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Everything posted by love_ballet

  1. I saw an in-studio rehearsal of Africa Guzman's work in progress, and really enjoyed it. It was a nice combination of dance and athleticism (I know that's awkwardly phrased as dance is an athletic endeavor in any form) and it will be interested to find out how it is received in New York. What was fascinating to me as well was how they worked to change the choreography based on the venue. The BW studio where she started choreographing is marked according to the Capitol Theatre layout, and she had to change the choreography to work for the Joyce (where they can't do change-overs behind the stage?), and they'll have to adjust it yet again for the 2018 National Choreographic Festival which will be performed in the Eccles Theatre.
  2. I watched it only because the costumes and set were rented from Ballet West, and got a quick reminder of why I never watch the Hallmark Channel. My daughter and I laughed so hard predicting all the cheesy lines in the movie that hubby came into the room asking what comedy we were watching. We also found that Radetsky's acting skills have not evolved any since "Center Stage." The actress playing the young dancer was pretty decent.
  3. The Utah Film Center presented the world premiere of "Dancer" tonight in Salt Lake City. It was an engrossing documentary about a tortured soul. The movie incorporates a lot of footage of Polunin as a child / young dancer that was wonderful. The film showed how close Polunin came to truly quitting dance altogether - the "Take Me To Church" video was meant to be his last dance. Only when it went viral did he reconsider. Director Steven Cantor did a post-film Q&A and discussed that especially the many responses from children, young dancers who were inspired by that video, played a big part in continuing to dance. Cantor doesn't expect that Polunin will join a company any time soon (if ever) but will mostly guest. He also (in the Q&A) described Polunin as someone who was very gentle with young dancers, and hoped he would eventually teach. There is a sad mood to a large part of the film. The fact that his family split up to finance his dance training had a profound impact on him. Polunin has remained mostly injury free, but at one point in the film he said that he wished he were injured so he wouldn't have the choice to dance anymore. I found that heartbreaking. The film really leads one to question whether it is all worth it (even as it ends on a somewhat positive note). I read in a NY Times article that Polunin said that watching the film the first time made him really sad, but that it was all true. The film is only 85 minutes long, but it felt much longer - in a good way. I felt completely immersed in Sergei Polunin's life and highly recommend this documentary.
  4. The full story here: Ballet West Announces Transition of Leadership
  5. Chase O'Connell was promoted to principal dancer (skipping the first soloist rank). All demi-soloists except Lindsey (Duerfeldt) Bond were promoted to soloists; 3 artists were promoted to demi-soloists including one of my favorites, Josh Whitehead. Ballet West announces promotions and new hires for 2016-17 roster
  6. Frankly, I wasn't thrilled with the presentation. The cinematography was dizzying, with the camera cutting in too frequently to show close-ups. I have no desire to count every eyelash when watching a ballet performance, and would rather see more of the stage and decide for myself which of the dancers to watch. It definitely took away from my enjoyment. I had not seen Tomasson’s choreography before, but liked what I could see of it, and would love to watch it in a more traditional presentation. The costumes were lovely.
  7. I loved watching Hans van Manen work and listening to him talk about how he creates these ballets and in what ways he likes to work with the dancers. Fascinating! And hard to believe he is 81, he has such vitality. I wish there were subtitles for those of you who don't speak Dutch, as there was very little English spoken in this episode. Too bad the series had to come to an end, it was wonderful to watch.
  8. Perhaps you can try to access them via this link: http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/afleveringen/1412034 I am really enjoying this series!
  9. Very true. After watching this episode, I asked my daughter (now in college) what she learned in high school about Napoleon. Her response "Nothing really. I didn't take European History, mom!"
  10. In defense of Josh, it was actually Zach who didn't know who Napoleon was.
  11. Here's an article with some background on Allison and Rex: "Breaking Pointe" underscores hard work, and pain, behind beauty of ballet Interesting quote from Allison:
  12. The website shows their current rank. The promotions won't go into effect until the 2012/13 season, and I expect the website will be updated at that time. The show hasn't really made it clear that Ronald and Katie were both in BWII at the time it was being filmed.
  13. I totally agree -- I almost like this DVD more for the extras than for the main production!
  14. I saw 2 different casts of Cinderella. I love the Prokovief music but the story doesn't really grab me. That said, I still enjoyed the performances. The production allowed many dancers to rotate through different types of roles, both principal and supporting (rotating through the 3 casts). Some highlights for me were Jason Chinea as the Jester, and Chris Ruud and Michael Beardon as Stepsisters (albeit not together but in different casts). I am really excited about the upcoming season -- as much as I enjoy the classics like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, they have been repeated quite a bit over the last few years and it will be fun to have so many new (to Salt Lake) works presented. I particularly look forwarded to seeing Madame Butterly being presented both by Ballet West and also by the Utah Opera. Some of the upcoming staffing changes have been reported in the media: Love Onstage mentions that Nicholas Smith's contract will not be renewed, and Ballet West's Magic Sklute notes that three dancers will not be offered contracts for next year. We will have to wait and see. There are some promising dancers coming up through Ballet West II as well. While I enjoyed many of the things that Jonas Kage brought to the company (especially the Hans van Manen repertoire) and was sorry to see him go, I think that Adam Sklute may have a better rapport with the donors in the community. Time will tell.
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