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Monday, December 9

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A review of Milwaukee Ballet's Nutcracker by John Schneider for the Shepherd Express.

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Davit Hovhannisyan, the other longtime company dancer who, like Howell, has given audiences so much pleasure for many years, was at his most graceful, buoyant and musically sensitive. As always, his partner, Marize Fumero, executed every impossible balance, lift and leg extension with profound composure, as if she were the movement. Rising stars Barry Molina and Alana Griffith were fiery, funny and virtuosic in turn. Other standouts were Lizzie Tripp and Ransom Wilkes-Davis as Arabian Dolls; Itzel Hernandez as the Shepherdess; Parker Brasser-Vos, Harold Cueto and Benjamin Simoens as the Jacks; and Annia Hidalgo’s joyous, spinning Snow Queen. They’ll trade roles with others as the run proceeds.

 

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Four local canines are selected to alternate as Festival Ballet Providence's "Nutcracker Dog."

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“This was the second year for the event, originally commissioned after the Company announced the beloved Nutcracker mascot ‘Archie’ was retiring from the stage,” the release noted. “The four cast members will be known as ‘Archie’ in his memory -- Archie passed peacefully during the summer – and dog auditions for the role will take place each year.”

 

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A review of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's Nutcracker by Shari Barrett  for Broadway World.

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There were two guest stars who appeared during the Saturday night performance - The Joffrey Ballet's Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez, who danced as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Raised in Los Angeles, Dylan Gutierrez performed as a child with the Los Angeles Opera and at 16 was a finalist in The Music Center's "Spotlight" scholarship program. L.A. audiences last saw him dance the title role of The Joffrey's "Romeo and Juliet" at The Music Center partnering his girlfriend (now fiancée) Mendoza. The two relished their time in the spotlight, but I found their performance lacking the real flare I expected to see, with lifts such as the type you see on "Dancing With the Stars" highlighting their performance, with nary a leap performed by the Cavalier as I have usually seen done.

 

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The Brazos Ballet presents its Nutcracker.

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Guest artists include New York City Ballet soloist Sara Adams and New York City Ballet principal dancer Andrew Veyette. Many more special guests and local dancers will be announced to fill out the cast.

 

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Fairfax Ballet Company, likewise.

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#Two main dancers from the local community are featured in the family holiday classic. Nicole Shortle, a sophomore at Oakton High School, danced as Clara, while George Mason University’s Carlos Martinez, a sophomore in the dance program, performed as the Nutcracker Prince. Professional guest artists included Richmond Ballet’s Matt Szentes as Cavalier, Cody Beaton as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Philip Smith-Cobbs as the Mouse King, Mechanical Doll, and Arabian Coffee.

 

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Reviews of McGregor + Mugler,

Broadway World

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McGregor's choreography is more classical than the modern soundtrack (from Holly Herndon and Nils Frahm) suggests, with Watson and Smirnova both delivering solos and duets that don't amount to much. It's the cumulative effect of the costumes, lighting and music that are memorable here, however. Dressed in skin-tight, flesh-coloured body suits with glittering adornments covering the essentials, together with spangly gold and silver shin pads with headdresses that resemble a preening peacock, it's ludicrously over-the-top. Watson's ensemble is gold and Smirnova's is a cool silver; they look like futuristic robots of dance.

The FInancial Times

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Big-name dancers, fashion icons plus movement from the go-to guys of European choreography. It should have been a winning formula, but the two programmes of work presented by Russian production company Muzarts at the London Coliseum last week were less than the sum of their parts, and neither was able to fill the vast 2,300-seater. Ballet goers are notoriously risk averse — particularly when the front stalls prices are pegged at an Amex-melting £180.

The Times

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The main attraction of this strange triple bill was the world premiere of a collaboration between the British choreographer Wayne McGregor and the French fashion designer Thierry Mugler, yet the real meat of the evening was something else entirely.

The Evening Standard

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Thierry Mugler has always leaned heavily towards the theatrical, with everyone from David Bowie to Lady Gaga wearing his fantastical designs. Here he revisits a familiar theme, the fembot, dressing Bolshoi prima Olga Smirnova in a glitter catsuit, cyborgian armour and nipple coverings (her partner, Royal Ballet’s Edward Watson, also has a gold codpiece thrown into the mix). Yet far from enhancing Wayne McGregor’s off-kilter steps and trademark hyper-extensions, the design overwhelms them.

 

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A review of Svetlana Zakharova's "Modanse" by Jann Parry for DanceTabs.

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As ‘Boy’ Capel, he dances two pas de deux with Zakharova during the course of the ballet – the first of seduction, the second of tormented emotions as he leaves her during wartime. These duets have the most rewarding choreography in a production that otherwise prioritises style over substance. The drawback to a format of dissociated scenes rather than a continuous narrative is the abrupt changes of focus (and costumes). No sooner is Chanel head over heels in love than she opens a fashionable salon, convincing Edwardian socialites that less is more.

 

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The Paris Opera Ballet will visit Brisbane next year.

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It will be the second major ballet company Queensland has seduced for an "exclusive" season, over Sydney and Melbourne in the past year, after welcoming the famed Bolshoi Ballet to the sunshine state last June.

 

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