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Friday, May 18

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A look backstage at Michelle Dorrance setting a new piece on the dancers of New York City Ballet.

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Dorrance wants to bring attention to those sounds, and set them against a complex rhythmic score, “Dysnomia,” by Dawn of Midi, an avant-garde jazz trio based in Brooklyn. By layering patterns for different groups of dancers, one upon the other, she’ll be creating polyrhythms—basically, several rhythms at once, a rhythmic symphony. At a recent rehearsal, I felt like I was watching a complex machine, in which each group of bodies was performing its own precise pattern (sliding, or jumping, or smacking their feet) independently, but in harmony with the others. Some dancers were audibly counting, in order make out their individual rhythmic patterns above the general din. You’ve got to hear the rhythm to be able to replicate it.

 

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Reviews of the Royal Ballet in "Swan Lake."

The New York Times

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And in Mr. Scarlett’s version, which had its premiere at the Royal Opera House here on Thursday, the hero’s tragedy is paramount. In dooming his beloved to remain a swan forever, he has lost not only the woman he loves, but also the search for transcendence that his love represents.

The Financial Times

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The 31-year-old artist in residence was a surprising choice. His record of narrative work for the Royal Ballet — a one-act Jack the Ripper story and a heavily padded three-act Frankenstein — did not inspire confidence in his storytelling abilities but Thursday’s premiere was a triumph: sumptuously set and dressed, clearly told and cast to the hilt with a dazzling central performance from Vadim Muntagirov as the ballet’s unhappy prince.

The Independent

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A great Swan Lake must give its stars room to shine. Scarlett’s delivers in spades. Nuñez’s dancing is rich as cream, with long, floating phrasing in the white acts and seductive dazzle as the Black Swan alter ego. Muntagirov, most princely of princes, combines virtuoso splendour with aristocratic grace. Together, they create a human tenderness at the heart of this opulent new production.

The Times

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What a magnificent achievement this is. The young choreographer Liam Scarlett has given Covent Garden its first new Swan Lake in 30 years, and it’s a winner. Big, bold and beautiful, it’s completely distinctive — Scarlett has put his stamp all over this production — yet it honours the traditions of the Royal Ballet.

 

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More reviews of the Royal.

The Guardian

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Scarlett should sometimes dial down his dramatic instincts; Gartside doesn’t need to stalk through act one with quite so mad a Rasputin glare. But in every other respect this first act sets the story excellently in motion. Macfarlane’s palace is oppressively formal; there are guards everywhere, palace protocols and even though Siegfried is not without friends – there’s a nicely affecting dynamic between him, Benno and his two sisters – he seems to be trapped inside his own romantic loneliness.

The Daily Telegraph

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While you can’t blame the Royal’s 31-year-old artist-in-residence Liam Scarlett and and brilliant designerJohn Macfarlane for wanting to iron out its inherent narrative wrinkles, does this ironing really work? That the blatantly evil sorcerer Von Rothbart now has a place at court from the start makes little more sense than him suddenly appearing (as traditionally) in Act III and raises as many questions as it answers............ Meanwhile, Siegfried’s friend Benno is inexplicably brought to the fore, so much so that my (very smart) companion on the night – a newcomer to Swan Lake – struggled, during Act I, to work out who the leading man was.

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Q&A with Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg.

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GAYDUK: What do you guys see for yourselves in the future?

OSIPOVA: Everyone always says you have to plan but I don’t really like to make plans. I don’t like to think too far into the future. Every time I’ve tried to have a plan for my life, it evolves into a decision I later make in one second. I don’t know how long I’ll continue dancing, I hope it’s a long time. I have a lot of my own projects and I’d like to keep dancing in different styles, with different companies. But after that, I have a lot of ideas for what I could do. I want to get an education and learn a different profession, maybe related to the arts, but it’s also very important for me to start a family. I don’t have one and it’s something I really want.

 

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A review of New York City Ballet by Marina Harss for DanceTabs.

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The program ended on a comic note, with a strong performance of The Concert; all the jokes worked, nothing seemed too over the top. Lauren Lovette is a born comedienne, her comic timing only amplified by her movie-star looks. The only slightly off-note of the evening, in fact, was the opener, In G Major. This sunny ballet hinges on a sultry pas de deux, as opulent and slow as a long, hot summer romance. Maria Kowroski was mis-cast here; she has grandeur, but lacks romance. Throughout the pas de deux, she looked almost sad. The opulence that should pervade every move was missing.

 

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A dance teacher admits to unlawful sexual contact with a student.

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Police in East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, said the incidents occurred at the International Ballet Theater Academy, where Boitsov was an instructor. They began when the boy was 15 and occurred over a two-year period.

 

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A review of Boston Ballet by Jeffrey Gantz in The Boston Globe.

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Serge Lifar set the bar high in the original title role; his successors have included Jerome Robbins, Edward Villella, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and, in Boston Ballet’s two most recent productions (2003 and 2009), Yury Yanowsky. Thursday’s Prodigal, newly promoted principal Derek Dunn, was all callow, youthful optimism and fierce energy, in sharp contrast to Roddy Doble’s gently patriarchal father. I thought Dunn’s impetuous mime could have been more fleshed out at the beginning, but there was no gainsaying his technique — those pointed feet, to start, and then the corkscrew turns — or his power as he cleared the family fence with ease.

 

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A review of the Royal Ballet in "Swan Lake" by Mark Pullinger for Bachtrack.

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Scarlett started with a distinct advantage: the brilliant John Macfarlane. The Scottish designer has created wonderful sets and sumptuous costumes. They set the ballet in the 1890s, the decade when Tchaikovsky’s ugly duckling finally became an elegant swan in the years immediately following his mysterious death. The park outside the palace gates could be a scene from Chekhov...................The palace ballroom is a stunner, marble walls, a vaulted ceiling and a crimson curtain veiling a sweeping staircase – little wonder the audience erupted into applause. Gone are Siegfried’s midnight blue tights that often had him half-disappearing and dancing as a torso in the lakeside scenes. Gone too are the ragged, knee-length swan plumage for the corps: tutus are back (at the express wish of RB director Kevin O’Hare).  

 

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