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Everything posted by dancemomCA

  1. Hello Ballet Talk members, I will be in southern Turkey at this time and am thinking of trying to get tickets and transport to the Ampitheatre for the "Carmen" opera on the 19th of June. Has anyone attended this festival in years past? Any tips? I will most likely have to hire a driver from Kas and then return late at night. I would love to take in a performance in this ancient venue!
  2. Not sure where to post this because it's not really a performance...but when talking to my son yesterday who studies post-grad at Hamburg Ballet School, he informed me that yesterday was a public 2 hr Workshop given by AD John Neumeier and the company and students. This was a sold-out event on a Sunday morning at 11 am at the Opera house, I do not know ticket prices. The dancers do company class on stage, then perform excerpts from repertoire, then Neumeier will lead a discussion about each piece. Students were also showcasing their performance pieces at this workshop - my son said the enthusiasm from the audience was wonderful...I assume it's a marketing tool that is used by the company, but the public seem to enjoy this type of event and turn out in droves for each one.
  3. This comes from a relatively novice modern dance audience member, have seen years of ballet. I just returned from a contemporary show, and what I miss most in nearly every modern dance piece that I have seen so far is the non-use of amplitude or "air" around the dancers. The choreography has been so "grounded", it is as if they have ignored any space above their heads! Plus, all the constant intertwining, close physical contact between dancers and dancers and the floor is almost clastrophobic at times, makes me yearn for a decent jump or flight of body in motion up, up and away!
  4. I would just like to report that all went very well in Hamburg. My son loved the city, the "Hamburgers", the ballet school, facilities, teachers, etc. He especially liked the fact that the company and school are housed under one roof with all dancers eating/socializing in their cafeteria each day. He plans to accept their offer of a full-time position and will be starting his post-grad studies with them in September. We are all so happy and proud. :blush:
  5. Well, it appears that there is a big conference in Hamburg that week, nothing left anywhere!!!! They are booked into the Crowne Plaza with a king bed! I hope they enjoy the luxury. It's a short taxi ride (5E) from main train station. Yes, my son has been asked to take class for 2 days, both ballet and contemporary - he will also have some time to sight-see while he is in town. Hamburg Ballet is performing "The Saga of King Arthur" that week/weekend, but not the days he is in town, so he will not be able to see a performance. This school is his first choice, so I'm hoping he likes the feel of Hamburg.
  6. Thank you very much for that good piece of news! I will pass it on to my son.
  7. Thank you all for your good wishes, he's off on Sunday to audition at Hamburg and then John Cranko in Stuttgart - he's very excited! I have some leads on hotels in both cities so thanks again to all for your PMs.
  8. I did a quick search myself, found a few hotels, but could not get the dates I requested. I'm going to send off an email to the school tonight to see if they can recommend anything. My son will be arriving in Hamburg by train but he said he would love to be within walking distance or short transit ride.
  9. Would it be possible for a student to purchase a ticket at the Opera on the 17th to DonQ? Or are the POB performances normally sold out in advance?
  10. Hope this is the right place to post this topic. My son will be auditioning at Hamburg Ballet School post-grad program next week and needs a hotel for two nights near the Hamburg Ballet building. He will be with his older brother and I'm hoping to make online reservations for them. Thanks in advance to any help from our European BTers.
  11. Hello, does anyone have any info or reviews on Ballet San Jose? My son is interested in this company and would like to audition for them in May, but we are seeking additional information. He is a recent HS grad, so is looking for a smaller company. Thanks!
  12. Haven't read it yet, but will try to do so this weekend. Anyone who claims Kudelka is a "genius", doesn't get 2 thumbs up from me!
  13. Thanks everyone for the name correction to Fadeev - I didn't have my program in front of me. I wanted to add a few comments, especially with regards to Irina Golub, Ekaterina Osmolkina and Anton Korsakov who performed the Pas de Trois on Sat evening. I thought they were outstanding, the footwork of the two females was so fast, so clean and effortless - it was simply a joy to watch them - they also looked radiant in their roles. Korsakov was breathtaking to watch - high, graceful leaps, he had this lyrical quality to his movement which I felt was missing in Fadeev. Not that he wasn't intense, he was, his technique was impeccable, he was performing to his utmost, but it was never over-the-top (like the "Jester"). The three of them connected beautifully on stage - effortless partnering as well. Korsakov was my son's favourite! I think so far, this is the ultimate "Swan Lake" for me - not sure if I will go to another for a few years! Once you watch this production with this corps de ballet and principals, it will be very difficult to exceed this version. As a side note, we were in the theatre restaurant after the show and who should walk in but Fadeev, Vishneva and the Ballet Master who had taught the Master class on Friday which my son and his partner attended. My son and his dance peers were so excited to see them, the teacher recognized them, smiled and nodded at them - it was a perfect ending to a perfect evening of dance! Looking forward to windflyer's and bart's reviews - I'm certain they will be more detailed than mine!
  14. I attended the Saturday evening performance with my dancer son, daughter and friend. I will have to provide more details later, as I need my programme for notes! Well, WOW - finally, a grand ballet production in Ottawa, with such precise, wonderful dancing, beautiful costumes, stunning lush sets. And the audience was completely quiet for the entire performance - not a peep! That in itself was amazing and so appreciated. Few brief comments for now - I liked Vishneva's Odile better than her Odette - she brought more verve, energy and life to the role - I felt something was missing with Odette, didn't quite feel the chemistry between she and Andeev ? I think he was tired by Act III - he took a few seconds to catch his breath between variations, cheated on his double tours, was a bit shaky on a few lifts - I much prefered the male who danced in the pas de trois - will have to get name. My son said the he was doing something more difficult than just "beats" something called "quatre ??" - he said, "Do you know how hard that is to do?" Corps was sublime, such strong dancers on their own, beautiful feet (loud pointe shoes!). I think they really stole the show in Act II> I agree with Paquita about the Jester - costume was garish, too many "tricks", plus I really don't like short, heavy-thighed male dancers...I loved Rothbart's costuming - as compared to Kudleka's over-the-top weird headpieces and gowns of NBoC "Swan's Lake". Ending was a bit strange, somewhat abrupt in my mind, but overall it was a truly great night of ballet.
  15. Looking forward to Saturday evening performance in Ottawa - yes, all 6 shows sold out fairly quickly. My son's entire top 4 levels of ballet school will be bussing in for the Sunday matinee show. I've got a table booked at Le Cafe after for drinks and dessert - it's THE ballet highlight for the season. Wondering though if Fadeev with be dancing?? Hopefully will get to see Vishneva - fingers crossed for no casting changes! Also, my son and another dancer are joining a Master Class taught by Ballet Master, Yuri Fateev, on Friday morning, it's completely booked up as well - he's really, really excited!
  16. Thank you to everyone who has posted their review so far - now, even more so, I'm anxiously awaiting the Kirov's upcoming performance in Ottawa this weekend. The dancers/dancing sound glorious.
  17. Funny, my son has a large picture of Baryshnikov hanging in his bedroom - which was actually mine but he has now appropriated it. His ballet school is right next door to the high school he attends, so all his peers and those of the other ballet dancers know what they do day in and day out. They do perform in the school auditorium, they do 3 community Nut performances, plus an end of year show and also take their end of year show to smaller communities which normally don't get any type of ballet companies, small or big. It is their way of doing outreach - they also usually take a number of senior dancers to a Dance Festival in a smaller town, but school is spending money this year on bringing all dancers to Ottawa to attend the Kirov "Swan Lake" performance (completely understandable). Does all this outreach actually increase the number of boys wanting to take ballet - hard to say...I do know that last year one guy poked his head out of his pickup and said to my son "Great job buddy!" so hope springs eternal! Some schools offer free "Boys' classes" which do seem to bring in larger than normal numbers of younger boys - the challenge is to keep them in traditional ballet classes when they are older...is it unaccessible after a certain age? Is it just not "cool" to be a boy in ballet? The media certainly doesn't give them any ink, or airtime. There is little large-scale promotion of men in ballet by either the schools or companies, well, there may be attempts made, but whether or not the media picks it up and runs with it is another issue.
  18. Bart - when I have more time on the weekend, will read more threads/topics, especially about the artistry vs technical wizardry... SanderO - well, I would love to say that we are an artisitic family; however, I cannot sing a note or play an instrument, I did dance in my late teens/early adult years (strictly recreational), but our family are avid readers and I dragged them to as many cultural experiences as I could afford. My son did attend the Nut with me one December, but kept asking me why weren't they talking? I think he was about 5! I do distinctly remember him watching a dance special on tv with Rex Harrington of NBoC and he turned to me at one point and said, "I want to lift the ladies over my head." His sister danced and he was very, very interested in her jazz class and watched every class - finally the teacher asked him to join in and I think that was the real beginning. Then he joined a ballet class - the lone little boy in a sea of pink, but he was very serious and things just took off from there. The turning point was attending the NBS summer school at 12 - that opened his eyes and really intensified his passion for ballet. He hasn't looked back since...I think when they reach 16 or 17 and are still in it, they are usually very serious about ballet as a career. But back to topic - I was thinking about Hans' comment that teachers can only do so much with limited talent and vice versa which brings me to the point of the actual size of the pool of male dancers a school has to draw on each year. At some audition sites there is not one male in attendance, others may have 1 or 2, so what does the school do? They need male bodies, so the mediocre get scooped up along with the talented. This may not be a problem in larger countries ie. US, Russia, etc. But how discriminating can the schools be? They are businesses after all. However, they do want to graduate a well-trained product or dancer, so it is a catch-22 situation I think. I do firmly believe that as in anything, the cream will rise to the top with excellent training, support and mentoring - IF the dancer is challenged, if they are given opportunities to work outside "the ballet box" through exposure to contemporary or modern choreograpy, traditional national dances, etc. I also think that the school must train male dancers to have a certain "swagger", not conceit, but belief in their masculinity in a world where so much of the feminine is emphasized, where the male can be strong, develop bravado yet move with grace and finesse. They must also learn to be wonderful partners - as my son's teacher advised him last year, "If you can't partner, you ain't going to find a job!" I wish I could be more eloquent, however, it's late, I'm tired. I will edit tomorrow.
  19. As a parent of a 16yr male currently training in Canada at a national ballet school, I would say that Bart's points pretty well sum up my son's life so far. It is a long, rigourous, undervalued, ridiculed (at least for males), isolating journey that is also compounded by the fact that he has been living away from home since the age of 12. Thankfully he has found an excellent niche at his current school, teachers who challenge him, more guest teachers this year, administration who believe in artistry, musicality, performance quality, but above all focus on clean classical technique. Still, there is such a limited pool of male dancers in Canada that even at the 3 or 4 big schools, classes for boys/men are not large. There are even fewer males in local home studios, and male teachers/mentors are rare outside of NBS, RWB, Quinte, Goh, etc. This makes it a challenge for a young boy to see to what he can aspire, no peers to compare himself to for motivation. He will be pressured by peers to give up this "girly stuff" - play manly sports like football, HOCKEY, soccer, etc. So, if the young boy actually stays in it past say 10 or 12, then he can, with talent and ambition, audition and hopefully get accepted to a professional school - but sad to say, even that is not any guarantee of a job at the end of it all. How many trained dancers does the RWB or NBoC take into their ranks every year - a few maybe, to none. Our companies are small, if there is none to little movement of dancers over the course of one season to the next, there will be no positions open at the entry level. Starting salary below the poverty line. So why would any male bother to train for a career in ballet and even crazier, why would parents spend all that money for the training? I really don't want to go there...I'm supporting his dream and passion as is the government funding to these ballet schools. He plans to audition for a post-grad year in Europe - German schools most likely as he spent a few weeks with Anna Marie Holmes' Ballet Adriatico in Italy in August and discovered that Europeans actually appreciate ballet and men in ballet. And he was reading an article that stated Germany now receives the most funding for arts and ballet in Europe - so, it is partly a decision to go where the money is and where there are numerous companies. In Italy he was exposed to terrific male teachers, professional dancers who took the time to help him after class (without solicitation), daily class with the pros - it was a real eye-opener for him. Sorry this is somewhat all over the place, but what I also think is missing in the training is exposure to other art forms, visual, musical, theatrical, etc. So many are simply ignorant of anything outside the ballet world and even then, it can be a pretty narrow view...so narrow that many of these dancers in training are even unaware of the state and economy of ballet in their own country.! Lastly, I would have to say that our culture often celebrates mediocrity in all forms, including ballet training and that is simply a result of little exposure to the greater world where a person would have to throw off this cloak of smugness when faced with excellence in any art form and say, Hmmm, I guess we could do better. Or at least try. Thanks! :blush:
  20. :blush: How do I find out the casting for the Ottawa show??? I've great seats for "Swan Lake" and my dancer son will be attending and is interested in the cast. OK - just read the entire thread, found the named link and discovered that Vishneva and Fadeev will be performing Sat at 8PM. Thanks!
  21. I have just returned from Houston's performance in Ottawa, Canada - Triple Bill - Nosotros, The Accidental and Divergence. Opening night and audience loved it. I especially liked Divergence - I think the dancers really connected to Welch's choreography in this piece. It was joyful, strong, liberating and what wonderful male dancers, excellent partnering (my son studies ballet - I wish he had been with me). I'm very tired so will comment more tomorrow. I'm not a critic, just a ballet fan, but I'll take Houston's neo-classicalism over The National Ballet of Canada's "Italian Straw Hat" (Kudelka) any day.
  22. I will try to do my best - I'm not a supremely knowledgable ballet critic but have been supporting the ballet world for years now. I'm curious as to what my son will have to say. Thanks!
  23. I will be seeing them in May in Ottawa, Canada, for the first time. I'm very excited to see a company other than our own Canadian companies, NBoC, RWB, Alberta Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, etc. I plan to take my 16 yr old son who studies ballet full-time - the exposure will be great for expanding his dance world. I wish they were dancing "Rooster" but will be happy to see the listed works. I will be a completely "Open and New Mind"....
  24. Thank you Doug for this info. My DS called and said that he was cast in a pas de quatre variation from Raymonda at his Canadian SI. So I am to assume from your description that it is Variation III from Act III. I plan to try to get a CD to listen to the score before seeing the performance. This is his first repertoire ever, so is quite excited and in complete awe of his coaches.
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