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Home > DANCE

MARCH 2000

  • GOTTA DANCE: Ballroom dancing is very hot right now. Not just in studios and nightclubs, but onstage too. "The way I see it, ballroom has existed in this sort of cocoon, in the studios and competitions. It was almost its own unique little world, like a step back in time. When you think of ballroom, you think of the slicked-back hair and the fake tans and the sequins.... We want to sort of deconstruct that myth." Christian Science Monitor 03/31/00

  • ADVENTURES IN DANCE: London's 13-year-old modern dance troupe Adventures in Motion Picture (AMP) announces it will move into the Old Vic Theatre as company-in-residence beginning in 2002. Under choreographer Matthew Bourne, AMP's "outrageously entertaining shows drew on traditions of showbiz, classical ballet, and film, and rapidly attracted a public far wider than hard-core dance fans." Once the company takes up its new residence, it will become the only major British dance company, other than the two Royal Ballet companies, with its own home-base theater. The Guardian 03/29/00

  • NEW BLOOD: This week the San Francisco Ballet will premiere six new pieces by young choreographers facing the "biggest challenge -- and biggest exposure -- of their careers." San Francisco Chronicle 03/26/00

  • ONLY THE BRAVE NEED APPLY: "Now we have a school which would make 90 percent of European ballet schools envious," says the director of the Bolshoi Ballet's first school outside Russia - in Joinville, Brazil, of all places. Needless to say, the new school will abide the by the old Bolshoi's legendary standards of rigorous training. "It's not about putting on a tutu and pointe shoes and learning some classical positions. Only those who will be true to the cause will remain. We will be happy if we produce two top-level dancers - it will make the school worth existing." Times of India (AP) 03/24/00

  • JOFFREY REBORN: By the time it left New York to relocate in Chicago in 1995, the Joffrey Ballet was a mess - in desperate financial condition and in artistic turmoil. "With typical Joffrey gumption and considerable help from an expanding group of supporters in Chicago with high-powered civic connections, the company has not only survived but acquired a presence here that it never had in New York." New York Times 3/22/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • AUSTRALIA CALLING: Why is an Aussie going to dictate to London's great Royal Ballet, wonder some of the company's dancers. The Observer 03/20/00

  • DO IT HERE, TOO: Managers at London's Royal Ballet are impressed with Ross Stretton's redo of the Australian Ballet and his ability to bring in younger audiences. They're hoping he'll bring those skills with him as he takes over the largest ballet company in the world. Sydney Morning Herald 03/17/00

  • DOES HE HAVE THE CHOPS? "Ross Stretton, the sixth director in the Royal Ballet's 70-year history, may at first seem a rank outsider. His career as both a dancer and a director has been confined to America and Australia. Yet Stretton trained in Melbourne under Peggy van Praagh and Robert Helpmann, whose links with the Royal Ballet could hardly be more gold-plated. So even if he is a Covent Garden outsider, he is the insiders' outsider." London Times 03/16/00

  • "I THINK THE COMPANY NEEDS TO BE REVITALIZED": Ross Stretton is the surprise choice as new director of London's Royal Ballet. He admits he doesn't know the Royal Ballet well, but suggests new directions are in order. London Telegraph 03/15/00

  • VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN in Britain, Stretton is credited with reinvigorating the Australia Ballet. New York Times 03/15/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

  • TIME FOR A SHAKEUP: Royal Ballet needs someone to steer it in new directions. The Guardian 03/15/00

  • "A STAGGERING LOSS": Ross Stretton is leaving the Australian Ballet to be the first non-British director of London's Royal Ballet. Stretton was the Canberra boy made good in New York, welcomed like the prodigal son when he took up the directorship of the Australia at the beginning of 1997. Sydney Morning Herald 03/15/00

  • DIRTY LITTLE SECRET:When the Australian Ballet named Stretton as their last artistic director, they went to great measures to make sure no one knew they had him slated for the job.They assigned a code name to him - "Sir Robert Helpmann." Now that Stretton is leaving to take over as artistic director at London's Royal Ballet, the secrecy behind "Operation Helpmann" is revealed.The Age 03/15/00

  • ON THE BACKS OF THE TALENTED:The Paul Taylor Dance Company has two innovative new pieces and numerous prestigious awards, but their prized choreographer can literally not afford to pay the rent. "Because of budget constraints, his company has capitulated to the use of canned music, which does a serious disservice to both performers and audience. His valiant dancers make a living wage but hardly one commensurate with their prodigious talents and effort." New York Magazine 03/20/00

  • JOFFREY REBIRTH: When it fled New York and landed in Chicago five years ago, the Joffrey Ballet was broke and nearly busted. But the Midwest has been kind, and the company has staged a rebirth. "People ask me when we're going back to New York to dance, says artistic director Gerald Arpino. "I tell them, `When the New York dance companies tour to Chicago, then we'll return for a visit to New York.' But this is a Chicago company now." Chicago Tribune 03/10/00

  • SO WHAT'S IN A NAME? The famed Imperial Ballet of Russia finally made its North American debut this week in Toronto. Or did it? Well, something called the Imperial ballet showed up, but in name only. Like many Russian performing arts companies these days, the Imperial is little more than one of those Russian pick-up troupes of freelance dancers that spends most of its time touring the world and trading off the dwindling mystique of an appropriated name. National Post 03/10/00

  • YES, BUT WHAT DO YOU CALL IT? Yolande Snaith "is a choreographer, and because she works without stories or hit music or (often) words, she is still not widely known, and she is lucky if her work is performed in fringe venues. But she has always been more than a choreographer. She is a theatre poet, who uses scenery, costumes, props, music and dance to create her peculiar wonderlands." Financial Times 03/07/00

  • BEHIND BALLET: Dancer Natalia Makarova is working with San Francisco Ballet for the first time. "Is it all right to talk about the soul, do you think?'' asks one of the most soulful ballerinas in the history of dance. ``It is a cliche, so I don't talk much about it. Instead, let's talk about the spirit. Spirit means something in ballet, means everything in `La Bayadere.' '' San Francisco Chronicle 03/05/00

  • "MEAT PORTERS": Ever since pointe shoes, male dancers have had little more to do than...well, move their more comely partners around the stage. But there are signs that choreographers are paying more attention to men these days. "Men who dance solo, it seems, are determined to use their bodies to express the kind of cogent thoughts on gender, sexuality, relationships, and the politics of society that have, in the wake of established feminism, been seen as another province where women take the lead, vocally and in terms of artistic creation." Glasgow Herald 03/03/00

  • HUBBARD STREET DANCE gets new artistic director. Dancer/choreographer James Vincent has performed with Nederlands Dans Theatre and is is presently director of corporate entertainment and special events for Disneyland Paris. Chicago Tribune 03/03/00

  • NEW LOOK AT HIP HOP: Christiane Crawford belongs to the first generation that grew up on hip-hop and saw its progression from urban freestyle to suburban entertainment, and she is offering successive generations an outlet she never had. Last summer, Crawford and DJ Jessie Singer developed Body, a semi-monthly event merging urban, social, and performance dance into a kind of live update on the TV dance show "Soul Train." Dance Magazine 03/00

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