“At the close of today’s press conference at La Scala to announce Mauro Bigonzetti’s 2016-2017 season, fifty or so company dancers arrived to protest at the repertoire proposed. … [They complain] that the season has ‘too little classical [ballet] and wasn’t in line with company’s tradition.'”
“When performing or dancing to music, entrainment allows the timing of upcoming beats to be predicted. A recent study on individual differences in rhythmic skill identified relationships between the strength of neural entrainment and the capacity to synchronise movements with musical rhythms.”
“Hoping to appear on The Ellen Show and music videos, the heavy-set performer says he is trying to ‘change the mind and shape of dancers’. The photographs regularly receive hundreds of likes and he has amassed thousands of followers.”
And the Vancouver-based company isn’t doing it only by commissioning and performing work created by women (which it does). For this company, and for the female choreographers working with it, the issue isn’t even worth discussing.
“‘I’d heard about his reputation, everyone in our world knew about it. People said he wasn’t very responsible, that he ran away. So at first I thought I would never dance with him.’ As Natalia Osipova glances at Sergei Polunin, sitting protectively beside her, the ballerina’s pale, guarded face brightens with sudden laughter – the dancer, with whom she swore never to share a stage is now the man with whom she’s currently sharing her life.”
“Watching a class in técnica cubana is heady: very familiar and then suddenly not, as torsos contracting in Graham style turn ultra-sinuous, ultra-African, or a standard ballet exercise swerves into the gestures of an Afro-Cuban god. Yet the alloy is coherent and potent. It’s a great, under-recognized invention that develops dancers of extraordinary strength with the agility to manage all of its wild twists.”
“Ms. Alonso likes to say that she will live to 200 and will still be running the company 100 years from now. She has never chosen a successor. Ask anyone involved with the Ballet Nacional what happens ‘after Alicia,’ and you get shrugs and sighs. Change must be coming but probably not while Ms. Alonso is in charge.”
“Dance is a great metaphor for pursuing your life and path to the fullest that requires discipline, passion, grace, and precision.”
At the beginning of April, Bocca suddenly announced that, for “personal reasons,” he was temporarily stepping down as artistic director of Uruguay’s National Ballet. This week, equally unexpectedly, he appeared at a gala to announce that he was back – with two new lieutenants: Sofía Sajac (interim director while he was away) as co-director and María Noel Bonino as ballet mistress. And it turns out, naturally, that there was some backstage discord involved. (in Spanish; Google Translate version here)
Gennadi Nedvigin: “I will be looking for a strong base in classical dance and, at the same time, the ability to free themselves into performing different styles. Not every dancer has that. It needs to be developed.”
“We’re right to view Copeland’s rise with awe, gratitude, and hope, but it’s also interesting to note that two of the the ceilings she’s breaking (by being a ballerina with breasts and muscles) have only recently been installed. It reminds me how quickly a newly introduced expectation can feel timeless; how strongly it can ossify into something that seems inevitable; how easily we accept that what we see in front of us is universal.”
“I watched, fascinated, as it got picked up and spread by Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Perez Hilton: 50 million views, 200 million, 300 million views on each site. Then it started getting posted by less famous sources, and I noticed my name was no longer on it, but advertisements were. I was soon contacted by a licensing company.”
“What had been a well-schooled but bland troupe in its last years under aging founder Mary Day woke up when Webre took over. … The Washington Ballet’s audience grew so much that the company regularly filled the Eisenhower Theater. Webre was developing a vigorous, outgoing style that drew attention from arts enthusiasts of all kinds.” Yet perhaps his greatest legacy, says Sarah Kaufman, got started in a wet basement.
The company and the choreographer have “an agreement to add one work each year, as well as performing the four ballets already in the company repertory. The first acquisition is Mr. Forsythe’s full-length Artifact, which will be performed [next winter].”
“Dancer and choreographer Savion Glover and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, talk about upcoming performances and about race, dance and the connection to African American communities.” (audio)
The dancer-choreographer-MacArthur ‘Genius’ talks with Leonard Lopate about renovating the genre and the world premiere of her piece ETM: Double Down. (audio)
While his contract to lead the company was not renewed, Sergei Filin was appointed to direct the Bolshoi’s new workshop for young choreographers. Yet, he says, he doesn’t feel safe there.
Rachel Zar offers a five-point plan.
“The troupe at Span may have started out as a group of fun loving impromptu dancers in the boroughs of Lagos but they have grown to become award-winning internationally recognized artists.”
And she’s ready for that to stop: “In the ballet world, in too many cases, the status of dancers is similar to that of actors in medieval theatre – subservient.”
“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.”