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Tuesday, June 10

8 posts in this topic

Cuban Classical Ballet performs this weekend.

All the defectors, who are younger than 25, said at a news conference that they came to the U.S. looking for better opportunities than the Cuban ballet can provide them.

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A review of New York City Ballet by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

Breakthroughs kept happening from artists at every level. Three young women beneath the principal level — Ashley Laracey, Lauren Lovette and, especially, Ashly Isaacs — made fresh, eloquent, impressive debuts in challenging ballerina roles. Russell Janzen’s debut performance as the male protagonist of “Robert Schumann’s ‘Davidsbündlertänze’” was the finest account of this role to date, and the next week he was finer yet. Mr. Janzen and Ms. Isaacs are both in the corps; many audience members didn’t know who they were before 2014.

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Reviews of American Ballet Theatre.

danceviewtimes

Ashton and Robert Helpmann couldn't help but dominate any scene in which they appeared, but later performers have tended to congeal their genius into camp. Craig Salstein (as the timid Ashton sister) and Roman Zhurbin (as bossy Mr. Helpmann) were the most successful I have seen since the originals, musically apt (those sisters do move), and real characters. Salstein's sister was fussy and giddy, with mincing little steps and bouncing curls. I missed the sweet desperation that Ashton gave her, and Salstein's defeated little walk off stage to lonely old-maidenhood could have been stronger. Zhurbin was selfish, vain, and deluded, and had a number of other human qualities, as well. How Ashton loves his losers; from Bottom and Alain to the shallow Natalia of A Month in the Country he shows such sympathy for their feelings. The audience laughs at the sisters, but it is a slightly wry laugh, as we can see our own dreams reflected in their hopeless vanity. These were real performances, not broad winks to the audience.

The New York Times

The production is supervised by Wendy Ellis Somes, who danced Cinderella and several supporting roles in Ashton’s lifetime; she inherited the production from her husband, Michael Somes, its original Prince and the longtime chief régisseur of Ashton’s work at Covent Garden. I’m not convinced that she’s the best person for the task. Much of the ballet’s comedy has dwindled into tired routines, while the role of the Jester has become trite.

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

Far from the familiar Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet and Giselle, Chroma is an adventure into the unknown. An incredible feat of strength, technical ability and grace, the Australian Ballet’s current four-piece feature is a glimpse into the future of ballet.

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A review of the Royal Ballet by Barbara Newman for Country Life.

Alistair Marriott's new work, Connectome, supposedly explores the connections in the brain and in our personal encounters. Drawing a spiritual quality from Arvo Pärt's serene music, a woman and six men suggest sorrow and mourning, supporting one another physically and emotionally with gentle assurance. But Es Devlin's striking set and Luke Halls' intriguing video projections overshadowed them at every moment, and the loosely elegiac movement barely sustained the performers' dedicated effort.

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A story on the latest arrivals from Cuba.

Pedro Pablo Pena, director of the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, confirmed the dancers had arrived from the US territory of Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Related.

Cuban nationals who make it to U.S. soil are granted automatic political asylum.

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An op-ed on Kaori Nakamura's last "Giselle" by Lance Dickie in The Seattle Times' blog.

Giselle is a treasured role in ballet, and it was a fitting celebration of Nakamura’s skills. A departure and a triumph combined into one dazzling performance. Her work has been celebrated across continents. She joined PNB as a soloist in 1997 and became a principal dancer in 1998. She will now join the faculty of PNB ballet school.

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A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Encores program by Philippa Kiraly for The SunBreak.

Among the dancers, two corps members leave now, both of them dancers of considerable promise. Liora Neuville danced the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty with an able partner, Benjamin Griffiths, which displayed well her deeply musical approach to dance as well as her quick lightness. She leaves after seven years with PNB to go to nursing school. Andrew Bartee, was one of the many in the mass chorus of bees? spiders? ants? which swarm the stage in Crystal Pite’s Emergence. Judging by the roars which greeted his solo bow at the end, he too will be sadly missed. Here since his high school days, he goes now to Ballet British Columbia.

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