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Monday, February 6


dirac

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A review of New York City Ballet by Robert Gottlieb in the Observer.

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No doubt I’ve said it before, and no doubt I’ll say it again: New York City Ballet gives and takes away. And we have to keep checking its temperature, because it continues to be so important to so many of us, both personally and culturally. What’s more, we have to go on holding it to the highest standards—its own. Which means the standards of George Balanchine, particularly when applied to Balanchine’s ballets. In recent seasons, the focus has been on the abstract “black and white” works—Agon, Episodes, et al. The first weeks of this season have concentrated on his narrative ballets: his “short stories,” as the company is labeling them. But along the way, we experienced a disastrous “taking away”—a dismaying performance of The Four Temperaments, one of Balanchine’s greatest works.

 

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Commentary on Chase Johnsey's win at the National Dance Awards by Judith Mackrell in The Guardian.

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When the Trocks toured the UK last year, it was Johnsey’s performances that dominated their reviews, particularly the splendour of his dancing in Paquita. Fittingly, his gifts have been acknowledged at the National Dance awards, where he has won the headline award, best male dancer. In doing so, he faced off competition from the likes of Vadim Muntagirov and Alexander Campbell, both principal dancers at the Royal. Johnsey’s win is not only a celebration of his talent, but also a celebration of the fact that ballet, however rigorous its traditions, has an inalienable genius for the wayward, the comic and the camp.

 

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo visit Toronto.

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For Carter, who became fascinated by dancing “en pointe” as a preteen ballet student in Charleston, S.C., this means steeping himself in the art form’s heritage, poring over photos and films of legendary ballerinas. One of these happens to be Canada’s own Evelyn Hart, who was invited to teach a company class for the Trocks on their last Toronto visit.

 

“Their understanding of the sophistication of pointe work is a unique experience to work with,” says Hart. “Usually male dancers aren’t forced to discover that depth of specificity. I sensed such an honest desire to learn and excel. The men were a joy to teach.”

 

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Results from the Critic's Circle National Dance Awards.

 

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Although missing out in this category, Yanowsky's title role performance in Elisabeth for the Royal Ballet won her the prize for outstanding female performance in a classical production, with the male classical performance prize going to Cesar Corrales for his role in Le Corsaire for English National Ballet.

 

Related.

 

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A review of COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet by Rose Marija for Broadway World.

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Star Dust, A Ballet Tribute to David Bowie, NYC premiere (world premiere - May 2016, Detroit, MI), includes nine songs by this prolific rock star, who passed about a year ago. He recorded twenty-five albums during his forty plus year career. The sold-out theater included many of his piers, who had come, no doubt, to experience this tribute to Bowie, keeping him current. I'll admit that I, too, was hungry for a Bowie reboot. The costumes, by Darch, were colorful and unconventional, reminiscent of the artist. The make-up included painted face tattoos for some. Lighting and set design, by Korsch, also tried to bring back the essence of Bowie with streams of fine light and sparkle. The energy level of this work seemed to be a continuation of Ballad Unto...., with the same unstoppable high energy and frenetically paced movement.

 

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A review of the Mariinsky Ballet's "The Little Humpbacked Horse" (Alexei Ratmansky) for danceviewtimes.

 

A Boy and His Horse

 

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When Ratmansky revives an older ballet, he may update or clarify something here, omit something there, and add doses of contemporary virtuosity throughout, but he always retains the ballet’s soul. That’s definitely the case here. Ratmansky has caught the sweetness and fun that underlies a story that’s a staple of fairy tales: a simple young man does incredible things and, it turns out, is the real hero, the wisest of them all.

 

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents "Alice in Wonderland."

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In Deane’s contemporary twist on the timeless classic, each of Carroll’s beloved characters is imbued with quirky movements, unique personality traits and soaring corps de ballet techniques. Kids will love following the twirling Tiger Lilies, undulating Caterpillar, harried hopping White Rabbit, and angular playing cards.

 

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