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Thursday, October 17

18 posts in this topic

A review of San Francisco Ballet by Gia Kourlas in The New York Times.

As expected, there were some exceptional performances, but choreographically speaking, the program was a middling start to the season, with “Trio,” set to Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence,” leading the way. Following an emotional pattern of upbeat, gloomy and upbeat, the ballet unfolds in front of Alexander V. Nichols’s scenic design, a sepia-toned rendering of an ancient ruin.

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Ballet Spartanburg forms a company of its own.

Six dancers representing four countries, including the U.S., make up Ballet Spartanburg's new professional company, which will make its public performance debut Friday and Saturday in the David Reid Theater at the Chapman Cultural Center.

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Charleston Ballet kicks off its new season.

The performances will consist of a new ballet, "On the Appalachian Trail," danced to a musical composition by Maestro Grant Cooper of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Janis and Joe Suite, a work to music of Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker, from choreographer Christopher Fleming of Ballet Fleming in Philadelphia. Five male guest dancers from Ballet Fleming in Philadelphia will be performing with the company.

Related.

You also can get up close and personal with a pair of ballet slippers, because audience members will be invited to the stage afterward. Did you know those point shoes have hard toe boxes — sort of like steel-toed boots for the dance set? Except they don't last nearly as long — think three weeks or so for a shoe that costs anywhere from $60 to $125 a pair.

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Skin care tips from Tiler Peck.

Peck's wavy locks and luminous complexion had us begging to find out her secrets. And it turns out, she relies on a pretty low-maintenance routine to keep her skin clear and glowing. "My face is really sensitive, so I use Cetaphil, which I think is the most basic face wash you can use," the ballet dancer explained."I use the Cetaphil lotion as well, but that’s all I do."

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A preview of Nashville Ballet's 'Peter Pan' by Abby White for Nashville Scene.

Part of this aesthetic can be attributed to the score, which Vasterling finalized after a long period of listening sessions, trial and error, and deliberation. He says the seed of the ballet sprouted from a piece by Claude Debussy titled Children's Corner, a piano suite crafted at the turn of the 20th century that was intended to evoke feelings from childhood. Credit is also due to frequent Nashville Ballet collaborator Campbell Baird, who designed Peter Pan's set and costumes.

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A review of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in "The Handmaid's Tale" by Holly Harris for The Winnipeg Free Press, with video and a Q&A with Margaret Atwood.

Offred’s growing desperation becomes palpable during the macabre waltz danced with the Commander, danced with malicious glee by retiring longtime soloist Alexander Gamayunov. The ballet’s two sole love scenes, performed with chauffeur Nick (Dmitri Dovgoselets), provide tender contrast to the heavily stylized, suspended sex "ceremony" between Offred, the Commander and his wife, former gospel singer Serena Joy (Serena Sanford).

Related.

The performance, based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, debuted with the famous author in attendance.

She also signed books for the dancers.

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A BBC Scotland story on elderly women taking ballet classes.

There's been a 70% jump in the number of adult dancers signing up for classes in recent years, according to the Royal Academy of Dance. Some, like Alicia, danced when they were young. Others are complete beginners.

Their oldest ballerina is 102.

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A review of the Joffrey Ballet in "La Bayadere" by Hedy Weiss in The Chicago Sun-Times.

Gutierrez, tall, lean and ideally proportioned, has emerged as a formidable leading man with wonderfully light leaps and barrel turns, perfectly nailed landings and unaffected acting. He also has grown into a superb partner, supporting Jaiani in many heartstopping lifts and Daly in a series of whiplash turns. The two women are each splendid in their own ways, with the sensual Jaiani the true mistress of the spirit world and Daly full of flash, fire and fine balances as Gamzatti.

Laura Molzahn's review in The Chicago Tribune.

But first, Welch establishes the love between her and Solor in an intimate first-act duet. This is immediate sexual attraction; pure love comes later. As Nikiya, Victoria Jaiani was all supple abandon in her supported poses, bending back perilously but with complete control from the waist. By contrast, Solor's Act II dances with Gamzatti had the icy feel of a ballroom competition. April Daly's pulled-up, thrust-out ribcage bespoke arrogance — and she took a vaudevillian delight in Gamzatti's villainy.

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A review of the Birmingham Royal Ballet in 'The Sleeping Beauty' by Judith Flanders for The Arts Desk.

The production dates from 1984, but looks as though it came out of the workshop yesterday. Philip Prowse’s dramatic maroon, ochre and black inflected sets and costumes still do their Gothic-Baroque mash-up thing with panache. And for the most part, Wright’s choices in terms of new choreography where necessary are excellent. His decision to ditch the panorama scene (The Prince Gets a Boat! Oh yawn) is wise; his ability to create instead a Petipa-ian extension of the lovely vision scene, patterning his tiny corps as a series of roads for the prince to follow, is a small miracle of sympathetic ventriloquism.

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The fortieth anniversary of "Great Performances" is celebrated with a special.

However, four decades of nationwide service as the unparalleled platform of the best in the performing arts is worthy of a major celebration. And the producers have enlisted joyous leading artists in a wide array of the genres to perform and introduce clips of PBS-recorded performances through the history of “Great Performances,” the longest-running cultural programming series.

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A preview of Armitage Gone! Dance by Karen Campbell in The Boston Globe.

According to Armitage, “Rave,” created for France’s Ballet de Lorrine shortly after 9/11, was conceived as an affirmation of life. It examines celebrity culture and the disconnect between the haves and the have-nots. Designer Peter Speliopoulos came up with the idea of painting the dancers’ bodies and using costumes to evoke icons such as a Native American chief and Marilyn Monroe. “It’s kind of a carnival for the 21st century in the way the underclass takes on the role of the ruling class,” says Armitage. “It’s kind of a voguing ball, a happening.”

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A review of N.C. Dance Theatre by Lawrence Toppman in The Charlotte Observer.

Anduiza makes a playful, mercurial Carmen who probably means no harm but causes it everywhere. When guardsmen arrest her, she laughs, like a kid playing cops and robbers. Her sexuality seems almost unconscious: She responds to men as they like, teasing shy Joe and challenging the extroverted Miller. (She has a wonderful hands-tied-behind-the-back moment with Joe, where her legs speak for her.)

This “Carmen” relies mainly on soloists, but “Western Symphony” needs an agile, tireless ensemble. Patricia McBride, who danced it at New York City Ballet, hasn’t slowed the tempo one iota, and Balanchine’s quick-footed choreography comes off splendidly.

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Christopher Wheeldon's staging of "An American in Paris" will debut in Paris.

The producers and creative team – which includes Craig Lucas (“The Light in the Piazza”) as the book writer and the Tony winner Bob Crowley (“Once”) designing the sets and costumes – will begin a six-week developmental workshop for the musical at the end of October. The ballet performers Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope will play Jerry and Lise during the workshop, the roles played by Kelly and Ms. Caron in the film. (Casting for the musical itself has not been made.)

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An interview with Meredith Strathmeyer, dancer with Wonderbound fka Ballet Nouveau Colorado, who is recovering from hip replacement surgery. Thanks to the ever-alert YouOverThere for the link!

Strathmeyer filled in as communications director for Wonderbound until she was able to warm up with the company at smaller performances in art galleries and flash mobs over the summer. At 29, she's one of the older members of Wonderbound — and its tallest female dancer at 5'9" — and feels that she's regained her physical and psychological balance enough to do justice to a company whose artistic director this month won the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts & Culture.

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Ilona Landgraf has a review of the Stuttgart Ballet's new Made in Germany program on her danceviewtimes blog:

http://danceviewtimes.typepad.com/ilona_landgraf/2013/10/whos-as-big.html

Once upon a time the label “Made in Germany” conveyed craftsmanship and reliability. Innovation, novelty and experimentation weren't features associated with this phrase in any primary way. Now, Stuttgart Ballet has proven the opposite. “Made in Germany” is the ever so self-confident title of the company's new ballet program which premiered earlier this month. A mixed bill of twelve little pieces, specially created for the dancers of Stuttgart Ballet by nine choreographers, it serves as nibbles for various tastes. In addition to these miniatures, a vast number of works have been made for the company since Reid Anderson's directorship began in 1996: more than eighty, seven of them program-filling story ballets. Where else can one find such fertile creativity alongside the careful guardianship of tradition?

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A review of the Birmingham Royal Ballet by Neil Norman in The Daily Express.

David Bintley snatched victory from the jaws of defeat following technical glitches (including two fires during rehearsals) that meant the show began 30 minutes late.

He might have chosen his words more carefully, however, when he arrived on stage to apologise for the delay. Insulting Sadler’s Wells will not have endeared him to the management.

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A review of The Forsythe Company in "Sider" by Deborah Jowitt in her blog, "DanceBeat."

Forsythe, whose company is based in Dresden and Frankfurt am Main, has said that he keeps “trying to test the limits of what the word choreography means.” You could see that even in his earlier cranky, ice-sharp ballets, such as In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, which grace the repertories of companies worldwide. His influence has been enormous, too, via projects that extend beyond his own choreography—for instance, his 1994 computer application, Improvisation Technologies: A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye. His company members—a few of whom have been working with him since the late 1980s, when he headed Ballett Frankfurt—are remarkably astute; brilliant mental and physical gymnasts. Imagine what it takes for a performer to cope with Forsythe’s practice in relation to Sider. This is his explanation: “We work here with very powerful formal systems, but I continually shatter their logic by inserting exceptions. But before they notice that, I also shatter that logic by inserting exceptions to that exception.”

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Q&A with James Whiteside.

Time Out New York: But why did you want to take that risk? What started it? Maybe it was gradual.

James Whiteside: No. I had talked to Mikko for maybe three years before I actually left, and I said, “I want to explore different places—maybe ABT, maybe City Ballet, maybe San Francisco, maybe the Royal. I want to try maybe a bigger company to see how I fare, and I want to be around different dancers.” That’s really the way I learn—being inspired by other dancers and other artists. I think that’s the reason I decided to make the change. I wanted new experiences. I didn’t want to be the same dancer for another ten years.

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