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Everything posted by sandik

  1. I was out of town for this, and am so sorry to have missed the experience. Studio time is always the best!
  2. A thoroughly enjoyable article about making tiaras and other props. Terry Frank at PNB is retiring -- that was his job there.
  3. And if I'd proofread them, they would be more helpful! The Schorer videos are great!
  4. Oh, twist my arm and make me watch the pas de trois... Not sure where you are in your technical knowledge -- if this is already in your vocabulary, please excuse me. When I first started dancing, I spent some time with movement notation as well, and found that the basic vocabulary for looking at jumps was really helpful. There are essentially 5 kinds of "air work" (jumping), and they have to do with how you get off the ground and how you land. Go up from both feet and land on both feet -- you've got a jump. Take off from one foot and land on the same foot, it's a hop. Take off from one foot and land on the other is a leap. The last two borrow some French from ballet -- from one foot to two feet is an assemble, and the reverse (take off of two and land on one) is a sissone. These terms are not specific to ballet, but they help you see the fundamental categories that all the air work gets sorted into. Your first ask is a two jump sequence, a sissone ouvert (a jump from two feet to one foot ending in an open position, that is, just on one foot) and a version of a temps de fleche (a jump from one foot to the other foot that doesn't really travel much). It's generically called a hitchkick, and you see it in all kinds of dance forms. Done to the back, both legs do a little degage action to the back -- to the front you often this version, where one leg does a develope) Your second ask is a classic two jump sequence, that gets all kinds of variations applied. You've got another sissone (two feet to one foot), this one traveling to the side, and then an assemble (one foot to two feet). In this case, the sissone is fairly low (some fly pretty high) and the assemble gets more loft, which the dancer needs because he's including beats, where the legs close in 5th position the air, before switching that 5th in order to land. Beats are thrilling little things, and very useful in phrases like this since you can basically add as many as you can do. Here he's beating the legs twice, with some very nice separation between each one, before he changes the 5th one more time when he lands. Your third ask is deceptive -- if you just look at the contact of the feet on the floor, you see that it's really a simple saute -- she jumps off one leg and then lands on the same leg with the free leg in arabesque, then takes a little hop (again, a one-to-the-same saute) before stepping on the other foot to do the same sequence to the other side. The tricky bits are that she's getting much of her loft by swinging the free leg up in front of her and then turning to face the other way and beating the legs in the air (trying to bring the lower leg up to match the height of the first one). Like the man in the second example, the beats take this sequence into another level of sparkle. This is a very grueling sequence, and is often done, as it is here, in multiples, which just adds to the challenge. Depending on who you studied with and where they came from, air work often has slightly different names attached to it, but the fundamental actions remain the same. Hope this is helpful.
  5. I don't know enough about the original Myrtha, but Carrie Imler's performances at PNB were quite regal -- she really was the queen of the forest. More detached and eternal than taut and stony (what an evocative adjective for this performance, though!)
  6. It is really quite moving (no pun intended) -- so much of this ballet is about the transformative power of love that this scene of renunciation at the end just fits right in.
  7. There have been sickly Giselles and robust Giselles, ones that hear the dead calling even at the top of the opening act, and ones that seem to have already died before the curtain goes up.
  8. Same difficulty in Seattle screening -- I think it must have been a glitch in the feed.
  9. The Smithsonian has possession of an incredible number of dance photos by Jack Mitchell, who worked with a multitude of artists -- they're making his images of the Ailey company available online. Article is here -- images are here.
  10. I think it took longer to come back from her hip troubles than she anticipated. I'm very sorry to see her leave. Like others here, I first saw her as a speedy technician, but she's really added to her interpretive skills since she's been back -- she's been a pleasure to watch.
  11. Temps de fleche is a form of a leap, that is, a air moment that takes off one leg and lands on the other.
  12. I agree that Plot Point is not a traditional ballet, but it is a fascinating piece of movement theater, and well worth seeing.
  13. I remember when Singing in the Rain was first produced, there was a lot of discussion about the technical aspects of the show. And then they took it on tour, so it had to be waterproof and mobile. I don't know details, but I'm willing to believe it's technically possible. Performer safety is another thing.
  14. Miles Pertl included about 15 minutes of serious mist effects in his recent Shades of Gray for Pacific Northwest Ballet. There were a couple of sliding injuries in the process, and he modified some of the choreography to keep things safer, but it is possible. And honestly, it was a stunning effect. I'm told it's a lot like the mister that you find in the produce section of the grocery store.
  15. At some point someone is going to do a big study of these foundations and trusts, and see how they've affected the various repertories. I wait for this with great interest.
  16. She is a super smart person, and is willing to take risks when the goal is right. The studios have become incredible centers for the dance community in NYC. Really hoping she can pull this one off as well.
  17. Looking forward to seeing this at the end of the month.
  18. Well, there was rain in the Broadway version of Singing in the Rain. It's become something that people can do, but it does up the hazard.
  19. With Grant gone, who holds the rights to the ballet?
  20. Oh, that does sound prime -- wish I could be there!
  21. I don't know that Ashton had a chance to see the Ballet Suedois -- Doug Fullington might know. I saw Moses Pendleton's version of Relache for the Joffrey years ago and enjoyed it, but I don't think they were considering it a reconstruction. Wow -- that letter from Noguchi opens up all kinds of imagined opportunities!
  22. Stephen Petronio's company (featured in When the Dancer Dances) has a couple of Cunningham works in their repertory right now -- while Petronio doesn't feel that his own choreography resembles Cunningham's, he does believe that Cunningham forged a pathway for modern dance that created the Judson Church cohort, and made space for innovation in the field when many of the "classic" modern choreographers had become stagnant. It is hard to imagine what current modern dance practice would be like without Cunningham's blazing examples. I agree that, while they are phenomenally well-trained, the Ailey company is not the natural fit for this work -- in general, they are too attached to dance as emotional expression or narrative. People sometimes think that ballet companies would be a more natural fit since both techniques seem to share an alert uprightness, and an acceptance of dance as an absolute, abstract art, but I think that does both traditions a disservice.
  23. Hello to you! I'm based up in Seattle, and get down to Portland every so often to see extra dance (most recently Caleb Teicher's fantastic show at PSU). Did you see Oregon Ballet Theater's autumn show? (with the revival of Dennis Spaight's Scheherezade) I was very sorry to miss it.
  24. If this were Facebook, I would be posting a heart.
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