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  1. The program for the SAB Workshop (June 1 & 3) was just sent out by e-mail to Friends. Impressive! Concerto Barocco Music By Johann Sebastian Bach Choreography by George Balanchine Garland Dance from The Sleeping Beauty Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Choreography by George Balanchine New Sleep (pas de deux) Music by Thom Willems Choreography by William Forsythe Workshop Premiere Bourrée Fantasque Music by Emmanuel Chabrier Choreography by George Balanchine Agon (pas de deux) Music by Igor Stravinsky Choreography by George Balanchine Monday performance only, in tribute to Arthur Mitchell Workshop Performances will take place on Saturday, June 1 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm and Monday, June 3 at 7:00pm. Tickets will go on sale to the public at www.sab.org in mid-April.
  2. The complete list of NEA grants this round: https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/FY19-Round1-DisciplineList-new.pdf That includes 92 grants to dance organizations (many familiar names). Start on p. 13
  3. Pennsylvania Ballet just announced their 2019-20 season: http://paballet.org/2019-2020-season/ Don Quixote October 10 – 20 One of the most popular ballets of all time, Don Quixote has it all – romance, comedy, and, of course, the artistry of our dancers. Angel Corella’s restaging of the love story of Kitri and Basilio brings his unique Spanish flair to this lively classic. Whether you’re experiencing it for the first time or falling in love all over again, Don Quixote is sure to delight. New Works November 7 – 10 Be the first to see three new ballets created for Pennsylvania Ballet. In November, we present world premieres from some of the dance world’s most exciting choreographers – Garrett Smith, Juliano Nunes, and Yin Yue. These unique premieres will have you amazed at what ballet can be today. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® December 6 – 31 La Bayadère March 5 – 15 Suspended in Time April 2 – 5 In April, we present three dynamic ballets from acclaimed choreographers: Clear by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch, AM; Suspended in Time by Pennsylvania Ballet Artistic Director Angel Corella, Kiril Radev, and Company Member Russell Ducker; and a world premiere from our Choreographer in Residence Matthew Neenan. Set to diverse music – from Bach to Electric Light Orchestra – and showing off the athleticism of our dancers, this energetic program will captivate the senses. Breathtaking Balanchine May 7 – 10 Experience the genius of the man who reinvented ballet. Our final program of the season celebrates the 20th century’s greatest choreographer, George Balanchine, with three of his masterpieces – the lush Ballet Imperial, evocative Who Cares?, and dazzling Symphony in C. Set to music by Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, and Bizet, this exciting and elegant program demonstrates both the unmatched artistry of Balanchine and his profound influence on Pennsylvania Ballet.
  4. The schedule through 2020 was just announced: https://www.operaballet.nl/en/program/ballet
  5. American companies have realized they have to excise blackface. Wouldn't it make sense to touch up some other details that are at least mildly problematic? Suggesting that a Native American should be a suitor to a European princess? How about making the suitors Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian? There's no claim that this is an historic reconstruction, so it doesn't matter what Petipa did.
  6. I paid closer attention to the suitors' costumes Thursday night after reading this. Small details seemed to be an attempt to tie them to their respective continents. Africa had silver bands wound around his lower arms half way to his elbows- sort of like the bands you sometimes see as necklaces. Asia had shoes with turned up toes and a turban thing. America seemed more like the British Beefeaters and made no sense at all - did we ever have suitors who would have travelled to court Aurora? It would be better not to try, I think, than to impose these stereotypes so clumsily.
  7. I'm not home at the moment, but I had a memory of seeing this long ago televised somewhere. Now I can't find anything with Google. It's possible I'm mixing this up with something else! So sorry!
  8. I don't remember seeing this version in the theater, although I had seen the TV production long ago and never felt any special inclination to see it. Still, I'm in town for some meetings, so I thought it was worth checking out. The highlight for me is Martin's use of Balanchine's Garland Dance. I had seen that before as part of a mixed bill for some special occasion. So many dancers on stage in such interesting formations. Students, corps members. It really is delightful and a reminder of Balanchine's genius for moving large groups of people around. I saw the dress rehearsal Tuesday night for friends. It's not fair to comment on that, but I was surprised that Hyltin seemed to be dancing mostly full out, with little marking. I wondered if that wouldn't be exhausting just 24 hours before the opening. I wasn't very impressed at the actual opening. Fortunately, the suitors steadied her in several places in the rose adagio and she did raise her arm after each turn. Before the third fish dive, she did something odd -- an overwrought arm gesture (sort of like: here we go - just one more of these things and we're done!). She was off-position on that one, but Jenzen got her into position. He was utterly lacking in presence or anything special otherwise. A detail I loved that was probably inspired by Balanchine's stories about how his performances as a child inspired him to pursue ballet: lots more children than we see in other productions. Red Riding Hood was a tiny little girl who was a delight. Little kids carrying gifts for the fairies in the Prologue. Two little ones holding the robes of the king and queen. The Garland Dance, as noted. I liked those projections of the trip to the castle. Different and effective.
  9. Intriguing. 2020 looks to be a busy year for him. I believe Miami City Ballet is also staging his reconstruction of Swan Lake in 2020, although we haven't seen any dates.
  10. So far it looks like there's only one classical ballet company, but perhaps the schedule isn't complete. Tickets go on sale Feb. 23. ABT is doing Swan Lake July 11-13: https://www.wolftrap.org/tickets/calendar/performance/19filene/0711show19.aspx Thursday, July 11Odette/Odile: Hee SeoPrince Siegfried: Cory StearnsFriday, July 12Odette/Odile: Misty CopelandPrince Siegfried: Herman CornejoSaturday, July 13Odette/Odile: Devon TeuscherPrince Siegfried: Aran Bell
  11. A preliminary schedule has been posted for the Vail Dance Festival July 26-August 10, 2019, although it appears much has yet to be announced: https://vaildance.org/events/ Lauren Lovette and Tiler Peck will be there, as will at least some dancers from ABT. Tickets go on sale to the public March 5.
  12. The Joffrey's 2019-20 season has just been announced: http://joffrey.org/1920season JANE EYRE October 16-27, 2019 Choreography: Cathy Marston | Music: Philip Feeney Marston's adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's trailblazing novel is a "quietly enthralling classic" (The Guardian) that combines theater and dance to tell the coming-of-age story of Jane Eyre, one of literature's most iconic characters. After a difficult upbringing, Jane becomes the governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochester. With stirring choreography and an enthralling Victorian design, this avant-garde ballet breaks the mold of the traditional ballet heroine. One of literature's most iconic heroine's comes to life. Chicago Premiere THE TIMES ARE RACING February 12-23, 2020 Commedia Choreography: © Christopher Wheeldon Music: Igor Stravinsky Taking inspiration from Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite, Wheeldon's ballet is an "elegant piece, beautifully jointed and crafted..." (The Guaridan). Mono Lisa Choreography: Itzik Galili Music: Thomas Höfs Wiggling hips. Break-neck twists and turns. Feats of grand athleticism. Galili's incredible spin on the classical pas de deux evokes a daring game of cat and mouse-a fierce, dynamic dance of seduction. Chicago Premiere Bliss! Choreography: Stephanie Martinez Music: Igor Stravinsky Award-winning, Chicago-based choreographer Martinez shares her newest work. Bliss! is set to Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, one of only two chamber concertos composed by Stravinsky. The Sofa Choreography: Itzik Galili Music: Tom Waits Described as a "broad, physical comedy" (Critical Dance), The Sofa takes shape as a love triangle run amok. Music by Grammy Award-winner Waits sets the tone for this comical take on gender, sexuality and relationships. Chicago Premiere The Times Are Racing Choreography: Justin Peck Music: Dan Deacon Tony® Award-winning Peck brings one of his most "arresting and complex" (The New York Times) works. A "sneaker ballet," The Times Are Racing channels the power of protest and the process for creating change. DON QUIXOTE April 22-May 3, 2020 Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov | Music: Ludwing Minkus Bright and humorous, Possokhov's fresh interpretation of this revered ballet classic revolves around Don Quixote, an aging and eccentric nobleman, who imagines himself to be a valiant knight. With his trusted sidekick Sancho Panza in tow, Quixote sets out on a fateful journey, ready to breathe life into a world where windmills become monsters and adventure awaits beyond the horizon. This layered multimedia production is a lighthearted ballet of bravery, fantasy, and love. THE NUTCRACKER November 30-December 29, 2019 Choreographer: © Christopher Wheeldon | Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Wheeldon's acclaimed turn-of-the-century tale opens on Christmas Eve, 1892, mere months before the grand opening of the 1893 World's Fair, as young Marie and her mother prepare for a Christmas Eve potluck celebration. The magic of the season takes hold when a visit from the Great Impresario sets off a whirlwind journey of romance and adventure through a dreamlike World's Fair. A must-see tradition boldy reimagined for a new generation. JOFFREY GALA PERFORMANCE April 17, 2020 A one-night-only, one-hour event, curated by The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, exclusively for subscribers and gala guests.
  13. They have some stiff competition, especially for out-of-towners who might have been tempted to make the trip. NYCB is at the Kennedy Center that week. Washington Ballet has a program of three premieres (yet to be announced), and Pennsylvania Ballet has an all-Stravinsky program (including Apollo and Stravinsky Violin Concerto).
  14. I just got e-mail that Akram Khan's Giselle is being released on DVD, but apparently only on Amazon UK. I hope they make it available on Amazon US. Now on DVD/Blu-Ray: Akram Khan's Giselle Pre-order before 1 March release on Amazon UK Hailed as "a masterpiece of 21st century dance" (The Mail on Sunday), Akram Khan's Giselle is released for sale on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time from 1 March! The critically acclaimed reimagining of the iconic ballet has toured to eight cities in the UK and internationally, including Auckland, Dublin and Hong Kong. It tours to Chicago this month, as well as Luxembourg and Moscow later this year. Directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon and filmed at Liverpool Empire, Akram Khan's Giselle on DVD and Blu-Ray will be available internationally on Amazon, and is available for pre-order in the UK now.
  15. This new production, co-produced by the Colorado Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet, has received quite a bit of publicity, e.g.: https://www.pointemagazine.com/kansas-city-ballet-wizard-of-oz-2610266333.html https://theknow.denverpost.com/2019/02/03/colorado-ballet-wizard-of-oz/207832/ I saw the Colorado Ballet premiere Friday. It's a huge success for these companies. Colorado Ballet sold out 10 performances over two weekends before it opened. The KC director said in a news report that they sold more tickets last fall for their performances than even their Nutcracker. It will be performed in Winnipeg in May. News reports say that several companies have already inquired about renting the production, so the original three seem likely to recoup some of their shared investment. It's easy to understand the attraction to families and ballet novices. It's chock full of impressive special effects, fast-paced and exciting, with clever and colorful costumes and sets. Lots of characters fly around on wires, adding to the excitement. The story is easy to follow. Charming use is made of students and little kids. Funny bits are integrated throughout, like the floss dance kids are doing everywhere. But I was also impressed (as I was with Septime Webre's Alice [in Wonderland], which Colorado Ballet performed a few years ago) that there is so much interesting and challenging choreography -- multiple turn sequences, high-flying lifts, complicated combinations. The dancers have lots of opportunities to show off and even serious balletomanes have much to love. If this production visits your city in the coming years, don't hesitate to take a look. The success of this joint production strikes me as a very good omen for the continued success of regional ballet companies in North America. Most of those audiences will never see ballet in New York City or London, but these companies are providing live performances of quite satisfying ballet all over the country. They're also providing paid work for professional dancers, a benefit that should never be overlooked. Ballets like Oz help subsidize more serious rep, like Kylian and Balanchine for these companies. Choreographer Septime Webre is now artistic Director of the Hong Kong Ballet, after 17 years at Washington Ballet. I know nothing about the circumstances of his departure from WB. He has a gift for understanding what local audiences want to see and I'm glad he's sharing that with companies in North America. http://www.hkballet.com/en/About-Us/Artistic-Members-And-Dancers/Artistic-Members/Septime-Webre.html
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