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Everything posted by Helene

  1. From last Friday's links, a small victory* for Lopes Gomes: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56858493.amp *A smallish amount of money and a one-year extension of her contract.
  2. Rest in peace, Katherine, and my deepest condolences to her family and many friends.
  3. Here's the press release; scroll for online viewing ticket info: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET CONTINUES ITS 20/21 ALL-DIGITAL SEASON WITH A COMICAL CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY! May 6 – 10, 2021 Dance Happens Everywhere: Filmed live onstage at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Viewable in the comfort and safety of your own home. SEATTLE, WA –Spring is finally here, and Pacific Northwest Ballet is happy to present the happiest ballet on earth, George Balanchine’s Coppélia, as the penultimate program in its Dance Happens Everywhere digital season. Audiences at McCaw Hall were mesmerized when PNB premiered its exquisite, wisteria-hued production of Coppélia in 2010: “The audience actually gasped when the curtain went up” (Journal Newspapers). Originally created in 1870, Balanchine and famous ballerina Alexandra Danilova drew on source material and memory for 1974's New York City Ballet version. The story, set to Léo Delibes' superbly melodic score, is a lighthearted comedy about vivacious young Swanilda, her impetuous suitor Franz, and the eccentric toymaker Dr. Coppelius. Though Franz loves Swanilda, he is swept away by Coppélia, a life-sized doll whom he believes is real. When Swanilda steals into Dr. Coppelius' workshop and discovers the truth about Coppélia, she dresses up as her rival and amuses herself by tricking both toymaker and her lover. All ends well in the final act’s splendid wedding festivities, enhanced by the addition of 24 “baby” ballerinas who frame ensemble and solo variations. Beautifully detailed by designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno's lavish sets and costumes, this production is a delight for all ages. “Coppélia...demands repeat viewing” (criticaldance.com). Coppélia is streamable for five days, May 6 through 10. Tickets are $29, and $39 for Digital Performance Plus. The latter provides access to additional bonus content, including a performance of Kyle Davis’s Sylvia Pas de Deux. (See “Ticket Information,” below.) For tickets and additional information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or online at PNB.org. OUT THE PRODUCTIO Music: Léo Delibes (Coppélia, ou la Fille aux Yeux d’Émail, 1869-1870; with excerpts from Sylvia, ou la Nymphe de Diane, 1876, and La Source [Naïla], 1866) Book: Charles Nuitter, after E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann, 1815 Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa) Staging: Judith Fugate and Garielle Whittle Scenic and Costume Design: Roberta Guidi di Bagno Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli Original Production Premiere: May 25, 1870; Paris Opera Ballet, choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon Petipa Producton Premiere: November 25, 1884, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg, choreography by Marius Petipa (after Arthur Saint-Léon); revised 1894 by Enrico Cecchetti Balanchine Production Premiere: July 17, 1974; New York City Ballet (Saratoga Springs, New York) Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: June 3, 2010 Digital Running Time: One hour and 45 minutes Casting: PNB’s digital performance of Coppélia is an archival recording from April 14, 2016. Select casting includes: Swanilda: Leta Biasucci Franz: Benjamin Griffiths Dr. Coppelius: Ryan Cardea Based on the book by Charles Nuitter, after E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann, Coppélia is considered one of the triumphant comic ballets of the 19th century and marked the passing of ballet supremacy from France to Russia. Originally choreographed by Arthur St. Léon in Paris in 1870, it was restaged by Marius Petipa in St. Petersburg in 1884 and revised by Enrico Cecchetti in 1894. Little, if any, of St. Léon’s choreography remains in today’s production, although Acts I and II retain his ideas and the story of mischievous young lovers. Balanchine provided entirely new choreography for Act III. Balanchine wrote, “In 1974, I decided we should stage Coppélia at the New York City Ballet and asked the ballerina and teacher Alexandra Danilova, celebrated for many years for her Swanilda, to collaborate with me on the choreography. I remember very well performances by the Russian Imperial Ballet of Coppélia and as a member of the company danced in the mazurka. “I have often said that Delibes is one of my favorite composers for dance. In our new Coppélia, we used the entire score of the three-act version. The first dance drama of really uniform excellence deserves no less! No part of the ballet is subordinate to any other; most important of all, ballet music in Coppélia participates in the dance drama as never before, Delibes’ charming, melodic music assisting the plot and unifying the music and dance. Tchaikovsky was directly inspired by Delibes’ score to write his own ballet music. Delibes is the first great ballet composer; Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky are his successors.” [Program Notes by Doug Fullington.] TICKET INFORMATION and BONUS CONTENT Pacific Northwest Ballet’s digital presentation of Coppélia runs for five days, May 6 – 10. Tickets to Coppélia ($29 - $39) and the rest of PNB’s digital season may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or online 24/7 at PNB.org Ticket-buyers will receive an email prior to the program with a link and password, as well as helpful information to assist in viewing the digital content. Coppélia and bonus content will be available for a five-day viewing window beginning at 10am (Pacific) on Thursday, May 6. Digital content can only be viewed during the allotted time period; No extensions or exceptions will be granted. For additional information, please contact the PNB Box Office. All patrons of PNB’s basic Digital Performance ($29) will also receive, in addition to the performance of Coppélia: · Five Minute Call – A peek backstage at the artists, musicians, and crew preparing for the performances. · Ballet Talk – Doug Fullington’s informative introduction to the performance, discussing choreography, music, history, and design. · Meet the Artist – Peter Boal with company dancers in a lively conversation about the work. Season subscribers and patrons of the Digital Performance Plus ($39) will receive access to a performance of Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan and Kyle Davis in Davis’s Sylvia Pas de Deux, and additional content to be announced. Coppélia Mother’s Day Tasting Event with TeaLeaves and Fran’s Chocolates On May 8, in celebration of Mother’s Day, sommeliers from TEALEAVES & Fran’s Chocolates along with special guests from PNB are hosting an event which will lead attendees through a virtual tasting of hand-crafted teas and chocolates, paired with some enchanting story-telling. Guests will delight in a curated assortment of truffles and caramels, expertly paired with a series of custom-blended teas, and a guest from PNB will share behind-the-scenes stories about the ballet. Before or after the event, guests can “hit play” to watch the digital performance of Coppélia, through an exclusive event link. The 60-minute family-friendly event takes place from 2:00 – 3:00 pm PST on Saturday, May 8. Pre-order sales for this special event package are available at Frans.com.
  4. Here are links to two podcast interviews with Larsen: Conversations on Dance, with Michael Breeden and Rebecca King Ferraro https://conversationsondancepod.com/2021/04/21/gavin-larsen-book/ The Dance Edt Podcast, starting a little before the 27" mark: https://thedanceedit.com/liam-scarletts-death-building-a-better-theater-industry-and-gavin-larsen/ There's also an interview transcript here: https://conversationsondancepod.com/2021/04/21/gavin-larsen-book/ Edited to add: Here's link to Larsen's Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/GavinLarsenAuthor/
  5. People will be near each other, though, waiting in line, in the parking lot together getting stuff out of their car, going to the restrooms which almost always involves lines. There will also be mixed pods of people who are vaccinated and those who aren't who will a long period in close proximity. Today's NYT newsletter discusses outdoor mask-wearing:
  6. I've removed a number of posts. Do not discuss the disccussion. If you feel that any post has violated our policy, report it, and we will review it.
  7. [Admin hat on] I've removed the irrelevant analogy of a Supreme Court nominating process, which is a purely political one. [Admin hat off] I'd also like to reiterate as has been posted here several times, that employment law is civil and there are different standards than for criminal cases, and employers are incentivized to limit liability, and have limited legal responsibilities to an employee/person whose contract they want to terminate. Applying criminal standards, where the government is the prosecutor, or those observed on Law & Order is every bystander's right, but isn't reality.
  8. That is really great news!
  9. My friend who graduated from nursing school within the last decade worked in hospitals only, so color me confused.
  10. People get hired for all kinds of reasons that have little to do with their resume. People get hired for their resume, when their resume does not really reflect their ability. People don't get interviews because of the name on their resume, so anyone who is hired is not necessarily the best available candidate, but among those who are considered acceptable by the hiring manager. Unless hiring is blind, whether it be a musician behind a screen who walking over a carpet that hid their gender, race, etc. -- and, usually the final audition is not blind -- or purely based on professional test results, which most likely have their own implicit biases, the only way to know you weren't hired for reasons other than competence and merit is to hire yourself. And if you hired yourself for other reasons, you at least know why.
  11. A donor might want to influence behind the scenes and not go public, but if they do, I think whether a donor wants a name on an inclusion project depends on the project. A donor might not want to be a dancer sponsor, so that that dancer is tagged as a project, rather than as a professional.
  12. Beyond a minimum competency, dancers are hired for some many reasons than being technically better or even more versatile than other dancers, and that's aside from needing certain "roles" to be filled -- tall partner, short partner, virtuoso dancer, strong contemporary dancer -- including personality (for better or worse), being romantically involved with an important dancer, coming from the company school, where not hiring from the company school stops dancers from attending, having a connection (teacher, former dancer, administration) in the company, etc. But these things generally don't raise the same reservations, criticism, and lack of benefit-of-the-doubt as hiring dancers of color, who are assumed to have gotten their spot only because of their skin color or ethnic background. Wealthy donors who can drive conservatism in companies out of the public eye can also enable inclusive hiring through their influence and checkbooks, so that the companies have the means to live up to progressive mission statements and Facebook memes. Foundations can fund programs, artitic staff positions, and infrastructure projects, so that the companies can use the funds they currently spend on those to hire more dancers.
  13. Dancers of color have no pressure to prove themselves (almost always) better than their white peers now?
  14. Almost every major symphony conductor is also the conductor of another organization, whether it be an opera house, which often includes ballet in rep, or another orchestra, and they do guest conducting work, sometimes a great deal of it, like Dudamel does. In the middle tier, they often are involved in one or more organizations, some of them small ones they created themselves or festivals. For conductors of small orchestras, they have to if they need to earn a living. It's always a trade-off for all but the "major" organization to decide whether it's worth someone's name, reputation, fundraising appeal, and orchestra development, just for a start, vs. dedicated time, just as when they hire guest conductors. Whether that's good or bad, it's very common. Also, in the European opera houses, and probably big orchestras, there is a layer of management, which, in the case of Paris Opera, is exceedingly strong, as anyone who saw the Millepied doc witnessed, and there's a lot of administration that he wouldn't have to worry about There are union contracts that strictly limit working conditions and pay, and the role that Dudamel will play is much less about administration than it might be in the US or Canada, all of which is in the hands of the uber-leader, Neef. . Also, in the major companies, if the lead conductor actually leads six of twenty productions, that is a huge number. A conductor can do a lot of the rest of the work remotely, learned even before the pandemic and Zoom. I remember when Salonen said that Gergieve liked to conduct so much, because it was the only time his cell phone wasn't ringing.
  15. Dudamel has been an opera conductor for quite some time. What's more interesting is that he came up through La Sistema and is dedicated to the program. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him be involved in outreach. It's hard to fathom that he's only forty.
  16. Here is the press release: SPRING FLING: Annual Celebration of Pacific Northwest Ballet School Digital program – free to all – will feature archival performance of Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare. April 19 – May 3, 2021 PNB.org For release on April 19, 2021 – Spring Fling, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual celebration of the PNB School, goes online for 2021, and everyone’s invited. This year’s event, in an all-digital format, features an archival recording of Jerome Robbins’ lighthearted one-act ballet, Fanfare, performed by PNB School students and accompanied by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Stephen Radcliffe. Spring Fling also offers family-friendly activities, bonus videos from the PNB Orchestra, spring craft projects, a virtual art gallery, and more. The program is available for viewing online at PNB.org from April 19 through May 3, 2021. (PNB season subscribers will automatically receive a link to view Spring Fling.) This year’s Spring Fling is free for everyone, with donations greatly appreciated. As PNB looks to the future and begins planning to return all students safely to our studios in Seattle and Bellevue, we hope audiences will consider a donation to sustain our school. For more information, visit PNB.org Fanfare Music: Benjamin Britten (The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34, 1946) Choreography: Jerome Robbins Staging: Robert LaFosse Text: Eric Crozier Scenic and Costume Design: Irene Sharaff Lighting Design: Ronald Bates, recreated by Randall G. Chiarelli Rehearsal Director: Dana Hanson Rehearsal Pianist: Elisabeth Ellis Conductor: Stephen Radcliffe, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras Premiere: June 2, 1953: New York City Ballet Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: November 15, 1994 PNB School’s digital performance of Fanfare is an archival recording from June 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm, featuring Timothy McCuen Piggee as the Major Domo. Jerome Robbins choreographed Fanfare in 1953 for New York City Ballet in honor of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. A work that blends ceremony and humor, Fanfare is set to Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Consisting of variations and a fugue on a theme by Henry Purcell, Britten’s score takes the listener on a tour through the various musical instruments or groups that make up the modern symphony orchestra before bringing them all together for a grand and glorious finale. Accordingly, and with delightful invention, Robbins has assigned his dancers the task of displaying those instruments and their relationships choreographically, all the while maintaining what he refers to as “the ‘royalty’ of it all.” As critic Walter Terry observed when Fanfare premiered on Coronation Night in June 1953: “Not only has Robbins selected and reinvented movements and, particularly, rhythmic phrasings which appear to be visualized characteristics of the instruments portrayed and the themes allotted to them, but he has also found the special brands of fun associated with, say, the tuba, the double bass, or the bassoons. One sees speed and lightness in the dancing of the flutes, gliding in the celli, soaring in the clarinets, ripples and sweeps in the harp, and fine pomposity in the percussion.” [Notes by Jeanie Thomas, 1994; edited by Doug Fullington, 2017.] Founded in 1974, Pacific Northwest Ballet School is recognized as one of the top ballet training institutions in the United States. The School offers a complete, professional curriculum to more than 1,000 students. PNB School’s renowned faculty inspires young dancers through music, movement, and classical ballet technique, while striving to educate all of its students in a healthy and positive environment, and to share with them the rewards of this extraordinary art form. Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras is one of the country's oldest and largest youth orchestra programs. SYSO is committed to harnessing the power of music to help young people advance artistically but also grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. This year SYSO has gone virtual and concert videos can be viewed on their YouTube channel. Visit SYSO.org to learn more. TICKET INFORMATION Access to Spring Fling is free and available through PNB.org. (PNB season subscribers will automatically receive an email with a link to the program.) Spring Fling is viewable April 19 – May 3, 2021. Digital content can only be viewed during the allotted time period; No extensions or exceptions will be granted. For additional information, please visit PNB.org. While Spring Fling is free, donations are greatly appreciated. Over a year has passed since the pandemic closed PNB School’s in-person classes, and this disruption has been felt deeply by our students and their families. Through this challenging time, PNB School has pivoted, offering hundreds of Zoom classes; teaching in-studio classes for upper-level students in “pods”; and serving as a steadying presence in a year of upheaval. As we look to the future and begin laying out a plan to return ALL students safely to our studios, we hope everyone will consider a donation to sustain our school until we can all be together again.
  17. Congratulations to the dancers who received promotions . It's always great to see recognition.
  18. That's so timely for BA! -- just earlier today, The Travelling Ballerina posted about her interview with retired dancer Gavin Larsen, who has just written a memoir (releasing on April 27). She said,
  19. That is one thing he had in common with his son Charles, whose watercolors were used on the CD covers for reissues of a series of classical recordings.
  20. I've got it on my calendar to order it from a local bookstore as soon as it's released. (They have a tendency to ignore instructions to hold the rest of my order and ship together if I place a pre-order.)
  21. Thank you for this heads up about the book and interview. I loved Larsen's dancing, and was sad when she left PNB. I was glad I was able to see her dance a few performances with OBT.
  22. PNB posted to Facebook that the Rep 5 Coppelia, a co-production with San Francisco Ballet, would feature Leta Biasucci as Swanhilde: https://www.facebook.com/PNBallet/posts/10158594152798952 I'll post the press release, which may have more casting info, as soon as I get it. (Or, by then, the website might have more casting info.) Subscribers get digital access, and single tickets can be purchased for $39 with bonus content or $29. The PNB blog has Coppelia-specific content from prior performance years, including "Coppelia: Then and Now" from Cecilia Iliesiu, who had been one of the Dance of the Hours students when she was at SAB. If you scroll down, you'll see a photo of Leslie Rausch as Swanhilde, and, to the right, Biasucci as one of her friends, plus some retired corps members, like Jessika Anspach. https://blogpnborg.wordpress.com/tag/coppelia/
  23. Congratulations to the entire family .
  24. The update is that after two months, we're at the 60% mark, which will get us through early Fall. We really appreciate everyone who has contributed to date: we have many long-time supporters, who are the foundation of our site. We also know that everyone's circumstances are different, and that are are many, many asks for extremely good causes. But if you were planning to contribute, we'd really appreciate if you would soon, so that we can close the fundraiser for the year. Thank you!
  25. Nor was I. Unless they know that a dancer has told them he or she intends to retire, and that it's okay to go public with the news, they generally don't use the word retiring.
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