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fiddleback

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    late-blooming, but avid balletgoer
  • City**
    Phoenix
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    AZ

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  1. As the NYT obituary makes very clear, Katherine’s professional career was as lexicographer, ultimately to become Editor of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Over the last decade, in her role as Canada’s Wordlady, Katherine wrote a blog describing “the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language” (YES! Katherine, you DID use the Oxford comma!!), entitled Wordlady. Her wonderful (and not infrequently acerbic) sense of humor is sprinkled liberally throughout each posting - and there are hundreds of them! Katherine’s last blog post – just a few weeks before she passed – was mischievously entitled Dearly Beloved, and dealt with the usage and misuse of the word “beloved”. If you’ve never been exposed to this side of our beloved Katherine’s personality, take a look – just about any blog posting is likely to educate in a most entertaining fashion... https://katherinebarber.blogspot.com/2021/
  2. This virtual gala presentation consists of samplers from Balanchine productions over the last few years. Includes excerpts from Emeralds, Walpurgisnacht, Symphony in Three Movements, La Sonnambula, and Western Symphony. Also a portion of Mambaz by Nayon Iovino. Only available for 24 hours. https://vimeo.com/546622055
  3. Sarasota Ballet has sent out the following email regarding changes to their upcoming season: The Sarasota Ballet Announces an Important Update to our Fall Season in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic The Company’s opening three programs of its 30th Anniversary Season will occur as specially devised and purposely filmed programs that will be streamed to ticket buyers. The Sarasota Ballet today announces that we will be offering unique and specifically filmed performances that will be streamed to ticket buyers, and will replace in-theater performances for the first 3 programs of our 30th Anniversary Season. The decision to do so has been made in order to safeguard audience members, dancers, and staff from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while also allowing the Company to continue to perform so that the audience will be able to experience remarkable ballets this coming Season. “While we’re still finalizing the exact programming elements, this newly created Digital Fall Season is something we’re all excited about,” explains Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “Our aim is to continue to bring breathtaking works to the stage and ensure that we’re keeping the safety of our dancers in mind. Therefore, as we start this new project, we will focus on ballets and works that have smaller casts in order to limit the number of dancers rehearsing together. Additionally, we are continuing to investigate other innovative performance experiences for audience members and patrons of The Sarasota Ballet.” The Digital Fall Season will emulate as close as possible the traditional experience audience members expect from The Sarasota Ballet. Additionally, the streamed performances will include extra features to bring audience members behind the scenes with special guest interviews and rehearsal clips, and a look into the process of a world premiere. The three programs will be released to ticket holders at approximately the same dates that the three in-theater programs were scheduled to open. The ballets will be filmed with multiple cameras to ensure audiences can see every aspect of the performance. These programs will then be emailed to ticket holders, who can watch the performance at their leisure over a period of time. “Since the pandemic hit, we’ve worked tirelessly to support our dancers and staff through this extraordinary time,” says Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “It’s the reason why, after we cancelled most of our Spring Season, we continued to pay all our dancers through to the end of their contracts. As we open this newly created Digital Fall Season, we hope that our audience members will engage with these performances, and our donors will remain steadfast in their investment in this great Company.” Webb adds, “Even though there are still relative unknowns at play, we are still planning on bringing all the dancers back in January, and we all look forward to theaters fully opening in the New Year.” Full programming details for the October, November, and December programs will be announced in the future. Subscribers who currently have tickets for the first three programs of The Sarasota Ballet’s 30th Anniversary Season will be contacted shortly regarding their ticketing options.
  4. One of the more unique and amusing aspects of this ballet is the character of Madge, the fortune teller. One can only imagine that a young Ib Andersen growing up at the Royal Danish must have witnessed some rather creepy Madges over the years, and that they would have made a lasting impression (if not nightmares) for a child. The character role of Madge is portrayed by the lovely Tzu Chia Huang, who had retired from Ballet Arizona several years prior to this 2019 performance. Ms. Huang had danced many lead roles, including Cinderella, Juliet, Odette/Odile, DonQ Mercedes, Rubies Tall Girl, and more. Here’s a short compendium of some of her roles: Ms. Huang said that Mr. Andersen spent a full four hours instructing her in meticulous detail on how to portray Madge. Judging by the video, she absorbed it all…
  5. Here’s the lead casting: Act 1 The Sylph Amber Lewis Anna, a tenant Sasha Vincett James, her son Helio Lima Effy, her niece Arianni Martin Nancy, Effy’s Friend Colleen Buckley Gurn, a young farmer Serafin Castro Madge, a fortune teller Tzu Chia Huang Act 2 Four Witches Alberto Penalver, Erick Garnica, Enrique Solis, Adrian Durham First Sylph Alison Remmers Next two Sylphs Colleen Buckley, Ana Maria Spear
  6. Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony will stream Bournonville’s La Sylphide, starting Sunday, August 2, 2020. Lately, BAZ has been advertising 24 hours only, but in reality, the Symphony has been leaving videos up for at least a week. They will be posted on the Phoenix Symphony’s youtube page: WARNING: This video is incomplete (thanks, canbelto!), so you may want to defer watching until the video is (hopefully) fixed...Still busted as of late Wednesday, Aug 5 PM... This production is from February, 2019, and shared the program with Ballet Arizona’s much heralded new production of The Firebird. Choreography: August Bournonville Staging: Ib Andersen Music: Herman Severin Lovenskhold Lighting: Michael Korsch Costume and Scenic Design: David Walker Costumes and Scenery: Courtesy of Houston Ballet The Phoenix Symphony conducted by Timothy Russell
  7. And, at long last, act III of Napoli, which is definitely worth waiting for:
  8. Just for fun, here is Hamburg Ballet/Lloyd Riggins take on a more modern Blue Grotto:
  9. And, an important point that we’ve skipped over: Why was Dane August Bournonville setting a ballet in sunny Naples (of all places) in 1842?? During a performance at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 1841, a ruckus erupted. Bournonville, who was dancing that evening, stopped to address the king’s box to ask if the program should continue… The king nodded and the performance proceeded. Nevertheless, Bournonville had committed a serious breach of etiquette by addressing the king in public, and was obliged to take a six-month leave-of-absence. Jennifer Homans (Apollo’s Angels) says: “During this time, it was a nine-week stay in Naples that had an overwhelming impact on his creativity. In Naples, Bournonville found everything that Denmark seemed to lack: warmth and a warm-hearted people, spontaneity, sensuality, and a life lived on the streets with unrestrained exuberance and physicality.”
  10. Here’s a bit of historical perspective on Bournonville’s setting of the blue grotto: The Blue Grotto (Italian: Grotta Azzurra) is a sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri, southern Italy. Sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. The cave extends some 50 metres into the cliff at the surface, and is about 150 metres (490 ft) deep, with a sandy bottom. (Wikipedia) Here are a few notes on why Bournonville may have chosen the Blue Grotto as a mise-en-scène: Bournonville attended a ballet, Il Duca di Ravenna, in which a shipwrecked young Duke is exposed to the temptations of the naiads of the Blue Grotto. Bournonville, himself, also visited the Blue Grotto. Known to the ancient Romans, and statues from that time have been found in the grotto. For centuries, the grotto was avoided because it was said to be inhabited by witches and monsters. ‘Rediscovered’ in 1826 The grotto became a favored tourist destination in the 1830’s. It owed its popularity in part to an autobiographical novel published by Hans Christian Andersen , The Improvisatore, published in 1835. Bournonville was a contemporary and friend of Andersen. The Blue Grotto today:
  11. The Ballet says streaming for 24 hours only, but it’s posted on the Symphony’s youtube site, and the Symphony kept Act I posted for an entire week. So watch on Sunday, or take your chances later in the week… The RDB Blue Grotto set is multi-layered, and looks rather nice even on the video. And be sure not to blink during the magic costume change when Teresina renounces her naiadship (toward the end)! Lead Cast: Golfo, a demon of the sea Brian Leonard Coralla, a naiad Kenna Draxton Argentina, a naiad Jessica Phillips Teresina, Gennaro’s beloved Arianni Martin Gennaro, a fisherman Alejandro Mendez (Additional naiads and tritons available upon request…) If the back-of-the-hall view is a bit far away, you might enjoy these promotional clips: With close-ups from the 2014 production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyIP_kXoECc A lengthier studio promo with Mr. Andersen demonstrating character moves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsK2zYzTqjM Here is Mr. Macaulay’s review: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/arts/dance/review-ballet-arizonas-napoli-embodies-a-culture-of-exuberance.html?searchResultPosition=1
  12. Dancing the roles of Teresina and Gennaro in Napoli must be a portent of future marital bliss in real life. Alejandro and Arianni have since married, as have Jillian Barrell and Nayon Iovino, who also danced the leading couple. Perhaps there’s magic in the Blue Grotto! And Joseph (Skip) seems to always play the monk to perfection, even to the point of being called back out of retirement, be it Romeo and Juliet or Napoli... Stay tuned for the Blue Grotto (Act II) next Sunday!
  13. This is apparently the 2015 production, which used the authentic Royal Danish Ballet lavish costumes and well-worn sets. The costumes were flown in, and available well before the performance. The sets, on the other hand, were shipped on a slow boat, and, as luck would have it, encountered a longshoreman’s strike on Longbeach. They were in danger of being stuck on a ship for the performance. Apparently by the grace of the Madonna’s medallion, the sets were allowed in, and arrived just in time… Cast: Gennaro, a fisherman Alejandro Mendez Teresina, Veronica’s daughter Arianni Martin Veronica, a widow Kanako Imayoshi Fra Ambrosio, a monk Joseph Cavanaugh Giacomo, a macaroni seller Carlos Valcarcel Peppo, a lemonade seller Roman Zavarov Giovana Jessica Phillips
  14. Act 1 of Napoli will be streaming for 24 hours, starting at 9AM PDT, Sunday 7/12/20. Acts 2 and 3 will be streamed on Sunday, 7/19 and 7/26, respectively. Note that this ballet is posted on the Phoenix Symphony YouTube site.
  15. Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony will stream one act from their production of Napoli, on three successive Sundays, July 12, 19th, and 26th. These are allegedly posted for 24 hours only, however Act I was left up for a week. Each of these will be posted on the Phoenix Symphony’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/ThePhoenixSymphony/videos More info and discussion here as the ballets become available: Ballet Arizona Forum Ballet Arizona announcements here: https://balletaz.org/virtual-events/ The sets and costumes are originals, imported from the Royal Danish. Here's Act II:
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