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Monday, June 2

18 posts in this topic

An interview with Jillian Vanstone by Michael Crabb in The Toronto Star.

The first time, in 2006, it was a bone chip in her left ankle that was painfully irritating the tendons. Surgery proved the best option, but it meant Vanstone was sidelined for almost eight months. Thankfully, there’s been no recurrence.......

“It looked completely mangled,” she recalls. “My first thought was, ‘Well that’s my career gone.’”

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A review of the Royal Ballet in Alastair Marriott's new piece by Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times.

The aesthetic is spare, despite the complex stage design, which has the vertical poles rising and descending at different moments, and hallucinatory patterns, like a dense weave of thread, moving across the rods and the back of the stage. (At one point, the image of the singer in “Silouans Song,” Giuseppe Maurino, is projected, fragmented by the tubes; the effect is Cubist-strange.) These images— particularly the technicolor cross-hatch that glows from the back of the stage at the end — are representations of the neural networks described by the ballet’s title.

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An interview with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's ballet instructor.

Sherry said Bowe put his natural ability to good use and appeared in a number of ballet productions including the Little Mermaid and Wizard of Oz while with the school.

And, pointing to photos of Bowe on the ballet school wall, she says his dedication to dancing was such that he will have inevitably drawn on what he learned to help him get through his kidnap ordeal.

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Students from the Joffrey Ballet School performs in honor of Francesca Corkle.

During the intermission, Davis Robertson spoke about Francesca Corkle and how the performance was dedicated to her. He spoke about her career as a dancer, then he talked about how she taught at the school for 30 years. Francesca very graciously accepted the applause and appeared very humble about the fact that she was being honored.

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A review of the School of American Ballet workshop performance by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

The “Swan Lake” scene, staged by Darci Kistler, was also intensely young — too much so. I don’t mean that “Swan Lake” cannot work with teenagers: Ballerinas from Alicia Markova to Ms. Kistler have proved otherwise. Alston Macgill, the Odette at each performance, was more than adept; the faster, wilder and trickier the step, the more she came into focus. In adagio, however, her style is abrupt. Joshua Shutkind, her Siegfried, was attentive and supportive in every detail; his dance style is open and clean. But the dancing scarcely began to show that “Swan Lake” was an important drama.

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A look at the task of re-creating the Karinska costumes for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Michael Cooper in The New York Times.

Remaking the costumes is a mammoth task, entailing more than a year of planning and sewing, not to mention some 625 yards of colored tutu net from Italy, more than 7,000 assorted pearls and beads, 225 yards of hand-dyed chiffon, made-to-order organza brocades from an Italian mill, and appliqués and motifs recreated by artisans in Pakistan and India. All told, it is expected to cost around $100,000, the company said — paid with part of a grant from the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

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A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet by Philippa Kiraly for The SunBreak.

Korbes, now recovered from injury which has kept her out for most of the season, danced and acted superbly throughout. The mad scene was riveting, with Korbes at the center, but Batkhurel Bold as her noble lover, Eric Hipolito, Jr., as his squire, William Lin-Yee as his game-keeper rival and Margaret Mullin as Giselle’s mother as well as the chorus of hunters, ladies and peasants had this audience member on the edge of her seat.

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Two dancers from the Royal Ballet refuse to go on a trip to Russia, citing recently passed legislation relating to homosexuality.

But Ashley Woodfield, a spokesman for the Ballet, said that any detail about the dancers was “speculation from The Independent.” The dancers, he said, had talked to the Royal Ballet’s director, Kevin O’Hare, who had agreed to respect their decision.

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The Universal Ballet presents "Giselle."

UBC first premiered its staging of “Giselle” nearly 30 years ago in 1985. Current UBC artistic director Julia Moon became the first Asian guest principal to ever appear with the Kirov Ballet when she played the lead role of Giselle in 1989. It has been nearly a decade since the last time “Giselle” was staged by UBC in Seoul.

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More reviews of the Royal Ballet.

The Financial Times

Then, the first performance of Alastair Marriott’s Connectome (a trisyllable, I gather). The message, advises a programme note, concerns the brain’s “wiring” and our emotional states – I was lost from the start – and the score is a selection of music by Arvo Pärt, without which I can very well do. Marriott made this work at a time of parental loss, and we observe images of grief, of a quest for consolation and justification of sorrow, in the four movements entrusted to Natalia Osipova, Edward Watson, Steven McRae and a quartet of male dancers, all of whom determinedly agonise.

The Independent

There’s plenty of gusto elsewhere. McRae is a dazzling Oberon in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, a commanding fairy king with quicksilver dancing. Flitting through the scherzo, he whirls with impossible speed, and then gets faster, as if mortal laws can’t catch him. As Titania, Roberta Marquez can’t match his authority.

The Guardian

In The Dream, Gartside is outstanding as Bottom, his buffoonery rooted in real emotion, while Steven McRae brings a fine, cold fury to Oberon. On opening night, though, the loudest cheers were for Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley, once the original Oberon and Titania and now coaching others in the very particular combination of fantasy, romance and rigour that makes this Ashton ballet a charm.

The Stage

If the term ‘computational neuroscience’ in the programme notes for Alastair Marriott’s Connectome makes the heart sink, it is buoyed by the actual performance. Behind glittering rods of throbbing white lights, Natalia Osipova moves like a cyber nymph, slicing through the air while six men roll and foam around and beneath her. There is something vaguely eastern in Marriott’s languid, opiated choreography which prevents direct comparison with Wayne McGregor’s similarly science-rooted dance works

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Ballet Northeast's artistic director moves on.

When she watches the dramatic two-minute piece her daughter, Julie Degnan, has choreographed to “Torn,” there’s an excitement in her voice that hints at why, after 30 years, Degnan-Boonin, 54, is leaving her role as artistic director of Ballet Northeast, which has become affiliated with The Conservatory at Wilkes University

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A review of New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre by Leigh Witchel for danceviewtimes.

But in “Rubies,” Ashley Bouder went up to bat, swung for a homer and unfortunately fouled out. She interpreted a light, effervescent role with killer instincts: Madonna meets Mata Hari. Bouder had little connection with her partner Gonzalo Garcia. With her smoldering and lethal attack paired to his jauntiness, they seemed to be in different ballets. Still, her control was amazing – varied musical attack, nailing every turn as well as unsupported “Don Quixote” balances. But it seemed to be a strategy of winning through intimidation, and this was “Rubies.” She slammed into high extensions with a severe take-no-prisoners gaze. It needed a volume control.

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An item in the Puget Sound Business Journal about the departure of D. David Brown as executive director of Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Before the ballet that night, a sold-out dinner honoring Brown was staged nearby at The Ruins for PNB top supporters. Board chair Aya Hamilton told the group that Brown’s passion was working long hours behind the scenes and letting others shine. She said that during his tenure at PNB he had conducted 139 finance committee meetings, gone through 126 draft budgets, done two capital campaigns in two years (McCaw Hall and Francia Russell Center), made 538 PowerPoint presentations, and been through 504 Nutcracker performances. “If ballet meetings can be measured in dog years, David, you look fantastic at 98,” she said, laughing.

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A review of PNB's "Giselle" by Moira Macdonald in The Seattle Times.

The long-legged Tisserand was dashing and precise as the duke Albrecht, and Carrie Imler’s Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, was a creature of such strength and mesmerizing focus that you wish she had a full-length ballet of her own. (An origin story, perhaps?)

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Q&A with Nigel Lythgoe and Amanda Taylor re DanceOn's new online shows.

Amanda Taylor: The stakes are really incredibly high for them in terms of launching their professional careers. Some of these kids, it's their last year to be able to participate -- it's sort of this and a professional dance career or finding another track in some cases. We asked the kids, "Did you apply to college as a backup plan?," but a lot of them had to stay so focused in their careers as dancers that they don't have a Plan B, so it's just incredibly high stakes.

Nigel Lythgoe: It's a really short career as well. The ballet companies are now transitioning them out of the companies earlier, so they've got to find other work.

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The Columbus State Dance Conservatory hires a new director.

[Lisa] Carter studied with both David Howard at Vassar and, in 2010, with Suki Schorer at the School of American Ballet. Carter has attended workshops at the School of American Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet School and the National Ballet School of Cuba, among others.

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A preview of American Ballet Theatre's "Cinderella" by David Lyman for Playbill.

So rather than search around to find another Cinderella that was artistically worthy and relatively unknown to audiences, McKenzie decided there was nothing wrong with adding a ballet that so brilliantly plays to his company’s strengths.

“Finally, I had to ask myself ‘Why are you avoiding Ashton? We do MacMillan’s ‘Romeo’ and we claim that as our standard. It was time for us to do Ashton’s Cinderella and to make it our own. It’s a masterpiece. And now it’s our masterpiece.”

*

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A review of New York City Ballet by Jonathan Leaf for EDGE.

Following this though, the company put the music and the dance together on an equally exalted plain. They accomplished this in presenting another repertory favorite: Robbins’ "Other Dances." Performed to the music of Chopin, it is surely among the greatest dance pieces, and in Tiler Peck it had a stupendous and very natural interpreter. Partnered by the elegant and skillful Gonzalo Garcia, it was touching, romantic and wistful -- nothing shy of astonishing.

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