“Pop quiz: The New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild is dancing to the sounds of Gershwin, in choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. The title of the work contains the word ‘American.’ Where are we?”
“These are pieces that have entered the collective unconscious. The act of combining something that you’ve already experienced with something you haven’t yet seen is something I like to use as one of the tensions available to a work. There’s a sort of distortion between the stage and the audience that is dependent on the memories of each individual.” (One thing Lock did not do is leave the music as is.)
Madame Tussaud’s in Tokyo has opened a new attraction. “Visitors can waltz and disco with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Marilyn Monroe, or pirouette in a “Swan Lake” ballet with Olympics figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu.”
“The new generation just doesn’t support large dance clubs. They spend money on special events I do, like my RuPaul’s Drag Race, Pride and Halloween events. But the days of the weekly dance party are over, at least for now.”
“Within hours of the [Inquirer] article being published, it spread like wildfire among dancers on social media. Many were outraged. Others expressed sympathy for the company members who were let go. But I’ve also seen comments from Philadelphians who are very happy with Angel’s vision and welcome the changes. It’s a big change, and one I’d say many expected.” Which makes it no easier for the now-out-of-work dancers.
The conflict over Johan Kobborg’s job as artistic director of the Bucharest National Opera’s ballet company has spun out of control. Craig Turp traces the seeds of the trouble to a right-wing nationalist website, and he gives a solid recap and analysis in English of how the mess has unfolded so far.
Patrick Harrison is currently executive director of the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Prior to which he was director of commercial operations at the National Theatre.
“Vlad Alexandrescu announced that he would be stepping down in a posting on his Facebook page Wednesday, after he failed to solve a conflict at the Bucharest National Opera that has seen three shows canceled so far.”
Founder Lin Hwai-min talks about the birth, the growth, and the aesthetic of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
“In a letter dated April 25 that was sent to the Bucharest National Opera’s security department, Cojocaru, Kobborg” – who is supposed to have been reinstated as artistic director of the house’s ballet company – “and seven others can only enter if they are permanently supervised by security.”
“Of 43 dancers, 12 were let go and five are leaving on their own. Others, dancers say, are thinking of leaving. … Dancers say six others were paid to leave last year” – the first under artistic director Ángel Corella.
“Grouping young ballet dancers by their developmental rather than chronological age could help lower their risk of injury, a study has suggested. The technique, known as bio-banding, is growing in prominence for other sports, including football and rugby.”
“Part of Ms. Hay’s mandate as a choreographer is to change learned behavior in dancers — to challenge them to relinquish their habits by posing questions that shift the tone and texture of a performance.”
“‘Her name was Carmen,’ choreographed by Russian Andrei Kuznetsov-Vecheslov, is set in a camp ‘on the fringes of Europe.’ It will be premiered by Kolesnikova and the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre at the London Coliseum in August before taking on a world tour. Part of the proceeds from London ticket sales will go to help Oxfam’s work.”
“The company caught the public imagination from the outset, selling out its first two performances in a 3,000 seat venue. ‘There was a hunger for dance and we connected with people by doing our own thing. This wasn’t Swan Lake. Whether we drew on folk tales or history or calligraphy, it was all recognisably part of our audience’s lives.'”
Today, the great success of “Billboards” remains a cautionary tale. A ballet company needs to approach a radical new direction with care, and a view to the future. But what also remains is the generosity and inspiration of a singular musical artist, who saw new possibilities for classical ballet. Prince knew that ballet could tell a lot of stories, and he helped spin them in new directions.
“I just don’t believe in neutral. I want to use this form to show that people are still carrying these subconscious judgments and ideas about how we should behave in relation to each other, how we should look and move, and what’s possible and what’s allowed.”
“Over the next three years, the Leverhulme Choreography Fellowship will support three professional dancers in making the transition from dancing to full-time choreography. The fellows will each spend a year with Rambert as part of the programme, which will run alongside the company’s existing music fellowship and choreographic development programme.”
Following a firestorm at the Bucharest National Opera that culminated in the near-collapse of the ballet season and the intervention of the prime minister, the culture minister has reinstated Kobborg as the ballet’s artistic director and brought back, for a three-month interim period, the general manager whose departure (due to corruption charges) precipitated the entire mess.
(in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
“Thanks to social media, short videos of these dances – sometimes incidentally – spread quickly and inspire a rash of copycats. At once silly and profound, these dance phenomena demonstrate the speed at which something can unexpectedly go from being an inside joke among friends (often teen-agers in cities) to a universal dog whistle for joy.” (video)
“Mariafrancesca Garritano was sacked unfairly in 2012, the Court of Cassation concluded in a definitive ruling on a case that turned the spotlight on eating disorders in the high-pressure world of professional ballet.”
“It’s beginning to look like 2016 will be a year of big transitions for the Washington, DC dance community. … How will DC fare within all these changes? Here’s the deal on how the next year looks for the capital’s dance scene.”
“Vaziev insists it was time for him to return home to the tradition he grew up in as a dancer. He says he brings few lessons back from his time in the West, other than being firmly convinced there is nowhere in the world that ballet is danced better than in Russia.”
“Creating a ballet company in Peoria in 1965 was difficult. Ballet was not particularly popular then, and even less popular in stodgy Peoria.”
With Johan Kobborg chased out of the artistic directorship of the ballet at the Bucharest National Opera and star Alina Cojocaru leading a rebellion among the dancers, upcoming runs of Giselle and La Fille mal gardée have been called off, along with a major gala on April 28. Rights holders to four more upcoming productions are threatening to withdraw permission for performances, saying that they consented only to a company led by Kobborg. (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
Responding on Facebook to an open letter from Alina Cojocaru, prime minister Dacian Cioloş said he hopes that “the ensuing dialogue of today (which will continue in coming days) with Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu will find a solution to the situation at the [Bucharest National] Opera.” Alexandrescu, also writing on Facebook, said, “The Ministry of Culture wishes to continue working with Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru … [and] is currently looking for solutions that … respect artistic quality, creative freedom, and the international nature of the projects at the Opera … The Ministry intends to use this opportunity to re-launch and re-calibrate the relationship between creators and administration within the institutions under its authority.” (Emphasis added.) (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
“MCB is also one of the most diverse companies in the United States without us trying to be. One thing is saying I believe in diversity and I’m going to seek it out and another thing is saying it is who we are. When you look at the roster of MCB, half of them are from Latin America, the other half is from the US and we have a few from Europe.”
“‘I look petrified,’ Salim Gauwloos says in the film as he watches the old footage of himself play on a computer screen. ‘I can’t wait to get offstage.'” And he had reason to be.
Two years ago, Dawid Trzensimiech left a promising career at London’s Royal Ballet to follow Johan Kobborg to the Bucharest National Opera. Wednesday, one day after Kobborg’s final resignation as the ballet company’s artistic director – and an evening confrontation where company dancers from abroad who had threatened to follow Kobborg out the door were greeted with shouts of “Foreigners out of the country!” – Trzensimiech announced his departure. (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
“Unfortunately, I [now] understand that our country is not ready for what Johan [Kobborg] and I have offered these two years … We hoped that what were doing was a break from the circle of malice and destruction in which our country finds itself. … But it seems I was wrong. Few are willing to see and accept that there are people like Johan who aren’t self-interested – quite the contrary.” (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)