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casloan

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  1. Hi, Perfect Performer. I'm so happy to hear that you have been doing liturgical dance (on very high demi-pointe and for the September 11th commemoration). The day before yesterday, our Sacred Dance Guild chapter (based in Chicago) did a gathering to share dances. There were nine. I was delighted at how good the dancing and the choreography were overall (and, believe me, I'm highly critical). Please keep on dancing in church -- we need really good dancers like you to do so. Claudia
  2. I, too, saw it near the end of its Chicago "pre-Broadway" run, and I loved it. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to see it again.
  3. Here in Chicago, the Lyric Opera has been more than sold out for many years (they re-sell tickets that subscribers turn back). The opera audience is now very diverse in age and dress, compared to the way it was 20 years ago or more. There is often a real excitement in the house as a new work is offered or a standard is given a new staging (such as the current, intriguing "Pagliacci"). The same cannot be said for ballet audiences here. Compared to the opera, I've noticed a decided greying (although no audience is as elderly as the symphony's). And, I am sad to say, there are often too many empty seats. Of course, until the past few years, Chicago has never had a resident ballet company that was really worthy of the name. The Joffrey certainly has been a wonderful and sorely needed addition to Chicago's cultural life. I hope to see its audience increase (and my husband and I do our part by bringing a large group of students to a Joffrey performance each year).
  4. I especially enjoy reading mysteries that take place in cities I know and love. I recently finished two by James Lantigua, "Player's Vendetta" and "The Ultimate Havana." They're set in Little Havana, an area with which I'm very familiar because we spend a week in Miami every December. Another mystery I read this summer was Jane Dentiger's "Murder on Cue," which features backstage intrigue at a Broadway production and is often deliciously witty. I've started reading my first Martha Grimes, "I Am the Only Running Footman." So far, so good. I've just read "Tempest-Tost" by the well-known Canadian author Robertson Davies. It's about an amateur theatrical production of "The Tempest" being performed in a garden. It's hilarious. We had seen a delightful, dramatized version of it last year at the Stratford Festival. And, for something completely different, I've been working my way slowly through the fascinating but dense "Constantine's Sword" by James Carroll, which, of course, is about the history of the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jews. It's a good thing this thread is about SUMMER reading. I'm a teacher, and now that summer is over (alas), I won't have much time for reading (sigh).
  5. This is the response I just received from Ms. Miller to my e-mail letter of protest (which was along the lines of others already present on this thread): Dear Ms. Sloan, Despite what you have heard going around the dance world, we are not discontinuing our dance coverage. It's true that we did decide not to renew Tobi Tobias's contract. We felt it was time for a change. But we will be looking for a new voice, and in the meantime will make sure the bases are covered in previews, listings and features by other writers. Like all magazines-and all arts organizations-we're facing a tighter budget, and must husband our resources carefully. But we are not abandoning the dance community or any other of the arts communities in New York. Caroline Miller
  6. This is the response I just received from Ms. Miller to my e-mail letter of protest (which was along the lines of others already present on this thread): Dear Ms. Sloan, Despite what you have heard going around the dance world, we are not discontinuing our dance coverage. It's true that we did decide not to renew Tobi Tobias's contract. We felt it was time for a change. But we will be looking for a new voice, and in the meantime will make sure the bases are covered in previews, listings and features by other writers. Like all magazines-and all arts organizations-we're facing a tighter budget, and must husband our resources carefully. But we are not abandoning the dance community or any other of the arts communities in New York. Caroline Miller
  7. I'd love to play, but this will take a while to ponder. Meanwhile, I really enjoyed your list, Ms. Leigh. Was the third Feld work "Intermezzo"? It's one of my favorites in the piano ballet repertoire, and one of his best works, I think. Claudia
  8. I also thank kfw for the clarification. Although I live in the midst of everything from fundamentalism to evangelicals and beyond, I am not that sensitive to the nuances, since I am not a part of any of them. Recently, a Roman Catholic referred to my (Episcopal) church as a Methodist church. Clearly, she suffered from the same problem as I. Like Farrell Fan, I can also assert that some of my friends are Wheaton College graduates. I can add that for many years I have subscribed to and supported their Artist Series, which brings in world-class artists such as Kathleen Battle. Re Arpino's Trinity: It's a product of its time, in part. Nonetheless, in recent revival, the audience and I still loved the joyous dancing (I would add, however, that the last few minutes of candle-placing are far less effective now than they were long ago). Claudia
  9. Thanks for the link to the Rose website. I've just used it to send my own positive feedback. I had not seen the heads-up at the beginning of this thread; I simply was fortunate enough to stumble upon the interview while channel surfing on the satellite late at night. In the Baryshnikov years, Jaffe was not among my favorites, but later, as she matured, she became one. I, too, found it delightful to see her on the program -- she was interesting to listen to and very articulate. I will miss her.
  10. Milwaukee Ballet did it this year, too. But, alas, I did not see it (it was in February, and the rest of the program was not my cup of tea). I did not see it with Stuttgart, either (I'm sorry to say, from your description, Glebb). However, I loved Makarova in it with ABT (she was one of my all-time favorites, too), and I had very much enjoyed the Poulenc music itself, before I ever saw the ballet. I've always felt it was a bit sad that Makarova came to the West for the freedom to dance new works, but found herself constantly cast in the classics and "warhorses." In the latter category, I will never forget one night in Chicago when the conductor and orchestra "blew" the opening of her "Don Quixote" variation. She stepped out, shook her closed fan at them, (as if to say "tsk, tsk, tsk") and marched back to the wings. Humbled, they began again. This time, she danced -- brilliantly, of course. I recall that, even then, I could not think of other dancers who would dream of doing that - much less actually dare to do it.
  11. I live in Wheaton, Illinois, which is often called the "evangelical Vatican" because it is the home to many fundamentalist groups and Wheaton College, the alma mater of Billy Graham. Wheaton College, for many years, had students sign "The Pledge," which included bans on card playing, dancing, drinking, attending movies, etc. In modified form, I am sure that this is still in effect. I hasten to add that I'm a former ballet dancer and current liturgical dancer whose mainline (Episcopal) church is in much-more-welcoming Oak Park. As a high-school teacher, I had a very fundamentalist colleague years ago who was horrified at the costumes (or lack thereof, in her eyes) in a televised performance of Gerald Arpino's "Trinity" (which, of course, is one of my favorites). That said, even Wheaton College has allowed dance in its musicals in recent years. A Baroque dance ensemble also gave a very well attended workshop plus performance there several years ago. A Master's degree candidate held a liturgical dance evening there a few years ago. On the other hand, in the past year, I've heard from young would-be liturgical dancers who are (not surprisingly, in my view) discouraged by the climate for dance there. One of the dancers in my liturgical dance group in Oak Park has worked slowly and patiently -- and successfully -- to have dance accepted at her own large conservative Protestant church elsewhere. So, I would say that, on balance, it has been worse and could be worse. Roman Catholics also have real concerns of longstanding about the acceptance of liturgical dance; however, given the current problems in the church, they have more pressing issues to face right now.
  12. Thanks to pumukau and especially to Leigh for your wonderful posts. Mine is minor in the extreme. The first time I saw black costumes for "Barocco" was in a televised performance of the Pennsylvania Ballet many years ago. I found the costumes somewhat jarring because they were not what I had come to expect from NYCB. However, Ballet Chicago Studio Company, whom I saw just this weekend, also uses black costumes. This time, I found them far more flattering to the dancers and not a distraction at all. Perhaps I was just so glad to see the ballet again that the color of the costumes paled into insignificance.
  13. Ballet Chicago Studio Company's Spring Repertory performances in Chicago this weekend included an all-Balanchine program. Artistic director Daniel Duell stepped before the curtain just long enough to tell the audience that this program would serve both to educate the young dancers and to offer the audience the opportunity to see Balanchine works that they might otherwise not be able to see. How true, on both counts. "Serenade" was a pleasure. Sarah Hess, in particular, shone in this work (which is no doubt why she was featured on the poster and the program cover). The excerpts from "Divertimento #15" were mostly the variations, all very well danced, especially by Alexandria Tsevis and Ted Seymour. The "Who Cares?" excerpts featured the delightful Ms. Hess in "Stairway to Paradise" and the amazing Reginald Harris in "Liza." Samuel Feipel (who, according to the program is 18 years old) was the rock-solid partner in control of "Tarantella" -- and he was the Rock of Gibraltar in "Concerto Barocco." His diminutive partner, Ms. Tsevis, was also a pleasure to watch, as was Shannon Yee. Years ago, I saw Sean Lavery in what probably was his first on-stage rehearsal of "Barocco." Although I had always thought that the Balanchine-trademark interweaving arms in the second movement must be difficult, I had never realized just how difficult they actually were, until some totally confused tangles ensued. Mr. Feipel did it all effortlessly. It was a real pleasure to see the Balanchine repertory so eagerly, carefully and affectionately rendered.
  14. I agree that "Intermezzo" is reminiscent of the Robbins piano ballets. Nonetheless, because of the exquisite Brahms and Feld's reaction thereto, his ballet is inspired.
  15. I've always loved Feld's "Intermezzo," but much of the rest of his work that I have seen seems to come from the "you've gotta have a gimmick" school of choreography.
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