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Friday, April 18


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LINES Ballet makes its Houston debut.

While in Houston the company will perform two works choreographed by King. First on the program is Resin, a piece that moves from intimate duets to the flashing, barely visible footwork of a quartet of dancers, all to Sephardic music. Rare archival field recordings are interwoven with Judeo-Spanish songs by early-music artist Jordi Savall, and the stage is transformed into a shimmering and timeless landscape, as tiny, hardened tears, impressively portrayed by the use of salt, cascade downwards in streams of light.
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A story on Smuin Ballet dancer Wes Krukow.

This was not a case of giving a break to a local celebrity's kid. With only eight male dancers in the company, there is no place to hide a nervous newcomer, there are no minor break-in roles. Every man dances featured solos and does small-group partnering. Krukow is the only current Smuin dancer with no previous professional experience.
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A review of American Ballet Theatre's 'Don Quixote' by Sarah Halzack in The Washington Post.

It was in that gypsy camp that we saw the edgiest dancing of the evening. The group of men, led by Luis Ribagorda, went for broke with each jump, springing into the air with last-night-on-earth abandon. Luciana Paris, the lead female gypsy, torched the stage with her seductive energy. With the serpentine curve of her back and her low gaze, she was the kind of vixen that even the most confident of women would not want within a mile of her boyfriend.

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A review of Washington Ballet's "Peter Pan" by Rebecca Ritzel in The Washington Post.

Luis Torres kept the crowd laughing as Captain Hook, particularly when he tangoed with Marshall Whiteley (unrecognizable in a fluorescent-green crocodile costume). Given the free-wheeling good time that everyone else onstage is having, it’s disappointing that Webre’s stock solo and duet choreography for Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinkerbell (Tamako Miyazaki) looks straight out of a 19th-century story ballet. Everything else is 21st-century family-friendly fun.
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San Francisco Giants broadcaster and former pitcher Mike Krukow is asked about the dance career of his son Wes.

That one of the most famous voices in Bay Area baseball has a son who quit Little League for the big stage is just fine with the elder Krukow.

“You want your children to follow their passions. We tried to expose our kids to a variety of things and dance stuck for him,” Mike Krukow told NBC Bay Area in a phone interview on Friday. “He’s earned the right to be there.

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Carl Rowe quits Idaho Dance Theatre.

"I'm just leaving IDT. It is time," he says. "I've been doing this for 25 years. That's long enough and I want to do other things. It's been a labor of love for all those years, and lately the labor outstripped the love."

Rowe's departure will significantly impact the future of the company, which is struggling financially.

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Reviews of Oregon Ballet Theatre.

Willamette Week

The first act, the company premiere of Petal by Helen Pickett, is a vibrant, refreshing opener, perfect for spring. Four men and four women wear a palette of bright blue and yellow while merrily performing a sort of court dance-cum-iPod commercial. Strings turn to eerie piano as dancers come in and out of formation and on and off stage, almost everyone getting his or her own energetic solo. It’s a lively piece and a pleasure to watch.

The Oregonian

And then there is Roper again in her surprise encore as the Girl from Ipanema, partnered by Simcoe and Brett Bauer in excerpts from "Like a Samba." The trio makes McIntyre's inventive jumps and vertiginous catches look effortless. To Astrud Gilberto's smooth bossa nova, Roper is a vision. She doesn't so much walk as float, and because the audience has just been privy to Roper's interior conception of the role, we are offered an even deeper reading to her musicality and grace.

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An interview with dance teacher Adam Sterr.

After doing freelance work on other performances of “The Nutcracker,” Sterr had to call it a career at the ripe young age of 29, thanks to injuries. “I was pretty burned out from the rigors of working as a professional dancer,” he said of the end of his full-time performing career. “It’s a high-pressure career. Like professional athletes, you get injuries because you’re pushing your body so much.” Unlike professional athletes, however, “With ballet it’s not a competition; it’s an art form.”

There’s also a big difference in paychecks. While the salaries of many professional baseball players are in the multi-millions, professional ballet dancers are accustomed to a “working wage,” as Sterr put it....

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A review of the Royal Ballet by Neil Norman in The Daily Express.

If he saves his finest work for Hermione’s companion Paulina, Zenaida Yanowsky returns the compliment tenfold by delivering the standout performance of the night. OK, so he fudges the bear scene: “Exit, pursued by a billowing cloth”.

It’s a small price to pay. If he can just get the opening act under control this will be a major triumph for both Wheeldon and the company.

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A review of Ballet Zurich by Ilona Landgraf in her blog, Landgraf on Dance.

Having the Royal Ballet's gor­ge­ous pro­duc­tion of Ma­ri­us Petipa's “The Sleeping Beauty” in mind (with Alina Cojocaru in the title role), I faced Mats Ek's mo­dern ver­sion, cur­ren­tly per­for­med by Ballet Zurich, with mixed feelings. A drug-ad­dic­ted Au­ro­ra seemed to be an all too taste­less twist on the iconic fairy tale. The Zu­rich com­pa­ny, how­ever, dis­a­bused me. Ek's “Sleeping Beauty” pro­vi­ded around two hours of fas­ci­na­tion du­ring which I kept my eyes glued to the stage to miss no single detail.

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An examination of the state of play at the Bolshoi Ballet by Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times.

Who can yet tell how much Mr. Filin’s enterprise has been strengthened or weakened by the acid affair? Some of the company’s dissidents have left, but the scandal’s consequences strongly suggest that the larger artistic climate in Russia is also laden with corruption. The bizarre superstar dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze — who behaved atrociously before and after the acid scandal — was forced out of the Bolshoi, only to be promptly consoled with the directorship of the Vaganova, Russia’s most prestigious center of academic ballet training. Senior figures in Russian ballet have expressed concern about this appointment.

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A story on Iraqi ballet student Leezan Salam by Ruth Styles in The Daily Mail.

But with just 10 months to go before she is due to graduate from the school, she is faced with some tough decisions.

Should she follow the example of 40 per cent of Iraq's musicians and dancers and leave the country? Or attempt to dance for a living at home?

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Denis Matvienko pulls out of performances with ABT because of injury.

Guest artist Alban Lendorf, a principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, will replace Matvienko as Basilio in Don Quixote on Wednesday evening, May 14. Kevin Jackson, a principal dancer with Australian Ballet, will make his debut with ABT as an exchange artist, replacing Matvienko as Des Grieux in Manon at the matinee on Wednesday, June 4 and Friday evening,
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