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Thursday, March 20

17 posts in this topic

Aleksandar Antonijevic retires this month.

It’s a question that began to haunt the Serbian-born Antonijevic in his late 30s, but a number of factors kept it at bay.

Not least was a sympathetic artistic director, Karen Kain, who didn’t retire as the company’s prima until age 46. “Karen has this respect for the mature artist,” says a grateful Antonijevic.

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International Ballet Classique opens its season this weekend.

The performance will begin with Marius Petipa’s ever popular Santanella pas de deux from the Carnival in Venice followed by “Les Apparitions” (The Appearances) an original ballet choreographed by guest artist Malcolm Burn Artistic Associate and Ballet Master of the Richmond Ballet. The festival will also feature IBC’s Artistic Director Denis Gronostayskiy’s production of the vibrant and festive “The Wedding Scene (Act lll)” from Coppelia the ever popular French comedic ballet that premiered in Paris on May 25, 1870.

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A review of Tulsa Ballet by James D. Watts Jr. for Tulsa World.

That artistic director Marcello Angelini chose to open the evening with "In the Middle" — the most purely abstract work of the night, set to Thom Willems' percussive, almost assaulting, soundscape — might on the surface seem an odd choice. And if it had been the first time Tulsa audiences had experienced this ballet, it might have been off-putting.

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A preview of Dance Theatre of Harlem by Paul Hyde in The Greenville News.

“ ‘New Bach’ was born out of Arthur Mitchell’s love for jazz,” Garland said, speaking by phone from New York City. “He loved syncopation. Mr. Mitchell used to say that Bach was kind of a forefather of pop music in terms of syncopation.”

The multicultural Dance Theatre of Harlem features 18 dancers. The company performs often with Jazz at Lincoln Center but is known primarily as a touring troupe.

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Ballet Nebraska presents a mixed bill.

Ballet Nebraska recently received a $20,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation.

Erika Overturff, Artistic Director, says the funds will be used to bring Momentum to area students.

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The Joffrey Ballet visits New Orleans this month.

Performing with the Joffrey Ballet in New Orleans will be Raul Casasola, from Madrid, Spain; Yumelia Garcia, from Caracas, Venezuela; Lucas Segovia, from Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Alberto Velazquez , from Havana, Cuba.

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Reviews of "Kings of the Dance."

The Telegraph

Not so was Vasiliev, the man most had come to see, in Roland Petit’s tragic Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. Holed up in a Parisian rooftop apartment - all wild-eyed, bare-chested and full of turmoil - Vasiliev channelled his raw and adventurous energy into existential despair to dance the demanding role of an artist driven to death by a faithless lover.

The Independent

For the show’s UK premiere, the kings are Vasiliev, American Ballet Theatre’s Marcelo Gomes, La Scala’s Roberto Bolle, Denis Matvienko of the Mariinsky and Leonid Sarafanov of the Mikhailovsky. It’s an international cast, all with international profiles: ballet has no shortage of male leads. Despite the talent, the show feels flimsy.

The Guardian

There may be sufficient talent and testosterone on stage for this all-star ensemble to justify crowning themselves kings of their profession. But what is lacking at the court of Vasiliev, Bolle et al, are the virtues of taste and discrimination – and some properly first-rate choreography.

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More.

The New York Times

“Kings of the Dance,” which opened at the London Coliseum on Wednesday night, is ballet’s attempt at a “Three Tenors”-like popularization of a usually rarified art form. The format is simple: big names, small pieces, nothing remotely challenging. Depressingly, this seems a successful recipe.

The Evening Standard

The highlight is a classic Roland Petit piece, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, a story of sex and death by Jean Cocteau, in which Vasiliev gets to smoke moodily, be seduced by an Uma Thurman-lookalike (circa Pulp Fiction), and show off his angst-filled soul alongside some killer moves.

The Stage

Roland Petit’s intensely dramatic and ultimately tragic Le Jeune Homme Et La Mort comes next, with the chiseled jaw and brawny good looks of Ivan Vasiliev taking centre stage. With an anguished, fearful expression he dances with both powerful physicality and emotional tangibility...........Svetlana Lunkina, the cruel, faithless lover of Jean Cocteau’s imagining is lithe and ominous as she leads the young man to his grim fate.

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An interview with Martha Leebolt.

Martha said her favourite roles at any time were always the current ones, continuing: “It’s easiest because you’re in the middle of it. Cleopatra is the closest to me because it was the first one I was involved in creating.”

She is proudest of her last four roles with Northern Ballet in Cleopatra, Beauty and the Beast, The Great Gatsby and Cinderella, because of those creative collaborations.

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Dance! dance! dance! with Christopher Walken.

This montage makes use of 57 of his movies, taking in everything from Batman Returns and Man on Fire to America's Sweethearts and Sleep Hollow.

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Q&A with Ansel Elgort.

JJ: You went to the School of American Ballet. Could you tell us about your ballet experience?

AE: I went from age nine to fourteen – for five years. I never really was good at dancing too much. I was good at dancing, but I never was really good at ballet. But what that did for me was teach me about performing, and it made me aware of it and how much I wanted to do it. When I was nine, I did my first show ever was The Nutcracker, at Lincoln Center. And being at School of American Ballet, they put me in the show my first year, which was in front of three thousand people. That was sort of like, “This is what I want to do.”

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A story on Dance Theatre of Harlem by Steve Parks in Newsday.

While the school continued training dancers from 3 to young adult -- thanks to support from the community and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- the performing season that was the face of the company for 35 years remained moribund until its 2012-13 re-emergence.

"Believe Again" was the theme of the relaunch. "It's definitely been a journey," says Virginia Johnson, artistic director and one of the company's most celebrated ballerinas. (She danced for 28 years, until 1997.) Johnson succeeded Dance Theatre of Harlem's founder and inspirational creative force, Arthur Mitchell, who launched the troupe in 1969.

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A review of a graphic novel about ballet, "Polina." Review by "B.D." in The Economist's blog.

Mr Vivès mixes black-and-white illustrations with blocks of ashy grey (a very different look from the dreamy aquamarines that envelop “A Taste of Chlorine”, his previous work published in English in 2011). His bold strokes make the drawings in “Polina” look dashed-off, yet sleek and distinct. He devotes copious amounts of ink to depicting dance with simple, fluid lines. But these frames are balanced by others that linger on Polina’s life. Panels showing a night spent stealing away to a club, a tender waltz or a kiss to mark the start of a romance give the story a sweet joyfulness.

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A preview of Sarasota Ballet's "The Secret Garden" by Carrie Seidman in The Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

British choreographer Will Tuckett, who has previously created two original works for the company — "Changing Light" in 2012 and "Lux Aeterna" in 2013 — will begin work in late June on what Artistic Director Iain Webb characterized as a "dance theater" production. The ballet, which will include an actor/narrator who will interact with the audience as well as the dancers on stage, is being designed specifically to serve as an arts education tool for children in the community.

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The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has sold 4500 tickets for the Bolshoi performances scheduled for this summer.

“Recognizing that the Bolshoi’s engagement at SPAC is an exceptional event, we opened ticket sales for the holidays on Dec 10,” said Marcia White, SPAC president and executive director. “It proved to be a very good decision. In less than a week we sold more than 2,000 tickets including group sales and member pre-sales. We are now up to approximately 4,500 sold.”

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A review of the Australian Ballet by Heather Bloom for Australian Stage.

A drunken pas de deux between the two is a highlight of the performance and Tong proves herself a standout performer, maintaining the seductive nature of the character without ever taking it into pantomime. Veteran dancer Heathcote is always a joy to watch, even more so when he is playing the evil Monsieur GM.

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A review of San Francisco Ballet in "Cinderella" by Paul Parish in The Bay Area Reporter.

Purists tend to define choreography as just the dancing, and if all you valued were the steps of the dances themselves, well, they're only great when they have to be. For much of the time, they're like pianist's passagework in a concerto: brilliant, fleeting, busily getting us to the next key moment. But if chorography is overall movement design, it's a different matter: the choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, and his collaborators have created a moving picture that takes up the whole stage, not just the floor of it.

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