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Wednesday, September 24


dirac

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Reviews of New York City Ballet's gala.

The New York City Ballet

How peculiar ballet can be! Tuesday night’s gala, a happy occasion that opened New York City Ballet’s fall season, was impressive in many ways. But of its five works, at least three made this art form look vapid and unimportant.

DanceTabs

Because of a City Ballet policy that bans critics who’ve watched rehearsals from reviewing the final product, I can’t say much about Clearing Dawn, corps-member Troy Schumacher’s first ballet for the company. I wrote a preview about it for the Times. I will say this: as the only work on the program that wasn’t built around partnering, it provided a welcome contrast. Schumacher’s style is still a work-in-process, but one can sense his desire to present his dancers as people, not romantic fantasies.

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Pennsylvania Ballet gets ready for the new season.

Last year, PA Ballet asked art consultant Michael M. Kaiser to study their organization top to bottom and make some recommendations. As a result, they dropped an executive director, an artistic director, plus the ballet master and mistress—and hired the 38-year-old, Madrid-born Corella to take their company to bigger and better places. Now, the public gets to bear witness to the new leader’s new direction in about three weeks with the Oct. 16 premiere of Press Play: The Directorial Debut of Angel Corella.

“It was amazing the way that they received me,” Corella says of his first few interactions with his talented toolset: the Ballet corps. Of the personnel changes, he says, “it was for the vision of what we want to do in the future. The good thing is that we didn’t move any of the corps. That hasn’t changed at all.”

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New York City Ballet gala society pages slideshow.

Last night, guests gathered at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet's 2014 Fall Gala, to celebrate an extraordinary collaboration between the fashion world and the dance world. Members of the world premiere ballets, including Justin Peck and Liam Scarlett, collaborated with iconic fashion designers including Carolina Herrera and Sarah Burton (Creative Director of Alexander McQueen), to bring fashion to the ballet's costume design. Bravo TV's Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker were snapped outside of Lincoln Center, playfully engaging with one another for the paparazzi.

A story by Pia Catton in The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Schumacher was seated with his wife, the City Ballet soloist Ashley Laracey, and several BalletCollective patrons, including Claire and Christopher Mann. Ms. Mann had commissioned Mr. Schumacher to create a ballet as a birthday celebration for her husband and herself. (They were born just one day apart.)

"The great thing about Troy is the freshness of everything he does," said Mr. Mann.

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A fashion pages story on current collaborations between designers and dancemakers by Vanessa Friedman in The New York Times.

It moved on to London, where Anya Hindmarch finished her accessory show by placing her models in spinning teacups manipulated by dancers in glow-in-the-dark skeleton dress. Next came Milan, where Tomas Maier claimed — what else? — dance as an inspiration for his Bottega Veneta show. And now it is about to hit Paris, thanks to Maiyet, the New York-based luxury brand that works with artisans in economically challenged regions to develop its collections, and which has collaborated with Benjamin Millepied, incoming director of the Paris Opéra Ballet (and Mr. Natalie Portman), on a short film to be shown during its presentation Friday and Saturday.

Related.

What are the requirements for a designer to leap from the runway to the ballet? Turns out, there are none. "We welcome everybody — you never know who a choreographer is going to want to work with," Sarah Jessica Parker told The Hollywood Reporter while chatting with Andy Cohen and Scott Whitman at the lantern-laden cocktail reception. Each year, the handpicked designers work with NYCB director of costumes Marc Happel to make their ideas movement-friendly. "We don't care whether you're emerging or established, and that's the beauty of supporting a company like this. It will grow and will continue — please, God! — to have one of these every year. There's a whole future out there for young designers, and I'm excited about it."
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Q&A with Megan Fairchild.

So Spectral Evidence happened right before the On the Town audition?

Yeah. I had been in Peter’s office saying, “Why am I never picked? What would your advice be? Is there something I need to work on?” He said to me, “I need you for fifth position.”

Oh, wow.

I was like, Well that’s really nice to say, but maybe because I can do fifth position, I can also do other things. If fifth position is so hard—that’s what I’m thinking in my head. Why not? He was very nice about it, but I went asking for guidance. I was like, Okay, that’s what they need me for, and I found confidence in that, but I was starting to get ready to want to try different things. I think I get very inspired seeing all the different things my brother does and while he doesn’t do the fifth-position ballets basically—he gets to do different, interesting things......

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