“It was the kind of post you might see on a friend’s Instagram account – a quick note Thursday that the ankle surgery went well, lasted a good four hours, and that his foot ‘must be elevated for over a week so I’ll have time to read and watch god knows what on YouTube.’”
“A little more than a year ago, the company and school faced debt and considered cutting back on performances and even closing its doors. It reorganized as an artist-led organization, with dancers taking on administrative roles. Heading into the 2014-15 season, it looks like the dancers’ dedication has paid off.”
“There’s something unsettling about watching 1,000 robots execute a perfectly choreographed routine. … And yet, these machines – tiny $20 robots that take five minutes each to assemble, for a total of 83 hours – are actually completely banal. In fact, according to the researchers, their capabilities are pretty abysmal.” (video)
“Hip-hop dance is not going global – it’s been global for years … The global reach was evident not only in the winners of the major world dance crew competitions” – groups fro Japan, Canada and the Philippines – “but also by the fact that a dominant team, New Zealand’s the Royal Family, was so popular that it had a special performance Saturday night.” (includes video)
“This choreography of grit and grace perseveres, despite an increase of arrests by the New York Police Department, as a delicate wonder, glued together by exacting precision and indelible stamina. Plus, there’s the joy of watching a dance where dancing is not allowed: It’s a subversive performance. It’s also a surprise.”
Alastair Macaulay: “Opera people often – and rightly – remark on the marvelous films of the soprano Maria Callas in concert; they show us the very moment when her whole face subtly switches into the character she is about to sing. It feels miraculous. Yet such moments keep recurring during individual Indian dances: the face changes contour; the body becomes another being.”
When the news hit that Millepied was to be artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet beginning this fall, observers were skeptical (despite his protestations) that he’d continue to pay attention to the company he had founded just in 2012. Now LADP has announced it will premiere a new Millepied work in October.
“With her strong jaw and confidently bared breastbone, Degas’s Little Dancer statuette … absolutely does not care what we think. Yet her mystique has only grown. Who was that girl, really? And who was she to Degas? These questions fuel [a new] musical, which is reportedly part fact, part fantasy,” in which Peck is starring this fall.
“Although the ballet did not provide an explanation for letting her go, from the beginning, [Assis] Carreiro was a controversial choice for the role of artistic director. … Dancers wrote a letter to the organisation’s board late last year citing that 69% of them had voted no confidence in the artistic director. Eventually, one-third of the company left.”
“It is interesting to see any company in class, to glimpse behind the greasepaint and the glamour to see the sheer hard work and repetitive grind which makes onstage greatness possible. But it is particularly fascinating to watch the Mariinsky in action, partly because their dancers are so famous – but mainly because their style is so pure.” (includes video)
“In ballet, the muscles on the inside part of your legs work, but here you use the muscles on the outside of your legs. There’s a lot of pressure on the knees, which you don’t get in classical ballet, and you dance practically barefoot, which is also unusual. Lots of falling movements – when we were rehearsing we were covered in bruises, all beaten and battered!”
“Racism is less about what happens to you and more about what doesn’t happen to you.” As ABT’s Misty Copeland prepares to dance the White and Black Swans for the first time, she and several of her dark-skineed colleagues (including Carlos Acosta) talk about the challenges they still face (yes, including hate mail and physical threats) and the progress that’s being made.
“The Nashville Ballet is embarking on an unprecedented public fundraising campaign to finance an expansion project to grow studio space, renovate its Sylvan Heights headquarters and dramatically increase the number of students.” The campaign, called ELEVATE, “has already raised $3.7 million out of its goal of $5.5 million.”
“With performances during its inaugural season under its belt, organizers of … Ballet Latino de San Antonio, are working on the fall 2014 schedule as well as plans for performing abroad next year.” The company was established by the city’s ballet madrina, Mayra Worthen, who stepped down as Ballet San Antonio’s artistic director in 2011.
George Balanchine “had a very particular aesthetic. … As a result, great ballerinas in the American tradition (just like their Russian counterparts) are slender and taut. They have small heads, long limbs, and downward-sloping shoulders. They have tiny waists, narrow hips, and often a visible sternum. They are porcelain white. Then there’s Misty Copeland.”
“Almost from day one, the allotment of neurons in those brains (and therefore the way they function) is different today from the way it was even one generation ago. Every second of your lived experience represents new connections among the roughly 86 billion neurons packed inside your brain. Children, then, can become literally incapable of thinking and feeling the way their grandparents did. A slower, less harried way of thinking may be on the verge of extinction.”