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Dvorovenko Moves On

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Irina Dvorovenko as Polyhymnia in George Balanchine’s Apollo Photo:  Marty Sohl On May 18, Irina Dvorovenko gave her final performance with American Ballet Theatre as Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin.  She plans to continue dancing elsewhere as a guest artist. Portrait of Dvorovenko Photo:  Gene Schiavone Interestingly, she probably has a higher rating for good looks than any—except, perhaps, for Julie Kent­­—­­of the illustrious ballerinas who have danced with the company in, say, the last decade.  This just proves, once again, that in … [Read more...]

Untitled

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American Ballet Theatre / City Center, NYC / October 16-20, 2012 American Ballet Theatre, financially afflicted like many a dance company in these stringent days, gave a Fall “season” consisting of just one “week”—October 16-20.  Did the brevity of the run ensure the excellence of the repertory?   Presented at the City Center, it consisted of seven ballets or stand-alone excerpts, none of which was filler or “novelty.”   Most were safe (and worthy) favorites—Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, for instance; Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading; Twyla … [Read more...]

Preview from Seattle

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Works & Process:  Pacific Northwest Ballet / Guggenheim Museum, NYC / September 9 & 10, 2012 The dance programs in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, each a 90-minute presentation that shunts between dancing and talking, are viewed, live, two or three times, in the museum’s tiny theater, and telecast simultaneously from sea to shining sea.  Most often, these lecture-dems serve as preludes to a run in New York; in harsher words the company that’s featured is shilling for its upcoming shows.  The tough practicality of … [Read more...]

A Ballet Romance

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Paris Opera Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 11-22, 2012 Say that, as a dance fan, you happen to have a young child in your life who’s showing a burgeoning interest in—perhaps even an instinctive love for—dancing.   If you take her or him to the ballet to see one of the venerable 19th-century classics, you want to be sure it’s a production that’s faithful to its tradition—not savagely cut, skewed, or “reimagined” beyond recognition.  The very young, with their acute receptivity, deserve the very best. The Paris … [Read more...]

Made in France

Lincoln Center Festival 2012

Paris Opera Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / July 11-22, 2012 The Paris Opera Ballet, playing at the David H. Koch through July 22, gets the prize for vintage achievement.  Formed in 1669, it has the distinction of being the world’s oldest classical ballet troupe.  The academy that produces most of its dancers dates from 1713.  Naturally, this legendary institution, absent from New York for 16 years, had to re-introduce itself. The Paris Opera Ballet’s Aurélie Dupont  (center, held aloft) with fellow artists of the … [Read more...]

Swans

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American Ballet Theatre / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / through July 7, 2012 In the past week American Ballet Theatre has been offering a handsome array of dancers to play Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in Kevin McKenzie’s version of Swan Lake.  Steeling myself against the choreography—as mistaken and misshapen as Peter Martins’ Lake for the New York City Ballet—I chose to see three pairs:  Paloma Herrera and Ángel Corella (in his farewell performance with the company); Polina Semionova and David Hallberg (currently … [Read more...]

Five-Alarm “Firebird”

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American Ballet Theatre:  Alexei Ratmansky’s new Firebird / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / season runs through July 7, 2012 I can’t imagine what Alexei Ratmansky was thinking of in creating his New Look Firebird.  To begin with—and this is the first thing you notice--it‘s dressed for Las Vegas by Galina Solovyeva, with complementary décor (including a sci-fi forest with hints of porn) by Simon Pastukh.  It wrests the fairy-tale narrative that Michel Fokine created for his 1910 L’Oiseau de Feu (in which good, abetted by … [Read more...]

Armchair Travel

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American Ballet Theatre / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / through July 7, 2012 We are in India, a long and mythical time ago.  A Brahmin priest lusts after Nikiya,  the loveliest of the temple dancers, a situation acceptable neither to his gods nor to the young woman.  She loves the warrior Solor, who returns her feelings.  Solor, however, has been promised to the rajah’s daughter, Gamzatti, who, in desperation (or an access of evil), finishes off her rival with a poisonous viper embedded in a basket of flowers.  Nikiya has a … [Read more...]

Starry Night

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American Ballet Theatre:  Gala / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 14, 2012 The 15 items presented in American Ballet Theatre’s gala opening night program proceeded, one after another, like items on a To Do list.  The individual numbers, most of them familiar (at least half of them overfamiliar), provided many an occasion for multiple fouettés for the ladies, kamikaze feats both old and startlingly new for the gentlemen, and crises of passion for the couples.  The show fulfilled its ostensible purpose of presenting every … [Read more...]

What’s New?

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New York City Ballet :  Spring Gala, Á La Française / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 10, 2012 New York City Ballet’s spring gala treated its extravagantly dressed audience to two new ballets—one by Peter Martins, who heads the company, the other by the dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who recently retired from performing with the company and will be pursuing an ambitious project in Los Angeles.  The evening was called Á La Française (in the French manner) and was duly decked out in French references—in the … [Read more...]

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