The focus throughout the season will be on narrative in dance, exploring the concept of “story ballet” with a series of both repertory and evening-length works that each tell a story in a freshly conceived way. This programming dovetails ideally with the Joffrey’s receipt of a $500,000 challenge grant from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation designed to provide an endowment to help support the creation and production of full-length story ballets.
Some of the bright lights and highlights for new season include: the Chicago Premiere of a James Kudelka ballet, aptly named “The Men in Black” featuring the music of Johnny Cash; a newly envisioned “Swan Lake” by acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon; plus a new work from rising-star Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet.
The Imperial Russian Ballet Company was formed in 1994 by the Bolshoi Theatre soloist Gediminas Taranda. The company has staged classic masterpieces in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Mossovet Theatre.
Arts executive Ron Legler leaves Orlando for Baltimore.
Legler, 46, was an early chairman of the Downtown Arts District and a vice chairman of the Orlando Fringe Festival. More recently, he served on the board of See Art Orlando, which installed eight public sculptures throughout downtown. And in December, he volunteered his time to serve as interim executive director of Orlando Ballet.
Like a proud father, Michael Pink opened his company’s Winter Series with an unannounced curtain raiser. MBII, Milwaukee Ballet’s 20 young professionals-in-training, performed At World’s End, a work they triumphantly premiered last month at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Made for them by resident choreographer Timothy O’Donnell who had another world premiere in this night’s program, it’s composed of quick, muscular scenes that highlight each dancer. The finale has them all on stage accomplishing difficult movements to an Olafur Arnalds electronic score about ultimate loss. The dancers looked a little stunned at first, but grew in confidence. The audience cheered.
At Sunday’s performance, Yevgeny Shlapko, heretofore seen mostly in comic and character roles, made a fine romantic figure, affectingly despondent throughout the long pas de deux with Jan Burkhard’s openhearted young woman making multiple attempts to connect. Raffael’s choreography here was beautifully lyrical, unfolding organically as the pair interacted. Oliver Béres and Cecilia Iliesiu, as the contrasting couple deeply in love, had wonderful energy and flair.
A National Public Radio interview with Nancy Buirski on "Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq."
On Tanny’s decision not to take the polio vaccine.
“She wasn’t the only one who choose not to take the vaccine. The vaccine would often make people feel ill. And she was about to take a long plane ride and she just didn’t want to feel ill. So she decided she would take when she got back. And I guess that’s a lesson to all of us as to how critical decisions like that can be.”
Meanwhile, Dancing in the Blitz – How WW2 Made British Ballet will be shown on BBC4 on March 5 and will see Birmingham Royal Ballet director David Bintley explore how the Second World War “was the making of British ballet”. It shows how the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, later the Royal Ballet, was formed during the war.
Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann, a computer scientist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, presented the animated models of dancers' internal tissue at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference last weekend.
She says the internal body doubles will help doctors determine the causes of joint problems and predict how the body will deteriorate in the future.
RNZB concludes the evening with “Banderillero,” an evocative work in bare feet created by Javier De Frutos in 2006. Set to the recorded drumming of Master Chinese Percussionist Yim Hok-man, 10 dancers stand at the edges of a white central square. They enter the ring, with hints of challenge and ferocity, and move through full-bodied group sections, nuanced duets and high-flying partnered trios. The work has its moments of power but ultimately loses steam....
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