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Saturday, April 26

12 posts in this topic

A review of the Birmingham Royal Ballet by Luke Jennings in The Guardian.

The evening's final piece is Frederick Ashton's Les Rendezvous, a flirtatious caprice whose lighter-than-air style conceals choreography of considerable sophistication. The original 1933 production, designed by William Chappell, was danced in white Regency costumes; the set was a pair of ornamental French park gates. A redesign in 2000 by Anthony Ward saw the men dressed in garish blazers and boaters, the women in polka dots, and the set changed to toy-town trees and a bloated orange sun. The work has never quite recovered from this makeover; the men's costumes, in particular, are quite breathtakingly hideous. Perhaps this contributed to an unconvincing first-night performance by the lead couple, Chi Cao and Nao Sakuma. He was dour and unsmiling; she sailed competently enough through her steps, but failed to imbue her dancing with any Ashtonian wit or fizz.

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A look at A.V.A. Ballet in rehearsal for "The Little Mermaid."

For the upcoming production, the women tell me they have been rehearsing since February, and creating the choreography for the ballet is both a structured and organic process. Steinhardt says they learn the choreography, doing it over and over again, then clean it, and do it again. She says they want their bodies to memorize the movements so they can just dance it during the performance.

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The Sarasota Ballet presents Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru, with other guest performers.

Daniil Simkin’s casually funny presentation of a Jacques Brel song set to quirky steps by Ben Van Cauwenbergh was a knockout, rewarded by near-hysteria in the audience. Appropriately, the show came to a dazzling conclusion with the “Divertissements” from “Don Quixote.”

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Auditions at the School of American Ballet. Photo gallery.

Auditions are being held at the prestigious School of American Ballet for over 600 beginner ballet students. They will be selected to fill the 120 spots available to study dance on campus.

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Reviews of the James Sewell Ballet.

The Pioneer Press

"The Inferno" was the section on the hell realms, and that's the name of choreographer James Sewell's latest creation, a 70-minute journey through hell that his company, James Sewell Ballet, is premiering this weekend at Minneapolis' Cowles Center. Each circle is related to a specific sin, and every stop finds a unitard-clad crew offering a glimpse of what brought about their condemnation. The end result is an uneven piece that's sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, other times exasperatingly scattershot. But it's certainly ambitious and demanding, and for that Sewell and his dancers deserve praise.

The Star Tribune

Chris Hannon portrays the hapless Dante appropriately as a man suffering a private turmoil and Stauffer is his one-liner-spouting underworld guide Virgil (the ancient Roman poet). At one point the latter warns, “hell is full of unitards” but at least the ones on display in “Inferno” are quite artistic thanks to Masten’s vision, which hints at Nicholas Roerich’s 1913 designs for the Ballet Russes’ “Rite of Spring.”

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A review of Cincinnati Ballet by David Lyman in The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Or perhaps it was the company’s collaboration with Over the Rhine, the Cincinnati-born band that has found success not by chasing musical trends, but rather by pursuing its own reflective path through 25 years of music-making.

This collaboration is different from the one that brought the groups together in 2011. Where that was all about exploring the unknown, this one is enriched by their knowledge of one another. It’s more handsome, more confident and more low-key.

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Local kids audition for the English Youth Ballet's first performances in Belfast.

Calla Nic-Aoidh (13), from Newry, said: "I'm looking forward to performing for everybody.

"It is quite tiring with long hours but it's fun as well. Tonight it will be a bit different – I'm nervous but it will be good fun."

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A lawsuit is filed over The Four Seasons' plans to remove Picasso's "Le Tricorne" from the restaurant.

But a nonprofit that owns the curtain, Landmarks Conservancy, has filed a lawsuit to halt the move.

The group argues the wall damage isn’t dire and that taking the curtain down could destroy it – and, with it, an integral aspect of the Four Seasons’ landmarked interior.

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A look at the work of Justin Peck by Joan Acocella in the May 5 issue of The New Yorker.

You can see why. N.Y.C.B. is known for its musical sensitivity, and Peck uses this. He likes to throw the dancers rhythmic curveballs—nines, fives—and they bat them back happily. His other forte is ensemble choreography. To move fifteen or twenty people around a stage in an interesting way, and not just as one subgroup relates to another but as such configurations relate to the music: this is a rare skill. Balanchine, N.Y.C.B.’s founding choreographer, was famous for it.

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A review of Washington Ballet by George Jackson for danceviewtimes.

Balanchine’s “Liberty Bell” pas de deux (from his Sousa ballet “Stars and Stripes”) suspiciously resembles a comment on the Vainonen duo. Both choreographers were similar in age, education and initial employment. Both became interested in varying and developing further the technical and stylistic classicism they had been taught as students of Russia’s Maryinsky ballet. Vainone’s duo (accompanied by Asafyev music) uses academic ballet technique at bravura increments to express revolutionary fervor. Washington Ballet’s cast danced it strongly. The man, Chong Sun, also conveyed heroism. The woman, Tamako Miyazaki, was technically tidy and remarkably fleet but decorative. She styled her role as if she were an ornamental ballerina of the 19th Century. Shouldn’t her coach have shown her the 1953 film with the rousing Musa Gottlieb?

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The Pittsburgh Dance Council announces the lineup for its new season.

Dance Council's 2014-15 season is designed to give the audience what it wants — lots of adventurous and innovative contemporary dance.

The programming includes groups making their local debuts, such England's Michael Clark Group and Sweden's Pontus Lidberg, as well as returning favorites, including Aspen/Sante Fe Ballet and Ron K. Brown's company Evidence.

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A review of Ballet Preljocaj's "Snow White" by Deborah Jowitt in her blog, "DanceBeat."

Preljocaj’s Snow White ends, as required, with a wedding party, to which many guests wear odd hats, the betrothed waltz together in new clothes, and everyone moves in slow motion through celebratory dancing. I know that in some performances of this work, Snow White’s mother descended on ropes from heaven at the point when her child appeared to have died, and the two, embraced, were momentarily lifted slightly above the stage. At the end, I’ve learned, Preljocaj’s Queen, as per Grimm, is forced to dance in red-hot shoes. If that happened on opening night, I missed it, but there was no missing the superbly svelte Tatarova being stripped of her cloak, and watching her kick and fling her legs around and wave her arms and toss her hair furiously as the curtain slowly descended. I put it down to insane rage as a result of excessive vanity. She brought it on herself.

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