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  1. "Danish choreographer Johan Kobborg will run the National Romanian Ballet from February 2014 after recently signing with the ballet La Sylphide in Bucharest." Link here.
  2. On Friday, as part of the Royal Theater's contribution to Copenhagen's "Kulternatten" ("Culture Night"), the theater will present (among other things) a new work created by Ms. Ryom titled "Østrogen," ("Estrogen"). The piece focuses on three women -- Karen Blixen, Marilyn Monroe, and Twiggy -- who inspired Ms. Ryom at various points in her life.
  3. Here's an article with more about the evening, which sounds quite interesting. Saturday, April 20 at New World Center.
  4. A Google News search of "'Miami City Ballet'" and "Piazza" yields results from USA Today, LA Times, the "Bleacher Report" (not known for its ballet coverage), the UPI wireservice, the Pottstown Mercury, CBS Sports, SI.com (Sports Illustrated), and the International Business Times, among others. All free coverage.
  5. It's been picked up all over the place - The Daily News had one of its usual photo-mashups - and I happened to be watching Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan when they spent a few minutes discussing it on their morning gab show, with several complimentary references to MCB. And it's nice that he's doing it at the behest of his daughter. “It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing the reaction of my two little girls,” Piazza said in a statement. “For (Nicoletta) to have the opportunity to see Daddy on stage is my little gift. I’m looking forward to it.” Hard to buy publicity like that.
  6. In that vein, the school will have a new director, Darleen Callaghan from North Carolina Dance Theatre School of Dance, starting March 1. Busy days at MCB . . .
  7. I think the point of the campaign is that you can do both - enjoy a Heat game AND a ballet performance. See the poster examples here. Who knows, there might be a balletomane or two who sees the ads and decides to try attending a Heat game. And vice-versa. I don't think the goal is to bring ballet to "malls, fairs, and bus terminals" (Really? - "bus terminals"?). I think the goal is to consciousness-raise, and to get more of the community enthused about the cultural benefits of living in the Miami area. As Lourdes Lopez puts it in the last line of the "Story" section of the website: "No Miami City Ballet dancer stands alone just as HEAT players can’t win alone. It requires team work—and that's Miami! We are talking about tremendous pride in the place we call home and being the best together."
  8. Via Michael Kaiser's piece in the Huffington Post: "Recently I went to a board meeting of the organization where the new artistic director laid out her ambitious plans for next season and for the expansion of the school, the new executive director reviewed anticipated changes to marketing and fundraising strategies, a budget was approved for the next fiscal year without much fanfare and a marketing partnership with the Miami Heat was unveiled. Oh, and Nutcracker ticket sales were $150,000 higher than last year and an upcoming gala in Palm Beach had outsold last year and ticket sales for the next two sets of performances were outselling last year as well. Special gifts of $7 million had also been received."
  9. Some great pics here of MCB dancers and Miami Heat stars. Clever marketing!
  10. A generally nice review from the Miami New Times.
  11. Keep in mind that Swan Lake can take a serious toll on the corps. It's physically a very demanding ballet, and you need to have confidence in the fitness of your dancers before you work it in to the repertoire - and then, you need to pick the timing of when in the season you perform it. You risk debilitating your corps if you start the season with it, and end up with a bunch of injured dancers. As for her teaching skills, Lopez is an accomplished dance teacher. Villella's classes - while interesting to the dancers as a sometime thing - were in fact very punishing. Dancers would remark as to the relative lack of warmup, which can lead to injuries. I saw him teach a number of times, and it was very odd - he would make a series of grunting noises, not quite words, and would sort of jerk his body through the moves he was asking the dancers to do. The dancers clearly knew what he was asking for, but I'm told it took some getting used to. I've also seen Lopez teach - she's very attuned to the needs of dancers, and is clear about what she's looking for. I think they're in very good hands. Expanding the repertoire could be great for the company. Keep in mind that dancers like to dance, and like new challenges. Dancing the 'same old thing' year after year - even if it's mixed up - can get boring for them. Most dancers I know like the challenge of learning new choreography - this comes through to performances. And many companies have created avenues for dancers to explore the challenges of creating their own choreography, and there's no reason why Morphoses could not be that avenue for MCB. I know dancers who love Balanchine, but jump at the chance to do something different - it doesn't change their fealty to Mr. B, but they enjoy new challenges too, and believe that if the art form is to move forward, new works need to be created. Finally, I like the fact that over the weekend, some of the MCB dancers appear (according to the troupe's Facebook page) to have participated in a 'flashmob' dance presentation in Miami's Wynwood arts district. It's this kind of low-cost innovative marketing that may help grow the audience.
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