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Posts posted by dirac

  1. 2 hours ago, jerryb said:

    I agree.

    I refer to After the Rain as a "Pretzel" ballet or "How many ways can I twist Wendy Whalen?"  I wish NYB would drop it.

    Maybe the cast and occasion make a difference? Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith danced the pas at his farewell performance and it was lovely to see on every level.

  2. Hi, all. It’s Halloween and scary movie/TV series time again. Tel us what you're watching!

    Last night I saw “It’s Alive” from 1974 on TCM. Briefly, something goes seriously wrong in the delivery room when Frank and Lenore Davis are having their second child and soon a killer newborn is terrorizing Los Angeles. Anxiety and fears about childbirth, sexuality, and science are not new to the horror genre and they all get a workout here. The movie is very watchable despite the cheesy dialogue and amusingly stilted acting from the supporting cast. Distinctive score from Bernard Herrmann.  The movie has an open ending and there were two sequels. 

    Has anyone else seen it? Any opinions on the denouement?

  3. A review of the Royal Ballet by Lyndsey Winship in The Guardian.


    Despite Romeo and Juliet being one of the Royal Ballet’s most performed works, this production, especially opening night, feels fresh and full of new detail. Everywhere you look in the crowd scenes there are a hundred tiny plots going on and the supporting casts are fantastic across the board: Matthew Ball’s Tybalt, itching for a fight and fiercely clashing swords with Corrales; Nathalie Harrison’s Lady Capulet giving a desperate show of grief after Tybalt’s death; Luca Acri an impertinent Mercutio set at high speed; and when Marcelino Sambé takes the same role, his decisive dancing is such a whirlwind it almost blows the corps de ballet out of his way.


  4. 17 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:

    To me, It seems like oversimplification to assume Lovette is talking about a particular person or administration prompting her retirement from NYCB. In her conversations with Megan Fairchild and on IG, Lovette often talked about trying to find her own path, not judging herself, finding and nurturing her own mode of expression. She's also talked about how she has struggled with body image, perfectionism and the idea that she has to be super skinny and flat chested to perform. The artistic pursuits may not easily align with a large ballet company with its own artistic mission, and the other issues abound in the ballet world in general. Also, if she wants to choreograph more, NYCB has too many performances for her to easily do that without running herself ragged. She talked about treasuring the time she spent improvising in her studio in NJ during the pandemic. I think she must have realized how much that could sustain her artistically. I can't wait to see what she does next. She put together an evening of her own work this July, Why it Matters, with sponsorship from Chanel. She has a non-profit. Maybe she'll start her own company.

    It's not an oversimplication with regard to what she wrote on the Instagram post, IMO. 


    I am ready to be challenged in fresh ways in a place I feel more valued as an artist and inspired as a ballerina. 

    Straightforward enough in my view. Of course it doesn't mean that it's her sole reason for leaving.

  5. A Soviet ballet photo gallery.


    And yet, the Soviet public simply adored ballet, shedding countless tears over that same Swan Lake. Audiences were dazzled by the spectacular scenery, the flamboyant costumes and, of course, the inimitable artistry. Ballet was also one of the country’s main exports, a kind of calling card of the 'Land of the Soviets'. It was mostly ballet companies that toured on the other side of the Iron Curtain — partly for language reasons, but mainly for their sheer brilliance. At the same time, opera and ballet theaters sprang up all across the USSR.


  6. An interview with Georgina Pazcoguin.


    Asked whether she is worried that the book could blow up her career, she shakes her head emphatically. “I have always been an outsider, accepted but not really accepted because of my multicultural identity and the fact that I am an outspoken individual. I have always asked questions, and I can see, for an institution that just wants dancers to be silent and do what they’re told, how that can become really problematic. I feel like the potential to torpedo my career was always there.”


  7. Promotions and departures at New York City Ballet.


    The young dancers will help to fill the void left by a group of departing veteran principals. Six is an unusually large number of retirements for one year. Three of the retiring dancers — Maria Kowroski, Gonzalo Garcia and Ask la Cour — intended to leave in the 2020-21 season, but because it was canceled, they decided to stay on for a farewell season.


  8. Margot Fonteyn's country house is up for sale.



    Fonteyn, who died in 1991 at the age of 71, was a prima ballerina assoluta—a now rarely used title awarded to the most renowned female ballet dancers—with the Royal Ballet during the 1950s and ’60s. It was during that time that the five-bedroom home was reportedly Fonteyn’s country retreat and it remained in her family until 1999. 


  9. Gia Kourlas interviews three New York City Ballet dancers about their experiences during the pandemic and the return to performance.


    To get a better understanding of what this strange time has been like, I checked in with three City Ballet dancers — a member of the corps de ballet, a soloist and a principal — to track their experiences, both in life and in ballet as they made their way to opening night, scheduled for Sept. 21.


  10. On 10/8/2021 at 6:39 PM, Quiggin said:

    Both Louise Fishman and Joan Mitchell were represented by Robert Miller Gallery and later followed John Cheim to Cheim & Read. Some very nice catalogues on their works are available to page through online here –



    Poem Read at Joan Mitchell's

    I hope there will be more

    more drives to Bear mountain and searches for hamburgers,

    more evenings avoiding the latest Japanese movies and watching

    Helen Vinson and Warner Baxter in Vogues of 1938 instead,

    more discussions in lobbies of the respective greatnesses of

    Diana Adams and Allegra Kent,

    more sunburns and more half-mile swims in which Joe beats me

    as Jane [Freilicher] watches, lotion-covered and sleepy, more arguments over

    Faulkner's inferiority to Tolstoy while sand gets into my bathing

    trunks ...

    I know it's a longish poem, but how could you leave this out?



    dreary February of the exhaustion from parties and the exceptional de-

                    sire for spring which the ballet alone, by extending its run,

                    has made bearable, dear New York City Ballet company, you are

                    quite a bit like a wedding yourself!


    I loved that Stanley Whitney clip. "A bad day is a good day." Wonderful.

  11. A review of New York City Ballet's gala by Leigh Witchel for dancelog.nyc.


    The dancers entered, embraced and ran away, which typified the ideas that were on the stage without being filled in. Miller knows what an NYCB unison finale looks like, and she delivered her version. She nailed the structure, but not the kinetic content; the vocabulary she used posed more than it flowed. Mearns and Stanley embraced one last time, and blackout. A lot happened, yet not much. Miller didn’t do what she does best, but she also didn’t manage to do what the company does best. We ended up with neither.


  12. 1 hour ago, Quiggin said:

    Another cohort that might be of interest are the "women of Ninth Street" – Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Elaine de Kooning (who also wrote about ballet), Lee Krasner and Grace Hartigan – all of whom held their own at the "Club" of Abstract-Expressionists of the 1950s. Frankenthaler's complex woodcuts are currently on view at the Dulwich gallery in London and a large (underlit) Joan Mitchell show is on display here in San Francisco, after which it will move onto Baltimore and Paris.

    Ninth Street Women


    Frankenthaler at Dulwich –


    Nice talk on Mitchell's work at SF MOMA by Stanley Whitney –


    Definitely. All formidable women.

    I have been meaning to get to the Mitchell show.....

    Christmas Card to Grace Hartigan

    There’s no holly, but there is

    the glass and granite towers

    and the white stone lions

    and the pale violet clouds. And

    the great tree of balls in

    Rockefeller Plaza is public.


    Christmas is green and general

    like all great works of the

    imagination, swelling from minute

    private sentiments in the desert,

    a wreath around our intimacy

    like children’s voices in a park.


    For red there is our blood

    which, like your smile, must be

    protected from spilling into

    generality by secret meanings,

    the lipstick of life hidden

    in a handbag against violations.


    Christmas is the time of cold air

    and loud parties and big expense,

    but in our hearts flames flicker

    answeringly, as on old-fashioned

    trees. I would rather the house

    burn down than our flames go out.

  13. What a great idea for a topic, Tom47. Here is a piece on Artemisia Gentileschi, who didn't make the cut for Janson, apparently.


    Artemisia’s life story has inspired more than one fictional reimagining, beginning in 1947, with a work by Anna Banti—the pen name of the Italian novelist and critic Lucia Lopresti, who was married to Roberto Longhi. (Susan Sontag, in an admiring essay from 2004, wrote that Banti’s protagonist is “liberated by disgrace.”) A 1997 film, by the French director Agnès Merlet, made the questionable suggestion that Tassi was a partially welcome seducer. Five years later, the American writer Susan Vreeland published a novel that hewed to the feminist line of Artemisia’s rape as a defining trauma. (“I stepped up two steps and took my usual seat opposite Agostino Tassi, my father’s friend and collaborator. My rapist. . . . His black hair and beard were overgrown and wild. His face, more handsome than he deserved, had the color and hardness of a bronze sculpture.”) Joy McCullough’s 2018 novel, “Blood Water Paint,” captured Artemisia’s perspective in charged language:


  14. A review of "Ida Rubinstein: the Final Act" by Jann Parry for DanceTabs.


    Bronislava gets no mention in Holder’s play, and nor does Frederick Ashton, who joined the company in 1928-9. Maurice Ravel puts in an appearance, portrayed by Darren Berry playing Boléro (called Fandango when it was commissioned) on Madame’s piano. Were eminent composers and artists in thrall to her or her money? She took the lead in every production until 1934, ‘hauling herself up on pointe’ well into her 40s, according to Ashton. Ravel and Stravinsky had to confine their comments to praising the beauty of Madame’s gestures. The company was known to dancers as La Compagnie des répétitions de Mme Ida Rubinstein – the Company of Rehearsals – because they spent more time preparing than performing. Ida suffered from her nerves, a narcissist fearful of criticism.


  15.   A review of English National Ballet in "Creature" by David Jays in The Sunday Times.


    David Jays is annoyed at puzzling over plot points when so much invited total immersion

    Bruce Marriott reviews "Creature" for DanceTabs.


    If you like dance as cryptic crossword or enjoy PhD analysis of what is happening on stage, there may be something in Creature for you. Alternatively, you might take the view that the creative team just lost the plot and didn’t really think about the audience, most of whom are out for a night of entertainment.


  16.  A review of English National Ballet by Sarah Crompton in The Guardian.


    Something, however, has gone wrong with Creature, his third work for English National Ballet, much anticipated ever since its postponed premiere in April 2020. Perhaps that delay didn’t help its development: certainly, it has morphed from being a version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to mashing up aspects of that story with Georg Büchner’s play Woyzeck and then liberally sprinkling the result with apocalyptic concerns about climate change and the future of the planet. Billionaires and the space race are in there somewhere as well.


  17. A recent book tells the story of ballet dancer Nina Anisimova.


    Published in August 2021 by Elliott & Thompson, Dancing for Stalin, a book by Soviet cultural politics and Russian ballet historian Christina Ezrahi, is now shedding light on this neglected facet of Anisimova’s life. It charts the dancer’s life from her bright debut at the age of 17 with the prestigious Leningrad Kirov Ballet ensemble, to her sudden fall from grace and subsequent exile. It also recounts the horrors that Anisimova witnessed at Karlag, and how the dancer was only able to survive thanks to the performances she organised for prison guards. It also recounts how the ballerina’s husband fought for her release from Leningrad, mobilising previous colleagues to testify in her favour.


  18. A review of Georgina Pazcoguin's "Swan Dive" by Daisy Goodwin in The Sunday Times.


    After all, at that time of long skirts, the ballet was one of the few places where the Victorian gent could see a girl’s legs. Even operas at the time would often have a ballet halfway through to keep the male punters happy. Ballet may be the dream of little girls, but it has always been made under the male gaze. And while the stage-door johnnies of Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec’s world no longer linger outside the theatre, as Georgina Pazcoguin’s memoir Swan Dive reveals, a ballet company is still a place where women (and men) are objectified.


  19. Melanie Hamrick shares some family snaps featuring inamorata Mick Jagger and her son.


    The youngster has seven elder half-siblings from his father's side, including 22-year-old Lucas, who commented on Hamrick's post with: "The homie." (Lucas is Jagger's son with Brazilian television host Luciana Gimenez.)


  20. A house that once belonged to Margot Fonteyn is up for sale.


    As a retreat from her life on stage at Covent Garden, she headed to the Thames-side village of Taplow in Buckinghamshire. This is where her family had bought a fifteenth century former coach house called Amerden Bank.


  21. Dex Honea and Kate Walsh Honea take the reins at Colorado Ballet Society.


    “I think we [CBS] have a lot to offer. I want to grow not just our school but the entire art community here,” says Dex. “We want to be a household name — for at least Colorado Springs and [eventually] the state of Colorado.” 



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