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Posts posted by pherank

  1. Dance Gala: Roberto Bolle and Friends at Charles Krug Winery, Napa - July 23rd, 2022

    "Ballet superstar Roberto Bolle brings his celebrated production Roberto Bolle and Friends, to Napa for the annual Dance Gala, an event that invariably ranks among the year’s highlights. A principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre from 2009-2019, a principal dancer étoile at La Scala Theatre Ballet, and a guest artist with other top international companies, Bolle is one of Italy’s most beloved artists. Joined by internationally renowned dancers Osiel Gouneo, Angelo Greco, Melissa Hamilton, Misa Kuranaga and Skylar Brandt, they perform solos and ensemble numbers from both treasured classic and modern ballets."


  2. On 7/17/2021 at 4:07 PM, miliosr said:

    Which also suggests that a change in artistic director(s) might not solve the problems some of these companies have.

    Sad, but true. I have to say though, many of these "problems" have to do with changes, and or conflicts, in society as a whole. Some of the criticism of the companies has made it sound like the ballet world is the last bastion of White European Patriarchal Conservatism, or some such thing. But the diversification issues, and the love of hierarchy/status and tradition (not to mention cult-of-personality) is to be found all over the place. And these things get us in trouble.

    Whether we're talking about governments, sports, the military, or the supposedly "cutting edge" tech industry, there's a lot of non-diverse, male-centered, family-unfriendly things going on in the human world. That's what we have to work with.

  3. 57 minutes ago, vipa said:

    If you're not cast in a role someone else is. GP was, by her own account in interviews, very aggressive in getting a Dew Drop performance. Her getting it meant that someone else didn't. There's a story there too! It's complicated. 

    Yes, indeed. Someone is going to get the role one way or another. It doesn't make much sense to complain about others working to get roles though - it's a necessary evil for all soloists. Seeming disinterest is not compelling to an A.D.   ;)

  4. Rachel Howard has written an article for the SF Chronicle's Datebook titled, Tahoe Dance Camp, At First A Pandemic-inspired Workshop, Ready For Adventurous Debut Performance

    '...Onstage, then, Tahoe Dance Camp’s performance promises a view of the leading edge in contemporary ballet. But behind the scenes, the working atmosphere it created may also offer a vision of a more cooperative, woman-centered and family-embracing ballet culture. Twelve adults and five children under the age of 5 ended up sheltering together during the two “dance camps,” with Rowe’s daughter Gigi, just 6 months old, strapped to her for much of the day as Rowe choreographed.

    “We’d hold our morning class, and every so often a kid would run across the studio or call for mom,” recalled Chung, a principal who joined San Francisco Ballet 20 years ago and gave birth to her first child six months before the pandemic. “We’re professionals, though, so we could switch back and forth.”'


  5. 5 hours ago, Helene said:

    While the tendency is to look at all of the current and former Principal Dancers of a company as the most likely suspects, that hasn't been the case for the majority of AD hires, even if the eventual hires were Principal Dancers somewhere.

    Agreed, and I don't think being a Principal Dancer alone is enough of a qualification. (And the principal needs to be someone who has been created on often enough that they understand what's involved in working with choreographers.) The candidate needs some level of "management" experience, and I will include the jobs of choreographer and teacher in that category since they both involve guidance and motivation of other artists.

    Thinking about it again, I remembered that I preferred the new NYCB model: a shared leadership between 2 or 3 persons. Someone gets ultimate final say, but the others are deeply involved in repertoire choices and creation.

  6. On 7/1/2021 at 12:51 PM, Helene said:

    I actually get why they're going for a majority of finalists: the optics would be atrocious if all three were bypassed, especially since there's not a hugely obvious candidate, like a Bernstein or van Karajan of the Executive Directorship world.

    That sounds like you know who some of the actual candidates are. I imagine the list of interested candidates is pretty long.

    I've been thinking about qualified (in my opinion of course) indigenous people of color. And only two come to mind, off the top of my head: Alonzo King and Dwight Rhoden. Both of whom have management and choreographic and teaching experience. I was hoping for a female A.D. and made no secret about Sofiane Sylve being my top choice, but I don't see that happening now. A lot changes in 2 years time. I just can't think of any qualified female candidates, of color, who are connected to SFB in any way, and have a relationship to SFB artists and staff. Am I forgetting anyone?

  7. On 7/13/2021 at 2:11 PM, Balletwannabe said:

    I'm really confused how taking away intermission increases safety.  

    Since normally intermissions involve a lot of threading through crowds to stand in lines for refreshments or the bathroom, removing intermissions altogether would cut down on all that human interaction. Masked or not. The theater itself presumably would have reduced seating with more space between occupied seats. But who knows? Maybe that will change too.

  8. On 7/13/2021 at 10:41 AM, dirac said:

    How true. No matter how sparky the lady, Taylor had a hard time getting those colored lights going.  Gardner and Taylor were supposedly having an affair, but any heat generated didn't make it into camera range. The exception in my recollection is Lana Turner in Johnny Eager, which also features one of Taylor's few good performances.

    I've never seen His Kind of Woman because I find Jane Russell unwatchable in anything other than Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Not even Mitchum and Price could tempt me. Did you like it overall?

    Yes, but with reservations - it ends up being so goofy and weird that I kind of have to like it. I'm a supporter of goofy-weird. Is it a gem of Noir filmmaking? No, not really.

    Basic plot: a gambler (Robert Mitchum) accepts a mysterious job that will take him out of the country (to Mexico) for a year - for a reward of $50,000.
    Price plays a famous movie actor (a ham) spending time at the same Mexican resort, who seems to be a hunting enthusiast primarily. And Price keeps trying to interest Robert Mitchum's character into going hunting, which of course makes us think that something nefarious is going to happen around that, but there's a twist to all that. Price gets to be a good guy in the end (which in itself is interesting). Mostly it's a lot of talking and scheming, and Mitchum and Russell being...charismatic(?) It is notable that Mitchum and Russell did NOT have an affair during production of this film.  😉


  9. My old eyes need to restructure the information.   😉
    I'm not crazy about the Ballet Arizona website's information design. They could definitely present content in a clearer, easier to access manner.

    Contemporary Moves: An Evening of Three Ballets
    October 29-31; November 5-7, 2021

    In Creases
    Choreography by Justin Peck
    Music by Philip Glass

    Les Patineurs    
    Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
    Music by Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Choreography by Nayon Iovino
    Music by Josiel Perez and Company

    The Nutcracker
    December 9-24, 2021 [Note that one of the pages says December 10-24]
    Choreography: Ib Andersen
    Music: Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

    Romeo & Juliet
    February 10-13, 2022
    Choreography: Ib Andersen
    Music: Sergei Prokofiev

    All Balanchine
    March 24-27, 2022

    Slaughter on Tenth Avenue    
    Bourrée Fantasque    

    Juan Gabriel
    May 5-8, 2022
    Choreography: Ib Andersen
    Music: Danced to a recorded production of Juan Gabriel’s performance at Palacio de Bellas Artes

    An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden
    May 17 – June 4, 2022
    Choreography: Ib Andersen

  10. 13 hours ago, dirac said:

    An MGM noir, as it happens. :)  Not the kind of project that the director, Robert Z. Leonard, was generally associated with. Great supporting cast.

    Should have been good, but wasn't. Vincent Price and Laughton make things more interesting but the script isn't all that impressive. So probably could have been anyone in those particular roles. And there's definitely no heat between Gardner and Taylor - I can't really think of when Taylor ever demonstrated much heat. He's on my dud list. It happens that TCM had recently shown His Kind of Woman from 1951, with Vincent Price in a very oddball role that was quite fun. I was hoping for more of the same kind of thing, but The Bribe wasn't even a slow burner to me, just slow and fairly predictable. Oh well.

  11. On 6/28/2021 at 12:37 PM, dirac said:

    Good points. It's certainly true that black-and-white was more forgiving than Technicolor. And MGM tended to be a bit heavy with the makeup for its female actors. When Ava Gardner went over to Universal for "The Killers" - a noir, as it happens - and appeared in her customary makeup, Robert Siodmak told her to take it all off.

    I just watched Ava Gardner, Robert Taylor and Charles Laughton in The Bribe (1949) on TCM, and I noticed that she seemed to be getting away with very little makeup, which I liked.

    On 6/28/2021 at 5:31 PM, miliosr said:

    They weren't because Mayer hated it. The Postman Always Rings Twice was a big critical and commercial success for the studio and featured what was perhaps Lana Turner's greatest performance. But it went against everything Mayer held dear in the 1940s -- star-spangled "support the troops" musicals, Esther Williams 'aquacals', the Andy Hardy series, Ann Sothern's Maisie series . . . 

    I'm trying to envision holding Andy Hardy near and dear to my heart, but it's just not working.

  12. The Fjord Review has just sent out an e-mail report - that unfortunately does not link to an online version, so I will copy and paste the text into the space below...

    Digital Transformation of Dance

    Earlier this year, Fjord Review surveyed dance companies all around the world to get a sense of how the pandemic was affecting their business. We asked companies how they responded to venue closures and pandemic restrictions, what outcomes flowed from various approaches, and what strategies remain in place. What follows is the first of a four-part report on the digital transformation of dance.
    Part One: Going Digital

    When Covid-19 swept the globe in early 2020, businesses and organizations across the board were left scrambling. The performing arts sector—heavily reliant upon live, in-person events for revenue—was left with a void, both artistically and financially. This resulted in a rapid shift to digital content in an effort to remain viable. Now, after over a year of modified and predominantly virtual programming, Fjord Review takes a look back to analyze how dance companies pivoted to adjust to a new reality.
    We surveyed a dozen organizations worldwide to assemble a comprehensive picture of the strategies that were employed by dance companies over the course of the pandemic.
    Results based on Fjord Review's Digital Transformation survey, 2021. Graphics by Ilena Peng
    The most common approach to dance performance during Covid-19 was—of course—to go fully virtual. Of the suddenly bountiful digital dance offerings, the most common were new commissions, dance films, and streams of previously recorded performances. Other available content ranged from podcasts to watch parties to free online dance classes.

    Developing a New System
    The majority of surveyed companies chose to stream their content on multiple platforms, with YouTube, Vimeo, and individual company websites becoming the most popular choices. As for structuring digital seasons, most surveyed organizations chose to utilize either a seasonal membership model or pay-per-view performances, some opting for a combination of both.
    Money Matters
    Over 80% of dance companies charged for online content, largely basing prices on the cost of traditional season tickets and analyses of the past buying patterns of their patrons. However—even for the companies that did charge—most organizations noted that income from their respective digital offerings amounted to less than 20% of total revenue for the season as a whole.

    Audience Boost
    An unexpected silver lining came when organizations across the board noticed that the pandemic allowed them to broaden their reach. Each company reported their digital performances garnered viewership from multiple states, territories, provinces, and countries outside their respective homes. Along with the expanded audiences, companies also reported an uptick in donations, new patrons, and new social media followers during Covid lockdowns.

    Stay tuned for Part Two: Social Dis-Dancing 
    How staying apart brought us closer together
  13. Are any forum members planning on attending this year? Tickets are on sale...

    Ballet Sun Valley

    TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES featuring artists from Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet & The Washington Ballet

    A stunning compilation of works by George Balanchine, Danielle Rowe, Edwaard Liang, and more. Plus a world premiere by Price Suddarth.

    An exciting mix of works by Jessica Lang, Justin Peck, Jerome Robbins, Alejandro Cerrudo, and more. Plus a world premiere by Viktor Plotnikov.

    TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES by BalletX, a contemporary ballet company known for its cutting edge new works

    AUGUST 22
    A complete story ballet, Sunset o639 Hours

    AUGUST 23
    A gala-style evening of exciting works


  14. 20 minutes ago, miliosr said:

    Houston Ballet for sure. It's lavishly funded but it has no national profile. I'm hard pressed to even describe its repertory. Perhaps they'll just coast along until Connor Walsh is ready to take over?

    I would put the Joffrey Ballet in second place. During his lifetime, the late Robert Joffrey worked ceaselessly to give the company an unique repertory. How wonderful would it be if the Joffrey was still the repository for all those Massine revivals? Instead, it's like a mild San Francisco Ballet.

    Los Angeles Ballet would be my third place. What is the point of this company? It slogs along with no discernible purpose and not much funding. (Don't know if you could replace the artistic directors as they and the company may be one and the same.)

    I don't disagree with these statements. But I suppose one could argue that any company that's been following the same model exclusively for years is in need of some level of shaking up. No one's artistic vision is that sweeping and original.   😉

  15. 8 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    ...So, I can imagine a service that commissions a digital season from a performing arts company for an attractive flat fee; or underwrites a major new production; or fosters collaborations between, say, a filmmaker or a visual artist with a dance company with the right to stream what it commissioned exclusively either in perpetuity or for some predefined period of time. The performing arts company might secure some ancillary rights—e.g., the right to make some of the content available to donors, to release it on DVD at some future date, or to make it available to schools or public libraries. Frankly, if I were a publicly-minded foundation or consortium of foundations...

    All good examples of how a shared Arts platform is actually doable, if enough companies devote some of their staff and funds to the purpose. And get some major player in the broadcast realm to get on board.

  16. 14 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:


    sandik points to one possible reason: it could be that the various rights holders and unions involved were willing to authorize making the videos available during the pandemic as a means of keeping the company and its repertory visible to the public and as a means of prompting donations, but weren't ready to negotiate a full-fledged paid digital subscription or pay-per-view offering.

    One of the things I've learned in recent years is just how much of a hold the various unions and rights holders have over the ballet companies. Nothing gets done without long negotiations and legal wrangling. If there is one thing the ballet world is not, it is "flexible". Kind of ironic.

    One might think that the real possibility of a new revenue stream would be exciting for the dance world, but it seems to be too new and different a notion for many to know how to deal with it.

    7 hours ago, sandik said:

    I think that we're going to see a shift in what some companies think of as "their audience," to include people who do not attend in person, but are very interested in watching online.  I imagine that NYCB has been keeping the same kind of records that PNB has -- they've had digital subscribers from all 50 states, and a few foreign countries as well.  There are few things I want to take with me from the pandemic, but this kind of access is certainly one of them.

    I really hope that's true. SFB hints that they are interested in this new digital subscription / pay-per-view audience, but live performances for a live audience are absolutely the main interest. So the question is: which of these companies is going to devote real resources to developing an online audience? So far, the strategy for many has been to post to YouTube and hope that the audience will find them. That just doesn't seem very sophisticated. The companies that get a real jump on this technology and digital audience relations may be the real survivors down the road.

    I do like the idea of some kind of arts platform being developed that can be used by any and all dance companies. A one-stop shop.

  17. Tahoe Dance Camp

    Last summer, during quarantine, Principal Dancer @sarah.vanpatten formed a pod with a group of dancers at her home in Lake Tahoe, with a goal of staying creative—and Tahoe Dance Camp was born. This summer, on July 24, Van Patten's @tahoedancecamp will have a star-studded inaugural performance at the @classicaltahoe Pavilion, with world premieres by @_danirowe_ and @andi_schermoly and works by Alonzo King, @benjaminmillepied, @justin_peck, @dwightrhodenchoreo, Helgi Tomasson, and @wheeldony.
    For more information and ticket, please visit the link in our bio.
    Featuring dancers @ulrikbirkkjaer, @franadian, @chuvasthamires, @adji_cissoko, @shuaibdeeelhassan, @jahnafrantziskonis, @anataliaonpointe, @luke_ingham, @natrmz, @jpsimoens, @jenstahl.weitz, @sarah.vanpatten, @josephwalshsf, @way8way, and @wanting__zhao
    🎥: @reneffolsonproductions


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