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Thursday, November 14

12 posts in this topic

Bruce Simpson of the Louisville Ballet plans to retire.

The Louisville Ballet has announced that artistic director Bruce Simpson, 64, will retire at the end of this season. Yesterday, Simpson informed the dancers, board of directors and staff that he will complete his tenure in July, when his current contract expires.

Related.

The Glasgow, Scotland, native came to Louisville in 2002 from Texas Ballet Theatre, where he spent two years as that company’s ballet master.

Simpson spent nearly 30 years of his career as a principal dancer with South Africa’s State Theatre Ballet prior to his 1998 retirement from the stage.

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A review of BalletMet Columbus by Jay Weitz for ColumbusAlive.com.

Kudelka’s most recent commission for BalletMet, from 2010, is his tribute to Johnny Cash, “The Man in Black,” set to six covers the singer recorded late in his life. In their movements, the quartet of Olivia Clark, Jimmy Orrante, Jackson Sarver and Gabriel Smith (casts vary) distantly echo varieties of dance from the American West. Using the simplest of components, Kudelka has crafted a casually intense work of fascinating complexity.

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The Bolshoi responds officially and unofficially to Joy Womack's accusations of attempted extortion.

A source in the Bolshoi Theatre which the "Moskovsky Komsomolets" newspaper calls an "authoritative worker, said that Joy Womack had made her way to the Bolshoi Theatre only thanks to her insistence because after her probationary period in the Moscow Academy of Choreography was over in 2012, the Bolshoi Theatre did not show any interest in her. " She is an average American. A corps dancer who has some prospects," the source said.It also said that promotion in the Bolshoi Theatre for a 10,000 dollar bribe is impossible. This source is sure that as Joy Womack is an American, an attempt was made to swindle her out of her money.

Related.

Bolshoi ballerina Anna Rebetskaya questioned Womack's professionalism in comments posted on her Facebook page Wednesday.

"All of us who danced in the Nutcracker supported you despite the fact that you couldn't perform pirouettes and despite your failure to learn the choreography of Mother Ginger," she wrote. "Don't you remember why you couldn't be cast even for a corps de ballet role?"

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A story on the controversy over Nikolai Tsiskaridze's appointment as head of the Vaganova Ballet Academy.

After the culture minister appointed Tsiskaridze, an outspoken former Bolshoi star, as head of the school, and Ulyana Lopatkina – a prima ballerina at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater and herself a graduate of the prestigious school – as artistic director, about 100 teachers at the academy and artists from the Mariinsky, of which the Vaganova is an associate school, wrote an impassioned letter to the ministry asking it to review the decision.

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A review of Matthew Bourne's "Sleeping Beauty" by Sarah Kaufman in The Washington Post.

Bourne’s choreographic skills are uneven, although he comes into his strength in the second act, with a diabolical nightclub scene that hums along precisely on that fear/pleasure boundary. His major achievement is a moving duet of discovery and rapture between Leo and Aurora, by way of Kenneth MacMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Aurora was danced on opening night by Hannah Vassallo, a bright, spirited dancer with arresting eyes and wells of mischief.

George Jackson's review for danceviewtimes.

To have the boyfriend still potent in Act 2, after a hundred years, he has had to become a fairy and sprout tiny wings. That’s sort of touching. The production’s potentially most novel passage happens just before the princess’ awakening. She is raped by the Dracula figure (the Caradoc character, son of the “dark” fairy Carabosse). If only Bourne had built and structured this necrophile scene into inventive dance drama, his “Sleeping Beauty” might have contained something as memorable as his “Swan Lake”. That there’s a rocking nightclub scene to ballabile music from the old ballet’s royal court scenes is yet another second-hand effect. Of course, the story ends conventionally.

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A review of the Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet in "Romeo and Juliet" by Christie Seaver in The Irish Times.

Here, Ruslan Savdenov and Natalia Domracheva dance portrayals that suggest love for the ballet itself as much as for the lead characters. She evolves from an innocent girl to an impassioned young woman, driven by a bond with her endearingly earnest suitor through powerful turns and achingly supple arabesques. Their pas de deux matures as the story unfolds.

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Li Cunxin is a finalist for Australian of the Year.

Li Cunxin was named Queensland’s finalist for the competition at a National Australia Day Council ceremony at the State Library on Wednesday.

"I really don't have the words to express what an honour this is,” the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet said.

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More stories on Joy Womack's allegations against the Bolshoi.

The New York Times

Ms. Womack has declined to name the Bolshoi official who said a $10,000 payment would get her a soloist role. She said the figure was mentioned after she had repeatedly pressed managers about her desire for prominent roles. Since her graduation, she was offered few chances to perform, she said.

Public Radio International

Some Bolshoi ballerinas have alleged that, within the Bolshoi, there is a system of "sponsorship," in which ballerinas have sexual relationships with wealthy patrons of the theater. They say if a ballerina has a sponsor, she's more likely to get a lead role. Shuster previously reported on this accusation for an article in Time.

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An interview with Sarah McLachlan and Jean Grand-Maître on the creation of Alberta Ballet's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy."

"How do they create a balanced life spiritually between work and life and children when they have more and more possibilities?" That initial conversation led to one of the themes running through Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, a ballet based on the Vancouver singer-songwriter's music. It's Grand-Maître's fourth such production, where dancers reframe the music and lyrics of 20th century pop composers in a contemporary dance milieu. He has based previous Alberta Ballet productions on the music of Joni Mitchell (The Fiddle and Drum, 2007), Elton John (Love Lies Bleeding, 2010) and k.d. lang (Balletlujah!), which premiered earlier this year.

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A review of American Ballet Theatre by Carol Pardo for danceviewtimes.

But unlike "Romeo and Juliet" or "Sleeping Beauty", "The Tempest" is not hard wired in our DNA. Tybalt or the sleeping princess need no introduction; the same cannot be said of Antonio or Sebastian. Ratmansky is stuck trying to tell a less familiar story while simultaneously extracting its perfume. It’s a tough balancing act that doesn’t come off. The result is a "Cliff Notes" in costume, all but leached of poetry.

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Reviews of Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Seattle Dances

Both Kylian and Pite have been artistic directors of well-respected contemporary dance companies (NDT and Kidd Pivot, respectively). In bringing these works to PNB, artistic director Peter Boal holds his dancers to the same level and quality of contemporary movement as these companies possess. Here, many of the dancers lacked the grounded energetic requirements of modern and contemporary dance as well as the necessary fluidity in the upper spine—both qualities antithetical to classical ballet. While the dancers’ beautifully pointed feet and leg extensions were on full display, such contemporary movement also requires dancing with weight into the floor and liquidity through the torso—Ailey’s “modern top.”...

The SunBreak

While both were danced with PNB’s usual style and aplomb, there was more zip in the performance of Sechs Tänze. Dancers were mostly unrecognizable in their wigs and zany hairstyles except by their typical movement style. Thus, Jonathan Porretta stood out for his trademark speed matched with vibrancy, as did Carrie Imler, whose innate sense of rhythm and timing serves her particularly well in grounded works like these.

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Pix of Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied at a Dior event.

Though Natalie may just be in the City of Light for this particular event, she and Benjamin are set to make a full move to Paris next year. Natalie revealed the plan in her recent Marie Claire interview, saying, "We're moving at the end of next year. Although, obviously, we'll be spending a good deal of time there in the meantime. [My French is] OK. I can get through a conversation. I mean, not about, like, philosophy, but about this and that — I can manage."

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