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Home > DANCE

APRIL 2001

Monday April 30

THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF DANCE: Is it really possible to reconstruct, from incomplete fragments, what great choreography from the past looked like? Even the best guesses are inadequate and incomplete. The New Yorker 04/30/01

Sunday April 29

AILEY PLANS: The Alvin Ailey company wants to build a new home for itself in New York and Mayor Rudy Giuliani wants to contribute to the cause. "The building would be the largest space in the United States devoted exclusively to dance, Ailey officials said." International Herald Tribune 04/28/01

BIRTH OF A COMPANY: Michael Medcalf "had no experience as an artistic director, no money in the bank and no financial backers. Despite his lack of credentials and resources, he had plenty of other attributes: talent, enthusiasm, energy, a dynamic personality, a willingness to work hard and an eagerness to collaborate with other members of the dance community." And Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre was born. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 04/29/01

Friday April 27

THE LEGEND FLICKERS: A budget version of the Bolshoi wandered in to London this week. "The Bolshoi makes much of the financial imperative to mount cash tours like this: at what cost to its soul? Compare its programmes with current offerings in our ballet companies, and with the imminent visiting attractions of the Dutch and San Francisco companies, and there's no doubt who's being left behind." The Telegraph (UK) 04/27/01

Wednesday April 25

THE TROUBLE WITH DANCE: No question dance is having a tough time these days. What's the problem? Nine dancers, choreographers and critics write about the difficulties. Village Voice 04/24/01

Monday April 23

BALLET WARS: This week the Kirov Ballet is performing in London, but it will cost you as much as £170 for a seat. Only a few steps away, though, the "stars" of the Bolshoi are performing for about half the ticket price. But you might get what you pay for... Sunday Times 04/22/01

  • A MATTER OF HONOR: "The Bolshoi or the Kirov? The old Soviet juggernaut or the jewel in the Tsarist crown? Who will be the eventual victor? Itís a fight they both want to win, for whoever does take home the title takes home more than critical acclaim and public affection. They also take home our much-needed pounds. Life is tough in Russia these days, even for much-loved cultural institutions, and both the Kirov and the Bolshoi depend on foreign trips to keep them going." The Times (UK) 04/23/01

Sunday April 22

MEETING THE PRODIGY: "Dazzling eyes, delicate bones and finer poise than the silver lady on a Rolls-Royce: I met Dame Margot Fonteyn on the eve of her death at the age of 71 and was blown away by her fragile grace. Nobody since has matched it - until Friday, when I met the 19-year-old dancer who has just been made prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet and who is already spoken of as the new Fonteyn." The Sunday Times of London 04/22/01

MORE BALLET STRUGGLES: Ballet Chicago is, to put it bluntly, little more than an afterthought in the Chicago dance scene these days. The company, founded as Chicago City Ballet in 1974, has always relied on a classic, Balanchine-esque style of performance in an industry that is constantly reinventing itself. But years of mismanagement and organizational chaos left the troupe in shambles, and in danger of vanishing completely. Now, backed by its successful training academy for young dancers, Ballet Chicago hopes to rise from the ashes of its past failures. Chicago Tribune 04/22/01

Thursday April 19

NEW TROUBLES AT ABT: American Ballet Theatre was thought to have conquered the problems which only a few years ago threatened the company. "But in the last nine months this 61-year-old New York institution, which begins an eight-week season at the Metropolitan Opera House on April 30, has started to exhibit a new cycle of strains. It has quietly canceled plans for an expensive new production of Sleeping Beauty next season. Its cash reserves have dropped by half. And nearly three-quarters of its staff members have departed in a steady exodus." The New York Times 04/19/01 (one-time registration required for access)

YOUTH MOVEMENT: The newest principal dancer of England's Royal Ballet is 19-year-old Romanian phenom Alina Cojocara. Her rise from corps dancer to soloist to principal has been meteoric, and her powerful performances have captivated public and professionals alike. BBC 04/19/01

Wednesday April 18

OLD-AGE MOVEMENT: "A surprising number of recent productions in Britain suggest that choreographers are finding themselves less entranced by the perfect limbs of 20-year-olds than by the dramatic and physical possibilities of bodies that have been lived in." The Guardian 04/18/01

Tuesday April 17

NOT SO GRAND ANYMORE: The Bolshoi Ballet's upcoming tour of Britain "is a bit of a mess, adding to the general impression that for the past decade the Bolshoi has not handled its tours to Britain with the style and aplomb of the Kirov." The Telegraph (London) 04/17/01

  • PALE IMITATION? Impressario Raymond Gubbay is bringing the Bolshoi to London for a week. But the critics are already sniffing at the self-styles "people's impressario." The reason - it's not the entire Bolshoi, only a pared down group. And they'll only be dancing a hits-of-the-hits program. The Independent (London) 04/17/01

Sunday April 15

WHAT WENT WRONG AT BOSTON BALLET? A year of turmoil at the top and unsettled artistic fortunes. New York Times 04/15/01 (one-time registration required for access)

Wednesday April 11

NO NUDE R&J: For his final production, outgoing English National Ballet director Derek Deane had planned a provocative new Romeo and Juliet in which the main dancers ended up nude onstage. But then allegations that Deane had harassed a junior soloist surfaced and now the original production has been canceled. Sunday Times (London) 04/08/01

Tuesday April 10

DeCOU OUT IN SF: "Emil De Cou, the San Francisco Ballet's acting music director and conductor since 1998, will leave the company after the Paris tour next month...The San Francisco Ballet has been without a permanent music director since the late Denis de Coteau retired in 1999." San Francisco Chronicle 04/10/01

THE CELEBRITY DANCER: "No one begrudges dancers their moment in the media spotlight, or indeed the additional income they can earn in what is a relatively poorly-paid profession." But some of British ballet's biggest stars seem more intent on fame than their art... The Times (London) 04/10/01

Sunday April 8

KICK IN AND DANCE: It's National Dance Week in the US. Dance may be a universal language, but sometimes it needs a little help getting attention. The New York Times 034/08/01 (one-time registration required)

SHALL WE DANCE: Russia's Maryinsky Theatre launches a new international dance festical. "During the eight-day, nine- performance festival, guest stars from Europe and the United States danced with stars of the Maryinsky Ballet (which tours abroad as the Kirov Ballet, its former name)." The New York Times 034/08/01 (one-time registration required)

Friday April 6

THE DANCE PROBLEM: Archaeologists suggest that dance may be the oldest art form. But of all the major arts, dance seems to struggle the most to survive. Is it somehow a lesser art? ArtsJournal.com 04/06/01

THE NEW STARS: A dazzling new generation of dancers is lighting up the British dance scene. Here's a guide to the stars. The Telegraph (London) 04/06/01

Wednesday April 4

SAVING BOSTON BALLET: "The Boston Ballet administration's recent decision to appoint Music Director and Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee as interim artistic director has prompted audience and company members to question his ability to provide artistic leadership. Notably, the man who served in that role for more than a decade isn't among the critics. To the contrary, Bruce Marks expresses no concern." Boston Herald 04/04/01

Sunday April 1

DARK TIME FOR DANCE: The 90s were a dismal time for dance in America. A new study reports falling audiences, declining funding and major debt by most companies. Which dance companies fared best? "The ballets that most effectively coped with financial crises were medium-sized companies with annual budgets of $1 million to $5 million." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 04/01/01

ANOTHER DANCE CASUALTY: Boston's Dance Umbrella, New England's prominent presenter of new dance, is shutting down. "Faced with a pile of unpaid bills, a still unresolved separation settlement with company founder and former artistic director Jeremy Alliger, and few prospects of raising serious money, the Umbrella board is scrambling to make a graceful exit from the local dance arena." Boston Globe 03/31/01

  • NOT MY FAULT: Alliger denies that negotiations over his leaving are causing Dance Umbrella to close. "My point of view is that the board sort of painted the story that the financial troubles are because of our negotiations. Nah! That's just a drop in the bucket." Boston Herald 04/01/01

WHEN BREAK DANCING MEETS BALLET: When breakdancers and members of London's Royal Ballet get together to try out one another's moves, mutual appreciation break out. Sunday Times (London) 04/01/01

NEW ROYALTY: Alina Cojocaru is London's Royal Ballet's hottest new star. "The fact that Cojocaru is dancing this iconic role aged only 19 might in itself seem newsworthy, given that she last appeared in the ballet several months ago as an anonymous member of the corps de ballet. But for anyone who has followed her career since she joined the Royal Ballet in November 1999, this is just one more debut to add to a remarkable list." The Guardian (London) 03/31/01

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