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Arizona Native

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About Arizona Native

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    balletomane, former dancer, dancer mom
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  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. Loved nearly every minute of it, and my adult daughter, who has also seen a lot of dance and other theater, did, too. We had an interesting discussion, as I would describe it ballet-influenced “modern dance,” while my much-younger daughter saw it as still “ballet.” The cinematic music, written for it, was quite wonderful and appropriately dramatic . We enjoyed the various theatrical devices employed, not commonly used in ballet (Rochester’s “horse” and his aggressive riding style, for instance, were depicted by dancers). All the acting and dancing were excellent. The evocative scen
  2. Haha! Good one, Sandik. Mere human error, this time. The program is incorrect. As Nicolc said, Clara was not in the PNB program. Though I don't doubt that many dancers would love that Hermoine Granger time device, allowing them to be in two places at once!
  3. Wonderful descriptions and review, Jack! Had hoped to go, but have ended up out of town. Looking forward to your next installment.
  4. Ballet Arizona has announced in an email today and in an April 28 Facebook post that long-time fan favorite Kenna Draxton will be retiring in June. The email states a special performance to celebrate her contributions to Ballet Arizona will be Sunday, May 14, at 1 p.m.
  5. He was beautiful. Everyone always goes on about his feet, but for me, it is is port-de-bras that knocks me out. He was having a bit of an "off" turn day, sometimes beginning a little off-kilter, and managed to make even those impressive -- pulling them together, nonetheless, without fail. Jumps, yes. Everything. The stage sometimes seemed a bit too small to contain him. PS. In the Jones review, she's a bit harsh regarding Amber Scott. That wasn't what I saw in the Friday performance. Ms. Scott was impeccable. Wonderful actress dancer who gave a smashing performance.
  6. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for tonight's performance. It is a charming, energetic, and beautiful production. David Hallberg displayed his characteristic immersion and depth, regarding character. There isn't a moment he is anything but fully present as Franz. The Australian Ballet rose fully to the challenge, showing their classical chops. The orchestra was divine. A lovely, lovely evening in one of the world's great theaters. And the best part? Seeing David Hallberg so full of joy. Wishing him all the best.
  7. Today's newspaper adds Michelle Mahwald Vagi to the list of retirees, and notes that there will be a video montage honoring Ms. Hartley and Mr. Zejnati. Ms. Vagi is a graduate of Indiana University, with a major in English, if I remember correctly. She was an especially lovely Dewdrop, with her small frame and delicate, lovely presentation. The Ballet Arizona website has not yet been updated to reflect additions.
  8. Casting link: http://balletaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BAZ0358-Balanchine-Casting-Insert-2015-4.pdf We locals are happy to see the Chelsea Teel is back with the company, after an absence of a couple years, during which she was performing as an aerialist for Cavalia. Previously known as Chelsea Wilcox, Ms. Teel originally came to Ballet Arizona from Kansas City Ballet.
  9. Ballet Arizona sent a mass email dated April 27, 2015, which states the following: Casting has been announced. All Balanchine Last chance to see your favorite retiring dancers perform at Symphony Hall. Join us to celebrate the careers of Paola Hartley, Tzu-Chia Huang, Ilir Shtylla and Astrit Zejnati. Previous emails have referrred only to Ms. Hartley and Mr. Zejnati. With regard to the discussion above -- Ballet Arizona's practice has been to present flowers and make an announcement at the bows for the dancer's final performance, which was quite upsetting to a lot of the lot of the audie
  10. Another reason to come to this performance, the last of the season -- there are dancers you will not see again, at least not with this company. Ballet Arizona has broken with tradition to officially announce that Paula Hartley and Astrit Zejanti are retiring. Often paired, they will be missed. Anyone who saw their "Sinactra Stories" would not forget it. The two have both a satisfying physical match and a strong emotional chemistry. Thoughout her career with Ballet Arizona, Ms. Hartley has been a "go-to" dancer, performing any and every part, with technique you could take for granted and energ
  11. It looks like Ballet Alert folks didn't make it to see "Napoli," which is a shame, as it was *splendid.* The company did an excellent job with the mime. Frankly, Ib Anderson's own mime choreo is reptitive, in the extreme, with slow pacing. This mime was a big improvement (except Act II, which I think was his; it had his feel, in any event; happily, there wasn't much of it, there). The production was absolutely beautiful, with lovely, colorful costumes and operatic scenery and staging. The Third act was breathtaking -- the tarentellas were relentless, fast-paced, and clean. They pulled us rig
  12. Yes, Chris Bianco has both Pizza Bianco, downtown, and Panne Bianco, further north, towards "Central Phoenix," and an easy walk from that B&B. Next door is the hipster cafe, Lux. Bianca's claim to fame is topping one of those serious "best pizza" lists. With all others on the top 10 in NYC. The sandwiches are delicious. They do a great job with fresh mozerella. The menu is quite limited, which is how its fans like it. it is a bit of the proverbial "hole in the wall," with picnic tables out front. The very best brucheta is at Postino. Especially the salmon with capers and pesto. Good q
  13. Hi Jack! Hope you'll come to Phoenix. The B&B you have selected is very well placed -- there are several restaurants pretty much right there, on Central: Postino Central, Windsor, and Joy Ride. Just south a couple blocks are several more, and there is one in each direction on Camelback: St. Francis and Southern Rail. All have nice patios, when the weather and the sun are right. Though it is near some main streets, it should be quiet enough. Traffic is already lessened, as our snowbirds fly north, Spring Training ends, and our vacations begin. The colors on the Symphony Hall selectio
  14. I'll bite, Jack! ; ) Jahna Franziskonis in "Rubies" on Friday night was uncontainable, captivating, and utterly charming. She gave us the speed and smoothness of a cheetah, managing to be both fun and sexy. Yes, we also saw a huge personality -- as befits Rubies' New York City. While such strong individuals can be lacking as partners, not so, here - she proved herself a very nice partner, relatable -- and as quoted above, she fueled him with energy. Her musicality -- love a dancer whose relationship with the music is such that I hear it more clearly, or more fully. She made the jump ro
  15. Agree! He is a luscious mover, who also does well in more contemporary pieces. He was gorgeous in "Off Screen" in the spring. He also has a great flair for comedy. So glad he perservered.
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