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Tuesday, February 4


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#1 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:34 AM

An obituary for Jean Babilee.

 

Born in Paris in 1923, the son of a doctor, Babilée studied at the Paris Opéra Ballet School from 1936 to 1940. His dance career was interrupted during World War II because he was Jewish on his father's side. He left Paris in 1940 when the Wehrmacht was approaching the city, but returned to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet in early 1942. He narrowly escaped being sent to Auschwitz during the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in Paris on 16 July 1942. In early 1943 he left the city to avoid compulsory deportation to Germany as a forced laborer. He spent the rest of the war with the French Resistance, fighting with the Maquis in Touraine.

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:45 AM

Comment on  Haruo Niyama, the winner of the Prix de Lausanne, and the life that awaits him as a professional ballet dancer in The Economist.

 

A dancer’s career is short-lived compared with that of most artists and can be financially unrewarding. They flower in their late teens and normally hang up their slippers by the time they reach their early 30s. Knowing when to stop is often traumatic. Li Cunxin, a former jury member at the Prix and the performer featured in the film "Mao’s Last Dancer", says he knew he should quit when he was unable walk down the stairs the morning after a routine performance. Gigi Hyatt, a German ballet dancer and former Prix winner, says that one day she woke up and was not prepared to make the sacrifice again of leaving her boyfriend for a weekend performance.

 



#3 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

A review of Diablo Ballet by Rachel Howard in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Coming just after news that another East Bay ballet troupe, Company C, will soon dissolve into a pickup project, Diablo Ballet's outing in Walnut Creek on Friday left this reviewer feeling protective. Chamber-size ballet companies matter beyond their local audiences: They take ballet culture beyond the opera house, they nurture new choreographers, and at their best they maintain ballet's diversity of repertoire (for instance, in a moment of special glory Company C danced Antony Tudor's masterpiece "Dark Elegies," rarely performed today).

 

So it seems foolish to complain when Diablo's artistic director, Lauren Jonas, did her best with a tight budget....

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:51 AM

A review of the Royal New Zealand Ballet by Jean Lenihan in her ArtsJournal  blog, "Fresh Pencil."

Co-choreographed by Stiefel and Johan Kobborg (after Marius Petipa), with live orchestra conducted by RNZB music director Nigel Gaynor, this was a conservative yet distinctive version of the classic two-act ballet. The technical demands were full-throttle, and it was great to see how many New Zealand- and Australian-raised dancers populated the company with beautiful lines and easy presences.

 

Streamlined and imaginative, RZNB’s new “Giselle” gently revealed smart, near-perfect conception......

 



#5 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:52 AM

A review of New York City Ballet in "Acheron" by Apollinaire Scherr in The Financial Times.

 

But Scarlett’s talent for smoothing over the edges turns out to be a weakness too. Of the three major couples, Ashley Bouder and Amar Ramasar may have specialised in razzle-dazzle, Sara Mearns and Adrian Danchig-Waring in dynamic range, and Rebecca Krohn and Tyler Angle in the meltingly erotic, but what stood out was their interchangeability. Likewise, Scarlett’s treatment of Poulenc’s compelling hodgepodge of an organ concerto. He used the 1938 music’s odd alternations between churchy blasts and movie caper melodies as mere cues for transitions.

 

 



#6 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 02:38 PM

A review of "Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq" by Stephen Holden in The New York Times.

 

The film’s principal talking heads are Mr. d’Amboise, now 79, who becomes tearful when remembering Le Clercq, who died in 2000 at 71, and Barbara Horgan, the personal assistant to Balanchine, who died in 1983. The dancer Patricia McBride Lousada, Le Clercq’s best friend when both were teenagers, and the dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell also appear. In her later years, Le Clercq taught at Mr. Mitchell’s Dance Theater of Harlem using her hands to outline choreography. 

 

Stills of Le Clercq from the movie.

 

Buirski, a former photo editor at The New York Times, includes a number of lovely still photographs in “Afternoon of a Faun.” Here is a sampling of them.

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:14 PM

A preview of Wayne McGregor's new piece for the Royal Ballet by Jessica Duchen in The Independent.

 

The idea for Tetractys – the Art of Fugue initially sprang from his wish to collaborate with the American artist Tauba Auerbach. Her work explores language, time and logic through  a variety of mediums – she has also dreamed up and built some extraordinary new musical instruments – and her first solo exhibition  at the ICA, Tauba Auerbach: The New  Ambidextrous Universe, is opening in April.

 

 



#8 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:15 PM

A review of the new documentary on Le Clercq by Frank Scheck for Film Journal.

 

 The film includes moments both poignant—Le Clercq ironically danced the role of a polio victim in a benefit show not long before she herself succumbed to the illness—and humorous, such as an interview with Balanchine’s longtime assistant who, when asked about his four spouses, archly responds, “You wanna do the wives?”

 



#9 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:17 PM

A preview of the Hamburg Ballet in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Janos Gereben for San Francisco Classical Voice.

 

The choreographer of the two Hamburg productions seen previously in the War Memorial — The Little Mermaid and last season’s Nijinsky — created this work in 1977, but as it has girdled round about the earth, à la Puck, the piece is still developing and kept fresh. The music is a fascinating combination of Mendelssohn and Ligeti, costumes by Jürgen Rose.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:18 PM

Q&A with Fabrice Herrault.

 

Q. Would you speak about your approach to teaching?

A. My approach with regard to teaching classical ballet is rooted in my training from the influential Paris Opera Ballet.

 

Q. You have been developing a reputation as a dance historian, via your films. Please tell us about your journey from ballet dancer to teacher to film-maker.
A. As a lifelong photographer, film seems to be a natural extension for me. I have always been passionate about cinema worldwide.

 



#11 dirac

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:11 AM

A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet by Sandra Kurtz in Seattle Weekly.

 

Lesley Rausch and Rachel Foster are both in mid-career. Rausch dances Aurora as if she’s been working on the part her whole life, which in a way she has; she danced myriad friend and fairy characters in Sleeping Beauty before debuting in the main role four years ago. On Saturday night she took a big step beyond that debut with a truly radiant performance. Foster has distinguished herself in more contemporary repertory—her performances in Crystal Pite’s Emergence earlier this season were a tour de force of animal behaviors—which makes her Aurora, arguably the purest of the classical roles, all the more impressive. She achieves a level of calm clarity that will serve her as she grows in the part.

 



#12 Helene

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:34 PM

Thanks to a heads up! from a Ballet Alertnik:

 

Flamenco dancer who worked with Picasso incarcerated in Epsom asylum

 

Felix Garcia, from Seville, collaborated with Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev and artist Pablo Picasso on an avant-garde ballet, the Three-Cornered Hat, which premiered in London in 1919.

 

It is believed that Felix lost his mind when he discovered from posters that he would no longer be dancing the lead role and he fled to St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square.

 



#13 dirac

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:52 AM

A review of the Royal New Zealand Ballet by Jean Lenihan in her blog, "Fresh Pencil."

Co-choreographed by Stiefel and Johan Kobborg (after Marius Petipa), with live orchestra conducted by RNZB music director Nigel Gaynor, this was a conservative yet distinctive version of the classic two-act ballet. The technical demands were full-throttle, and it was great to see how many New Zealand- and Australian-raised dancers populated the company with beautiful lines and easy presences.

 

Streamlined and imaginative, RZNB’s new “Giselle” gently revealed smart, near-perfect conception.

 




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