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dirac

Thursday, February 6

12 posts in this topic

Views and reviews of "Big Ballet."

The Telegraph

The three-part series follows former ballet principals Wayne Sleep and Monica Loughman as they attempt to draw up a troupe of plus-sized amateurs. After pruning the 500 to 18, Sleep and Loughman have five months to train up their 16 women and two men for a performance of Swan Lake at St George’s Hall in Bradford.

A review, also in the Telegraph.

As it turns out, Big Ballet doesn’t represent a new nadir for Channel 4 after all. Much like The Undateables, another Channel 4 series that was written off as “exploitative” before it had even aired, the first instalment was sweet, heart-warming but with a necessary dose of reality....

The Independent

When he was told about Sleep's production, the choreographer Derek Deane practically shuddered: "You know, fat, cellulite, bums and large breasts... I'm sorry but it doesn't lend itself to the pure form of classical ballet."

The Guardian

Wayne Sleep cracks himself up. Virtually everything he says ends with him dissolving into helpless laughter. Like Wayne himself, this habit is charming and irritating by turns. It's also a bit risky, because the premise of Big Ballet (Channel 4) – Sleep assembles a troupe of plus-size dancers to perform a scene from Swan Lake – seems designed to court accusations of exploitation. Might the result not be cruel, or unintentionally comical? Doesn't Wayne need to ask himself what he's laughing at?

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A preview of Sacramento Ballet's new production, "Wild Sweet Love."

Cunningham’s professional company of 26 dancers will need their classical training and athletic physicality for the demanding choreography Cong has been teaching them. He demonstrated a corkscrew leap he wanted the women to execute, which blindly landed them in their male partners’ arms as they finished the mid-air turn. The dancers then repeated the move themselves to a piece of recorded music.

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Adrian Fry takes over the role of the prince in Ballet West's "The Sleeping Beauty" after Christopher Ruud is injured.

Fortunately for Fry, he will be partnering with Katherine Lawrence, who knows the leading role of Princess Aurora well. She danced it in 2007 and again in 2011 when Ballet West premiered its current staging by artistic director Adam Sklute. Ruud has performed the lead role of Prince Desire many times, so despite his knee injury, he shows up for work every day to help teach the part.

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Joy Womack joins the Kremlin Ballet.

Though her comments were met by splashy headlines and harsh words from ballerinas who said she probably could not hack it at the theater, Womack was bubbly after premiering at her new venue, the Kremlin Ballet, on Sunday. Though she had almost not danced at all at the Bolshoi and her role at the theater had been described as "invisible," her Kremlin premiere saw her take the main female role of Marie in a performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker that was attended by outgoing U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

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An article on Vancouver's Coastal City Ballet.

“There’s a heavy pool of unemployed dancers out there right now, and a lot of us want to continue to dance and perform,” explained Borger. “But we can’t do that until we find employment.”

The company provides them with little in terms of monetary compensation (in fact, just a pair of ballet shoes) but a wealth of knowledge from daily training and help lining up auditions and further opportunities.

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Moscow Festival Ballet brings 'Giselle' to San Luis Obispo.

“Our dancers have very strong personalities and are wonderful actors as well as their advanced technique. We are a very tight-knit family. We travel, live and work together. Many of us have been with the company for many years. … We are very happy and full of love and the wonderful experience of classical ballet is what we give to the world.”

There are 40 dancers on the tour, 22 women and 18 men ages 21 to 34. The dancers have trained in different schools all over Russia and Kazakshstan before joining the company, Daev explains.

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An episode of "Elementary" features a ballerina murder victim. (The linked piece is a recap; don't read if you want to avoid spoilers.)

The same goes, unfortunately, for the case of the week itself. Even if we accept the pervasive “Hey, so I watched Black Swan over the weekend!” vibe of the ballerina murder storyline, it struck me as a rather odd collection of unlikeable characters whose motivations were wildly unclear. While small details like Sherlock fanboying over Iris were enjoyable, the storyline struggled under the weight of the lawyer’s scheme.....

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Jenifer Ringer is interviewed by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

Around the same time, Ms. Ringer developed an unhealthy relationship with food. “I would overeat, and then I would overexercise,” she said. “I had lost any sense of a center for self-esteem and self-worth. I either was relying on my own perfectionist idea, or I was basing it on the ballet world’s idea of success, which I wasn’t living up to because I was overweight.”

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A review of the Royal New Zealand Ballet in ' Giselle' by Donna Perlmutter for LA Observed.

But it's the first act, in the land of the living, where class breakdown between peasants and royalty must pass the bright-lit test of characterization. For all her carefully grafted-on vulnerabilities, though, Murphy remains a pragmatist in her body's manner, not the charmingly fey, terminally naïve thing that is Giselle. Her mad scene lacked the delusional fever pitch of such a creature. And the Kobborg/Stiefel choreographic changes did not help here or elsewhere.

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An obituary for dancer and teacher Dorothy Buckeridge Nesbitt, who has died at age 91.

In 1937, Mrs. Nesbitt entered the School of the American Ballet where she came in touch with dance figures like Lincoln Kirstein, George Balanchine and Sergei Grigoriev, the original rehearsal master for the Ballet Russes. As a young ballerina she toured Canada, Mexico and Latin America from 1941 to 1945 with the Original Ballet Russe company, a spin-off of the original Ballet Russes founded by Sergei Diaghilev and continued by many of his assistants.

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A survey of the awards season in dance by Katie Colombus in The Stage.

No surprises in the De Valois Awards For outstanding achievement either with the gorgeous Leanne Benjamin of the Royal Ballet and Matthew Bourne awarded for their achievements last year.

Over at the SBSAAs, Darcey Bussell presented Mark Bruce Company the dance award, beating other nominees Wayne McGregor for Atomos, Random Dance’s I and English National Ballet’s Le Corsaire.

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An article on L.A. Dance Project's new digs by Wendy Gilmartin for LA Weekly.

But the partnership is beneficial for both parties. For Ace, it fits with a core idea from co-founder Alex Calderwood, who died last year in London at age 47. He wanted to draw visitors who are attuned to the art, music and design of a place. The Ace New York has walls adorned by local artist Ryder Robison. In Portland, you can rent a bike made by local designer Jordan Hufnagel. Palm Springs' pool area evokes the ubiquitous lounge-iness of the desert resort town.

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