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dirac

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Posts posted by dirac

  1. An op-ed in The Arkansas Democrat Gazette on  choreography and copyrights.

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    However, little came of Ismail and Hunter’s efforts. More attempts would follow. In 1963, performer Faith Dane sued M&H Company for royalties for her choreography in “Gypsy” and lost. In the 1950s and 1960s, choreographer Agnes de Mille advocated for copyrights specific to choreography because she got very limited royalties for her work on the hit musical “Oklahoma!” It wasn’t until 1976 that copyright protection was updated to specifically include choreographic works.

    But this hasn’t exactly led to a windfall of royalties for choreographers.

     

  2. A review of Megan Abbott's new ballet-themed novel, "The Turnout," by Suzanne Berne in The Washington Post.

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    There’s her brother-in-law, the pallidly handsome Charlie, an injured ex-dancer — who was once the Nutcracker Prince — and her mother’s former protege, for whom Marie has problematic feelings. But after a fire at the school necessitates repairs on one studio, a new romantic interest leaps onstage: The huge, smarmy Derek, a fast-talking contractor who persuades Charlie, the Durants’ business manager, to agree to a major and expensive renovation. Derek is repulsively fascinating, with his power tools, “his too-tight dress shirts, his dual phones, his throbbing beeper,” and obviously a rat. Marie is smitten.

     

  3. Q&A with Martha Ullman West about her new book, “Todd Bolender, Janet Reed, and the Making of American Ballet.”

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    Q: Why focus specifically on Todd Bolender and Janet Reed?

    A: Years ago, I wrote some essays about what makes ballet American, dance American, for The Chronicle of Higher Education Review and the Library of Congress’ exhibition of 100 treasures of American dance and concluded that it was primarily American dancers -- their fearlessness, athleticism, willingness to try anything and their work ethic -- who made ballet American, as well as Willam Christensen, who founded that early Portland company, his brother Lew, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Eugene Loring, Agnes de Mille, Catherine Littlefield and several other choreographers. Reed and Bolender originated roles in the work of all of them.

     

  4. Q&A with Emily Coates.

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    With a background in dance, followed by writing and speaking, how did you make the transition into film, and what was that transition like?

    EC: I started out dancing professionally at 15, and eventually needed to begin making my own work and finding my own voice to augment my presence as a mover and performer. Writing was key to this transition for me. I’ve taught a ‘dance on film’ course for many years that looks at their intersection from the late 19th through the 20th century, and it was time to jump in myself.

     

  5. Quote

    Well I must admit that there is a lot of coarseness and language.  I assume it is a generational thing.

    Oh, certainly not, ECat! Some of our elders would make Pazcoguin sound like Jane Austen. Not to take the thread down the side alley of Profanity Through the Ages, but to take only one example, there is reason to believe that the now almost universal use of the F-word as an intensifier and otherwise was first made commonplace by American GIs in World War II, who had a lot to be intense about (another favorite was "chickensh--;" the men had many good reasons to employ that one, too). I would expect there's a lot of it in the ballet world as well). These uses could be rather ingenious and funny.

     All I can tell you is that the swearwords and hyper-colloquial style did not work for me in this excerpt and made it a slog.  I just hope I get a few breaks from it in the book.

  6. An interview with Georgina Pazcoguin.

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    The Altoona, Pa., native — the daughter of an ER surgeon and a housewife — raises the curtain on her booze-soaked nights at an Upper West Side dive bar and hangover-induced spills. She exposes the male colleague who thought nothing of ­casually tweaking her nipples and admits to regrets over an affair she had with Candace Bushnell’s then-husband-dancer, Charles Askegard, that ended up on Page Six. (Pazcoguin doesn’t name him in the book.)

     

  7. A review of the National Ballet of Japan by  for Bachtrack.

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    The Tokyo Olympics opened last week, but the opening ceremony was lacklustre, without a spectacle or coherent concept, failing to deliver a message amid the pandemic. Many in the audience of Ryuuguu: The Turtle Princess at the National Ballet of Japan that opened the following day thought that this charming ballet could have been a great replacement for that Olympic opening ceremony.

     

  8. A review of the Royal Ballet by Graham Watts for Bachtrack.

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    Zucchetti created a joyous brief ballet entitled Scherzo, last autumn, and Anemoi is a further development of that choreography, inspired by ideas from Greek mythology where Anemoi gods ruled over the winds. It is a plotless, elegant, airy ballet with waves of charming classical dance visually interpreting a bespoke arrangement of Rachmaninov's music, bringing together the second movements of his first two symphonies and an orchestrated version of his six-handed piano Romance. To my knowledge this rich tapestry of luscious music is mostly new to choreographic use and it provides both sentimental, swirling love themes (for two pas de deux) and ominous, stormy interludes, which perfectly represented the Anemoi’s mischief. Zucchetti’s sophisticated, graceful choreography was captivatingly performed by a group of fifteen young dancers, showcasing the strength that the company has at every level. It was touchingly dedicated to the memory of Zucchetti’s late friend and mentor, Liam Scarlett.    

     

  9. A WBUR story on the charges filed against Mitchell Taylor Button, Dusty Button's husband.

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    One of the plaintiffs, Sage Humphries, is currently a dancer with the Boston Ballet. In 2017, she was a member of Boston Ballet II, the company’s apprenticeship program. The suit says that Dusty Button, then a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, lured Humphries into an increasingly abusive and controlling relationship with herself and her husband. According to the suit, Mitchell Taylor Button sexually assaulted Humphries on a regular basis over the course of some months and performed violent sex acts on her without her consent. It says that on several occasions, Dusty Button held Humphries down while her husband sexually assaulted the young dancer. The lawsuit also accuses Mitchell Taylor Button of verbal and physical abuse.

     

  10. Dusty Button's husband Mitchell is accused of sexual assault.

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    Mitchell Taylor Button was accused of abuse, and his wife, Dusty Button, a dancer with a large Instagram following, was accused of participating in some of it but not named as a defendant.

     

  11. Ballet book recommendations from Moira Macdonald for The Seattle Times.

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    In contrast, Gavin Larsen’s eloquent memoir “Being a Ballerina: The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life” (University Press of Florida, $26.95) focuses almost entirely on the details of dance: what those first morning stretches feel like in a dancer’s body, or what it’s like for a young dancer to fall onstage, because she’s “testing the limits she didn’t yet know were there.” Larsen’s ballet career included training at New York’s School of American Ballet, seven years in the corps of Pacific Northwest Ballet in the 1990s and seven years as a principal at Oregon Ballet Theatre until her retirement in 2010. It’s as if she spent those years meticulously recording every sensation; her book, written many years after her dance career, flows beautifully, like a writerly equivalent of muscle memory.

     

  12. The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School prepares a live performance.

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    Washington Ballet principal dancers Ariel Martinez and Gian Carlo Perez and Ballet San Antonio’s Emma Town will be guest artists in the program, which will feature excerpts from well-known Russian ballet classics and original contemporary works by the school’s choreographer, Tania Vergara.

     

  13. Richmond Ballet announces its 2021-22 season.

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    The season’s Studio Series will explore works from the Ballet’s repertory, including Ben Stevenson’s “Three Preludes,” Colin Connor’s “Vestiges,” George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brilliante” and Stoner Winslett’s “Echoing Past.” The Studio Series will also feature world premieres by associate artistic director Ma Cong and former Richmond Ballet dancer Tom Mattingly in the fall.

     

  14. Baton Rouge Theatre announces its 2021-22 season schedule.

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    On Dec. 18-19, "The Nutcracker — A Tale from the Bayou" returns, with four performances in the River Center Theatre. The company once again will be joined by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for the performances at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day in the River Center Theatre.

     

  15. A review of the Royal's mixed program by Sarah Crompton in The Guardian.

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    Next were a series of pas de deux from the company’s past: the dancing of Yasmine Naghdi and Joseph Sissens made an unexpected highlight of Wayne McGregor’s Morgen, as they found striking new inflections in its longing for a better world. The third act of The Sleeping Beauty, the Royal Ballet’s signature piece, became a rich showcase for the deep classical understanding of Marianela Nuñez, a princess in her kingdom, her smile as broad as the stage.

     

  16. A piece on American Ballet Theatre's bus tour by Brian Seibert in The New York Times.

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    The crazy idea had a further rationale. “A.B.T. started as a touring company,” McKenzie said, “but the current dancers don’t know what that was like” — the day after day sense of mission, building a fan base for ballet.

    On the presenter side, interest was high. Lansky contacted 100 cities. Most, he said, were “over-the-moon excited to plan something after a year of nothing.” But as the logistical difficulties became apparent — finding a site, arranging power, permits, bathrooms — interest diminished.

     

  17. A review of the Royal Ballet School's summer performance by Jann Parry for DanceTabs.

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    The BalletBoyz, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, had filmed the White Lodgers back at school, delightfully introduced by a pupil from each year’s class. They range in age from 11-16; the Upper School in Covent Garden is for 16-19 year olds. (Trevitt’s son Elijah is one of the 3rd year graduates, with a contract from The Australian Ballet.) A glimpse at the start of the film of the youngsters at home on their practice mats, taking class by Zoom, was a reminder of how unusual lockdown has been for dancers of all ages.
     

     

  18. A review of the Royal Ballet by Jann Parry for DanceTabs.

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    The new title refers to the four gods of the winds in Greek mythology, bringing the changes of the seasons. Perhaps the sprightliest of the young men, Daichi Ikarashi, is Zephyrus, herald of spring. His buoyant solos are seen off by a phalanx of young women who take over the stage as he retreats into the wings. Leticia Dias is their tempestuous leader, a force in her own right. Outstanding among the men are tall Leo Dixon and Lukas Bjørneboe Braendsrød, who both partner Mariko Sasaki as the principal woman. By the final section, the speedily alternating duets, solos and ensembles have resolved into an extended pas de deux for Sasaki and Braendsrød with extravagant lifts to soaring violins. Silhouetted at the rear are six couples, the women held across the men’s bodies, limbs bent like scorpions’ pincers: memorable, if bizarre.

     

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