corps de ballet aren’t quite as tight as they could be, and perhaps the dancing isn’t so glintingly hard-edged as their American counterparts might deliver it, but it’s interesting to see a well-known piece from a new perspective.

The Arts Desk

Emeralds is the most difficult of the three sections, a gossamer construct of music and mood that disintegrates at the slightest rough handling. And it got a fair amount of that. Evgenia Obraztsova (pictured right), one of their loveliest dancers, danced with restraint and a certain charm, but never found her way into the heart of the style, while Anna Tikhomirova’s dead upper body and flat arms were matched by ears that were seemingly deaf to the music coming out of the pit.

The Guardian

It's left to Olga Smirnova to vamp up the energy in Diamonds. Fabulously gifted, this young dancer is already proving a maverick – the singing line of her upper body punctuated by the odd, imperious accents of her phrasing. In partnership with the fiercely etched Semyon Chudin, the romantic trance of Diamonds' central duet turns combative and sexy. And while it's a deviant interpretation, it's very thrilling to watch.

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A review of the Bolshoi in "The Sleeping Beauty" by Neil Norman in The Daily Express.

The corps de ballet, stunning in glittering costumes and an array of headgear that would make Philip Treacy green with envy, handle Grigorovich's variations on Petipa's choreography exceedingly well. If there is a fault it is that Grigorovich is more interested in filling the stage with dancers in unison than actually telling the story and he has little sense of dramaturgy. The awakening of Aurora, which is surely the dramatic highlight, is thrown away. Obscured by the fate of Carabosse the reviving kiss goes for naught.

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A review of the Ballet v6.0 festival by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.

Ballet v6.0 remains a name of uncertain meaning. Its offerings so far suggest further uncertainty: Is contemporary ballet mostly a dark and shapeless realm where ballet's past is scuttled with little substance replacing it, or is it an educated effort to forge ahead by way of honoring the ballet classroom, complete with its practices on pointe, for fresh theatrical effect? So far, the festival suggests an affair of fooling around and floundering that deprives ballet's inherent rigor of its potential finesse and focus.

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A recap of the third episode of "Breaking Pointe."

As Christiana and Rex rehearse their parts of Cinderella and the Prince with Wendy, Christiana feels a lot of pressure to be perfect because Wendy is very hard to please. She also has trouble not worrying about other aspects of her life while dancing because her and her husband, Chris Ruud, have been having problems lately. The tension between them has become noticeable to the entire company so they have agreed not to talk during work, but Chris attempts to talk to her anyway and she ignores him.

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A PBS NewsHour segment on Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes exhibit at the National Gallery. Video and text.

Museum visitors can see movement of dancers and choreographers captured in still photographs and watch film excerpts of modern companies recreating performances of the Ballets Russes.

Normally, an art museum would not be in the business of commissioning dance, but without seeing the physicality of dance, Kennel says it is hard to understand the importance of the Ballets Russes.

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Ballet Mobile performs for elderly people with limited mobility.

Ballet Mobile is a charitable and educational performing arts company whose mission is to serve the community. Dancers are part of the Atelier de Ballet Classique. The troupe has performed at Encore at Turf Valley, Lorien Assisted Living, Shangri La of Ellicott City, the Florence Bain Center and dozens more local venues.

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