“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)
Lesley Stahl does a 13-minute segment on the star choreographer. (video plus transcript)
Tuesday evening, after Johan Kobborg formally resigned as artistic director of the ballet company at the Bucharest National Opera, about 30 dancers (many of them from abroad) joined Alina Cojocaru – the country’s leading ballerina and Kobborg’s fiancée – to protest the situation; all of them agreed that they would not stay with the company if Kobborg were not brought back. Meanwhile, some other opera house employees counter-demonstrated, booing the dancers and shouting, “Foreigners out of the country! This is the Romanian National Opera!” (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
“Administrative tumult, a prominent snub on the Bucharest National Opera’s website and questions over artistic direction have cost the Romanian national ballet company its two biggest stars: Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru.” Michael Cooper gives an English-language recap of the situation as of Tuesday morning.
The “Barbs” is a certifiable hit in the Middle East. A fun mix of hip-hop and early 1980s-style break dancing melded with Arabic rhythms, the routine is performed by a bunch of young Saudis, including one wearing a dark suit and bright red high-top sneakers. Their video has gone viral.
Last week, the interim director of the Bucharest National Opera who stripped Kobborg of his artistic director title was quickly replaced, and Romania’s culture minister worked out a deal with Kobborg to stay on, with title. But things haven’t exactly worked out.
“Dancers are like a special species, … and the company is a place that ties their destiny together in a very intense way.”
“Several dancers noted that under Ms. Lopez’s direction, the company is starting to feel more connected to the culture of Miami, rather than like an outpost of New York City Ballet. This is also reflected in its roster, which includes a higher-than-average number of Latin Americans, including a large contingent from Brazil.”
“Last year, for example, he commissioned Shepard Fairey – of Obama-Hope poster fame – to design the set for his Miami City ballet, Heatscape, and collaborated with Opening Ceremony for their New York Fashion Week show.”
“The company features dancers from all over the world who have had varying entry points into the Graham organization. Yet each was pulled in by the force of Graham, who died in 1991 at 96, and by her technique, which is rooted in the breath; movement is initiated in the pelvis and concentrates on the oppositional force of contraction and release.”
The project Men & Girls Dance “is exactly what its title suggests: adult male performers dancing with young girls. That relationship, though, has been tainted in recent years. Put the words ‘men’ and ‘girls’ in the same sentence and it’s likely to call to mind suspicions of abuse. This is what Fevered Sleep is hoping to challenge.”
“[Choreographer Meg] Foley and three collaborators committed to creating an improvised dance at precisely 3:15 p.m. each day for six months, and documenting the results in writing, photos, or video. … Members of the public also are urged to do their own 3:15 dances – and document, upload, and hashtag them as part of the project.”
“It is some people’s favourite movie but the stage version was one of the biggest disasters in Broadway history. So the choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne admitted he was taking a risk as he announced his next production.”
Muir thus becomes the third woman in her 40s to be named director of a ballet company in the last two months. (Aurélie Dupont will take over Paris Opera Ballet, and Julie Kent will lead Washington Ballet.)
In his two years at the helm of Romania’s national ballet company, Kobborg is universally acknowledged to have raised standards and reinvigorated the troupe. But this week, one day after a new interim director took over the Bucharest National Opera, Kobborg found his name missing from the ballet’s artistic director slot and listed instead among the corps. The new boss says it’s a misunderstanding: he wants Kobborg to stay, but there’s not supposed to be a “ballet artistic director” post at the house at all. The dancers are saying that if Kobborg goes, they go. (in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
Antonina Chapkina was walking on the street near Milan’s central train station when a streetcar struck her; though her head hit the pavement hard, her body did not fall under the vehicle.
The former ABT star “has announced his decision to take ‘a temporary break as artistic director’ of the National Ballet of Uruguay, a post he has held since 2010.”
“Even vague critiques can lead to breakthroughs.”
“‘When you rocks are split up by the erosion, don’t look at each other like you’re anticipating it,’ she tells the company. ‘It’s about the awareness two tectonics plates would have.'”
“‘The dancers here love the work so much,’ said Lloyd Mayor, a member of the company. ‘It’s just like a beautiful precious crystal that we will keep polishing.'”
Godoy said jokingly that the president asked her repeatedly during the dance “When does this end?” but relaxed when he saw his wife enjoying herself as she simultaneously tangoed with Godoy’s partner. “When he saw Michelle, he said, ‘Okay, I’ll keep going.’”
“The unlikely new position means that the 41-year-old choreographer from New York has been tapped to create new works for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (the Harris’ company in residence), Miami City Ballet and [his own company]. Additional companies will be announced at a later date.”