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MAY 200O

Wednesday May 31

  • BEHIND THE MARTHA GRAHAM CLOSURE: On the one hand, Ron Protas owns the rights to Martha Graham's works. On the other hand, the dance company doesn't want this non-dancer as its artistic director any more. Stalemate. New York Post 05/31/00

  • Tuesday May 30

    • OUT OF ONE CRISIS AND INTO... For now, its much-talked-about merger with the Scottish Opera on hold, the Scottish Ballet looks for ways to reinvent. For one thing, it's got some ground to go before truly laying claim to being a national company. And yet, how to get there with limited resources... Glasgow Herald 05/30/00

    • DANCE AS THE BIG SHOW: The English National Ballet was Princess Diana's favorite company. Since her death, the company has employed some "sometimes dubious tricks" to promote its Albert Hall productions. Its controversial director thinks "British ballerinas are pear-shaped and that ballet should be Albert Hall-shaped, with casts of hundreds and audiences of thousands." The Telegraph (London) 05/30/00

    Monday May 29

    • INVESTMENT IN DANCE: Australia Ballet gets $1 million extra from the government to hire ten new dancers and continue its national touring program. Without additional government money, the company had said it would "retreat" from its present program of touring and choreographic innovation, following last year's $665,000 deficit. The Age (Melbourne) 05/29/00 

    • BASIC RENEWAL: As the Martha Graham Company goes out of business, another company has come along to renew the legacy. "The young company Buglisi/Foreman Dance (this is its fifth season) renews the Graham technique in all its full-bodied glory. Everything is here: those potent torsos, contracting, releasing, spiraling; legs, arms and heads alert to every surge of emotion. New York Times 05/29/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Sunday May 28

    • COMING TO AMERICA: The Bolshoi Ballet may not be all that it once was, but getting it to America for a tour is still an enormous undertaking. Chicago Tribune 05/28/00
    • CARMEN AS CAR MAN: Matthew Bourne's choreographic re-imagining of the "Carmen" story in a 1960s midwestern American town where cars rule is a bit of a stretch - but it works. Sunday Times (London) 05/28/00 
    • FUTURE GREATS: Peter Martins' direction of New York City Ballet has been dissected in detail - but he has also wrought influence on the company's blue chip school. New York Times 05/28/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
    • OUT IN THE PROVINCES: Terry Teachout travels to Raleigh and has a revelation: "Sit down, dance buffs, because I've got news for you: The best full-evening story ballets of the past quarter-century are currently being choreographed right here in the Barbecue Belt by Robert Weiss, artistic director of Carolina Ballet." Washington Post 05/28/00

    Saturday May 27

    • "BUT IT'S MY LIFE" Dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company are stunned by the suddenness of the company closing last week. New York Times 05/27/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
    • TOO MUCH DEBT: "We were presented with the figures of what it would take, in terms of financial support, to continue on and we found that we could not be fair to people [we employed] and go forward. The company and school are closed down and we hope it is temporary." Los Angeles Times 05/26/00

    Friday May 26

    • MARTHA GRAHAM COMPANY TO CLOSE: Citing major financial difficulties, trustees of the Martha Graham Dance Company have voted to shut down the company. "They haven't raised the money to go on," said Graham Center board member Ron Protas, Graham's heir and head of the trust that owns all of her choreography. Washington Post 05/26/00

    Thursday May 25

    • CHAOS AT OHIO BALLET: Only three of Ohio Ballet's 19 dancers have signed contracts for next season, and dancers are protesting their rookie artistic director's handling of the company. "All the dancers of Ohio Ballet made a pact to walk out if Jeffrey Graham Hughes continued as artistic director. None of the dancers signed their contracts for next season in hopes that the board would have the best interest of the company in mind." Cleveland Plain Dealer 05/25/00

    Tuesday May 23

    • TEST OF TRADITION: The Bolshoi Ballet and Opera are struggling with their own survival. "A crumbling building, mixed critical reviews and shaky finances plague the renowned ballet and opera company as its members rehearse for a tour of the United States." The Age (Melbourne) (AP) 05/23/00
    • REBUILDING A COUNTRY: How do you rebuild after the war? With dance. "Chechens are a people of great artistry. Through dance they strive to express their anger, their pain, their love of peace." New York Times 05/23/00 (one-time registration required for entry)
    • REEL DANCE: Australia hosts its first festival devoted to dance movies. Just one question though - how do you define what's a dance movie? Sydney Morning Herald 05/23/00

    Sunday May 21

    • DANCING ON EDGE: Dance Theater of Harlem's Arthur Mitchell and New York City Ballet's Peter Martins, Balanchine progeny both, talk about the challenges of directing dance companies in modern times. New York Times 05/21/00 (one-time registration required for entry) 
    • LOW POINTE: Washington DC's Kennedy Center says it runs one of the best dance series in the country. "But over the past several years the ballet program has sunk to an alarming depth. The number of subscribers plummeted more than 40 percent between the '91-92 season and last year." Despite highlights such as Moscow's Bolshoi, audiences have had to suffer through "Dracula," a commercially driven hit that gets high marks for boredom, and "Nutcracker on Ice," "an effort by a troupe of lower-tier Russian skaters that probably cost the center about 89 bucks and looked it." Washington Post 05/21/00

    Monday May 15

    • OVERKILL: Someone took out an ad supporting National Ballet of Canada dancer Kimberly Glasco in her wrongful-dismissal fight against the dance company. But the inflammatory ad says "Glasco's dismissal was not for artistic reasons and likens it to the dismissal in 1933 of leading Jewish artists in Nazi Germany." That's got The Canadian Jewish Congress upset. CBC 05/15/00

    Sunday May 14

    • COME DANCE WITH ME: Ballet almost never makes it to the big screen these days. So the dance known as "Baby Baryshnikov" is happy for the new dance-centric  "Center Stage." Boston Herald 05/14/00

    Friday May 12

    • ELECTRO-DANCE: There's something about movies that makes dance pop out at you. No, you can't do some of the moves you do on a stage and make them translate. But the movie-dance tradition is electrifying. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 05/12/00

    Wednesday May 10

    • THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA goes to court to argue that an arbitrator didn't have the right to order the company to reinstate a dancer the company fired. CBC 05/10/00

    Monday May 8

    • TRADITION: The Kirov Ballet has been dancing "La Bayadère" for 123 uninterrupted years. "The staging is blessed with design as old-fashioned and as marvelous as the dramatics of the piece itself: the Kirov retains the meticulous scenery made for a 1904 production, with all the magic of painted backdrops and illusionistic perspectives, soaring palaces and abundant greenery. (The sets now in use are scrupulous copies of the originals.) The ballet also honours something sadly ignored in the current performance style of the 19th-century repertoire: the power of dramatic gesture." Financial Times 05/08/00
    • THE FRENCH VERSION: Paris Opera Ballet christens new Lowry Center with its own "Bayadere" For its first British visit in 16 years the Paris Opera Ballet brought Rudolf Nureyev's staging of La Bayadère, the last production Nureyev worked on before he died in early 1993. Nureyev had already given the Parisians half a dozen stagings of the Russian classics, but this was to be his grandest vision yet for the company. The Times (London) 05/08/00

    Sunday May 7

    • DEFINING MOMENTS: It doesn't matter whether you're a small regional ballet company or the mighty American Ballet Theater (ABT). "Swan Lake" is the classic that sets the standard. ABT debuts its new swan, plowing every resource the company can muster and a $1.4 million budget.  New York Times 05/07/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Saturday May 6

    • BE TRUE TO ME: Unlike music or theater that can be written down and faithfully reproduced, dance has always had the problem of being recreated faithful to the original. "Videotaping and dance notation now augment the age-old handing down of dances from one performer to another. But what about differences in individual interpretation or even a choreographer's different versions? Which should be the interpretation of record?" New York Times 05/06/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Wednesday May 3

    • WANTED: SUCCESSFUL SUCCESSOR: Now that Ross Stretton is moving on to head up London's Royal Ballet, what's to become of the Australian Ballet? And who should lead it? Sydney Morning Herald 05/03/00

    Tuesday May 2

    • FIRST AID: The National Dance Program gets a $6 million grant from the Doris Duke Foundation to support dance. "To date, the National Dance Project has reached approximately 820,000 people in 41 states, and provided production grants to 65 dance projects and touring grants to 271 presenters." Boston Globe 05/02/00
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