“One expects change when a new artistic director takes over, as Kent did half a year ago. But in Thursday’s opening-night performance at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater, marking the start of the company’s spring season, it was clear that Kent’s touch is a subtle and sensitive one, apparent in such artistic intangibles as musicality, an apt quality of airiness and an overall attention to detail.”
“Ballet Sun Valley, a three-day event with performances Aug. 22 and 24 at the Sun Valley Pavilion, … will feature dancers from major companies, including Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet.”
The Skelton Hooper School of Dance in Hull has produced several generations of leading dancers – not least Kevin O’Hare, now director of the Royal Ballet, who’s taking the company to the city for the first time in 30 years.
“Three years ago, the St. Paul Ballet moved to a new studio next door to the Element Boxing Gym. The water fountain was in the gym, so dancers went there to fill their water bottles.” Now the dancers and boxers are training each other.
Yes, Will Tuckett has included some lumberjacks – and beavers and a Mountie, too – in his new Pinocchio for the National Ballet of Canada. Here’s a video peek at rehearsal for the piece, which premieres next month.
Nearly two years after the ABT star retired from the stage and returned home to the Argentine capital, she’s been named director of the ballet company at the Teatro Colón.
“Last Tuesday, Ballets Jazz de Montreal said its worldwide exclusive dance and circus art rights include Cohen’s name and image as well as his visual, musical, and literary works. The company plans to debut a Cohen-inspired show in December that “will be performed through a series of acts, evoking the cycles of life, the colours of the seasons and nature’s true elements,” according to a news release.”
Prokofiev in particular had hoped to turn Le Pas d’acier (The Dance of Steel) from the quasi-folkloric confection Diaghilev had made of it into a real socialist work of art. Didn’t work. It wasn’t pretty. In an excerpt from Bolshoi Confidential, Simon Morrison tells the head-shaking story.
“Across the UK, enthusiastic, determined, focused individuals are fighting hard for a new kind of dance provision – one that doesn’t simply enable access for older dancers, but aims to challenge, reinterpret and promote the ageing body.”
The take of the ‘bad boy of ballet,’ who left the Royal Ballet in a surprise move in 2012: “The company sort of owns you. I thought about my future. In 10 years’ time, I would be in the same position as when I started – the best dancer in the world, but still sharing a flat. You’re an adult, but you live like a kid.”
According to the choreographer, “They were a funny little complement. Neither is a perfect dancer; they weren’t supposed to be. I liked the way they took on the challenge.”
The woman who took over the schools when the founders passed away says that dance isn’t just dance, but a metaphor for life. “I like to instill in the children to work with a certain kind of integrity even if you are uncomfortable.”
Sarah Kaufman is not kidding about the “painful” part: as former and current Graham Dance Company performers tell her, dancing on those things hurts.
Bereishit – a fast-rising young company that fuses modern dance, hip-hop, and martial arts – has already had to cancel its first date on the tour, Feb. 28 in Minneapolis; March performances in Pittsburgh and San Diego are in doubt. (South Korea isn’t on anyone’s travel-ban list, right?)
The 1960s-inspired video was posted Wednesday on the website of the downtown shopping and dining development CityCenterDC. The dancers are from the Washington Ballet, and the video was choreographed by Septime Webre, the company’s former artistic director. Design Army, a D.C.-based design firm, approached Webre last summer about conveying the ad’s tagline “District of Joy.”
Sarah Kaufman writes about “a new video ad pokes fun at the city’s colorless rep and shows the limbering-up effects of a little retail therapy.”
“The daunting auditions of Soviet legend—teachers scrutinizing preadolescents for the slightest physical imperfection—found an ideological parallel in the required inspections by censorship boards at the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky–Kirov theaters.”
“On paper, Mr. Brooks is the choreographer, and Ms. Whelan the dancer and his partner onstage. But, as a recent conversation revealed, the lines between creation and interpretation have become increasingly blurred.” Marina Harss shares excerpts from that conversation.
Susan Stamberg: “The scene was filmed with 30 professional dancers and more than 100 extras on a 104-degree day. They first rehearsed in a parking lot, and later the actual freeway at 3:00 o’clock in the morning. On paper, Moore and director Damien Chazelle mapped out where the cameras would go. That morphed into 3D on a model ramp with toy cars. Then it was show time, which meant shutting down the freeway ramp for two days of shooting. All in all, it took 47 takes — for a three-minute and 48-second dance number that occurs entirely before the movie title looms up on screen.”
He injured his foot 2½ years ago – far more seriously than he first realized. More than a year afterward, when he realized he still couldn’t perform, he traveled to the other end of the globe and put himself in the hands of Australian Ballet’s physiotherapy team. They healed him, and he’s very grateful.
Basically, “signed pointe shoes often become gift-shop items or special giveaways for ballet fans. But Copeland’s worn-out shoes are different. The principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre has achieved rare celebrity status.” In an auction that closes today at 7 pm Eastern, they – and some other memorabilia – are being sold as a Washington Ballet fundraiser.
This photo essay shows that the three-day festival “gives a lot of hope to the youth,” according to host Chouaib Cheu. “Tunisia’s hip-hop culture stems from the frustrations of the country’s disillusioned youth, who have sought to paint a picture of a society torn up by social injustice.”
“Encouraging people to attend the ballet more often was less about increasing their familiarity with productions and more about bridging an uncertainty gap. “Familiarity is about information,” notes Martin, “whereas uncertainty about how an experience will feel is much more personal. You can give somebody a lot of information but that’s not necessarily going to reassure them that they’re going to belong in that audience.”
Marina Harss talks with company artistic director Janet Eilber and rehearsal director Denise Vale about recreating the stark 1931 piece Primitive Mysteries – and with PeiJu Chien-Pott, who’s dancing Graham’s own role and says it’s the hardest one she’s ever done.
The hugely popular opera festival at the Arena di Verona is, like almost all Italian opera houses, in deep financial trouble: it nearly went into liquidation last spring, until Rome sent a turnaround specialist to the rescue. Last week, as a cost-cutting measure, the 19 dancers of the festival’s ballet company were laid off – despite the fact that their shows regularly sell out. (in Italian; Google Translate version here)
With a sharp, if veiled, rebuke – “the Opéra has been working for several months to define a new balance between reduced resources and ambitious artistic activity … [an effort] which assumes commitment, trust, and close collaboration” – the board president of the Opéra national de Bordeaux has suspended Charles Jude, the house’s director of ballet. The action follows months of dispute over how to allocate dwindling state funding and whether or not to fill vacant positions in the corps de ballet. (in French; Google Translate version here)
“While the advantages – including physical conditioning and the instillment of such welcome habits as discipline and cooperation – are clear, so are the dangers.” (For instance, the increased risk of eating disorders.) “That suggests dance training may produce or exacerbate some less-than-healthy psychological pressures. New research from Portugal finds evidence of just such a dynamic among young ballet students.”
“It came as something of a shock, one night in January, when people high on the corkscrew ramp of the Guggenheim Museum’s spiral rotunda started beating on the balustrade with sticks.” (includes video)
“For this piece, the first that the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim has commissioned for the rotunda (as opposed to the museum’s theater), the interior architecture serves not just as a stage for movement but also as a musical instrument. Those sticks were tuned plastic tubes known as Boomwhackers. The performers were drumming a melody.”