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WEEGEE’S BALLERINA

weegee

A press release arrives, announcing an exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York. Titled Unknown Weegee, the show runs from June 9 through August 27, 2006. It's culled from ICP's vast collection of images--over 18 thousand--made chiefly in the 1930s and '40s by the tabloid photographer Arthur Fellig (1899-1968), best known by his moniker, Weegee. The announcement is illustrated with the strange and striking shot you see here. In this early release, the figure is not identified; the photograph is enigmatically captioned … [Read more...]

LEAPS ON THE HIGH SEAS IN AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S `CORSAIRE’

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on July 7, 2006. July 7 (Bloomberg) -- American Ballet Theatre's three-act pirate ballet ``Le Corsaire,'' at the Metropolitan Opera House this weekend, simply wants to entertain you. Its local color is lavish: the exotic bazaars of Turkey, the high and dangerous seas. Crammed with adventure, ``Corsaire'' offers kidnapping and shipwreck, raids and romance. Blithely immune to political correctness, it makes the most of gorgeous gals being sold into slavery. Its excuse? … [Read more...]

SWANS, SYLVIAS, JULIETS ABOUND AT FINALE OF ABT SEASON

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 30, 2006. June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Ballerinas in peril headline the final weeks of American Ballet Theatre's current season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Before the company's run ends on July 15, they'll be continually menaced by death itself, and fates worse than death. This weekend, Michele Wiles, Paloma Herrera and Julie Kent -- who will mark her 20th year with ABT on July 14 --alternate in the dual role of the poetic Odette and the dazzling Odile in ABT … [Read more...]

STEROID FLAMENCO MISSES THE HEART OF THE DANCE

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 23, 2006. June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Flamenco is intimate, essentially tragic. Practitioners have been trying forever to theatricalize the form for the commercial stage. But Rafael Amargo, a celebrated performer-director in his native Spain, may be the first to use flamenco as the backbone of an entertainment that falls between vaudeville and musical comedy. His 2002 ``Poeta en Nueva York,'' given the first of two performances at New York City Center last night, … [Read more...]

A GISELLE TO DIE FOR; BYE-BYE BOCCA (FROM WEEKEND IN N.Y.)

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 15, 2006. June 15 (Bloomberg) -- American Ballet Theatre is concluding a week of ``Giselles,'' fielding no fewer than five ballerinas in the title role. Diana Vishneva, from the Kirov Ballet, plays the tragic heroine Saturday evening. The ballet has been going strong since 1841 and the part has been called ``the ballerina's `Hamlet.''' Giselle, an innocent peasant girl whose aristocratic suitor betrays her, goes mad -- lengthily and vividly -- dying when her weak … [Read more...]

FAIRY KISS (FROM WEEKEND IN N.Y.)

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 9, 2006. June 9 (Bloomberg) -- The New York City Ballet's Sunday matinee at the New York State Theater offers a small Balanchine gem featuring one of the company's most precocious stars-in-the-making. George Balanchine's 1972 Divertimento from ``Le Baiser de la Fee'' is driven by the choreographer's mystical streak. Created in 1972 to a Stravinsky score, it's an abstract ballet haunted by the suggestion that love and loss are engineered by the workings of … [Read more...]

MAN FROM MOSCOW POLISHES CITY BALLET’S DIAMOND

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 9, 2006. June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Finally, some glitter! New York City Ballet's Diamond Project, intended to stimulate the company's dancers and its audience through new creations, had been a glum affair until last night's premiere of the sixth of seven commissioned works, ``Russian Seasons.'' Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, artistic director of Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, the piece is astute and appealing. Simple, yet sophisticated in construction, it's infused … [Read more...]

ABT’S CINDERELLA LIVES IN SUBURBIA WITH BOOZY MOM

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 5, 2006. June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Made for each other, the shy young woman and her awed princely partner can barely let their eyes meet, let alone allow their hands to touch. Yet in the space of a few minutes their hesitant dance escalates into an ecstatic declaration of love -- the kind that lasts forever after. This appealing duet is a high point of James Kudelka's 2004 ``Cinderella,'' given its New York premiere by American Ballet Theatre on June 2 at the … [Read more...]

YOUTHFUL BODIES FLY INTO DANCE CAREERS AT BALLET WORKSHOP SHOWS

This article originally appeared in the Culture section of Bloomberg News on June 1, 2006. June 1 (Bloomberg) -- A pair of trim-bodied teenagers are dancing in a huge Lincoln Center studio rimmed with ballet barres. The petite, sweet-faced young woman zooms across the space like a plane on its runway and, airborne, flings herself at her partner head first, body horizontal. He catches her deftly, saving her from sudden death and managing to look princely about it. These beautiful daredevils are rehearsing for the annual School of American … [Read more...]

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER PERFORMS JAMES KUDELKA’S ‘CINDERELLA’ AT THE MET

This article originally appeared in the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times on May 28, 2006. I SEE Cinderella not only as a fairy-tale character but also as a real person, feeling, experiencing and moving among us," Sergei Prokofiev has been quoted as writing of his score for the ballet "Cinderella." Composed in 1945, it has inspired numerous choreographers with very different takes on the theme, among them, recently, James Kudelka. His "Cinderella," created in 2004 for his home company, the National Ballet of Canada, will be given … [Read more...]

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