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Monday, December 23


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#1 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 01:48 PM

A story on today's plane-hopping ballet stars by Roslyn Sulcas and Michael Cooper in The South China Morning Post.

This is already affecting traditional ballet company structures. Dancers are leaving companies like the Royal or the Paris Opera Ballet, which once would have been considered permanent homes, and no longer trusting their career paths to troupes' all-powerful directors.

 

It also means that audiences have a chance to see more international stars, and that the dancers receive more lucrative financial rewards.

 

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 01:50 PM

Some stats for Ballet Arizona's Nutcracker.

 

There are 260 costumes in “The Nutcracker,” requiring more than 6,500 yards of fabric. A tutu alone is made of 12 yards of material and takes 60 hours to produce.

 

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 01:52 PM

A review of Colorado Ballet's Nut by Michael Mulhern for Broadway World.

 

If I could choose one word to describe this fantastic production and time honored tradition from the Colorado Ballet, it would be CHARMING! This exceptional company did not miss a beat, a step or a moment to shine and kept this annual highlight of their diverse season fresh, energetic, and full of Christmas wonder and joy. The lead roles are double cast to feature the talents of this large company.

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:01 PM

A review of the Ailey troupe in "Chroma" and other works by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.

 

With "Chroma," a 2006 ballet created by Wayne McGregor for Britain's Royal Ballet, the Ailey company has a physically athletic showcase that is slick, handsome and quirky. In the end, however, the work adds up to less than the totality of Mr. McGregor's incessant, often squirming demands on its hardworking dancers. Plainly costumed by Moritz Junge in unisex tunics that bare the dancers' limbs and make their articulated torsos look flat and boxy, "Chroma" takes place in John Pawson's colorless, white-walled surround, lighted with an icy sheen by Lucy Carter and dominated by a dioramalike niche. Scored by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of music by the White Stripes—heard, like almost all of this season's music, on tape—"Chroma" is an alternately knotty and flashy but ultimately hollow display of often extreme physical coupling and posturing.

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:04 PM

Reviews of the Royal Ballet in "Jewels."

 

Londonist

 

Emeralds is the first segment where costumes, sure enough, take centre stage: entrancing deep green-coloured top pieces adorn the ballerinas while eye-catching emerald sparklers cover the men’s vests. Despite this bountiful razzle-dazzle, the choreography is a bit like a snooze fest. Balanchine’s spotlight on French romanticism feels flowery, with Gabriel Fauré’s melancholic composition matching the lacklustre sets. Indeed, there are lovely performances throughout, particularly from Roberta Marquez – it just somehow feels void of its costume’s magic.

 

Evening Standard

 

It’s a strong showing from the whole company, who look at home in this tricky ballet. Twenty-year-old Beatriz Stix-Brunell beguiles in Emeralds, a piece where the moves must be as diaphanous as the dancers’ absinthe-green net skirts. She dances with youthful ease but also a hint of burgeoning voluptuousness. Dawid Trzensimiech also impresses with watertight allegro jumps and turns.

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:06 PM

The Birmingham Royal Ballet and other local arts organizations will lose some council funding.

 

Christopher Barron, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s chief executive, said the company had been prepared for the funding cut and had adapted its business model to accommodate the change.

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:11 PM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet by Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times.

 

But Ratmansky thrives on such dialogue between past and present, and his immense skill is evident in Opera. The corps de ballet – by turns court retinue, furies, mourners or Greek chorus – acts as a vivid counterpoint to the action throughout; some sections are Baroque in spirit, with ornate ports de bras and sweeping fish dives. It is repetitive, however, and the four principals lack the qualities that often inspire Ratmansky – the verve and brio of the original casts are still evident in Russian Seasons and Concerto DSCH. For La Scala Ballet, however, his work is a formidable training ground, and the company is fast reaping the rewards.

 



#8 Helene

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:30 PM

Iliona Landgraf reviews Stuttgart Ballet in "workwithinwork," "Frank Bridge Variations," and "On Velvet" for her blog on danceviewtimes, but, more importantly, gives a crash course and context for choreographers William Forsythe, Hans van Manen, and Marco Goecke.

 

Less la­bo­ri­ous than Forsythe is Hans van Manen, re­si­dent cho­re­o­gra­pher of Dutch National Bal­let and for many years the cre­ative mind of Ne­der­lands Dans The­ater. Now in his 80s and ad­mired like a na­ti­o­nal hero in the Ne­ther­lands, he ne­ver was a de­stro­yer nor re­in­ven­tor. When others ex­pe­ri­men­ted with ra­di­cal al­ter­a­tions, van Manen, always one or two steps ahead, al­rea­dy had tried them: In “Me­ta­phors” (1965) he staged the first pas de deux for men, made a nude ballet, “Mutations” (1970) and integrated new media while other progressive colleagues were still in their early stages. With approximately twenty pieces Stuttgart Ballet holds the most extensive van Manen repertoire outside the Netherlands.

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:30 PM

A look at the Nutcracker effect on ballet company finances by Theresa Avogino in Crain's New York Business.

 

The number of productions, including classic and twists on the original, has surged 69% since 2010, according to New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs. Staging of the tale featuring Clara and her prince are ubiquitous during the Christmas season for the same reason retailers offer discounted sweaters: they bring in a big chunk of annual sales.

A production of The Nutcracker can bring in anywhere from 40% to 45% of a ballet company's revenue, experts said. People flock to see The Nutcracker because it is as much a part of the Christmas tradition as Santa Claus, appealing even to those who aren't ballet fans but know the story and Tchaikovsky score.

 

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:31 PM

A review of Collin County Ballet Theatre by Margaret Putnam for TheaterJones.

 

Whatever shortcomings a particular Nutcracker might have, all is forgiven as long as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier provide a little magic. This they did, especially Ms. Almeida, who whipped out super-fast triple fouttées in a whirl of motion, posed on one leg while making delicate beats with the other foot, and rotating ever so gracefully on her partner’s arm. The Orchestra seemed inspired by her, and wisely kept the tempo leisurely at the beginning of the pas de deux, gradually speeding up to build a rousing crescendo.

 

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

Orlando Ballet has a new executive director....

 

It has been a tumultuous few years for the ballet's leadership. Executive director Juan Escalante left the company in 2011. Katherine Fabian, who had managed the Orlando Ballet's school since 2009, stepped in to run daily operations until Mark Hough took over the top spot in the spring of 2012.

But Hough departed after just four months, and Fabian stepped in again. She will remain with the company as managing director, said Ava Doppelt, president of the ballet's board of directors.

 

 

...and moves into new digs.

 

The 112-year-old Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts was evacuated late last month after tenants complained of a strong odor. An air-quality test found mold, which can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems. The abandoned power plant owned by the Orlando Utilities Commission opened as a performing-arts venue in 1992 after six years of renovations. It has been beset by floods through the years.

Dancers will begin rehearsals next week at the Exchange.

 



#12 dirac

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:42 PM

The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School gets a state grant.

 

Among the other projects, the 31st Street Studios will receive $1.5 million to improve its buildings, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will receive $1 million toward expanding into an adjacent building and more than doubling enrollment, state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-North Side, said.

 

 



#13 dirac

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:26 PM

A review of the year in Australian dance by Chloe Smethurst in The Age.

 

The Melbourne Festival provided several spectacular moments, with Sylvie Guillem and Hofesh Schechter bringing some of the best dancers in the world to Melbourne.

 

 

 




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