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Monday, August 19


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15 replies to this topic

#1 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:27 AM

Reviews of Scottish Ballet.

 

The Guardian

 

Twyla Tharp created The Fugue in 1970 – at a time when she, along with her peers, was making the transition from strictly minimalist principles towards more theatrical dance. During its opening minutes, The Fugue appears purely reductive, its three dancers stepping through simple sequences, on strictly regular counts and geometric floor patterns. Yet from this basic formula, Tharp starts to tease out extraordinary richness and poetry. Rhythm becomes a live, mysterious force that not only divides and subdivides through a variety of snappy percussive details, but is floated through airy, fluid phrases. There may be no music in this piece, but Tharp makes bodies sing.

 

 

The Herald

 

Family illness had prevented Edouard Lock from creating a new work for Scottish Ballet, but Friday evening's double bill of Kenneth MacMillan's SEA OF TROUBLES (1988) and Christopher Hampson's SILHOUETTE (2010) was much more than a stopgap piece of programming. MacMillan's take on Hamlet distils plot and central characters into an episodic jigsaw of lust, guilt and death where everyone is haunted by time being out of joint. Roles are interchangeable, the movement almost hyperventilates with stylised dramatic flourishes. Even so, the six dancers on the main stage found the emotional intensity in the non-naturalistic statements of inner turmoil that MacMillan set to Webern and Martinu...

 

The Financial Times

 

 
The “Duets” programme resurrected two excerpts from the extensive oeuvre of Scottish Ballet’s founder artistic director Peter Darrell, all but ignored these days, and it is to be hoped that this signals the beginning of his rehabilitation by his company. Alas, a soupy duet from Chéri would not work out of its context and was yoked to ugly music, but a duet and solo from Five Rückert Songs evoked the solitude and loss of Mahler’s composition, Kingsley-Garner again intense of emotion. Of the rest, laurels to James Cousins’ brilliantly conceived duo from Jealousy – restricted to a small red mat lit from above, Sophie Martin never touching the ground as she writhed over Victor Zarallo, she in skimpy shift, he bare-chested, in what felt like a voyeuristic intrusion into their intimacy.

 

 

The Stage

 

Emotion rides above any narrative when Scottish Dance Theatre joins the company for In This Storm, Henri Oguike’s trio set to Vrebalov’s composition. In the final on-stage work Martin Lawrance’s fine, fluid quartet works directly against the insessant syncopation of Juila Wolfe’s Dark Full Ride. Martin, Zarallo and Andreoni are joined by Katie Webb for Wolfe’s piece and spin a dense, smooth web over the spiky angularity of the supporting music.

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:35 AM

A review of Jessica Lang Dance  by Apollinaire Scherr in The Financial Times.

 

The few women ballet choreographers do not generally emerge from the ranks but migrate from modern dance to second-tier companies before they ascend. As outsiders, they need to know how to get along – how to produce the product – which may go some way to explaining why the work of the chief woman in the festival, Jessica Lang, suffers from tameness and a reluctance to let its ideas rip.

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:48 AM

A review of the Joffrey Ballet  by Zachary Lewis in The Plain Dealer.

 

On individual stood out from the crowd. As the Chosen One Saturday, dancer Joanna Wozniak was gripping, vacillating between states of catatonia and caged terror. Just as the she and other candidates for sacrifice trudged in circles, zombie-like, so were spectators mesmerized.

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:52 AM

Reviews of the Bolshoi Ballet in "The Flames of Paris."

 

The Evening Standard

 

The guest duo may be the star attraction, but the Bolshoi does not lack home talent. Andrei Merkuriev (as Jerome, Jeanne’s brother) made an elegant pair with the aristocratic Adeline (Anastasia Stashkevich), Ruslan Skvortsov was a prancing, sexually-aggressive Marquis, and the flag-waving crowd scenes were exuberant.....

 

The Arts Desk

 

The previous night the visiting stars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev had raised the roof; for the final performance Vasiliev was there again, but this time with Ekaterina Krysanova, the redhead whose Sleeping Beauty had been so charming, replacing the original Maria Alexandrova (pictured above and below, regrettably injured early in the tour). Without the blinding effect of the Vasipova razzle-dazzle the entire cast could come into focus, and some tremendous performances and company cohesion could be enjoyed. This, like Osipova and Vasiliev, is Ratmansky's generation of dancers.

 

The Independent

 

The pacing and storytelling are awkward, with dancers trying to spell out chunks of plot through fervent pointing. Yet The Flames of Paris brings out the best in the Bolshoi, who give the strongest company performance of this London visit. The court divertissement goes on far too long, but Kristina Kretova and Artem Ovcharenko are terrific in it, with beautifully phrased dancing and witty self-awareness. Anastasia Stashkevich is touching as the doomed Adeline.

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:00 AM

A review of Whim W'him by Martha Sherman for danceviewtimes.

 

Whim W’him is a young, Seattle-based troupe of talented dancers led by artistic director and choreographer, Olivier Wevers. But it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The cutesy name, the sock-footed choreography, and the half of the Joyce show done in slapstick humor, suggests that they’re in it for the fun. The other half, with heavy imagery and grimacing facial expressions, suggests exactly the opposite. All of the dancers showed fine ballet training; but the ingredients didn’t add up to the promise of the parts.

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:06 AM

Scroll down to the bottom for a tidbit from Monica Mason on working with Rudolf Nureyev.

 

‘I never got used to his exceptional beauty and his commanding enigmatic presence,’ says Monica at a Royal College of Music event. ‘Nureyev learned to swear in many languages and could be very vulgar and obscene and he couldn’t come to terms with the English reserve.’

 

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:22 PM

Q&A with Allison DeBona.

When you signed up for the show, was there any talk about roughly how much would be about your life and how much would be about your work?

 

No. Actually, there really wasn't ever talk about that — and, last season, Rex and I were really shocked about how much of our personal lives were on the show. We were like, "Wait a minute. No one said it was going to be like this." You don't really want people to know all these things that are happening in your life. But then you did sign up for a reality television show, and I guess that just goes with the territory. But I've said it before, and I really do mean it — people didn't even know that Ballet West existed [before]. And now we're on the map. We're going on tour a whole lot more than we were, and I just get frustrated with people who are like, "This is a disgrace to Ballet West." We took a chance on something.



#8 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:25 PM

A preview of tonight's episode of "Breaking Pointe."

 

Who will get the contract they want, and who will be reduced to tears? Will Zach or Ian get the contract? And will anyone be let go from Ballet West for good? The outcomes of contract renewal time will definitely surprise you.

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:30 AM

Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presents "The British Beat."

 

Granted, it took a few months, but Middleton and her team have managed to compile a list of popular music — ranging from the late-19th century composer Sir Edward Elgar’s nationalistic “Pomp and Circumstance” march to the wartime ballads of entertainer Vera Lynn, film composer and arranger John Barry’s James Bond scores to the iconic British rock of The Beatles, and the solo work of former Beatle turn peace activist John Lennon to the soul-stirring pop of Adele.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:34 AM

A review of BalletCollective by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

 

It would be wrong to overrate Mr. Schumacher’s two works: they’re sketches, structurally unsatisfactory, stylistically unresolved. But he’s addressing central questions about the genre of ballet — music, gender, body language, academic vocabulary — and without strain. His answers look both direct and unforced, experimental and refreshing.

 

When women partner women, or men men, or women support men, it doesn’t look as if Mr. Shumacher has an agenda; it appears simply as if his stage world reflects the one most of us live in today. And he’s using music that’s both new and live.

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

Q&A with Alexei Ratmansky.

IB: What compromises did you make for this?

AR: I felt this was a title that could combine modernity, tradition, the public's demands, my own, many criteria. Vainonen's choreography for Flames was something to build on, it's great. Two things struck me about it, first the sophistication of its rhythmic phrases, and also when he does folk dances, the simplicity but also the inevitability of the phrase. Simple and great. You can't imagine anything else, when you see it. It just works. So, stylistically for me it was difficult because I wanted to be myself, and yet I couldn't do anything that would go against the Vainonen original.

 



#12 dirac

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:47 AM

A review of the Joffrey Ballet by Roy Berko for Broadway World.

 

Unfortunately, the Joffrey company seemed incapable of producing the intended joy. The dancers, especially the male corps, were consistently out of sync, with jagged lines and missteps highlighting the number. They had difficulty producing many of the classic and contemporary moves. In contrast to the orchestra's creation of joyful sounds, the dancers failed to produce the parallel energy and proficiency. This was definitely a second string group of young dancers who started off the evening on a less than positive note.

 



#13 dirac

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 03:49 PM

Michael Kaiser warns of the hazards involved when board members horn in on the staff's areas of authority and responsibility.

 

Unfortunately, poaching rarely works and often leaves staff members demoralized and any semblance of a strategy in tatters. Staff members no longer know who to obey: their staff boss who is effectively neutered when the board poaches or one of many board members who may feel empowered to direct staff efforts. In fact, I have observed several instances where two board members offer contradictory directions to the same hapless staff members. What are they supposed to do?

 



#14 dirac

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:31 AM

Fabrice Calmels  writes on the Joffrey's visit to Cleveland for his ChicagoNow blog.

 

After a few successful collaborations in the past, The Joffrey Ballet returned to Ohio and the Blossom Music Center for the 4th time this weekend, to once more achieve the deliverance of another beautiful night. This time around 9000+ audience members showed up to each performance. The growing audience only reassured us that we are indeed doing the right thing. The collaboration between the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Tito Munoz, and The Joffrey Ballet, directed by Ashely Wheater, is really appreciated by everyone participating and enjoying this evening

 



#15 dirac

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:41 AM

A review of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra's  new CD by John Sunier for Audiophile Audition.

....This is the very first recording of Bizet’s Jeux D’Enfants which brings us all dozen of the pieces in the original piano-four-hands collection, transcribed for playing by a full orchestra. Bizet himself only orchestrated five of them, and the rest were done more recently by Hershy Kay and Roy Douglas, so all 12 can be presented here in symphonic garb.

 

The Variations chromatiques here receives its CD premiere. It was inspired by Beethoven’s 32 Variations in c, and is a dramatic set of 14 variations for piano, with the theme mostly unaltered thru all of them. It is considered the composer’s most significant piano work. Felix Weingartner orchestrated the piano music in 1933, but it only had one previous recording by the Louisville Orchestra in 1973.

 




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