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2020: Free Streaming during COVID-19 Crisis


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This film/dance was released yesterday by NYCB:

Please find the link to a short film, co-produced by New York City Ballet and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, below that we hope you will consider sharing it with your readers.

 

https://youtu.be/5O6Jz7MMTII

 

“Ces noms que nous portons” is a world premiere solo choreographed by Kyle Abraham for NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley. The film was shot on June 30 on the Josie Robertson Plaza, lit in celebration of Pride. Kyle and Taylor have written the following statement about their collaboration on Ces noms que nous portons, and encourage viewers to learn more about and consider supporting Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, and The Okra Project.

**

A message from Kyle Abraham and Taylor Stanley

When we first worked together on “The Runaway” for NYCB in 2018, an instant bond was created. There was a synergy of shared experiences and shared narratives. And although our pathways and audiences may differ, we share a united sense of a weighted experience that holds our history and our art form alike.

This collaboration aims to celebrate our queerness and our color in a way that hopefully stresses its importance, its fragility, and its strength. We dance, and create dances for those who have yet to see themselves on a stage. We dance, and create dances for our community and beyond. We dance, and create dances to nourish our souls. We make dances to reflect, to ask, to heal.

We want to honor the lives of those who we have lost due to the color of their skin or their identity. May they remain close to our hearts and at the forefront of our actions as we continue to create, reflect, and dance. For the both of us, we commemorate our history….in PRIDE.

Love,

Kyle Abraham and Taylor Stanley

**

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The Royal Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty, with Fumi Kaneko and Federico Bonelli, starting at 7:00 pm BST / 2:00 pm Eastern. It will be available for two weeks.

 

Edited by volcanohunter
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I finally got around to watching the City Center Studio 5 presentation with Tiler Peck and Merrill Ashley, and my partner and I loved it. (Thanks to vipa for pointing this out to me!) I had been losing my enthusiasm for watching ballet online, but this was something different, more interactive and engaged, and it worked well with the distance format... although the musical accompaniment was pretty lacking. Tiler and Merrill worked on three solos: the celesta solo for Sugar Plum Fairy, the opening solo of the first movement of Symphony in C, and the devilish principal solo in Divertimento No. 15. They spent progressively less time on each, and it probably would have been better to use just two solos, rather than attempt all three. But it was fascinating for the non-dancer balletomane to get a view of the nuances that make such a difference in the performance. I have great fondness and a vivid picture in my mind of the Sugarplum solo, and the work they did on it gave me many new things to look for. Tiler and Merrill both have delightful personalities, with Merrill an authoritative, confident teacher and Tiler the willing and eager pupil.  I can't wait to see Sara Mearns and Nina Ananiashvili work on Swan Lake. It would be helpful to know which solos they're going to focus on, so that my partner and I can review performances in advance, but I guess I can watch the demonstration, view a performance, and then watch the demo again. Thanks to City Center for this!

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Just finished the Royal Ballet's stream of The Sleeping Beauty.  It was fantastic!  Just as fantastic as Romeo and Juliet.  

Fumi Kaneko made a beautiful Princess Aurora.  Her Rose Adagio was absolutely stellar.  Fumi is also very beautiful.  She reminds me a bit of Julie Kent in terms of her facial features.  Every variation she danced was pristine and so well rehearsed.  Gary Avis stood out to me as one of her foreign suitors in the Rose Adagio.  Any ballerina would be lucky to be partnered by him.  Frederico Bonelli was princely and performed his role well.   First Artist Genna Storm-Jensen was the Lilac Fairy and did a beautiful job. Her variation in the prologue was excellent.  All of the fairies were excellent.  The corps de ballet looked great.  Matthew Ball and Yasmine Naghdi almost stole the show with the Bluebird Pas De Deux.  These two are some of the most exciting Royal Ballet principals in my opinion.

 

 

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This is a great coaching session - available through August 5th:
Sara Mearns with Nina Ananiashvili: Studio 5 | Great American Ballerinas Episode 2
[hosted by Alastair Macaulay]

Swan Lake Odette techniques
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGCWDLX5xJQ

It's really a shame that Mearns wasn't receiving this kind of coaching when she was 19 and first appearing in Swan Lake, because the NYCB of the last 20 years doesn't have ballet masters steeped in Russian classical ballet training. Ananiashvili really understands the nuances of epaulement and arm/hand/head and neck gestures that make this role a success. I hope Mearns is able to spend more time with Ananiashvili going over and over these techniques.

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Coming soon...

Dance of Dreams is a new dance film by Benjamin Millepied for San Francisco Ballet, featuring choreography by Justin Peck, Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, and Christopher Wheeldon for six SF Ballet dancers in some of the Bay Area’s most iconic locations. Set to Scene d’Amour by Bernard Hermann from Vertigo, the music is individually recorded by SF Ballet musicians and mixed by Music Director Martin West.

Credits:

Director: Benjamin Millepied
Choreographers: Justin Peck, Dwight Rhoden, Janie Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon
Composer: Bernard Herrmann

JOSEPH WALSH
ELLEN ROSE HUMMEL
DANIEL DEIVISON-OLIVEIRA
FRANCES CHUNG
MADISON KEESLER
BENJAMIN FREEMANTLE

World Premiere: August 13, 2020 at 12 noon U.S. PDT

https://www.sfballet.org/dance-of-dreams/

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Ballet Chambre Ouest (of Japan, Mariko Sasaki of Royal Ballet is from this school) holds a 2 week open air performance in the mountains every year called Kiyosato Field Ballet, and this year all the performances are Swan Lake with a slightly social distanced one. (no 2 act pas de deux, 4 little swans not holding hands).

 

They are streaming a full length performance of the opening night, with Ayako Ono and Yudai Fukuoka of National Ballet of Japan last night which I saw live and was fabulous with the nature surrounding the stage.  Until August 8th. 

 

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55 minutes ago, naomikage said:

Swan Lake with a slightly social distanced one. (no 2 act pas de deux, 4 little swans not holding hands).

That's interesting. Was an explanation given for why the "white swan" adage was omitted while the "black swan" pas de deux was included? 

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12 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

That's interesting. Was an explanation given for why the "white swan" adage was omitted while the "black swan" pas de deux was included? 

Not at the performance, but the dress rehearsal was reported on local TV news on the day of the performance and the AD mentioned about the social distancing changes such as the 4 little swans. (By the way this performance's Odette/Odile and the Prince are a married couple in real life) 

It is an outdoor performance where the weather changes quickly and temperature may drop low so it is quite a short version, 2 hours including intermission. 

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San Diego City Ballet

The Dark Room Series 2: Event Horizon
https://vimeo.com/443836056
 


Sci-fi genre ballet short film
Inspired by personal passion and interest in space and the unknown universe.

Metaphorically displays our “lost in space” type of arts world we are in as a small dance company trying to stay alive. We must adapt to new exploratory ideas to keep enough attention to our cause.

All filming was done following and inspired by the rules and regulations of the State of California regarding COVID-19. We use digital editing to create a look of dancers dancing together.

Cast:
Director/Choreographer: Geoff Gonzalez
Videography/Photography: Jaroslav Richters
Costumes: Karin Yamada
Producers: Paul and Lauren Scott, Bob Orsi, Rebeca Gonzalez
Dancers: Ariana Gonzalez, Megan Jacobs, Lucas Ataide, Brian Heil, Jaroslav Richters, Athena Nikolakopulos
Lighting: Pam Keel, Gabe Easterling, Michelle Miles
Theater: Horton Grand courtesy of San Diego Musical Theater

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The first two online streaming nights of the Vail festival have been very enjoyable. Friday night's opening performance and Saturday's passing Balanchine on discussions. 

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:09 PM, pherank said:

This is a great coaching session - available through August 5th:
Sara Mearns with Nina Ananiashvili: Studio 5 | Great American Ballerinas Episode 2
[hosted by Alastair Macaulay]

I just watched this, and completely agree with pherank. Nina Ananiasvili zeroed in on Sara's epaulement and port de bras. Sara seemed to have some trouble really getting the idea, or is just so trained in her own way it's hard to change. Nina emphasized softness and poetry in the arms, rather than Sara's dramatic emphasis. Nina looked completely beautiful demonstrating the arms and neck and positioning of the head - I could watch her move her head and shoulders around all day! Hoping we get to see Sara in this very soon. I'm enjoying the Studio 5 series, thanks City Center!

Also thanks to those of you who have reported on streaming videos you've seen. There is so much to keep up with that I can't watch everything, so I appreciate the pointers on what's worth seeing. 

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8 hours ago, cobweb said:

I just watched this, and completely agree with pherank. Nina Ananiasvili zeroed in on Sara's epaulement and port de bras. Sara seemed to have some trouble really getting the idea, or is just so trained in her own way it's hard to change. Nina emphasized softness and poetry in the arms, rather than Sara's dramatic emphasis. Nina looked completely beautiful demonstrating the arms and neck and positioning of the head - I could watch her move her head and shoulders around all day! Hoping we get to see Sara in this very soon. I'm enjoying the Studio 5 series, thanks City Center!

I'm sure it is difficult to ignore any ingrained muscle memories and try to relearn years of behavior. The Russian techniques of epaulement and port de bras are full of subtleties of placement and emphasis, and Mearns is not going to learn those in a 10 minute lesson. Fortunately she can replay this video over and again and let some of the coaching sink in. (I also hope she actually spent more time with Nina beyond what was seen by the public). Any time Mearns spends with Ananiashvilli will be as important as her time spent with Suzanne Farrell - I hope she can sponge it all up. But imagine if she had had this kind of training back when she was still a teenager - what a difference it might have made in her interpretations and stage presence.

I"ll bet our view of the "action" is better than what Mearn's is experiencing - running/walking back and forth across the floor to see and hear what Ananiashvilli is saying in a little window on a laptop screen (even worse if Mearn's is just looking at a smartphone screen), can't be nearly as effective as having someone stand beside you to demonstrate with their entire body. And this is where it helps to have someone tap one's shoulder, or push parts of one's body into position - our memories of someone else touching us can be a very strong and persistent reminder.

The first episode with Tiler Peck and Merrill Ashley was equally illuminating: Ashley had lots of comments about the details and clarity of Peck's movements. But that episode was simply too short, and Macaulay was quickly realizing that these coaching sessions need to go on longer to be of much use. I'm not certain why there is so much worry about fitting into an hour format, say. It ain't TV! For the dancer's to really learn something, and for the audience to begin to comprehend all the thought that can go into the choreography and performance of a role, it's necessary to slow things down and really spend time on a particular dance variation. Unfortunately that means not covering as many dance sequences. 

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Following up on the Studio 5 coaching sessions... agree with pherank that "illuminating" is the right word. I'd love to see another series of these, perhaps with male dancers and also a partnering session. Surely they can find two dancers who are their own "quarantine pod" who would love a partnering coaching session. Also the role of moderator is a good one for Alistair Macaulay, he knows how to move things along and stay out of the way, and is knowledgeable and very polite and positive. One criticism, again I feel like they're trying to cover too much, just focus on maybe two solos, not three or four.

I know Sara Mearns did not grow up with the Russian technique of epaulemant and port de bras, but I also wonder if she stopped paying attention to the subtleties of these areas of technique because of her physique. Maybe she was repeatedly told her shoulders are too broad and her neck is too short, and she figured she would never have beautiful epaulement and should focus on other things. She seems determined to thrust her arms out, as far away from her as they can get, whereas Ananiashvili illustrated how much longer a line can be, from one wrist on over to the next, if the shoulders are relaxed and the arms are lower. She was beautiful!!

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