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Thursday, May 29

7 posts in this topic

Pacific Northwest Ballet outfits its "Giselle" in new costumes.

Kaplan’s choice of colors reflect a much earlier “Giselle,” said Hascall. “You’ll see more browns, yellows, and orange." Very fine light wools imported from Europe helped create the handsome coats and vests of the young gentlemen. Besides their fluttering wings, the Wilis have the floating three-quarter length skirts that typify the Romantic ideal of the ballerina (the puffy tutu not making its appearance on the ballet stage until much later in the 19th century).

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A review of "Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq" by Kerry Lengel in The Arizona Republic.

She also came to reflect on her previous good fortune — "It just couldn't go on, all taking and no paying" — and finally to find a new place for herself in the ballet world as a teacher. She even authored "The Ballet Cook Book" and "Mourka: The Autobiography of a Cat," about Balanchine's dancing pet.

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Obituaries for Bruce Wood, who has died at age 53.

TheaterJones

Wood was born in Fort Worth on Aug. 3, 1960. Early in his career, as a teenager, he danced with New York City Ballet under George Balanchine, then with San Francisco Ballet Company and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. He worked with Lar Lubovitch on the Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods in 1987. He returned to Texas and founded the Bruce Wood Dance Company in Austin in 1996, and then moved the group to his hometown in 1997. The first local performances were at the now-gone JFK Theater at the Fort Worth Convention Center, and soon moved to the newly opened Bass Performance Hall.

The Star-Telegram

Mr. Wood’s death was “sudden and unexpected,” according to a news release from his company, the Bruce Wood Dance Project.

He died of heart failure, the result of complications from pneumonia, the release said. His family was by his side.

CultureMap Dallas

Another major project Wood had on his docket at the time of his death was a collaboration with Dallas Theater Center for its upcoming Colossal during the 2014-2015 season.

Dallas Observer

His death was extremely unexpected. I just saw Bruce a couple of weeks ago and he looked the picture of health. He was excited about his new work he was premiering at the Spring Celebration Gala for Dallas Black Dance Theatre and honoring Ann Williams, and he was knee deep in rehearsals for his dance company's summer show, Touch, June 12-13 at the City Performance Hall. Gayle Halperin, president of BWDP, said the new show would go ahead as planned as a tribute to him

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More obits and appreciations for Bruce Wood.

The Dallas Morning News

The Bruce Wood Dance Company enjoyed a critically acclaimed decade-long run that routinely sold out Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and included three national tours. During that period, Mr. Wood made more than 40 works “distinguished by their beauty and human scale, sometimes marked by Texas cowboy culture,” according to a 2012 article in The Dallas Morning News. “But when the company lost most of the funding for its modest $400,000 annual budget, he was forced to disband it.”

D Magazine

Needless to say, the entire cultural community of Dallas is at a loss for Wood’s premature passing. He recently debuted a piece in honor of Dallas’ other dance luminary, Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Ann Williams, and was preparing for a June performance of his latest composition, Touch.

Dallas Voice

He passed away from pneumonia and heart failure owing to a depleted immune system Wednesday night. The onset was sudden. No funeral plans have been announced.

Here are some stories we’ve run in recent years ago Bruce. They mean so much more to me now.

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Reviews of the Dutch National Ballet.

The Financial Times

The show opened with Embers, choreographed by Royal Ballet old boy Ernst Meisner (now the group’s artistic co-ordinator), who supplied three of the evening’s pieces. This workmanlike duet was sleekly delivered by Jessica Xuan and Nathan Brhane. The couple later offered a sincere and well-rehearsed White Swan pas de deux and both also shone in the evening’s finale, Dawn Dances, an eight-hander from English National Ballet’s associate artist George Williamson. Brhane is an attentive partner with a vivid stage presence and an ability to make soft landings on the Linbury’s rather unforgiving floor (a gift he might like to pass on to colleagues).

The Arts Desk

They need to impress, sure, which I guess is why the programme features gala fodder excerpts from Swan Lake, Diana and Actaeon, and Sleeping Beauty alongside the far more interesting offerings from Ernst Meisner, the Junior Company’s artistic director, and other contemporary choreographers. Second-year star Jessica Xuan starts her impressive evening’s work in the first of the Meisner pieces, a meditative, Max Richter-scored duet called Embers which showed off her long, expressive back and storytelling face.

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A review of Boston Ballet in "Jewels" by Dale Brauner for danceviewtimes.

On Saturday night, Ashley Ellis took on the Violette Verdy role that opens “Emeralds,” a treat since Ellis is usually the queen of the matinees (indeed, she performed the lead of “Diamonds” earlier in the day). Ellis, tall and blonde, dances with an unstudied air. It was this air of simplicity and letting the choreography unwind out of her that made her so impressive in the second movement of Balanchine’s “Symphony in C” last year. But perhaps she was too unstudied in “Emeralds.” Her role is all rush and surrender and there was no hunger in her dancing. Ellis, partnered by Yury Yanowsky, settled for being merely very pretty. During the “wrist” solo, I didn’t get that Ellis was really looking at her hand, admiring it. It could be that she’s too unaffected.

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An interview with Kaori Nakamura. Audio & text.

"I got pointe shoes from my teacher," says the small, soft-spoken Japanese native. "I slept with pointe shoes."

Now, 24 years later, Nakamura says it's time to hang up those precious pointe shoes. "I don't want to stop," she explains. "I wish I could keep dancing, but my body, is getting tired. It's just time."

Related.

For example, she never misses daily company class, which is optional. And at the end of class, when there are combinations of jumps to perform, Boal says Nakamura always performs them.

“A lot of veteran dancers will say, ‘I don’t need the jumps. I’m fine without them.’ Kaori does every combination and you know, it’s like you’re saying, ‘I’m going to only brush half my teeth.’ You have to brush them all. That’s how she approaches dancing.”

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