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Posts posted by dirac

  1. I agree largely with what nanushka and vipa said. I'm not a New Yorker so the pandemic has afforded me the opportunity to see more of NYCB's current crop of dancers than I ever could under normal circumstances and I'm intensely grateful for that, but if I were a subscriber, this movie would only make me hungrier for the real thing onstage.

    Did not care for Bouder in Duo Concertant. Tiler Peck was great, but that has been true every time I have seen her.

  2. And not out.....


    W.W. Norton is taking out of print the polarizing “Philip Roth: The Biography” and the 2014 memoir “The Splendid Things We Planned,” both by Blake Bailey, after recent allegations of sexual misconduct against the writer.

    The allegations.

    The book is still available on Amazon and around the web and I assume at local libraries, unless they pull their copies. If you're interested in Roth you should read it and probably have a copy around for reference.

    I agree with most of what is written by Laura Marsh in The New Republic here. This review was written before the allegations surfaced and stood out from the encomiums the book was getting in other quarters.

  3. San Francisco Ballet announces the lineup for Helgi Tomasson's farewell season.



    Tomasson’s “Harmony,” choreographed during the COVID-19 shutdown, is one of four in-person world premieres scheduled for the season, along with Cathy Marston’s “Mrs. Robinson” — a dance take on “The Graduate” — and new works by Christopher Wheeldon and Dwight Rhoden.


  4. An obituary by Jocelyn Noveck for Associated Press.


    Watching a reunion performance by some of his most enthusiastic young dancers one weekend day in March 2018, d’Amboise could not hide his excitement. “Fantastic!” he called out frequently. “Wow!” Upstairs in his office, stuffed with career artifacts including shelves full of fading journals lovingly preserved, he described his love for dance. He took his interviewer’s arm to demonstrate how a very slight difference in movement could express a completely different thought or feeling.


  5. A review of Sarasota Ballet.


    Danielle Brown and Ricardo Graziano dance the pas deux with romantic grace but without the fervour of a performance for a responsive audience. Though they indicate with apprehensive glances that something ominous is about to happen, they can’t foresee the melodrama of the conclusion. Tall Richard House, bald headed and bare bodied beneath his voluminous cloak (apart from an eye-catching loincloth) is revealed, standing on a set of stairs. He enfolds the lovers in his white cloak, exposing each in turn as they huddle beneath his arms. They tumble headfirst down the steps, lying still with their legs neatly crossed over each other’s, poignantly reaching hands just touching in death. Without the context of a bravura gala, the piece feels preposterous.


  6. An appreciation of Jacques d'Amboise by Robert Nott in The Santa Fe New Mexican.


    Ever exuberant and enthusiastic in both his performances and in life, d’Amboise left his dance footprints on New Mexico when he co-founded NDI New Mexico, headquartered in Santa Fe, in 1994.

    “He was the Pied Piper of dance in New Mexico,” said longtime Santa Fean and former real estate agent Pat French, who first introduced d’Amboise to former Acequia Madre Elementary School Principal Leslie Carpenter around 1990.

    A remembrance by Martha Ullman West for Oregon ArtsWatch.


    Bolender loved him, too, told me lots of stories about him in our interviews and conversations, and that’s the reason d’Amboise had been asked to officiate, so to speak, at Bolender’s memorial – performed, and I mean performed, before a packed house at the Lyric Theater where KCB was in the middle of a run of the Nutcracker. D’Amboise’s tribute to Bolender was spoken, and danced, as he moved around the stage, rapping in every sense of the word about his friend.

    An appreciation by Peter Tonguette for The Washington Examiner.


    His mother was not wrong: In the spirit of old-time movie stars whose given names are junked for those that better suited their personas, Georgiana surely recognized that rechristening her son would lend him an enviable exoticism. Yet, for his admirers, part of the fascination was that d’Amboise’s regal moniker didn’t quite match his personality: Perhaps owing to his background as a Staten Islander, there was something scrappy and streetwise about d’Amboise’s stage presence that made his elegant line and immaculate technique all the more surprising, an authentically American admixture of toughness and artistry.


  7. A review of the new short movie made for New York City Ballet's gala by Lyndsey Winship in The Guardian.


    Throughout, Coppola’s presence is not intrusive, the arc is effective, the feel is intimate, and it’s brief enough at 25 minutes to absolutely leave you wanting more.

    Gia Kourlas in The New York Times


    Sofia Coppola doesn’t come from the dance world. Does it matter? Her films have always had an understated choreographic elegance — a dreamy pacing that can make a pause feel like a musical note or crystallize an everyday gesture into a sensation. She pays attention to the in-between moments. Even though her films aren’t about dance, that’s exactly what they do: They dance.

    A look at the movie.


    Reteaming with Philippe Le Sourd, cinematographer of her last two films, the film was shot on location at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center and features a look at five new works.


  8. An excerpt from a new book, Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers Is Saving Ballet from Itself by Chloe Angyal.


    This bias adds yet another obstacle to the already hard road for aspiring women choreographers, even those who enjoy advantages Schreier did not. Even for white women who belong, or have belonged, to ballet companies, there are structural barriers to entry. The first will be unsurprising by now, given all we’ve learned about how girls and women are valued and trained in ballet. Choreography requires creativity; ballet teaches girls the importance of conformity. Choreographing requires finding and using your voice; ballet rewards girls and women for silence. Choreography is a form of leadership; ballet punishes girls and women who aren’t obedient. From their earliest days, girls in ballet learn that what is valuable about them is not their mind or their creative spirit but their body and their ability to follow instructions.


  9. Obituaries for and appreciations of Jacques d'Amboise.

    An appreciation by Gia Kourlas in The New York Times.


    The New York City Ballet legend, who went on to form National Dance Institute, lived to the fullest — and danced with that same spirit.



    We take a moment to look back at the career of dancer Jacques d’Amboise, who died Sunday at age 86 in his Manhattan home following complications from a stroke. His work with the New York City Ballet, on film and in public schools, brought dance to new heights.

    Times Square Chronicles


    In the early ’80s he decided to end his dance career. “I was almost 50, there were only a few roles left that I could do. I was waiting to go onstage, and I suddenly thought, I don’t want to go on. I danced, came off, took off my ballet shoes and quit.”


  10. Q&A with Sofia Coppola and Justin Peck about the movie directed by Coppola for New York City Ballet.


    How much homework did you feel you needed to do to understand each dance piece?

    I actually didn’t want to prepare too much, because I wanted to approach the dance in a fresh way. But Jon, Wendy and Justin all talked to me about the history of each piece — when they were made and what the choreographers might have been thinking. I also learned a lot about Robbins from Jean-Pierre Frohlich, and what certain gestures meant in the “Dances” solo. I wanted to try to give each piece a different visual personality, and we found that together I think.


  11. Jacques d'Amboise has died at age 86.


    He helped popularize ballet with an all-American style, combining the nonchalance of Fred Astaire with the nobility of a classic male dancer. Hollywood came calling, too.



    Throughout his career, d'Amboise partnered some of the leading female dancers of his generation, including Suzanne Farrell, Diana Adams, Tanaquil Le Clercqand Allegra Kent. And though d'Amboise choreographed works for the New York City Ballet, it was as a performer that he most enticed audiences with his bravura and raw virtuosity.

    The Hollywood Reporter


    He also participated in a steamy duet in another Fox musical released in 1956, Michael Curtiz’s The Best Things in Life Are Free, and was dazzling on episodes of NBC’s The Bell Telephone Hour dance specials — one of the first TV series to air exclusively in color — throughout the ’60s.


  12. An obituary for Nancy Lassalle.


    In 1941 she studied at George Balanchine’s fledgling dance academy. She was not destined to be a ballerina, but she dedicated her life to Balanchine’s legacy.


  13. An interview with Phil Chan and Georgina Pazcoguin about their festival celebrating Asian choreographers and dancers.


    Last year, they decided to take matters into their own hands. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2020, they started a “What’s the Tea?” series, recording a conversation every day with an Asian dancer. And this year’s 10,000 Dreams Virtual Choreography Festival aims not just to highlight Asian choreographers and artists but also to tell dance companies: Hey, we’re here, hire us.


  14. An introduction to Tchaikovsky.


    Much of the disfavour faced by Tchaikovsky among critics could be reduced to their perception of his work as not sufficiently or authentically ‘Russian’. The composer’s sound and style were, and in many ways still are, regarded as bearing a distinctively Western hallmark. Indeed, Tchaikovsky worked almost exclusively in European forms and frameworks, such as those of ballet and opera. At a time of heightened and pervasive nationalist sentiment in the Russian Empire, the composer’s alignment with western modes aroused some degree of controversy......


  15. A review of Australian Ballet by Virginia Balfour for Performing ArtsHub.


    The three works begin with the classical romantic exuberance of the third act wedding of Raymonda, choreographed by Marius Petipa and staged by Hallberg. First performed in 1898 in St Petersburg, the wedding scene is perhaps the most famous part of the ballet. It fuses Hungarian folk dance with classical ballet in a technically challenging piece. The Australian Ballet first performed the piece in London with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in the leads, but the piece has not been seen in Australia in a generation.


  16. Ballet Edmonton presents "Persistence of Memory."


    But Wang and the nine-person dance troupe, yes, persisted. Over time, wearing masks throughout the process, the group was able to bring more dancers into the studio. They finished taping just before the latest round of restrictions was enacted in April. While the team had planned to record the final performance in the Westbury theatre with appropriate lighting, they ended up having to stay at the Ruth Carse Centre for Dance, Ballet Edmonton’s home, with bare-bones production elements.


  17.  Houston Ballet announces the lineup for its 2021-22 season.


    It's a lineup that blends new choreography (one ballet by Principal dancer Melody Mennite, the other by Principal dancer Connor Walsh) with the tried and true (Madame Butterfly, Sylvia and, of course, The Nutcracker) Houston Ballet is aiming to engage audience members with a certain member of comfort.


  18. A review of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in "The Magic Flute" by Holly Harris in The Winnipeg Free Press.


    Godden’s always wonderfully inventive choreography (with this 2021 version of "Flute" magically re-worked via Zoom from his Montreal home) is always packed with humour and this show is no exception. Imaginative props/sets including a Polaroid camera and TV set, as well as playful tickling fights and a final surprise – no spoiler alerts here – add both texture and levity throughout.


  19. An interview with Debbie Gayle, whose experience as a ballet student in the Soviet Union is explored in a new podcast.


    In 1974, when Debbie was 17, the British Council announced a scholarship for one British ballet student to study there for a year. It was the first scholarship of its kind, an experiment to see if this cultural exchange could promote understanding and ease tension between the two nations. Debbie had been training for six hours a day under legendary teacher Anna Northcote when she won the scholarship and jumped at the chance.


  20. American Ballet Theatre returns to Orange County.


    “When I think of American Ballet Theatre, I think of perfected technique and pristine work ethic at its finest. I used that as the core of this ballet and branched off into what I thought each dancer might want to do but might not often get the chance to execute,” Lovette said. “What resulted is a very classical ballet that folds itself inside out and shows equal parts conforming and resisting the structure of polished classical ballet.” 


  21. Victor Glemaud talks about his costume designs for Lauren Lovette's new ballet.


    Glemaud and Lovette decided the outfits should have bold colors and a modern silhouette. “To ideate, we hung up framed artwork throughout my live/work space,” he explains. This led them to focus on one specific piece of art “which featured these beautiful jewel tones.”


  22. David McAllister receives the  Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award.


    He told Deborah Knight the award caught him off-guard.

    “I was going along just to have a lunch, I thought … but they had a few surprises up their sleeves.


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