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Subject: "Latest Review Links w/b 8th April 2002" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2625
Reading Topic #2625

08-04-02, 09:07 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"Latest Review Links w/b 8th April 2002"
   Each day we add the latest links to reviews and interviews that we find on the major newspaper web sites around the world. If you find a link that we have missed do please post it up, preferably as a URL link.

Last weeks thread:

Bookmarking this page:
Click on the following link and then bookmark the links page that comes back - it's a special URL that will always bring you to the thread with the latest reviews:

We should not need to state this but these links are for our readers use and not for other websites to take and pass off as their own. We ask all visitors to respect Ballet.co's site and the way it operates.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  Monday Links - 8 April 2002 Bruceadmin 08-04-02 1
  Tuesday Links - 9 April 2002 Bruceadmin 09-04-02 2
     RE: Tuesday Links - 9 April 2002 (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 09-04-02 3
         RE: Wednesdya links - 10th April AnnWilliams 10-04-02 4
             RE: Wednesday links - 10th April (2) AnnWilliams 10-04-02 5
                 RE: Wednesday links - 10th April (3) Brendan McCarthymoderator 10-04-02 6
                     RE: Thursday links - 11th April AnnWilliams 11-04-02 7
                         RE: Thursday links - 11th April (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 11-04-02 8
                             RE: Thursday links - 11th April (3) AnnWilliams 11-04-02 9
                             RE: Friday links - 12th April AnnWilliams 12-04-02 10
                             RE: Friday links - 12th April (2) AnnWilliams 12-04-02 11
                             RE: Friday links - 12th April Jane S 12-04-02 14
                             RE: Thursday links - 11th April (3) Paul A 12-04-02 12
                             RE: Friday links - 12th April (3) Brendan McCarthymoderator 12-04-02 13
  Saturday Links - 13 April 2002 Bruceadmin 13-04-02 15
  Sunday Links - 14 April 2002 Bruceadmin 14-04-02 16
     RE: Sunday Links - 14 April 2002 Brendan McCarthymoderator 14-04-02 17

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08-04-02, 09:09 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "Monday Links - 8 April 2002"
In response to message #0
   Ten Leading Ballet Dancers in Britain
The Top Brass: Perfect poise and the Nutcrackers who made critics' eyes water
The 10 leading ballet dancers in Britain, as chosen by their peers
Compiled by Kate Hilpern
Dancing Times seems to have advised in some way on the list
The list is:
Alina Cojocaru
Chi Cao
Iain Mackay
Robert Parker
Ivan Putrov
Yosvani Ramos
Tamara Rojo
Nao Sakuma
Erina Takahashi
Edward Watson

Latvia National Ballet
Latvians in exotic Scotland
Salford, Lowry
"Latvia's National Ballet, from Riga, has just made its British debut at the Lowry Centre. Two traditional stagings - Coppelia and La Sylphide - were on offer. Of these, the Sylphide was markedly superior: a version of Bournonville's bewitching and bewitched Highland tragedy by Xenia Ter-Stepanova.
    "Scotland, seen through the views of a Dane (Bournonville), a Russian (Ter-Stepanova, a distinguished Kirov artist), and a Latvian ensemble, is an exotic spot. Kilts tend towards Laura Ashley; bonnets can be square, though cocked over one eye; a couple of sporrans were adorned with dead mice, and the glens (the sylph's pretty domain) had a Disney-ish air, while James's home looked distinctly paltry. Never mind: the dancing was eager, which counts for a lot. Of course Bournonville lost some of his savour, and dramatic playing was over-emphatic (I felt that life in Riga might involve a lot of what Anthony Powell described as "active emotional employment - like chasing an attractive person round some wet laurels")."

Scottish Ballet
The Two Pigeons
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
by Kelly Apter
"VERSATILITY is becoming a watchword at Scottish Ballet.
    "Their last venture saw them playing giant fruit in The Snowman. Prior to that, their Mixed Programme indicated a definite grasp of the modern idiom.
    "Artistic director Robert North may soon be bidding them adieu, but he can leave safe in the knowledge that his dancers have more strings to their bow than when he arrived."

Ashton in Swiss Cottage...
thanks to Anne for alerting us to this one
part of a Digital festival at the Swiss Cottage Odeon
"Fans of ballet will know instantly that this vintage Anthony Sibley version is a classic joy to behold. Mon 15: 1pm, 6.30pm, 8.40pm;"

Grigorovich Ballet
Everybody Loves 'Raymonda'?
Grand Work Gets Weak Treatment From Grigorovich
Washington, George Mason University's Center
By Alexandra Tomalonis
"Marius Petipa's "Raymonda" is the grandest of the grand old ballets. First staged in 1898 to Alexander Glazunov's ravishing score, it is rarely danced in America. The work has seen many changes over the century, but Petipa's basic structure has remained -- the first act is a suite of classical dances; the second, character dances; and the third, a combination of the two (the famous "Grand Pas Classique" and "Grand Pas Hongroise") to celebrate the wedding of Raymonda and her Crusader fiance, Jean de Brienne.
    "Enter Yuri Grigorovich, who led the Bolshoi Ballet during the Soviet era and now has his own company, the Grigorovich Ballet, which danced his "Raymonda" Saturday night at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. The production is a pared-down version of the one the Bolshoi danced at the Kennedy Center about 15 years ago, with one major exception: The third-act dances have been moved to the beginning of the ballet, which not only leaves the work without an ending but also forces the ballerina to perform some of the most difficult choreography in the classical repertory cold, not to mention unmarried.
    "Add to this ugly and dated costumes that made the ballet look like a fairy tale set on another planet and a recording that sounded as though it were being played on an ancient Victrola hidden under a mattress, and even a first-rate company would have found it hard to deliver a good performance.

Compagnie Maguy Marin
A Rag Doll Escapes the Scullery, Thanks to Glass Slippers
New York
"Enchanting is still the word for the Lyon Opera Ballet's "Cendrillon," the dollhouse version of "Cinderella" with which the French choreographer Maguy Marin scored such a triumph at the company's New York debut in 1987. The troupe's national tour has brought this astonishingly original retelling of a familiar tale back to the New York area for the first time in 15 years. No one interested in theater, dance or the human condition should miss "Cendrillon" at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on April 11 and 12.
    "On Friday night here at the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, all was as theatrical and heartwarming as remembered. Dancers dressed as dolls may seem a limiting concept, but Ms. Marin's genius conjures up a world of lost innocence, a re-creation of universal childhood."

Eifman Ballet
Molière and Don Juan, an Odd Couple
New York
"Ballets by Boris Eifman tend to leap dizzyingly from melancholy to giddiness, with very little emotional range between. Mr. Eifman's choreographic vocabulary is thin, and he tends to repeat devices. Dances for large ensembles, for instance, tend to be the same cantilevering romp from scene to scene and ballet to ballet. And yet, and yet.
    "No one in ballet today quite matches Mr. Eifman's profligate imagination, which finds a home in his large, daring cinematic effect. And although his dancers are indisputably of their time, they tend to project the same intense commitment of the old Bolshoi Ballet, drawing the audience in with the simplicity of their relationship to their characters and the plot."

International Festival of Dance on Film and Video
Movement at Several Frames Per Second
Rethinking notions of dance on film, a festival makes the camera an integral part of the choreography.
Los Angeles
"When the words "dance" and "film" are put together, most people think of musicals starring Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, or maybe ballet documentaries, with the action contained neatly within a proscenium arch. But what if the point is not to film a musical or reproduce a stage experience?
    "Then you have a new kind of dance-on-screen genre, a hybrid that will be seen the next two weekends at the Dance Camera West International Dance Film and Video Festival at the Getty Center. In these experimental works, the word "dance" expands to all manner of movement: nuns who somersault across seats on a moving train, men who wrestle like bulls in a cow pasture, and a romantic duet between a man and a large earth-moving vehicle. Over and over, its not just a person's performance, but also the camera's dance that draws in the viewer.

BBC Rebranding (using a dance motif)
The old lady gets a makeover
Why is the BBC advertising its logo on billboards? And does it really need a new identity? Jim Hytner is puzzled
"The new idents, which we've seen over the past week, focus on rhythm, dance and movement through different activities and moods. They have been developed, according to Heggessey, to connect with modern Britain and reflect a multicultural society - a laudable objective, and one that British Airways followed when it redesigned its tail-fins.
    "The BBC's presentation has been much more coherent and consistent over the past few years, but I do wonder whether they've lost the plot on this occasion. "What's the meaning of all this?" I can't help thinking, as dancers perform capoeira moves on a rooftop, a couple dance salsa-style across my screen, and three disabled basketball players dance to hip-hop in wheelchairs. If BBC1 wants to show the nation that it represents diversity and inclusivity, there are surely two fundamental problems with this."

Nijinsky dead
Acording to Macoon.com...
"In 1950, ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky died in London."

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09-04-02, 07:57 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "Tuesday Links - 9 April 2002"
In response to message #0
Obituaries: Benjamin Harkarvy
Eclectic dance teacher at the Juilliard
Benjamin Harkarvy, ballet teacher, artistic director and choreographer: born New York 16 December 1930; died New York 30 March 2002.
By Marilyn Hunt

Royal Ballet
London, Covent Garden
by Debra Craine
"SINCE joining the Royal Ballet in 1999 the Canadian dancer Jaimie Tapper has been quietly proving herself in the big roles. Earlier this season she was cast as Tatiana in Onegin, a gawky ugly duckling transformed by her romantic dreams into an elegant swan. Now we see Tapper’s most impressive Covent Garden debut to date, in the title role of Giselle, and it promises more great things to come.
    "From the first moment she stepped on stage on Saturday night, Tapper excited her audience. Fresh, light-hearted and charmingly gauche, her Giselle revelled in her naive courtship with Ivan Putrov’s duplicitous Albrecht, her dancing blissfully happy on his arm...."

San Francisco Ballet
SF Ballet on a sure 'Continuum'
San Francisco
By Rachel Howard
"When Christopher Wheeldon took part in San Francisco Ballet's "Discovery Program" of emerging choreographers two seasons back, he had in truth already been discovered, though not by San Franciscans.
    "One of the concerns then of those who would crown Wheeldon the new choreographic genius, and the concern lingers, is that he doesn't work in, and doesn't seem to be working toward, a distinctive style of his own.
    "His pieces for Boston Ballet and New York City Ballet (where the 29-year-old had been a soloist and is now resident choreographer) were content to try on the modes of the 20th century's greats: Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine, and Kenneth MacMillan, whom Wheeldon had studied with directly while still dancing with the Royal Ballet.

Australian Ballet
Spartacus video clip.
Just noticed this on the Sydney Morning Herald site - its in RealPlayer format. It's a long clip too but its pushing technology I think and it stops and starts a few times.
The piece is now a companion to Valerie Lawson's piece on AB's Steven Heathcote which we gave you last week. another link for you:

Lyon Opera Ballet
All-Ravel Program, With Different Choreographers for Each of Three Parts
New York
By Anna Kisselgoff
"Like Jack and Jill, the dancers in virtually any work choreographed to Ravel's "Boléro" will all fall down. In Meryl Tankard's treatment of the score for the Lyon Opera Ballet, the performers are seen in silhouette behind a large screen and come crashing down with the music as well.
    "Yet this "Boléro" and two other pieces in the all-Ravel evening presented by the Lyon company here today at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College were full of surprises. Not only did all three choreographers — Jiri Kylian, Tero Saarinen and Ms. Tankard — take an unconventional approach to the music but each piece was also sharply distinct from the others.
    "Ravel had many facets within a signature style, a variety that helped account for the originality of this program as conceived by Yorgos Loukos, the Lyon Opera Ballet's artistic director. None of the works were masterpieces, but it was a highly satisfying program."

Compagnie Maguy Marin
Off-kilter 'Points' conveys uncertainty
San Francisco
Octavio Roca, Chronicle Dance Critic
"Maguy Marin is such a fascinating choreographer that, even when she is not successful, her work is always interesting. The Compagnie Maguy Marin returned to the Bay Area over the weekend with her 2001 "Points de fuite," with music by Denis Mariotte and fragments of spoken texts by the austere and always moving Charles Peguy. It was interesting.
    "The title is translated here as "Points of Escape," but it might also be understood as Marin's meditation on the art of the fugue. How is a vertiginous pattern kept in control? How do we get out?
    "Friday night's performance at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts asked a lot of the audience. "Don't talk to me about what you are saying," one dancer after another intoned. "Just tell me how you are saying it. That is the only interesting thing."

Ballet Tech
Playing Roles in the Game of Stage Life
New York
"wo works by Eliot Feld in contrasting choreographic flavors successfully returned to the repertory of Ballet Tech on Wednesday night at the Joyce Theater: the bittersweet "Theater"(1971) and the salty "Juke Box" (1997). "Theater," to a recording of Richard Strauss's Burlesque for Piano and Orchestra, depicts theatrical performers in a commedia dell'arte production of the Italian Renaissance who find their personal lives merging with those of their characters.
    "Wu-Kang Chen is a charming dancer who moves very well. But as a mime playing Pierrot, he was made to appear droopy, sulky and entirely lacking in confidence. Onstage and off, this character pined after Ha-Chi Yu, a pert and heartless Columbina who was captivated by the capering Arlecchino of Jassen Virolas."

Jose Mateo's Ballet Theatre
'Within' is Mateo at his very best
By Christine Temin
"The ''Schubert Adagio'' that Jose Mateo choreographed in 1991 has held up beautifully. The repeated image of four couples in a diagonal shaft of light, all performing the same attenuated phrase, disappearing one by one into the darkness, sticks with you.
    "The choreography, on the program Mateo opened Friday night, has his hallmarks: a flair for exquisite, inventive visual imagery; a narrative about human relationships that stays just below the surface; a love of the lushest scores by the most romantic composers."

Debbie Allen + kids
In 'Pearl,' Kids Reign Supreme
'Snow White' Update Charms All Ages
Washington, Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre
By Dolores Whiskeyman
"Put about three dozen local youngsters ages 6 to 18 on the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre stage, dress them in festive costumes, let them groove to a pop score by James Ingram and choreography by Debbie Allen, and it almost doesn't matter what the play is about. That formula alone assures a crowd-pleaser.
    "But "Pearl," Allen's update of "Snow White," is no by-the-numbers piece. Her fourth musical for young people commissioned by the Kennedy Center, "Pearl" is a cleverly conceived "dance-driven fairy tale" that takes a few sly swipes at the cult of celebrity. Though aimed at children, "Pearl" isn't a treacly kiddie show. Allen has delivered a sophisticated work that even the most jaded adults will find engaging."

San Francisco Ballet
Ballet announces new CEO
San Francisco
Octavio Roca, Chronicle Dance Critic
"Glenn McCoy has been named San Francisco Ballet's new executive director, effective immediately.
    "He assumes the duties of current CEO Arthur Jacobus, who recently announced that he would not renew his contract in 2003. McCoy and Jacobus will work together with artistic director Helgi Tomasson for the remainder of the season to ensure a smooth transition.
    "McCoy, who turns 44 today, joined San Francisco Ballet in 1987 and has been its company manager, general manager and most recently managing director. Easygoing and well liked behind the scenes, McCoy has overseen the production of more than 50 ballets here as well as in the company's national and international engagements."

Culture chasing youth market
Youth takes centre stage in National's quest for relevance
Maev Kennedy, arts and heritage correspondent
It's not just the ROH who are going after the youf market...
"The Royal National Theatre is to go for younger audiences by staging 13 world premieres, building a studio theatre, converting conventional auditoriums, and giving permission to take a beer into the show.
    "The experiment is under way to see if young people do indeed want to come to theatre - or if they want to do something else," said Mick Gordon, 30, artistic director of the transformation season, yesterday."

BBC hijacks the haka
The BBC has been caught up in a controversy over the haka.
from New Zealand's nzoom.com
Theres an audio/video link on this piece - listen to it as a news story!
"BBC-One, one of the most popular channels in Britain, is using a haka as part of a new promotional campaign and that has upset critics in New Zealand.
    "The haka is one of eight BBC promotions featuring international dances like salsa, hip hop, and ballet. The promo says that whatever your age, wherever you live, and whoever you are rhythm and movement are common, and it wants the BBC channel to have the same appeal."

Joan Collins Nutcracker
From the following I learned that Joan Collins, back in 1982, did a Nutcracker film. I don't somehow think its a normal telling of the story or indeed much to do with ballet at all, but I'll let other readers do the research on this. Here is your starter for ten...
Way of the World
By Craig Brown

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

09-04-02, 12:18 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Tuesday Links - 9 April 2002 (2)"
In response to message #2
   From the Standard:

Judith Flanders on 'Brothers' by Kim Brandstrup for Arc Dance Company. "Brandstrup is a major artist: his choreography is consistently interesting, he has a great deal to say as well as the ability to say it well. But emotion without character is an unfulfilling route. Brandstrup in the past has made complex narrative clear and concise. He also, we now see, can convey complex feelings. As the only true heir of Kenneth Macmillan, he should take a leaf from his mentor's book and introduce us to the family as well as the dynamic."

And Sarah Frater on The Cholmondeleys, Featherstonehaughs in Lea Anderson's "3". "Lea Anderson is not one for restraint. The doyen of decadence piles fetish upon fetish and deviance on desire, her signature choreography an unnerving smorgasbord of repression run amok."

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10-04-02, 09:19 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: Wednesdya links - 10th April"
In response to message #3
Judith Mackrell in the Guardian on Kim Brandstrup'sArc Dance Company:
'..the most striking feature of Brothers (made in collaboration with design team Craig Givens and Tina MacHugh, and composer Jonathan Stone) is its Russian atmosphere. Whether a scene is set in a prison dormitory, a cafe or a shabby domestic interior, the stage remains a place of chronic melancholy and violently acute emotion. Its drab colours are shuttered with dark shadows and cold light, and as the rain patters through Stone's mournfully melodic score, time appears to loop and stall'

Luke Jennings on Mats Ek in The Times: "The challenge for the classically trained Royal dancers is to adapt to Ek's uncompromisingly contemporary style, but he says they are meeting it head-on. "They're very receptive and willing and there's a great atmosphere. They don't have the modern background but they try hard — they really go for it." Would Ek like to create new work for the Royal? He is courteously evasive about any future relationship. "I'd like to see how far we could go. After Carmen it would be natural to want to continue, but it would be wrong of me to discuss specific productions."

Jack Anderson in the New York Times on Ballet Tech:
'Both theologians and dance fans might ponder Eliot Feld's "Behold the Man," the enigmatic but exciting new work that Ballet Tech presented on Sunday afternoon at the Joyce Theater. Nickemil Concepcion remains onstage throughout the choreographically grueling half-hour piece, to often clamorous taped music by David Lang and Brian Eno. But the ballet involves more than virtuosity.'

From The Missourian, a report on a panel discussion 'From Rusia with Love: Balanchine and Stravinsky in America': 'Choreographer George Balanchine had one mission, says Edward Villella, who danced many roles Balanchine created at the New York City Ballet in the 1950s and 1960s. "He understood it was his responsibility to take us out of the 19th century," Villella said. "Any art form has to move forward. You can't just stay there." Villella, now artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, was one of four panelists in "From Russia With Love: Balanchine and Stravinsky in America," a panel discussion attended by about 70 people Monday night at Academic Auditorium. '

Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice reports on this week's NY dance scene, including Lucinda Childs and Elliot Feld:

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10-04-02, 10:45 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: Wednesday links - 10th April (2)"
In response to message #4
   This piece from the Suffolk Evening Star accidentally got omitted from today's links:

'Toby gains place at Royal Ballet School

HE stops short of calling Billy Elliott his idol, but if his career in ballet follows the fortunes of the film character it would be the fulfilment of a dancing dream for Toby Mallitt. The 14-year-old from Ipswich hopes to become a professional dancer and is celebrating gaining a prestigious placement at the Royal Ballet School in London. Toby, of Britannia Road, impressed in auditions last month and starts a course of 18 classes in September.'


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

10-04-02, 01:39 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Wednesday links - 10th April (3)"
In response to message #5
   From the Evening Standard: Judith Flanders on the National Youth Dance Company. "Indeed, all the dancers are terrific. Whether they are well served by their programme is a different matter."

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11-04-02, 09:00 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: Thursday links - 11th April"
In response to message #6
   Debra Craine in the Times on the RB's new triple bill: 'William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek. These are the names at the top of Ross Stretton's A-list of foreign choreographers he wants to see on a regular basis at Covent Garden. And here they all are, their works sharing the Royal Ballet's latest bill. As a statement of director Stretton's taste it couldn't be more revealing: Forsythe's punchy workout In the middle, somewhat elevated (good); Duato's Spanish nonsense Por Vos Muero (bad). Joining them in the repertoire last night was Ek's Carmen, a ballet so powerful and distinctive that it puts the others in the shade'


Nadine Meisner in the Independent on Scottish Ballet's 'Two Pigeons': 'Made in 1961, just a year after La Fille Mal Gardée, The Two Pigeons is quintessential Ashton, filled with human insight, charm and, to boot, a wise moral at the end. But Scottish audiences are not, it seems, queuing round the blocks to get in – when they should be. They need to know what they're missing. They also need carrots dangled in their faces, which is where the invitation to guest artist Sarah Wildor should at least come in useful'

From the Guardian, David Vaughan's obituary of the ballet teacher Benjamin Harkarvy: 'His unorthodox methods - students did not hold on to the barre during side practice, and did not wear ballet slippers - attracted to his classes many modern dancers who were intimidated by more conventional teachers. Later, Harkarvy himself abandoned such notions, but he was always a thoughtful teacher sensitive to students' individual needs and talents.'

Jill Sykes in the Sydney Morning Herald reviews AB's 'Spartacus: 'Choreographed in 1968 by Laszlo Seregi for the Hungarian State Ballet, Spartacus is based on the slaves' uprising near Rome in 74BC. While the extremes between the Roman ruling class and the gladiators trained to fight to the death for their masters' entertainment might have had specific resonances in a Soviet context, the broader battle for freedom remains topical worldwide. This work, first performed by the Australian Ballet in 1978, has the classic dramatic elements of love, death, optimism, despair, pleasure and pain. They are wrapped in a curious mix of classical, folk and jazz influences - one of the increasingly bizarre aspects as time goes by - along with the set and some of the women's costume designs'.

And from the Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer, a report on another 'Spartacus' this time by the Moscow Grigorovich Ballet: ' "Spartacus" is the signature work of the choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet from 1964 to 1994. Although he was not the first to create a dance to Aram Khachaturian's 1956 score, Grigorovich was the most successful. "Spartacus," staged in 1968, established Grigorovich as the most important figure in Soviet ballet. Grigorovich created the ballet company that bears his name in 1990 as a sort farm team for the Bolshoi, a training company for the best dancers from top ballet schools. The dancers (there are about 90) are mostly in their early 20s. They dance with the unbridled vigor of youth.'


Also in the Charlotte Observer, a report on North Carolina Dance Theatre's new (and excellent-sounding) 'Innovative Works' programme: 'While..... it included new works by artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Canadian choreographer Mark Godden, its strength grew from the daring range of styles and techniques the dancers traversed in a span of two hours. Newcomers to contemporary ballet would have walked away with a primer's worth of knowledge.'

The San Francisco Examiner on Ballet San Jose new season's plans: 'Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley may be economically bloodied, but it's also unbowed as Artistic Director Dennis Nahat unveils plans for its 2002-2003 season today. That new season will include the premiere of a Nahat piece, two premieres by Donald McKayle and the West Coast premiere of a new piece by Flemming Flindt. Not bad for a company that some counted out when its San Jose and Cleveland divisions split apart.'

Jennifer Dunning in the NT Times reviews an odd-sounding dance performance:
'The notion of spoofing and exploring the literary genre of the mystery novel has been the inspiration of occasional dances. Susan Marshall mines that territory in her new "One and Only You," performed last Thursday night at Symphony Space. The mixed results suggest why such spoofs are not more popular as choreographic subject matter.'

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

11-04-02, 10:48 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Thursday links - 11th April (2)"
In response to message #7
   Judith Flanders of the Evening Standard on the Royal Ballet's latest triple bill, which includes Mats Ek's Carmen. "Ek's work has always been extreme. He is not interested in safe emotions or elegant movement. He operates on the edge of the possible, and therefore - like Martha Graham before him - can tumble from time to time into the absurd. But it would be foolish to dismiss him on this basis. Much of his Carmen is powerful, more is thought-provoking, and all of it is worth seeing."

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11-04-02, 12:10 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Thursday links - 11th April (3)"
In response to message #8
   This Judith Mackrell review of the RB's new tripe bill has just come on-line: 'Casual punters may not care that two of the items in the Royal Ballet's latest triple bill (William Forsythe's In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Nacho Duato's Por Vos Muero) also appeared in the company's last programme but one. But they may detect some fraudulence in the fact that ballets which were first sold to us under the title Enduring Images, have now been recombined under the label Cross Cultures'


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12-04-02, 09:17 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Friday links - 12th April"
In response to message #9
   From the FT, Clement Crisp on the RB's Cross Cultures triple bill. He doesn't like it. 'None of (the) ballets is new. None springs from the creative life of our national troupe. None, to my mind, is worth viewing, save by those fans eager for another manifestation of the Guillem temperament. But if Guillem wished to appear as Carmen, why not invite Roland Petit to mount his passionate, witty portrait with its glorious decoration by Antoni Clave? Ek's version of Carmen has a set which looks like Gruye`re cheese, and costuming as blatantly vulgar as the dances. Rodion Shchedrin's score is wasted on Ek's steps, the choreographic equivalent of Tourette's Syndrome.'

(Ismene Brown's review of the RB programme in the Telegraph also appears, but I can't get a link)

Nadine Meisner in the Independent on the Latvian National Ballet: 'Bringing two full-length ballets and their own orchestra for just a one-week visit, the Latvians clearly had no intention of short-changing their British public. Although they do have modern titles in their repertoire, they chose ones possessing more box-office cred – Coppélia and La Sylphide, examples of 19th-century ballet at its most exquisitely formed, achieving a perfect fusion of dance and narrative. But in return they deserved a more forceful marketing push and bigger audiences.'

From the Asian Wall Street Journal, Kevin Ng on the Kirov Maryinsky Festival:

Anna Kisselgoff in the NY Times on the Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg's 'The Karamazovs': 'The power that Mr. Eifman drew out of his cast on Wednesday was undeniable. Even those unfamiliar with "The Brothers Karamazov," Dostoyevsky's last novel, would have understood the primary emotions of each character. An image in the first of two acts sets the tone: the three Karamazov brothers onstage (the half-brother is omitted) are ensnared in the net that their debauched father throws off. In a flash, the idea of a cursed family and its wretched legacy takes hold.'

Lisa Traiger in the Washington Post on the Dance Theatre of Cambodian-American Heritage:
'The classical technique contains hints of Indian influence, especially in the specific hand gestures that constitute a movement language of their own.(Tes) explains that, like sign language, the hand positions represent words and concepts that help the dancers convey dramatic stories, often folktales or episodes from the Indian epic Ramayana. "You can say 'love' by moving both fingers to the chest," she explains, "you can say 'flower,' 'walking,' 'running,' all through the finger movements." '

The China Daily on the National Ballet of Cuba, due to appear next week in Beijing. The paper quotes the company's director, Alicia Alonso: "Technique has progressed so much today, there's a temptation to dance everything the same unless the dancer understands and masters the meaning of style," Alonso said. "Each gesture should say something about the character they are interpreting, otherwise it becomes a matter of pure gymnastics. Dancers must transmit an emotion, or the classics will just become meaningless."

The Los Angeles Times on a deeply important-sounding dance film festival: 'When the words "dance" and "film" are put together, most people think of musicals starring Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, or maybe ballet documentaries...... But what if the point is not to film a musical or reproduce a stage experience? . In these experimental works, the word "dance" expands to all manner of movement: nuns who somersault across seats on a moving train, men who wrestle like bulls in a cow pasture.... its not just a person's performance, but also the camera's dance that draws in the viewer'

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12-04-02, 09:43 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail AnnWilliams Click to send private message to AnnWilliams Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
11. "RE: Friday links - 12th April (2)"
In response to message #10
   More ...Brendan's just sent the folloiwing (how does he do it? The Christian Science Monitor already...)

The Christian Science Monitor on Christopher Wheeldon's venture into the Broadway musical. "To create a ballet, a choreographer studies the music and works with only his pianist and dancers – a far different process from the broader collaboration of artists for a musical. With "Sweet Smell of Success," Wheeldon admitted to being nervous when he read the book and saw the movie. "I wasn't sure how I was going to find ways for the performers to dance."


From the Moscow Times a review of the Mariinsky's new production of The Nutcracker. "As it turned out, the music was nicely played and the dance, or what there was of it, skillfully executed. But both music and dance played a distant second fiddle to the incredibly lavish scenic designs of eminent Russian emigre artist Mikhail Shemyakin."


And the St Petersburg Times on how Mariinsky productions are likely to sweep the boards at the Golden Mask Awards, not least The Nutcracker. "The new-look for Tchaikovsky's venerable masterpiece combines decor, costumes and, bizarrely enough, staging by popular emigre Russian artist Mikhail Shemyakin with a fresh reading of the musical score by Mariinsky Artistic Director Valery Gergiev. It caused an explosion of controversy at its premiere last year."

....and I think I've managed to make the Telegraph link work now:

link to article

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Jane S

12-04-02, 01:37 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Friday links - 12th April"
In response to message #10
   John Percival reviews Carmen for the Independent:

"Sylvie Guillem has never made any secret of her liking for Mats Ek's
choreography. In fact she got him to create two roles for her on
television, but has had to wait until now for the Royal Ballet to
mount one of his works. Luckily the wait was worthwhile: Carmen is
one of Ek's most gripping original works, with a powerfully meaty
title role, and Guillem gives a great performance in it."


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Paul A

12-04-02, 10:09 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Thursday links - 11th April (3)"
In response to message #9
>RB's new tripe bill has


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

12-04-02, 12:52 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Friday links - 12th April (3)"
In response to message #12
   It's just a one line reference in a story about something completely different, but the NY Times reports that Elton John has plans for a musical version of Billy Elliot (the mention is two thirds down the page in the context of a story about the Old Vic).

And here's one for Ross Stretton. According to the journal 'Backstage', it's not just positive reviews that sell tickets. Sometimes it helps to go negative. The producers of a Broadway show "The Smell of the Kill" re-published the NY Times "brutal" review, together with their own mocking comments. Expect to read Clement Crisp's review of 'Cross Cultures' republished as a Royal Opera House advertisement, carefully annotated by the ROH marketing department.

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13-04-02, 09:48 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
15. "Saturday Links - 13 April 2002"
In response to message #0
   Sylvie Guillem
interviews on BBC RAdio 4 "Womans Hour"
by Martha Kearney
Brendan has kindly produced a complete transcript:
Question: In real life you don't have that same desire. You're not worried about speaking your mind. You don't seem to have that desire to please?
Guillem: No that's not true. I hope I please when I speak my mind (laughs). It's not really my fault if I don't agree with some other people. Even if I speak my mind I never have any contempt; I hate to humiliate people and that's why I prefer even if it's not what I really wish to use all the time, I prefer aggressivity and anger than to humiliate or to contempt - I will never have that, never."
The BBC also has a Real audio recording of the interview, though how long this will remain good we know not:

Alvin Ailey
The Day Is Past and Gone
Jennifer Homans On Dance
Ta to Brendan for this heck of a piece which stecthes over 3 pages...
"Alvin Ailey's Revelations is one of the most popular ballets of our time. When the piece premiered at New York's Kaufman Concert Hall in 1960, the audience was so moved that it sat in stunned silence while the dancers bowed nervously, waiting for some sign of applause. When the applause came, it was deafening. Ailey's career took off. Until his death in 1989, he made dozens of dances and led his company to international fame, but Revelations remained his signature piece, and an emblem of the Ailey style. At the Herod Atticus amphitheater in Athens, six thousand spectators rose spontaneously to their feet and cheered for twenty minutes. In Moscow, audiences went so wild that Ailey had to "do the Judy Garland thing" and sit at the front of the stage communing with his adoring fans. More people have seen Revelations than Swan Lake. And during the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's recent season at City Center in New York, Revelations earned the usual foot-stomping ovations. Even the most sophisticated audiences do not seem to tire of this American classic."

Arc Dance Company
Very ambitious, very disappointing
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
BY JOHN PERCIVAL, The Independent (but this via the FT site)
"THE THEORY has always been that Kim Brandstrup was a storyteller in dance. I could never really go along with that because it seemed to me that although the title and some of the action might refer to a well- known tale, he never actually told that narrative in the dances. Structure was not a strong point, even when he started with subject matter as strongly focused as Shakespeare's Hamlet, nor were the characters vivid even when he had a dancer as individual as Irek Mukhamedov for his protagonist.
    "Now it seems he has had a change of heart and wants to shift the emphasis from plot to emotion. Well, there is certainly no straight narrative in his latest work, Brothers, but for me the process still does not work; the result is as vague and muddled as ever in its apparent attempt to convey the alleged loneliness of being male."

Royal Ballet
Anthony Russell-Roberts interview on the forthcomeing RB tour to Australia
By Fiona McFarlane
"As if the international tour schedule didn't already look bright enough for Australia, the England's Royal Ballet are making their way Down Under for a national tour in 2002. State of the Arts spoke to Anthony Russell-Roberts, the Ballet's Administrative Director and problem-solver extraordinaire.
    "The winning of audiences, the Ballet has found, often begins with young children who can't wait to try on their first tutu. Russell-Roberts, and the whole company, have been very encouraged by the results of the Ballet's enormous education program conducted in lower socio-economic areas of England. "The majority of kids are really interested in their point of contact with us," he says. "It renews my faith that the majority of people have somewhere in them an interest in the arts. We just need to find a way of triggering that."

Australian Ballet
(opps - just see we may have done this earlier)
Opera Theatre, Sydney
by Jill Sykes,
"Spartacus looks more bizarre with every revival - yet within its unwieldy frame its heart still beats strongly, its theme of David and Goliath conflict remains depressingly relevant and it has a title role to be prized.
    "Steven Heathcote, coming up to the end of his second decade with the Australian Ballet, is especially honoured by this year's production. He first played Spartacus in 1990 and led the cast again in the season's opening performance on Tuesday.
    "The impact of the years between then and now is unavoidable. Though Heathcote's dancing is still powerful, it lacks the youthful adrenalin that drove his earlier portrayals of the role."

Australian Ballet
Spartacus (Review)
Sydney Opera House
By Deborah Jones
"IT'S all about Steve. To celebrate Steven Heathcote's 20th year with the Australian Ballet, artistic director David McAllister rightly wanted to put on something special for him. Spartacus offers a starring role in which Heathcote has some history and can show off McAllister's growing crop of talented young men. Nice thought. If only Spartacus were a better ballet.
    "In somewhat sketchy and confusing fashion, the ballet purports to tell the story of the failed slave uprising against Rome in 74BC. Hungarian choreographer Laszlo Seregi's 1968 ballet was taken into the AB repertoire in 1978 and toured to New York in 1990, where a poster of a semi-clad Heathcote caused quite a stir."

National Youth Dance Company
Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House
BY JOHN PERCIVAL, The Independent (but this via the FT site)
"With seven works on show by as many different choreographers, and extended pauses for costume changes, the programme was a touch too long, but it is understandable to want the young dancers to experience as many moods and manners as possible. Anyway, it would be sour to begrudge the two company members their chance to make pieces, which at least had the merit of brevity and good choices of music (respectively Bach and a snatch from the Crouching Tiger soundtrack). I wonder, though, whether it really was best for each of them to star his own dancing.
    "Among the invited choreographers, two did truly fine work, while we had to forgive Andile Sotiya's choice of ghastly songs and occasional ponderousness in I'm not no animal in the zoo since it allowed the performers to get a little sex and violence off their chests. Jonathan Lunn's 4xTable, however, was just a bit of eccentricity around the furniture, while Mark Baldwin was not on his best form with the massed manoeuvres of Frankie."

Royal New Zealand Ballet
Hunchback of Notre Dame
By Emma Jones
"One of the world's classic tales will be brought to life by composer Philip Feeney and director/choreographer Michael Pink in a Royal New Zealand Ballet production made possible through the support of Meridian Energy.
    "The dramatic potential of the figure of the hunchback is exploited in this new production. Pink's Quasimodo is hideously deformed in flesh and in spirit. Denied any kindness, he is seemingly unable to give it. It is only after Esmeralda gives him a kiss of thanks at the end of Act III that he is able to "explode with joy", capering and dancing as though no deformity held him back. These are the moments of story in which dance can come into its own, expressing more fully than words the emotion that transcends physical constraints."

Diana Szeinblum
Secreto Y Malibú
Adolescence at Play on a Lazy Afternoon
New York
"The prospects seemed bleak. Diana Szeinblum's new "Secreto y Malibú," performed on Thursday night at the Duke on 42nd Street, was billed as a dance in which two women were corraled in an isolated courtyard to find themselves. It seemed to suggest long dark hair flying out from tossing heads atop endlessly combative bodies.
    "Leticia Mazur and Ines Rampoldi, who performed and helped create this full-length piece from Argentina, did toss their long hair. But "Secreto y Malibú" was a delicious surprise, a steadily building portrait of two minxish young girls — in their late preteens, perhaps — on an indolent afternoon."

Kirov strikes note of discord in US
Ian Traynor in Moscow
"Known internationally as the Kirov, it has won global acclaim and is seen by many as the best opera company in the world.
    "But for musicians in the US, its maestros are nothing but "economic terrorists" who should be banned from the stage of the New York Met, where the Russians are due to perform this summer.
  "The Americans are miffed that the Kirov orchestra is undercutting US players to secure lucrative recording deals for Hollywood soundtracks."

Ballet good idea?
Ballet is poised to sweep Britain as the latest in video fitness entertainment, but is it really a wise choice for the inexperienced...
"How do you make a new fitness video sell?
    "Bring in a load of sexy ballet dancers and get Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City to present it.
    "Sure enough, the New York City Ballet Workout has become the latest must have for fitness fanatics. And at least the lovely Ms Parker has a ballet qualification to her name.
    "Devised by Peter Martins, the New York City Ballet company's ballet master in chief, the video has spawned a stream of new ballet exercise classes for those who last wore pink satin pumps and tutus at the tender age of five."

Tango (etc)
Getting past the tango myopia
By Gabriella Boston
"Many Americans think of tango as the ultimate cultural expression of Argentina and samba as that of Brazil.
    "But the two South American countries have more to offer, which is what the Kennedy Center aims to show during its AmericArtes program, from Tuesday through May 15.
    ""The program will include tango and samba because they are intrinsic to the cultures. But I also wanted to show people things they have never seen before," says Alicia Adams, director of international programming at the Kennedy Center."

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14-04-02, 09:37 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce Click to send private message to Bruce Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
16. "Sunday Links - 14 April 2002"
In response to message #0
   Well David Dougill (Sunday Times) returns but we seem to have lost Jann Parry (Observer) this week - a shame.

Scottish Ballet + Arc Dance Company +
The Generating Company + Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs

Dance: An idea takes flight
Two Pigeons, Brothers, Gangstars, 3
In a mixed week for turning stories into dance, David Dougill is lifted most by The Two Pigeons and an acrobatic gangland tale
"It seems an ironic state of affairs that England’s greatest choreographer should be adopted in Scotland as a stop-gap. The Scottish Ballet, which has been going through troubled times, may at last (or not) be on the point of deciding on a new director whose brief is to revitalise the company’s image and make it more contemporary. But, meantime, for the spring tour, the SB has acquired Frederick Ashton’s 1961 romantic charmer The Two Pigeons — a production on loan from Birmingham Royal Ballet.
    "With its seductively sweet, lively, infectiously melodious music by André Messager, a pretty belle époque setting and a tale of errant lovers ultimately reconciled in one of the most heart-wrenching pas de deux ever invented (with the bonne bouche of two live white doves to complete the picture), Ashton’s ballet is a treasure, rarely seen these days.

Ana Keates - Obituary
Memorial service set for ballet dancer Keates
"A memorial service for British ballet dancer and teacher Ana Keates, who died at age 41 on Feb. 22 in London, will be held on Sunday in Tokyo.
    "Her premature death is mourned by many in Japan who saw her dance or studied at Ana's School of Dance, the ballet school she set up in Tokyo.
    "A graduate of the Royal Ballet School in London, she danced as a guest performer at the Royal Ballet and the Northern Ballet Company in Britain, before moving to the Gulbenkian Ballet in Portugal, where she was born.

Royal Ballet School
More boys than girls join the Royal Ballet
By Catherine Milner
"THE Royal Ballet has succumbed to the Billy Elliot effect. For the first time in its 76-year history, the establishment that spawned such stars as Dame Margot Fonteyn and Darcey Bussell has accepted more boys than girls.
    "Two years after the release of Billy Elliot, the story of a miner's 11-year-old son who becomes a ballet dancer, this year's intake at both the Royal Ballet's junior and senior schools will be made up of 14 boys and just 10 girls.
    "Last year eight boys and 12 girls joined White Lodge, the junior school for 11- to 16-year-olds to which the eponymous hero of Billy Elliot won acceptance. Girls outnumbered boys by only 13 to 12 in the first year of the senior school, which has traditionally been two-thirds female."

Ballet San Jose
'Blue Suede Shoes' fit for the King
Ballet San Jose rocks with Elvis tribute
San Francisco
Octavio Roca, Chronicle Dance Critic
"The return of Dennis Nahat's "Blue Suede Shoes" was a blast.
    "The audience started to clap, hoot and holler even before the curtain went up, at the sound of Elvis Presley's voice in the dark, then at the sight of Bob Mackie's outrageously entertaining sets, and last at Nahat's dancers, who have never been better.
    "Nahat created "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1996 for the old San Jose Cleveland Ballet. It was an improbable hit, defeating all fears of yet another lowbrow rock ballet and unveiling from the heart a tribute to the King of rock 'n' roll as well as a deceptively sweet meditation on this country and its pop culture. "

Paul Kolnik - photographer of NYCB
Archiving Movement, Still by Still by Still
New York
"IN the last 25 years, Paul Kolnik has taken more than 750,000 photographs of the New York City Ballet in performance; it is his obsession. At intermissions during the company's seasons at the New York State Theater, he is a familiar figure on the promenade, arms folded, beaming like the father of the bride.
    "Last month, preparing for his one-man show "Interior Lines," now at the Rye Arts Center in Rye, N.Y., Mr. Kolnik, 51, was at his Upper West Side studio. Much of his work is stored there — digitally and, in floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets, as negatives and prints, which he calls "illuminated documents."
    "Opening a drawer and scooping up cellophane envelopes of negatives from the 70's, he said with a laugh, "This is the gold!" But he put them away carefully. These archives have historical value: they contain unpublished pictures of George Balanchine at work and a distinctive record of the company under Balanchine's successor, Peter Martins.

National Ballet of Spain
All That's Spanish, Encoded in the Sinews
New York
"MADRID -- WHEN the National Ballet of Spain comes to City Center in New York on Thursday night, it will not perform what we call ballet. It will perform classical Spanish dance (in addition to flamenco). Elvira Andrés, the company's artistic director, likes to explain.
    ""You'll notice certain body positions," she said during a rehearsal here for the New York engagement, "particularly the carriage of the head, torso and arms. We lift our chests high but allow our arms to float freely, caressingly. Unlike ballet, we never hold fixed positions. We undulate our hips and use our hands expressively, curling our fingers in arabesques, which are characteristics of Indian and Arabian dance. We inherited them from the Gypsies, who originally came from India and passed through Arabia on their way to Spain.""

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India
A Village Of Dancers
New York
"...The Nrityagram (pronounced na-RITH-ya-gram and means "dance village") troupe, which performs at Symphony Space next Saturday and Sunday, came out of that experiment in learning and in the preservation of Indian dance, specifically the lyrical and sensuous form of Odissi. The lead performer Surupa Sen, one of the original students, directs and choreographs for the company, which consists of six dancers and five musicians. Now 32, she had just completed a university degree in economics when a friend who knew of her love for dance told her about Bedi's project. "Everything you have always wanted to be is happening in this village," Ms. Sen said her friend had told her."

Kirsty Mitchell and injury...
She shoots, she soars
In the latest of our occasional series highlighting Scotland's rising stars, Wendy Ide meets Kirsty Mitchell, a dancer turned actress whose career is truly taking off in A Flight Of Fancy
not a full on dance piece but well makes the point about what a hard life ballet can be..."
"... She originally trained as a ballet dancer, an occupation she describes as 'kicking my legs and smiling'. She left her native Paisley for London at 15 to attend ballet school, then worked steadily until a back injury halted her career.
    "'It was a lift that went wrong. I felt it at the time, but I was dancing on it for two weeks and I went to put the kettle on one morning and it just went.' She makes a horrific tearing noise. 'I was paralysed for two weeks, which is really frightening, because you're telling your body to sit up and it won't.' Something snapped when a chiropractor warned that if she continued to dance, she might not be able to have children.
    "'I went, 'No, no, I think I want babies when I'm older'. And my heart wasn't really in it any more anyway.'

Ballroom dance...
Learning to keep the beat at Metronome Ballroom
San Francisco
by Octavio Roca
"Should you lead or should you follow? Should you perhaps be flexible enough to do both? These basic questions come with their own beat in San Francisco's Metronome Ballroom, where experts of that swinging sport have been meeting this week to achieve certification in ballroom dance teaching...."

Philip Glass
Heart of Glass
He brought minimalism into the mainstream but Philip Glass always wanted more
wandering a bit today, but I love Glass and he has been used by many choreographers...
By David Keenan

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

14-04-02, 05:14 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Brendan%20McCarthy Click to send private message to Brendan%20McCarthy Click to add this user to your buddy list  
17. "RE: Sunday Links - 14 April 2002"
In response to message #16
   The Sunday Times on the increased intake of boys to the Royal Ballet School. (the same story as the Telegraph above)

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