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Mme. Hermine

Sunday, April 14

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The Guardian's obituary for Maria Tallchief:


Tallchief was indissolubly linked with some of George Balanchine's most important works. The critic Francis Mason wrote: "Balanchine always wanted to do it his way. I believe that the dancer who helped him most to do it his way, the dancer who with him established the reputation of the young New York City Ballet and led the public to appreciate his ballets, is Maria Tallchief."

Obituary in The Telegraph.

In the late 1980s Maria Tallchief’s husband was accused of fraud by his sister, a fellow shareholder in the Paschen firm, one of Chicago’s major construction companies, and lawsuits continued for the next 10 years. The luxury of Maria Tallchief’s lifestyle with Paschen was found to be partly dependent on false accounting, and in 1999 her septuagenarian husband was jailed for two years for tax evasion. He died in 2004.

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A review of PNB's Swan Lake:


There are a lot of things that keep audiences across the globe coming back to see Swan Lake. But at this point it's safe to say that it's not to be surprised.

The Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) has been performing its own version of the ballet, choreographed by founding artistic directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, since 1981. In 2003, Stowell created another version that became the new PNB standard.

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A review of a mixed program at San Francisco Ballet:


Although the San Francisco Ballet’s sixth program got off to a shaky start at the War Memorial Opera House, the troupe’s star dancers quickly overcame the initial deficiency and the mixed repertory evening proved delightful.

Yet Tuesday’s opening performance began with an unusually awkward entrance by the corps, marching on steps, in “Raymonda Act III.” Almost immediately, things picked up with bravura performances by Vanessa Zahorian and Taras Domitro, and bright solos by Sarah Van Patten, Frances Chung and Sasha De Sola.

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More reviews of Pacific Northwest Ballet in 'Swan Lake.' (Thanks to sandik for the links!)


Certainly the rest of the Swan Lake cast danced beautifully (for the most part), and Cruz was an outstanding lead—it is easy to see that he and Körbes perform together often. Their movement is natural and in synch, and they have a wonderful onstage chemistry. But just like Natalie Portman killed it in Black Swan, for Körbes, this certainly is the role of a lifetime--yes, she's danced it before, but it takes a prima ballerina to bring such deep soul to such a difficult role.


As with any story ballet, there is plenty of the ridiculous dance pantomime used to tell the story. "It’s time for you to get married" becomes pointing at an imaginary watch and sliding on an imaginary wedding ring. Then there are the parts of the plot that make no sense at all. Why would a sorcerer turn a woman into a swan? And why couldn’t Siegfried simply tell his mother he had met Odette, avoiding the ball altogether? And why do all balls in ballets involve dancing visitors from other countries? We will simply never know the answer to these questions.

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