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Dance

  • Sightings: Regina Opera, "Carmen"

    WendyChu in "Carmen" (Regina Opera)

    WendyChu

    The Brooklyn Daily Eagle says, "The principal dancers, Wendy Chu partnered by Nolan McKew were magical..." in this performance of Carmen by the Regina Opera. 

    Read the full review here.

    Photo © Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2010

    Wendy is wearing Class Act Tutus' Sweetheart Bodice with Nude inset in "Amethyst" with a Color-Layered Romantic Tutu skirt in:  Dusty Rose, Wine and Eggplant

  • Congratulations, Susan Jaffe

    SusanJaffeA hearty congratulations goes out to Ms. Susan Jaffe, American Ballet Theatre's new Ballet Mistress. According to American Ballet Theatre's Facebook page, Ms. Jaffe's promotion will be effective as of October 2010.

    Susan Jaffe retired from her position as a Principal Dancer with the company back in 2002, after an amazing 22 year career. Then in 2003, "she co-founded the Princeton Dance and Theater Studio in Princeton New Jersey, a school she co-owns with Risa Kaplowitz. She is also co-founder and co-director of DanceVision and DanceVision Youth Ensemble in Princeton." ~ American Ballet Theatre Facebook Fan Page


  • Paul McCartney to Score Ballet

    Paul McCartney to score classical ballet.

    Paul

    Okay, all you Beatles fans! Check this out! We've just learned that Sir Paul McCartney has been tapped to write the musical score for an upcoming ballet. How cool is that?

    While there's no official word yet about the particulars of the ballet nor the company performing it, we have a few thoughts in mind. (Who says ballet and rock 'n roll doesn't go together?) If you have a few suspicions rolling around your head, leave a comment below. No prizes will be awarded outside of bragging rights, but those are often do quite nicely.

  • Bolshoi Mourns the Loss of Semyonova

    Marina Semyonova as Diane de Mireille in The Flames of Paris. Photo courtesy Bolshoi Theatre.

    Marina

    "Marina Semyonova, one of the first great Soviet prima ballerinas who made her debut in the 1920s, has died," Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre said on Wednesday. "Semyonova began her career at the Kirov ballet, now the Mariinsky, in Saint Petersburg before moving to the Bolshoi in 1930, where she danced until 1952."  - AFP (Moscow)

    "A graduate of the St. Petersburg Ballet School and a pupil of the world famous ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova, Marina Semenova was the first Soviet ballerina to have tremendous success on foreign stages in the 1930s. She worked with the Kirov Ballet – now the Mariinsky Theatre – until 1930 when Stalin had her transferred to the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

    "She danced all the leading parts in classical ballet repertoire, including Giselle, Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty”, Odette-Odile in “Swan Lake”, Raimonda and many more." - RT Top Stories. Click here to read more.

  • A Royal Exhibition-Royal Ballet's Famous Costumes On Display

    _48023305_009476623-1"Costumes worn by Dame Margot Fonteyn and set designs by Picasso are going on display as part of a major exhibition by the Royal Ballet. The Lowry Centre, in Salford, will host the retrospective celebrating the history and future of the company. The exhibition will tell the story of the Royal Ballet from its foundations in the late 1920s to the present day." Highlights from this stunning display feature "a recreation of Margot Fonteyn's dressing room as it was at the Royal Opera House with her make-up cases, mascot, shoe darning kit, practice clothes, spare shoe ribbons and the Odette tutu from the 1952 production of Swan Lake."

    {Blogger's Note: I don't know about you, but I would love to see this!}

    You can read the rest of the article here.  Information about the upcoming exhibit can be found here.

  • Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppelia

    Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppélia  All photos © Angela Sterling

    Pacific

    Pacific Northwest Ballet pulled out all the stops with their latest production of George Balanchine's, Coppelia.  This fantastic production features all new lavishly designed (read: gorgeous!) sets, to die for costumes, and of course the high-caliber artistry that PNB is world-famous for.

    Swanilda/Coppélia

    Saturday's matinee featured Lesley Rausch as Swanilda/Coppelia, Jerome Tisserand as Franz, and Olivier Wevers as Dr. Coppelius.  Right off the bat, I have to give serious applause to Rausch for her outstanding interpretation. She not only delighted everyone in the audience with her arrogance and saucy attitude, but she transported us into the heart of her character. Sure, Swanilda isn't the nicest of young ladies, but her love for Franz is evident, even when faced with the sting of rejection.
     

    Franz

    Jerome Tisserand's Franz was perfectly executed. Like Rausch, he had a way drawing me in, making me feel almost as fed up with Swanilda's antics as he was. His attitude was a perfect blend of inflated ego meets young playboy looking for love.  After discovering that his love interest is only a doll, one would expect Franz to act a bit more sheepish over his foolish behavior. (I mean, seriously!) However, Tisserand remains true to character and Franz casually glosses over that "minor faux pas" with a sudden profession of love for Swanilda, which of course, she accepts.

    Dr. Coppelius

     
    Olivier Wevers deserved the standing ovation he received for his performance as the highly eccentric, slightly creepy, Dr. Coppelius. How it is Wevers can pull such multi-faceted characters out of his back pocket is beyond me! His Dr. Coppelius was a thrilling "yin and yang"; an absent-minded and lonely old man, whose walking stick doubles as a handy weapon against "the wild hooligans" of the town. But underneath that "grumpy old man" veneer lurks a borderline-fiendish soul.

    Honorable Mentions

     
    Act three's splendid cast also deserves special mention. I was most impressed by Carrie Imler's "Dawn" and Sarah Ricard Orza's "Prayer". These dancers gave equally passionate and exquisite performances. Imler was a vision of dazzling sunlight--bright, confident and striking.  Ricard Orza danced "Like a fairy tale princess!" (to quote the little one sitting next to me) with her flowing port de bras and delicate phrasing. The action-packed "Discord and War" featured Batkhurel Bold and Lindsi Dec entering the stage like wild flashes of lightning dressed in silvery armor. As always, the power behind these two striking  dancers takes your breath away. Their amazing turns and leaps were all done whilst holding long spears--none of which whacked anyone else nor made kabobs out of their thighs. (An acrobatic feat of epic proportions, especially when you consider how clumsy the rest of is--read: yours truly!--would be in the same situation.)PNB's Coppelia is filled with good natured humor, an outstanding cast, and delicious imagery. If you haven't yet made your way to McCaw Hall to catch the "Happiest Ballet on Earth!", I would highly suggest that you do so. Like...today!

    Coppelia runs from June 3rd-13th. Tickets are available by visiting PNB.org.

     

    For those of you unable to attend, please enjoy our gallery of  Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere production of Coppélia: Choreography by Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa).

    All Photos © Angela Sterling

    For more stunning dance photos, visit  Angela Sterling Photography.


    By Denise Opper

  • Stars of ABT Honor Legendary Alicia Alonso

     

    Alicia_Alonso

    Alicia

    "Alicia Alonso {director of Ballet Nacional de Cuba} accepted the sold-out audience’s adoring ovation at the Metropolitan Opera House from a central box seat before Thursday night’s American Ballet Theatre performance. But one sensed that this legendary ballerina, being saluted by the company with an evening to celebrate her 90th birthday, would find her way to center stage, and she did, culminating the boisterous, rousing event....

    "Alonso (who actually turns 90 on Dec. 21) was a member of Ballet Theatre (as ABT was initially known) during its earliest years. Plagued by vision problems – over which she repeatedly triumphed -- since early in her career, she is now virtually blind. Celebrated for the distinctive stamp she put on the role of Giselle, she also performed in many new ballets during the 1940s...." Read the full article from the Los Angeles Times here.   For added enjoyment, check out the interview with this fascinating ballerina in the New York Times.

  • By Popular Demand, Ailey Spirit Return to BAM Stage

     

    BAM2010_interior_pageThe Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is ready to thrill audiences during its Encore Season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, June 10-20th. The twelve-performance showcase features two of the company's most beloved works: "Ailey Spirit" and "By Popular Demand".  For a special treat, check out this terrific interview with Ailey dancer, Yannick Lebrun!

  • Farewell to a Legend

     

    The late dancer and choreographer, Merce Cunningham

    The

    Everyone in the dance world knows the name Merce Cunningham. This legendary dancer/choreographer's works have been presented by companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and more.

    On February 12th 2010, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company launched a two-year "Legacy Tour" in Columbus OH. The farewell celebration will reach over 40 cities world-wide, with a final performance set for New Year's Eve 2011 in Manhattan. The tour "offers audiences a final chance to see Merce's choreography performed by the company he personally trained." - Quote courtesy Merce.org

    Last week, the company performed a re-staged production of Cunningham's final work,  Nearly 90² in Montreal. You can read all about it here.

  • PNB du Soleil - Former Principal Returns With Cirque

     

    Photo: Trapeze, courtesy OSA Images. Costume credit: Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt © 2007 Cirque du Soleil

    Photo:

    The world-famous Cirque du Soleil returns to Redmond Washington’s Marymoor Park with KOOZA, June 3-July 2.  Currently in its fourth year, KOOZA "is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.” ~ Quote Cirque du Soleil.com

     This magnificent performance features a cast of 53 brilliant artists, including acrobats, musicians and dancers. Oh, and speaking of dancers (wink-wink!), here's an exciting piece of news for you! The program’s artistic director, Adam Miller is a former principal with Pacific Northwest Ballet (1980-1986)!  Isn't that amazing?  You can read all about it here. 

     

     

     

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