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Friday June 30

  • BALLERINA BACKLASH: Deborah Bull, a principal dancer with London’s Royal Ballet, has publicly criticized the controversial new book “The Student Dancer” and pulled out of her planned involvement in its launch. The result of a 15-year study, the book claims young dancers are mentally and physically damaged by their intensive training and are commonly pressured to become anorexic. The Independent 06/30/00

  • Thursday June 29

    • POINTED CRITICISM: A new 15-year study in Britain finds that training for ballet dancers not only damages young dancers by pressuring them to become anorexic, but produces "incredibly emotionally immature youngsters who are ill equipped to cope with the complexities of life beyond their narrow, rarefied existence. Low self-esteem is rife in a milieu where no tutors are required to undergo training, and teaching is often archaic." The Guardian 06/29/00

    Wednesday June 28

    • BRITISH CONDUCTOR ANDREA QUINN, former director of London’s Royal Ballet, will take over as music director of New York City Ballet in August 2001. New York Times 06/28/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Tuesday June 27

    • GOING FOR THE...OH WELL:  The winners of the New York International Ballet Competition are announced. Actually, there was no big winner (no gold medal was awarded), but... New York Times 06/27/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    • THE STATE OF A LEGEND: The Bolshoi Ballet has been selling out and winning raves on its current tour, reinforcing its stories place in the ballet world. "Every large performing arts center in the nation will no doubt shortly be calling Moscow to ask about 2002, and there's plenty of new repertory to choose from. However, the six Pavilion performances raised major questions about the current artistic level of the Bolshoi and, in particular, the quality of its coaching." Los Angeles Times 06/27/00

    Sunday June 25

    • LEGENDARY BALLET RUSSES holds a reunion in New Orleans. New York Times 06/25/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Thursday June 22

    • POPPING WHEELIES: Is there something odd about dancing in a wheel chair? "When you think about it, theatrical dancing is a pretty odd thing all by itself, remaking and deploying the body in ways it wouldn't intuitively go. Physical comics, mimes, acrobats, masks, and surrealism have always been at home on the dance stage - along with, more recently, flying bodies, moonwalkers, and okay, wheelchairs. All these exaggerations and ultra-specializations of human behavior can enrich that peculiar ability dance has to superimpose the imaginary on the real before our very eyes." Boston Phoenix 06/22/00

    Monday June 19

    • MORRIS MAJOR: Mark Morris Dance Group celebrates its 20th anniversary next year. Still as flamboyant and opinionated as ever, Morris is one of the most sought after choreographers in the business and continues to churn out dazzling new dances. “Over the years his choreography has changed along with his taste in music. In the beginning it was provocative but playful, howling with a homosexual humour and sticking two fingers up at the more ascetic work of his contemporaries. Later, that sense of fun was allied to [his] talent for making jubilantly musical dance that could be as profound as it was frisky.” London Times 06/19/00

    Sunday June 18

    • NINA BALLERINA: Nina Ananiashvili is taking the US by storm on the Bolshoi's current tour. After years of fighting for her artistic freedom, she's now trying to juggle her "insane" perfectionism with a busy international career. Los Angeles Times 06/18/00

    • DANCING ON EDGE: Just what do arts competitions really prove anyway? This week the New York International Ballet Competition begins. "All dance competitions have a paradox at their core: on one hand, the dancers struggle to 'do it right,' to understand what is expected of them, and on the other, the judges hope to find dancers who will deliver the unexpected within a formally controlled context." New York Times 06/18/00 (one-time registration required for entry)

    Wednesday June 14

    • HOMAGE TO A CLASSIC: The Kirov Ballet has meticulously restored "Sleeping Beauty" to as near to the original as possible. "In an age when the old ballets are mugged, de-natured, crippled, how wonderful to see a company which believes that the past, albeit another country, is worth visiting and respecting rather than guying and abusing." Financial Times 06/14/00

      • TAKEN TO A MAGIC LAND: "What must surely be the most sumptuous ballet production seen in modern times." The Telegraph (London) 06/14/00

    • ALL THE CHOREOGRAPHY IN ONE PLACE: Every two years the Canadian Dance Festival gathers up the best in Canadian dance and puts it on display in once place. Toronto Globe and Mail 06/14/00

    Sunday June 11

    • PRIMARY SOURCES: The great Kirov Ballet has put on its detective hat to recreate the long-lost original "Sleeping Beauty." "We will see almost every step as Tsar Alexander III saw it in 1890, almost every detail that the brilliant Marius Petipa choreographed to Tchaikovsky's extraordinary music, and every design as the ballet's ambitious originator, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, drew it." The Telegraph (London) 06/11/00

    • SHOW BIZ SLEEPING BEAUTY: The English National Ballet is underfunded, says its director. So he puts on a show, the critics be damned. "On our Australian tour of Swan Lake last year, our smallest audience a night was 7,800 and our largest was 11,000 - 11,000 Australians, sporty people, who stood on their feet and roared. When I'm looking at that, I don't care what anybody says. If the productions were naff, the dancing substandard, the costumes tacky, I'd mind. But this is the highest quality you can find." The Sunday Times (London) 06/11/00

    • THE GREATEST DANCER OF OUR ERA? For nearly the last 15 years of his ballet career, Rudolf Nureyev "did everything possible to destroy his reputation, dancing too often, too badly, eventually too unwatchably to be anything more than classical ballet's grimmest joke. And yet, surprisingly, almost impossibly, his artistic rehabilitation is now in full swing, fed by new evidence that, if not the greatest dancer of our era, he may well have been the most original and influential." Los Angeles Times 06/11/00

    Friday June 9

    • DANCE COMPANY FOLDS: The demise of Budapest's Szeged National Theater’s internationally acclaimed contemporary ballet ensemble has fueled concerns over the future of the arts in Hungary. Budapest Sun 06/09/00

    • LOOKING FOR LOVE: Sizing up the search for a new artistic director for Boston Ballet. Boston Herald 06/09/00

    • AUSTRALIA BALLET CONTENDERS: Since Australian Ballet artistic director Ross Stretton announced his departure, the company has been accepting applications to fill his place. Two hopeful in-house candidates have already turned in their CV's: one, a principal dancer, and the other, the ballet master. Sydney Morning Herald 06/09/00

    Thursday June 8

    • SHOOTING STARS: Russia's Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov) has a new star. "Because of her, the Mariinsky is suddenly hot again. It's the Russian equivalent of a new home-run hitter lighting up Yankee Stadium or a fresh tenor conquering La Scala." Washington Post 06/08/00

    Monday June 5

    • BROADWAY REDISCOVERS DANCE: There was a time there, during the mega-musical era when Broadway seemed to forget what it was like to dance. Now most of the best musicals are energized by movement as the street remembers how much fun it is to dance. The Times (London) 06/05/00

    Sunday June 4

    • DANCE COMPANY TAKES A YEAR OFF: Dance Connecticut, the one-year-old company founded out of the ashes of Hartford Ballet, surprises everyone and announces it will take a year off. The company - which had a well-received first season - will use the year to plan for the future, organizers say. Hartford Courant 06/04/00 

    • AND THE LATEST STAR ON BROADWAY? Dance. All the best shows gotta have it these days. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 06/04/00

    Friday June 2

    • OVERKILL? The National Ballet of Canada is suing NOW Magazine for $1 million over an ad the magazine published last month supporting fired dancer Kimberly Glasco. The ad compared the non-renewal of Glasco's contract to the dismissal of Jewish artists in Nazi Germany. CBC 06/02/00

    Thursday June 1

    • NOTHING A SOLD-OUT TOUR WON'T HELP: The Bolshoi Ballet started their first U.S. tour since the collapse of the Soviet Union with a three-hour “Romeo and Juliet” at Washington’s Kennedy Center. The 224-year-old Bolshoi has recently been recovering from an ousted artistic director and serious financial woes - that a sell-out U.S. tour should help ease. CNN 05/31/00

      • FIRST NIGHT: Lavish sets and costumes are a hallmark of the historic Moscow-based company; more surprising was the clean luster of the dancing. Leading a thoroughly excellent cast, the Bolshoi's prima ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili, used her dagger-sharp technique to emphasize the headlong passions that drive this story of unstoppable love. Washington Post 06/01/00

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