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Wednesday, August 14


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#1 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:04 AM

An interview with Toa Fraser, the director of the new film of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's "Giselle."

Filming the Royal New Zealand Ballet was suggested by Dean Spanley producer Matthew Metcalfe. Fraser says the first idea was to adapt Cinderella, but he was more keen to adapt Giselle. One reason was that the story was "about love and joy in the darkness". The other was that top American dancer Gillian Murphy, who plays the title role in Giselle, had joined the Royal NZ Ballet with her husband, fellow dance star Ethan Stiefel.

 

Fraser says he was free to approach Giselle in any way he wanted.

 

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:08 AM

Reviews of the Bolshoi Ballet in "Jewels."

 

The Financial Times

 

So, Diamonds as a summation of Mariinsky attitudes, made by a great master, and Russian dancers recalling a heritage, responding with splendid effects to Balanchine’s tribute. And Smirnova setting out the choreography with an exquisite clarity, the dance flowering through her torso – Vaganova schooling disciplines every moment – and the music made clear to us. Breathtaking. Chudin her worthy partner: power, luscious phrasing, grand outlines and a discreet mastery all his – dancing marked by an unemphatic grandeur.

 

 

The Telegraph

 

It can be danced in many different ways. Smirnova – another sensation of the summer, new to London audiences and astounding – turns it into a kind of story of courtship, making each jut of the chin, each imperiously placed hand say something. Even at 21, she has the quality that great dancers possess of seeming both an ideal of line and shape, and utterly herself. Chudin matched her intensity, with dazzling turns, light jumps, and thoughtful partnering. A three carat joy.

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:11 AM

An item in brief from Broadway World noting the death of David Howard.

 

Watch the video below from Bob Rizzo, who had the delightful and fortunate opportunity to produce a very short biography on David several years ago while they were also working on an instructional dance video. Aside from the Ballet master, Howard also shared the stage with the likes of Sophie Tucker and Marlene Dietrich, and danced for Bob Fosse in Little Me.

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:37 PM

A review of the Bolshoi  in "Jewels" by Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times.

 

It was Mr. Filin who hired Ms. Smirnova in 2011, bringing her to the Bolshoi from St. Petersburg, where she trained at the Vaganova school, and from where she might have more naturally gone to the Mariinsky Ballet. She is a rarity, a ballerina whose every movement feels luminously right and true. Nothing is showy; there are no mannerisms. Each step simply is what it is, presented in its full beauty as if Ms. Smirnova is telling us what she understands, physically, about ballet.

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

An interview with Tamiyo Kusakari by Nobuko Tanaka in The Japan Times.

When you retired in 2009, your final dance was a special program of works by (French artist) Roland Petit, your favorite choreographer. Do you think the ballet world in Japan has changed since then?

 

I worked in a closed world that was full of fixed invisible rules, one that was Japanese group-mentality thing ruled. So I tried to work with foreign artists as much as possible when I was dancing. I think lots of top Japanese artists nowadays, including dancers and drama people, are looking to actively collaborate with foreign artists and work with overseas companies.

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 09:09 AM

Arts notes in The San Francisco Chronicle on Damian Smith's retirement, Smuin Ballet's schedule.

 

Smith, who is married to John Gidding (HGTV's "Curb Appeal"), can count among his career highlights Iago in "Othello," the Poet in "The Little Mermaid," Dr. Coppelius in "Coppélia" and Hilarion in "Giselle," as well as roles in world premiers such as "Angelo," "Study in Motion," "The Fifth Season," "Rush" and "Chi-Lin."

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:13 AM

A BBC News report on the challenges that face young Mexican men who study ballet. Video.

 

Ivonne Robles Gil has played a major role in breaking down ingrained ideas about traditional male roles by training more than 50 young men in classical dance.

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:31 AM

Former Royal Winnipeg Ballet student Jeppe Hansen, who claimed he was forced to quit the school when his moonlighting as a porn actor was revealed, loses his porn gig as well.

 

Adding fuel, Jeppe/"Jett" was snapped on Fire Island with Lucas Entertainment CEO Marc Macnamara and talent.

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 02:15 PM

A story on claqueurs  at the Bolshoi by Ellen Barry in The New York Times.

 

Some ballet insiders contend that the claqueurs also profit by reselling passes. Mr. Abramov categorically denies this, saying the Bolshoi’s administration traces the artists’ passes, so a resale would be discovered and he would be immediately banned from the theater. He says the claqueurs’ motivation is a simpler one: They are fanatics. (“I would love to pour a ton of acid on her head,” he remarked cheerily about a critic who had offended one of his favorites.) Mr. Abramov and his associates enjoy closeness to the stars, and serve as ferocious defenders of the Bolshoi’s conservative, classical tradition. They also need tickets.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 03:55 PM

Bunheads's loss is others' gain.

 

ABC Family’s cancellation of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s ballet dramedy “Bunheads” has led to seven projects receiving allocations from the California Film Tax Credit program.

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:20 AM

Stephen Campanella writes on the subject of repertory for ballet companies in Broadway World's blog.

 

I have often heard the statement that "a ballet company should not be a museum," or words to that effect, whenever dancers or directors are discussing the repertory that should be performed, particularly in regional companies. It has always made me vaguely uneasy so I thought I would take this chance to work through some of the implications. I certainly understand and approve the philosophy of creation that underpins it; a museum is generally responsible solely for the display and maintenance of existing work, not for the creation of new work, whereas a ballet company not only performs the existing but is constantly involved in the creation of the new. My concerns about the statement come more from its tone, which generally implies two things: first, that work being produced now is by definition superior to, or at least more interesting than, work that was produced a century ago, and second, that audiences are uninterested in seeing those supposedly dry old dinosaurs.

 




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