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Thursday, May 10

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

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The revivals so far have included three difficult, important, problematic pieces: “Les Noces” (1965), “The Goldberg Variations” (1971) and “Dybbuk” (1974). They’re all worth arguing about, and well worth seeing. “Dybbuk” was last performed here in 2008; though it doesn’t belong in regular repertory, a revival every 10 years should do us all good.

 

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A profile of Justin Peck by Sasha Weiss for The New York Times.

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Peck’s work combines traditional ballet technique with the spontaneity of the everyday. He has made movement based on the revving of a lawn mower, the popping of toast from a toaster, the tentative resting of a head on a shoulder. His style is hyperathletic — galloping solos that last for 10 straight minutes, high jumps reminiscent of basketball players’ reaching for the hoop — but it retains a roughness around its edges. Amar Ramasar, one of N.Y.C.B.’s principals, told me that Peck “makes sharp images, but the intent is more raw.” It’s not about the classical line, but about speed, and giving full energy to every step, he explained. “It feels like everything is just bare, and full.”

 

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A review of the Ekaterina Maximova Arabesque Ballet Competition Gala opening night performance by Margaret Willis for DanceTabs.

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The first piece – The Dance of the Hours from La Gioconda – however was danced by possible future Arabesque contestants: young students from the highly respected Perm State Choreographic School, a few minutes walk away from the theatre. It was a colourful piece with pink, turquoise and purple tutus and the young girls evidenced the finesse and beauty of Petipa’s work. Well drilled, they showed great joy in their dancing. The unnamed soloist, in black tutu and her partner in blue shiny pants showed great style and technique, and all-in-all, it was a charming way to start the evening.
 


 

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A profile of John Lam by Karen Campbell for The Boston Globe.

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Renowned as a former soloist with the Royal Danish Ballet, [Sorella] Englund is beloved as a teacher and coach for her commitment to developing the whole dancer — not just technique, but inner expression, musicality, and healthy lifestyle. Her insights have guided Lam’s entire approach to dance. “Dancers can get too wrapped in technique and lose why we all dance,” he says. “She really instilled that in me at such a young age.”

In a recent rehearsal, the mutual respect and affection between the two is palpable..........

 

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An appraisal of San Francisco Ballet's Unbound festival by Carla Escoda for KQED.

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San Francisco Ballet's highly anticipated Unbound festival wrapped its 17-day run on Sunday, bringing world premieres by 12 choreographers chosen by artistic director Helgi Tomasson to point toward the future of ballet. For attendees, that future looked like a ballet stage scored with contemporary pop and electronic music, rife with social messaging — and, far too often, still regressive in its portrayal of women. Throughout the festival, a sense of new possibility reigned, with more successes than disappointments.

 

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A BBC news feature recalls the time when the Blitz sent London's chief performing arts companies to the town of Burnley.

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Sadler's Wells ballet - which later became the Royal Ballet - had recently had a narrow escape in Holland, where they were touring when the Nazis invaded.

Upon returning to England, they headed north with dancers including a 21-year-old Margot Fonteyn. However, when they performed in Burnley, Landstone said, "the idea of ballet was still so foreign and strange outside London, that the auditorium did not begin to fill until the second week".

 

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