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Tuesday, December 17


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#1 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:19 PM

Social pages photo gallery for Nevada Ballet Theatre's opening night Nut.

 

A review and photo gallery of the production.

 

But under the sturdy direction of Artistic Director James Canfield, who discussed his reimagined “Nutcracker” last week before Saturday night’s grand opening, this holiday gem absolutely soars. E.T.A. Hoffman’s beloved “The Nutcracker” is the story of Clara and her new gift, a nutcracker who propels the young girl into a magical dream world of adventure, invention and imagination.

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:21 PM

A fashion editor takes class with New York City Ballet.

 

Once in front of the big mirrors, the group and I — along with my other sidekick for the day, our editorial assistant, Chloe — were led by principal dancers Abi Stafford, Daniel Ulbricht, and Jared Angle.

 

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:25 PM

A preview of two area Nutcrackers in The Connecticut Post.

 

"A lot of people think of it as an annual family tradition -- rather than a trip to `the ballet,' " says Kenneth Hopkins, the former professional dancer and now co-artistic director of the New England Ballet Company.

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:27 PM

A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker by Rosemary Ponnekanti for The News Tribune.

 

And the dancing is polished – though not all casting is equal (check the website for casting details for each performance). At one Sunday matinee, young Clara was played by Nina Adams, who gave a rather over-the-top rendition of a fussy young girl. Her mischievous brother Fritz (Jack Neeleman) was more natural, but still had the stilted, over-rehearsed look all the PNB kids tend to get. As Drosselmeyer, guest artist Uko Gorter returns with a wild flair that makes the magician-godfather into a boy who never grew up.

 


 


#5 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:29 PM

A review of San Francisco Ballet by Janos Gereben for San Francisco Classical Voice.

Those with long memories still have trouble with the loss of the sumptuous Candyland in the previous production, replaced by an empty stage; the bland Waltz of the Flowers; and especially, the loss of the growing Christmas tree magic. What was a slow, leisurely growth of the tree to an improbable height, with a great musical-stagecraft climax invoking an ovation, now is a hurried affair, with the battle with the mice errupting suddenly, attention diverted from the tree.

 

Against those objections, there are many pluses, especially in what Nutcracker is all about: the dancing.

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:31 PM

A review of Pennsylvania Ballet by Lewis Whittington for The Dance Journal.

 

The pas de deux of The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, in this performance danced by Di Piazza and Jong Suk Park, is by design alternately flowing and jarring, with a lot of pointe freezes and Balanchine limb tangles. They struggled somewhat on the slow turns with Di Piazza en pointe, making slight adjustments and the deep penche arabesque didn‘t tilt enough, but these were momentary snags. Park has an unfussy attack for the jump circles around the stage and Di Piazza has a diamond hard arabesque that just keeps giving. They held a tight gaze on each other, paced the big moments with thrilling results- the jump of Sugar Plum on the Cavalier’s shoulder, then repeated, was first rate and they locked into that iconic Poisson finale pose, to rapturous applause.

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:34 PM

A review of the National Ballet of Canada by Michael Crabb in The Toronto Star.

 

Yet it’s rewarding to see how hierarchically less exalted dancers tackle major roles and Sunday’s matinee included several. First soloist Etienne Lavigne brought suitable eccentricity to Uncle Nikolai, Kudelka’s substitute in this Russianized Nutcracker for the more traditional Drosselmeier, and second soloist Tiffany Mosher made for a charmingly youthful nurse. But the biggest role debut was that of 22-year-old second soloist Skylar Campbell as Peter.

 

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:36 PM

Likes and dislikes from the conductor Andrew Grams.

Favorite piece to conduct? I love conducting waltzes; they make me move in ways that bring me close to actual dancing ... which is something I do not do.

 

Favorite scene in "The Nutcracker"? The transitional music in Act I between the battle scene and the waltz of the snowflakes. If you listen to it, you'll know why.

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:38 PM

An interview with Elizabeth Lemont of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Video.

The Ontario native travelled to Winnipeg as a young teen to study ballet at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At 14, she played young Clara and now, 10 years later, she’s landed the adult lead: the grown-up Clara.

 

“To be in the starring role is a huge deal for me. It’s my first role that’s going to be a breakthrough role for me. I’m really, really excited,” said Lemont.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:55 PM

Robert Johnson's top 10 memorable dance events of 2013.

 

"Romeo and Juliet": Douglas Martin, the director of American Repertory Ballet, has a special affinity for "Romeo and Juliet." His production of the ballet, which appeared fully staged in October at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, moved seamlessly from one episode to the next, hitting all the passionate high-notes in Prokofiev’s score. Though simply decorated, the production never failed to create a sense of place; and Martin’s handling of the boisterous crowd scenes — making the company appear larger than its actual size — revealed his canny professionalism. This "Romeo" marked a watershed in the company’s history.

 

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

A review of American Ballet Theatre by Apollinaire Scherr in The Financial Times.

 

It was clear at its premiere four years ago that Alexei Ratmansky’s wise, touching Nutcracker for American Ballet Theatre (until Sunday, with various casts) counted as a bildungsroman, but it only occurred as I watched this season’s outing how much Clara’s growing up centres on love. From the party scene into the snowstorm and beyond, she samples as many kinds of affection, desire and union as there are candies in the Land of Sweets.

 



#12 dirac

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:14 PM

A preview of Ivan Putrov's latest iteration of "Men in Motion" by Louise Jury in the Evening Standard.

 

Next month’s version includes Nijinsky’s L’après-midi d’un faune set to Debussy’s score. And the premieres include Daniel Proietto dancing to the music of Nina Simone and Marijn Rademaker to Johnny Cash. Edward Watson is also working with choreographer Arthur Pita, having previously danced his adaptation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. There is also a possibility of a new duet with Watson and Rademaker.

 



#13 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

Two local Nutcrackers are compared and contrasted by Mike Paarlberg for Washington City Paper.

 

Music: This shouldn’t be a contest either, but given that the Washington Ballet’s musicians have been laid off since 2009 (except one season when they were brought back for the Ballet’s 50th anniversary, then let go again), both productions feature recorded music, and all the awkwardness that entails. But the contrast between the otherwise lavish production and tinny music is more apparent for the Washington Ballet, where what sounds like Tchaikovsky played through a wet towel wafts over from side speakers rather than an orchestra pit, and dancers are forced to rush their steps and pause for the next track. Momentum, on the other hand, eschews authenticity altogether and opts for a more fun soundtrack of EllingtonFitzgeraldMJThe Wanted, andPsy. Because you know Tchaikovsky would have stuck in a horsey dance had he thought of it at the time. Point: Momentum.

 



#14 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:24 PM

A year-in-dance overview by Robert Gottlieb in The New York Observer.

 

Ratmansky was everywhere this year. His exciting Concerto DSCH at City Ballet, his intriguing Nutcracker (for ABT, at BAM even now). ABT also presented Ratmansky’s triple bill of knotty and demanding works to Shostakovich. This was the most artistically ambitious venture of the year, and it will take time to see whether the three ballets work best together or absorbed separately into the repertory. But compare this kind of ambition to City Ballet’s recent run of meretricious works involving Paul McCartney, Calatrava and Valentino. Oddly enough, PR ops rarely compare favorably with large talent and serious intent.

 

 



#15 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:47 PM

A review of the cinema broadcast of the Bolshoi Ballet in "The Sleeping Beauty" by Barnett Serchuk for Broadway World.

 

Me: Let me start with the tempos, or tempi. I began to wonder if I was attending a ballet or a funeral mass.

PF: On the slow side?

Me: You're being kind. They squeezed every ounce of juice, sparkle and joy from the ballet. Nothing moved, it staggered and crept. You felt like taking a shotgun and putting the ballet out of its misery.

 




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