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Friday, January 20


dirac

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Alessandra Ferri helps flog a skincare line.

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Ferri's remarkable feat is celebrated in No7's campaign produced with Mother London and Mother New York that launched in the U.K. earlier this year and in the U.S. this month. In the captivating video, which is helping launch the brand in the U.S., Ferri, who was 52 when the ad was shot, dances beautifully on stage at the Royal Ballet with a hologram of her 19-year-old self performing alongside her.

 

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A review of New York City Ballet by Apollinaire Scherr in The Financial Times.

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After romancing the Coquette (Sara Mearns, bringing out the schemer’s recklessness with legs flung wide and free), the Poet is at a loose end. Soon the dead-eyed Sleepwalker bourrées in. In the sharp angles she adopts, Sterling Hyltin suggests the sleeper’s unconscious purposiveness, and gives an earthbound quality to the steps that made you think how far down sleep and dreams lie.

 

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Q&A with Benjamin Millepied.

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Early on, you're teased in a meeting for wanting pretty basic technology like TV monitors. Did you really have that tech guy reputation, or was there anyone else who shared your attitude?


No, there absolutely wasn’t, and there really was a kind of backlash to my approach to tech, for sure. I’m actually the owner of all the social media accounts of the Paris Opera—there really were no social media accounts at the Paris Opera until I got there. I got the first full-time social media person hired there, and they ran their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but I actually installed the accounts and still have all the keys to them.

 

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Social notes on the San Francisco Ballet gala.

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Seltsam wasn’t kidding. The Ballet’s season opening gala is always a big deal, but this year’s cocktail reception, formal dinner for over 900, two-hour season preview performance, and after-party attended by upwards of 2400 guests grossed the institution $2.8 million. “I’m proud,” beamed Seltsam. “I am so proud.”

 

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A review of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba's "Nutcracker" by Gay Morris for danceviewtimes.com

 

http://www.danceviewtimes.com/2017/01/a-havana-nutcracker.html

 

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In the United States, Alicia Alonso is best remembered as an important ballerina of the 1940s and ‘50s, noted both as a sensitive dramatic dancer (Giselle was her most famous role) and a technical virtuosa; Balanchine made the notoriously difficult Theme and Variations for her. However, in her native Cuba, Alonso is far more than a ballerina. She is a major national figure, certainly the only woman in the country to hold such a position. Her name is enshrined on buildings and her image is found on posters scattered about Havana. The Cuban government named her a National Hero of Labor and in 2000 she received the Order of José Marti, a UNESCO award sponsored by Cuba and more often given to male political leaders

 

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Reviews of San Francisco Ballet's gala.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle

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A couple of agreeable surprises, a handful of revived favorites and superior, sometimes spectacular dancing. That was the recipe for the opening gala of the San Francisco Ballet’s 84th season at the War Memorial Opera House on Thursday, Jan. 19. It was also a prognosis of what we can expect during the season’s eight programs, starting next week. There was glitter to spare among the premium-paying crowd Thursday, but nothing as radiant as the company’s ballerinas in full flower.

 

The San Francisco Examiner

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Benjamin Millepied’s world premiere “The Chairman Dances,” set to syncopated music John Adam composed while working on his opera “Nixon in China,” was the concert’s most exciting number. Wearing bright blue and orange, Maria Kochetkova, Di Lanno and 10 dancers ran, spun, whirled and fox trotted with pulsing urgency.

 

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A review of the National Ballet of Cuba in Cascanueces by Gay Morris for danceviewtimes.

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As for the dancing, it is difficult to grasp an entire school in one viewing, but here area a few impressions. After seeing videos of Alonso from the 1950s, the Cuban women dancers seem much in her mold. That is to say, the technique is closer to Cecchetti than Vaganova. It has none of the extremes of the Russian school, the over extensions, highly flexible backs, and extensive use of épaulement. Rather, the emphasis is on clarity of line, fast, precise footwork, and high but contained extensions. The body is upright, the legs straight and elongated, the arms and hands graceful and relaxed, the feet well developed. It is a technique more about refinement than boldness. As for the men, they are, like the women, precise and clean lined in technique, while also being engaged and elegant partners.

 

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A profile of Pontus Lidberg by Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times.

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The Swedish-born Mr. Lidberg — whose first piece for New York City Ballet, to a commissioned score by David Lang, will have its premiere on Thursday, Jan. 26, alongside a new piece by Justin Peck — is controlled, intellectual, reflective. When asked a question, he considers it before answering in articulate, well-modulated sentences, often prefaced with “I think,” or “perhaps.” But when he is creating a dance, he said, he tries to be open to his performers and what their bodies can tell him.

 

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An obituary for Peter Farmer.

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Farmer’s costume design process was also singular. Big ballets often demand well in excess of 100 costumes (more than 400 for The Nutcracker), but he didn’t make colour sketches in advance. Rather, he would select fabrics in the theatre wardrobe. “The colour of paint can’t replicate fabric,” he insisted, matching the chosen textiles to his black-and-white drawings. Production staff seem to have loved working with him, perhaps because they felt so closely involved. “If you get the makers on your side they’ll move heaven and earth,” he said.

 

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