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Monday, August 18


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9 replies to this topic

#1 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:22 AM

A feature on the Hong Kong Ballet Group by Natasha Rogai in The South China Morning Post.

What's in a name? Quite a lot if you're the Hong Kong Ballet Group. Even after half a century, "people are always confusing us with Hong Kong Ballet", the group's chairwoman, Helen Tseng Wu, says ruefully.

 

To set matters straight, the Hong Kong Ballet, the city's only professional ballet company, started 35 years ago as an offshoot of the work done by the non-profit ballet group, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

 

 



#2 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:28 AM

Reviews of the Mariinsky Ballet.

 

The Financial Times

 

The star ratings system is a blunt instrument at the best of times but it becomes almost meaningless when faced with five-star performances in a two-star production. Alexei Ratmansky’s 2002 Cinderella was a disappointing end to the Mariinsky Ballet’s three week Covent Garden season. There is some exquisite writing for the heroine and her prince but the 2002 ballet remains blighted by hit-and-miss designs, cardboard characterisation and banal, unmusical ensembles. Only four days before, the Royal Opera House had been cheering Ratmansky’s masterly Concerto DSCH – does he have an evil twin?

 

 

The Independent

 

Elsewhere, the trio move in slow motion as everyone around them speeds up. In Concerto DSCH, the stage blooms with different events and patterns, without ever becoming cluttered. The Mariinsky sail through it, a happy whirlwind of speed and precision.

 

 

 

The Arts Desk

 

You might argue that Ratmansky’s scenario picks up on the harshness, the in-your-face bitterness in Prokofiev’s score [ for Cinderella], but that's a one-sided interpretation, and does a disservice to the loveliness of certain sections of the music (though it must be said that neither bitterness nor loveliness were given much of a chance by Alexei Repnikov’s mostly glutinous conducting on Saturday night). The choreography is wild, all overstatement, cross-currents, mockery and spikiness – lots of ungainly hopping on pointe, folk-pastiche silliness, and counter-intuitive twisting for the main couple in their pas de deux. It messes around with the grammar of ballet; strident, like the kind of feverish jazz improvisation that almost hurts your ears.

 

DanceTabs

 

 

Ratmansky was still learning his trade as a creator of three-act ballets when he made this work and there are some uncertainties of tone and an occasional lack of clarity in getting the narrative points over. But it remains consistently entertaining and well crafted with an endless flow of invention for both the protagonists and the corps. The soloists here in particular seem to relish their opportunity to get stuck into strongly characterised roles, and the company look energised. Vishneva as Cinderella has an endearing ability to share her happiness with the audience and casts a warm glow over the entire production.



#3 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 11:54 AM

A feature on Stravinsky, BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week.

 

Other powerful recollections from his St Petersburg childhood included spying Tchaikovsky from behind during a performance at the Mariinsky Theatre and noticing with awe the black material swathing the building after the great man’s death. Stravinsky – who, after the onset of the First World War and then the Russian Revolution, lived in exile variously in Switzerland, France and the US – said his love of St Petersburg was so intense that he didn’t like looking too deeply into his memories for fear of realising how attached he was to the place. Clear memories he found unbearable; even the cry of a seagull was too penetrating. “An old man knows,” mourned the composer, “that seagulls are reminders of death and were such even when he watched them by the Neva when he was seven or eight.”

 

 



#4 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:15 PM

A reader submission to The Poughkeepsie Journal by Lisa Naumann.

 

 

Remy LaRay Naumann having just finished her freshman year at New Paltz High School will move to New York City this September as one of 64 students accepted with a place in the residence hall, at the famed School of American Ballet (SAB as it's known to the ballet world). Remy is in good company with her brother Trevor Naumann, who also attended New Paltz High School and then went to SAB from 2008 - 2011. Both of Remy's parents Lisa Chalmers-Naumann and Peter Naumann attended this prestigious school in the 1970's. Trevor has gone on to becoming a member of the professional company Ballet West" and was featured in both seasons of the television hit "Breaking Pointe".



#5 dirac

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:22 PM

A post in Glamour's blog welcomes the new movie based on Misty Copeland's autobiography.

 

 

Now comes the best news of all: No doubt thanks to the fact that more than 5.6 million people have viewed that Copeland ad I found so heroic, Hollywood is looking into a Misty Copeland movie. New Line Cinema has optioned the rights to her memoir, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, and producer Adam Shankman (who did Step Up, Rock of Ages, Hairspray—you get it) is attached to produce. The film will play on some of the inspiring real-life story points in Copeland's book: She started her dance career while in welfare housing and didn't begin dancing until her early teens (unheard-of for a professional).



#6 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

Boston Ballet will publicize "Swan Lake" alfresco on swan boats.

 

 

The event this Thursday afternoon, free and open to the public, promotes the Boston Ballet’s forthcoming production of Swan Lake at the Boston Opera House. The show will be the world premiere of artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s interpretation of the classic story about Odette, a princess-turned-swan. Originally composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875, Nissinen’s take will be brought to life with all-new sets and costumes by designer Robert Perdziola.

 



#7 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:24 AM

A story on the new Misty Copeland biopic.

 

 

Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, and Phil Sandhaus will produce, with Stephanie Allain (who served as executive producer on much-hyped Dear White People) and Lenore Kletter attached to write. No director has been announced, nor word on Copeland's level of involvement with the film, though it is worth noting that next month she will dance the lead in the American Ballet Theatre's production of Swan Lake -- the first time an African-American ballerina will have done so.



#8 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:28 AM

The winners of the 2014 Helpmann Awards are announced.

 

The Australian Ballet’s Chroma won best dance work, with best male dancer going to James Vu Anh Pham in 247 Days (Chunky Move) and best female dancer to Charmene Yap in Interplay’s 2 in D Minor (Sydney Dance Company).

 

 

 

Full list



#9 dirac

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:35 AM

A list of ballet-inspired music videos.

 

This week, Taylor Swift premiered her Mark Romanek-directed, dancetastic new video for "Shake It Off," the lead single from her forthcoming '80s-inspired fifth album, 1989. The clip crams more dance styles into three minutes than you'd see in an entire episode of So You Think You Can Dance, with Taylor taking on cheerleading drills, rhythmic gymnastics, breakdancing, contemporary, the Robot, and — gasp! — a bit of (relatively G-rated) twerking. Look closely and you might even see T-Swizzle krump.

 



#10 dirac

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 04:18 PM

A review of American Contemporary Ballet by VIctoria Looseleaf in The Los Angeles Times.

 

 

In the process, 11 dancers were put through rigorous, gorgeous and occasionally surprising paces.

 

The Tchaikovsky began with violinist Luanne Homzy, cellist Peter Myers and pianist Régulo Martínez-Antón performing the elegiac 18-minute opening movement, one bursting with lyrical motifs. What followed was a virtual 30-minute theme-and-variations' marathon, with each of the 10 variations, including a waltz and mazurka, having distinct flavors; the work ending with another variation and coda.




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