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Thursday, September 13

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Pacific Northwest Ballet celebrates the centenary of Jerome Robbins.

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Boal, who witnessed many occasions of Robbins’ verbal tirades in NYCB studios, said that the choreographer was “really rough on about 90 percent of the dancers.” (Boal himself said he was in that lucky 10 percent; he’s not sure why.) Asked whether Robbins’ behavior would be tolerated today, Boal said it likely wouldn’t.

 

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Ballet Fantastique begins a new season.

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Ballet Fantastique began in 2000 in Eugene as a small ballet school. As it grew, it evolved into a professional dance company with an affiliated dance academy, as well as dance outreach for under-served children.

 

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A preview of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Robbins celebration by Moira Macdonald in The Seattle Times.

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Both programs will include “Circus Polka,” a ballet for a ringmaster and 48 students from the PNB School. Created by Robbins for a 1972 New York City Ballet tribute to composer Igor Stravinsky, it originally ended with the young dancers forming the initials “I.S.” This time, they’ll be spelling out “J.R.”

 

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The dance critics of The New York Times pick out notable events in the upcoming season.

Brian Seibert:

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The company moved in 1964 to the New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch), much larger and designed to Balanchine’s specifications, in then-new Lincoln Center, where it still performs. But it’s those early years that will be celebrated this fall (Oct. 31-Nov. 4) at City Center as part of the theater’s 75th anniversary events. Joining the festivities are dancers from many of the world’s greatest companies: Mariinsky Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater and, of course, New York City Ballet.

Interviews with three choreographers making new pieces for the New York City Ballet's Fall Fashion Gala.

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Comfortable using diverse types of music, Neenan wanted something “on the classical side” for his NYCB debut. His choice, Antonin Dvorák’s String Quartet No. 1 in A Major, offers “a richness and mystery I can’t even explain,” he says. “There’s a quickness and sharpness that will allow for some interesting phrasing these dancers do so well.”

 

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Lone Star Ballet holds a lunch and announces its new season.

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The ballet schedule for the year was also announced, which will include shows like Frankenstein and Remember the Alamo.

 

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The Milwaukee Ballet gets a $10 million donation for its new school and rehearsal building.

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The two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in fall 2019 with seven dance studios, which will expand the number of studios in which the ballet can teach. Milwaukee Ballet will continue to perform its shows at the Marcus Center's Uihlein Hall, 929 N. Water St.

Related.

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Milwaukee Ballet broke ground on its future 3rd Ward home, called the Baumgartner Center for Dance, in early June. The organization celebrated a construction milestone Thursday, when guests were invited to sign a beam that will be part of the 52,000-square-foot structure. 

 

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A review of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo by Graham Watts for Bachtrack.

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Again, as always, the second act concludes with the ubiquitous Dying Swan, danced here with great expressiveness by Gosa in his female guise as Helen Highwaters. The final act is generally a sequence lifted from the Trocks’ own interpretation of an obscure Russian classical ballet, here being the underwater scene from The Little Humpbacked Horse, a ballet that the Mariinsky still performs, in St Petersburg. This provided an opportunity to see the charismatic veteran dancer, Robert Carter (now in his 24th season with the company) perform some brief solos as the Queen of the Underwater (he had also danced as one of the big swans in the opening work).  

 

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Louise Levene reviews the Trocks for The Financial Times.

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            Like Ninette de Valois, Trocks director Tory Dobrin knows that Swan Lake Act II is the ideal Trojan horse, allowing any number of less box-office-friendly performances to be smuggled on to the programme. The Trocks’ Ivanov parody, with its deft blend of pirouettes and pratfalls is also a perfect way of softening up the audience for the subtler comedy to follow.

 

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Eugene Ballet celebrates its fortieth anniversary.

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“This version of ‘The Firebird’ will be a completely new reimagining and Suzanne Haag’s first full-length ballet,” said Public Relations Director Kylie Keppler, noting the reincarnation also is in celebration of the ballet’s 40th anniversary. Keppler describes is as “a futuristic, post-apocalyptic retelling of the tale that actually presents three separate dancers dancing the role of the firebird, which is traditionally represented by one dancer.”

 

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Q&A with Christopher Wheeldon about the filmed stage performance of  "An American in Paris."

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Q. Tell me a bit about the filmed version. What made you want to transfer it to the screen?

A. We wanted to capture the production, especially with its original stars, Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild. Ross MacGibbon really understands how to make dance dynamics come alive on the screen. We’ve been inspired by the live broadcasts that we do in the UK directly from the Royal Opera House. The Royal Ballet has been doing live cinema relays of productions.

 

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Brief Q&A with Chun Wai Chan of Houston Ballet.

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How did you prepare for your performances?

Chun Wai Chan: I started rehearsing for Miller after coming back from Jacob's Pillow [dance festival]. It's hard to do every ballet every single day, so each day is focused on a couple specific ones so we don't tire out. I've performed the SWAN LAKE and JUST roles before, so less time was spent on them and more time was spent on learning ROMEO AND JULIET and RAYMONDA.

 

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