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Wednesday, September 17


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Q&A with Paloma Herrera.

Why did you decide to end your professional career in December?

The answer to that is very long, but I think it’s due to several life experiences. Particularly because I want to end my career while I’m very young. I never had any plans, I live my life day by day, so I didn’t know when or how, exactly at what the age, but I always knew that I wanted to finish very early, and very on top and still performing all my roles. And then, suddenly I knew it was time. I couldn’t ask for anything more and I’m the happiest person you’ll meet. I have no bucket list. It was my dream being at the ABT, it was my dream dancing all over the world. I want to end it nicely, just like this beautiful career.

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Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya talk about their move to Houston Ballet.

Q: Why did you want to work in Houston?

Matthews: We were at (American Ballet Theatre) 13 years and felt it was time for a new challenge. You're very aware as a dancer that your body has a shelf life. We don't want to have regrets and wish we'd done certain roles or worked with certain people. I've always looked at Houston Ballet. Literally, our first day at ABT, we worked with (artistic director) Stanton Welch, who was there to choreograph "The Long and Winding Road" on the studio company. In the past four or five years, Houston Ballet has grown, and their repertory has all the ballets we've wanted to dance. It was the right place to be. This season's rep has only two ballets we've ever done - George Balanchine's "Ballo della Regina" and Harold Lander's "Études." We've done "Giselle," but this version is very different. Even "The Nutcracker" is different from the one we've done. It's all new for us. As dancers, that's how you grow.

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Stella Abrera dances "Giselle" with Ballet Philippines.

Abrera arrived in Manila from Australia on Sept. 8; coincidentally, the ABT started its 75th anniversary season with its maiden tour to the country from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7. In Australia, she danced Twyla Tharp’s “Bach Partita” and Alexei Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas.”

On Sept. 14, in between rehearsals and teaching ballet classes at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Abrera visited the municipality of Guiuan in Eastern Samar, one of the hardest-hit and devastated areas by Typhoon Yolanda.

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Misty Copeland attends the Boys and Girls Club of America’s 67th Annual National Youth of the Year Celebration.

Scene: A very pregnant Kelly Rowland couldn’t make it. Doctor’s orders. But the “blue carpet” was still packed with stars, which in this case meant the six young women nominated for National Youth of the Year. There were flashbulbs, corporate sponsors, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), music producer Timabaland and, of course, Copeland, who at just five-foot-two stood out in all red. But at the center of all that were those six girls. “They made us feel like celebrities,” said Maryah Sullivan, one of the finalists who went on to win the title.

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Chita Rivera performs at the Palladium.

Rivera's father, who was a clarinetist and saxophonist for the United States Navy Band, died when Rivera was seven. In 1948 a Balanchine dancer spotted Rivera at the then Jones-Haywood School of Ballet and she was chosen, along with another student, to audition for a scholarship at Balanchine's School of American Ballet. Steadfastly pursuing ballet, Rivera nevertheless accompanied a friend to an audition for the 1951 touring company of Call Me Madam. In one of those odd twists of fate, Rivera was cast as a principal dancer in the show. Many a Broadway critic has alluded to ballet's loss being Broadway's gain.
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A review of Fall for Dance by Frances Steiner for Broadway World.

New York City Ballet offered Herman Scherman Pas de Deux, choreographed by William Forsythe in 1992. The structure of the piece remains consistent with that of a traditional pas de deux: the man and woman dance together, the man dances, the woman dances, and then they dance together again. Ultimately, the dance itself seems today very dated. Maria Kowroski and Amar Ramasar dance to synthetic music and wear severe costumes. The mood lightens following Kowroski's costume change into a yellow ice-skater skirt, when Ramasar comes out in a yellow skirt of his own. The dancers attitudes lighten and their movements seem brighter. This mood was very much in the air at the Delacorte; both dancers were clearly having fun. However, this work makes one wonder how today's dance trends (loose hair, flowing skirts, pop music) will be received twenty years later.

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Reviews of BalletBoyz: The Talent.

The Guardian

This version is much more than a revival, with choreography that was developed for a mixed, classically trained cast reworked for an all-male, contemporary dance ensemble. The electric flow of dance, with its flickering formations, sparky canons and reeling turns, has acquired a new solidity and heft. Pirouettes tumble floorwards into rolls, and when the Boyz partner each other in classically shaped lifts, it’s with a dynamic of muscular, even tender, equality that itself opens up whole new possibilities for the traditional pas de deux.

The Financial Times

The work that Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have done, and – hurrah! – continue to do for male dancing, is important. They encourage dancers, inspire audiences, think with flair and ingenuity about what they can show. They win friends for dance and influence people’s ideas about dancing. Onward and ever upward, chaps! ...

The Daily Telegraph

That said, for all its merits, this programme doesn’t show them at their considerable best. It’s made up of three works, two of them new commissions. On paper they look very different; in practice they all seem to feature an awful lot of what I can only describe as slow unfolding, in which these muscular young men pour themselves over each other’s bodies with admirable weightless fluidity. It looks very nice but it is not quite enough.

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Gerald Arpino will be inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame inductees fall into one of three categories: "individual," "organization," or "friend of the community." Nominees represent all of Chicago's sexual-minority communities, including LGBT Chicagoans, past, present, living, and dead, as well as those who have supported or assisted them.

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