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Friday, December 20


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#1 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:26 AM

A review of La Scala Ballet by Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times.

 

La Scala’s acquisitions of these works (“Russian Seasons” is new to the company, “Concerto DSCH” was first performed by it last year) alongside “Opera” is a coup for Makhar Vaziev, the Russian-born artistic director of the company, particularly since “Russian Seasons” was the work with which Mr. Ratmansky shot to international fame.

 

But “Opera” doesn’t follow, musically or choreographically, the Russian themes so prevalent in the earlier collaborations. It is a meditation on Italian baroque opera, a homage to La Scala itself, with words from the 18th-century librettist Metastasio and texts by the playwright Goldoni, his contemporary.

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:34 AM

A review of the Portland Ballet's Nutcracker by Jennifer Brewer for The Portland Press Herald.

 

The Portland Ballet Nutcracker Orchestra, conducted once again by Lawrence Golan, was accomplished, refined and perfectly textured, honoring Tchaikovsky’s score with delicacy and sprightliness.

 

Unfortunately, that sprightliness turned to a gallop in parts of the party and snow scenes. The snow choir (directed by Sarah Bailey), singing beautifully in appropriate tempo, fell slightly behind the orchestra. More importantly, the tempo became dangerously fast for the dancers. It is to the dancers’ great credit that they kept up the pace, although some steps seemed unavoidably truncated.

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:39 AM

A review of Northern Ballet's "Cinderella" by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.

 

With an enjoyable cast, a wardrobe of Nixon's own elegantly designed costumes, some adroit conjuring tricks and stage magic, the first half of this Cinderella is hugely entertaining. In act two, however, it becomes clear that neither Nixon's choreography nor Feeney's score have the poetic resources to take the ballet further. An overlong ball scene not only lacks a convincing love duet but also a sense of urgency (it's not even clear why Cinderella has to run away)

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:41 AM

Choi Tae-ji retires as director of the Korean National Ballet this month.
Though ballet enjoys unprecedented popularity today, things weren’t the same in the late 1990s. Choi remembers the general audience often saying that ballet is “very boring” and “too difficult to understand.” In response, she created “Ballet with Commentary” in 1997, one of her best-known projects, which combined verbal explanations by dancers and choreographers along with ballet performances. The program, which is still performed regularly today, was a huge hit ― contributing to the popularization of ballet.  “Actually, the primary purpose of ‘Ballet with Commentary’ was to have the dancers perform as many times as possible,” Choi said. 

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

South Jersey Ballet presents its Nutcracker.

 

With the production in its 22nd year at South Jersey Ballet Theatre, Duffin Conway explained that the production has come far with upgrades to both sets and costumes throughout the years.

 

Holding open auditions for the production, Duffin Conway said all girl cast members down to the 5-year-old sugarplums are ballet students from the South Jersey Ballet School and other schools throughout the area.

 

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:47 AM

A review of the Russian National Ballet's Nutcracker by Geraint Davies in The South Wales Argus.

 

The initial impression was of performers who had given this performance on too many previous occasions. There was a distinct lack of sparkle in the opening Christmas Eve celebration and much of the dancing was on the 'safe' side with little to set the pulse racing.

 

Added to this was some distinctly shaky playing of this wonderful score (Tchaikowsky believed it to be his best music) and the orchestra certainly fell below the professional standards that we are now so accustomed to. The strings, in particular, were often guilty of poor ensemble and inaccurate intonation.

 


#7 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:49 AM

A brief review of the Hong Kong Ballet's Nutcracker by Ysabella Cheung for Time Out Hong Kong.

 

A lot of people are thankful for The Nutcracker: Celesta players (yes, they exist), tykes hungry for a touch of Christmas magic, and of course, their parents, who fork out for the tradition of a post-Christmas lunch matinee. The Hong Kong Ballet has, year after year, risen to the challenge of putting on the festive show, and this December they present the two-act ballet, choreographed by young Australian native Terence Kohler. For the second year running, 

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:52 AM

Ballet Idaho dancers talk about their lives with Nutcracker.

 

Most dancers can track their careers by the roles they've danced in "The Nutcracker," says principal ballerina Phyllis Rothwell Affrunti, who danced for Ballet Idaho under Pimble and Anastos. It's part of the cycle that keeps ballet moving foward.

"Since I started doing 'Nutcracker' when I was 14, I think I've done every possible role. I love watching kids like Cristina and Sara. I was dancing Clara when Cristina was a mouse running around the stage. Now, she's dancing alongside of me."

 

 


 


#9 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:54 AM

The Randazzo Dance Company presents "Clara and the Nut."

 

This full-scale production marks Randazzo Dance Company’s 45th season of holiday performances.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:04 PM

Kansas Ballet presents its first Nutcracker.

 

The now-defunct Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka established the “pro-am” approach to staging “The Nutcracker” more than 25 years ago, and Stephanie Heston, who along with her husband, Alexander Smirnov, direct the Kansas Ballet, adopted it when they took over the MBT’s last production of “The Nutcracker” a year ago following the retirement of its founding director, June Landrith.

The couple, who each danced professionally around the world, chose to maintain the approach for both professional and deeply personal reasons.

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:07 PM

St. Augustine Ballet presents its fifth annual Nutcracker.

 

For the first time, there will be different guest artists featured in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier each day of performances.

Erin-Elizabeth Morton, member of the North Atlanta Dance Theatre, will partner with Norbert Nirewicz, formerly with the Polish National Theater. Arionel Vargas, principal dancer with The English National Ballet, will perform with his wife, Roberta Marquez, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet.

 



#12 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:09 PM

A review of Oklahoma City Ballet's Nutcracker.

 

Choreographed by the company's artistic director Robert Mills and accompanied by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, conducted by maestro Joel Levine, “The Nutcracker” sparkled with beautiful dancing and good cheer, proving once again that OKC Ballet is getting stronger and stronger.

 



#13 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:14 PM

A review of the Smuin Ballet's "The Christmas Ballet" by Rita Felciano in The San Francisco Bay Guardian.

 

And why not. The late choreographer knew how to entertain a crowd. With this take on the holidays he created a flexible show that changes a little bit every year as new material gets added and some of it is shelved for the time being. Christmas shows Smuin at his best — a broad-based love for music, an excellent sense of how to communicate through dance, and at his not so good —an unwillingness or inability to dig below the surface. Here he offered a mostly well-grown evergreen of what the holidays represent: kitsch and grandeur, sentimentality and sentiment, conviviality and loneliness, all wrapped up in tinsel-covered package.

 



#14 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:16 PM

A look at the tech requirements behind the Prince George Symphony Orchestra's Nutcracker.

 

Instead of manually putting colour filters on many lights and then another colour on more lights, with the LED technology, Russell can electronically tell the LED what colour to emit and there are millions of colour possibilities, making the creative process unlimited in its scope.

 

During the show there's about 20 crew backstage, with about 10 people who are in the first scene taking on crew duties as well. They all pitch in to help with costume changes, move scenery and be at the ready for set changes.

 



#15 dirac

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 12:17 PM

Maryland Youth Ballet presents a Nutcracker despite financial setbacks.

 

But bad weather in the region forced the cancellation of a sold-out performance of the shorter version of “The Nutcracker” and classes at the ballet school. The scrapped performance and classes due to snow cost the organization more than $10,000 in revenue.

 




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