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Subject: ""Latest Review Links w/b 20 May 2002" " Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2743
Reading Topic #2743
Brendan McCarthymoderator

20-05-02, 07:21 AM (GMT)
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""Latest Review Links w/b 20 May 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  
  Links: Monday 20th Brendan McCarthymoderator 20-05-02 1
     RE: Links: Monday 20th (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 20-05-02 2
         RE: Links: Monday 20th (3) Brendan McCarthymoderator 20-05-02 3
             RE: Links: Tuesday 21st Brendan McCarthymoderator 21-05-02 4
                 RE: Links: Tuesday 21st Jane S 21-05-02 5
                     RE: Links: Tuesday 21st (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 21-05-02 6
                         RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May AnnWilliams 22-05-02 7
                             RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May Jane S 22-05-02 8
                             RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May Brendan McCarthymoderator 22-05-02 9
                             RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May Jane S 22-05-02 10
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May AnnWilliams 23-05-02 11
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 23-05-02 12
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) sylvia 23-05-02 13
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) alison 23-05-02 14
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) Lynette H 23-05-02 15
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) eugdog 23-05-02 16
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) AnnWilliams 23-05-02 17
                             RE: Links: Friday 24th May '02 AnnWilliams 24-05-02 18
                             RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2) Jane S 24-05-02 19
                             RE: Links: Saturday 25th May Brendan McCarthymoderator 25-05-02 20
                             RE: Links: Saturday 25th May (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 25-05-02 21
                             RE: Links: Sunday 26th May Brendan McCarthymoderator 26-05-02 22

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Brendan McCarthymoderator

20-05-02, 07:29 AM (GMT)
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1. "Links: Monday 20th"
In response to message #0
   LAST EDITED ON 20-05-02 AT 07:57 AM (GMT)

Christopher Wheeldon's 'Tryst'

Judith Mackrell of the Guardian is the first reviewer into print. "In Tryst, his new work for the Royal, he has not only advanced into fascinating new territory, he has given the company their first major work of the 21st century. Wheeldon's score Tryst, by Scottish composer James MacMillan, is certainly leftfield in ballet terms - it does not cry, "Dance to me." But the music's energy is everywhere in the ballet. What is ravishing about this piece is that while it rarely flags up its own startling invention, while it generously celebrates the dancers' classicism, it looks like nothing we have ever seen before."

ENB Times Photo-op

ENB's swans visit their real-life counterparts in Kensington Gardens.

Lea Anderson's 3

The Scotsman reviews '3' and is underwhelmed. "Adults skip across the stage in little girls’ frocks and clown make-up; men dressed in high heels and suspenders bend suggestively over vast strips of elastic; and the living dead throw menacing looks into the audience. Yet despite this bizarre cocktail of events, the strangest thing about 3 from The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstonehaughs is how a show so superficially entertaining fails to engage on any other level."

Washington Ballet

Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post on Washington Ballet's 'Where the Wild Things Are'. "Septime Webre's version, which the Washington Ballet performed this weekend at the Warner Theatre, is an acrobatic tour de force for Jason Hartley. Hartley dances -- or rather cyclones through -- the central role of Max, the mischievous lad who is sent supperless to his room and, perhaps in a hunger-induced hallucination, dreams of commanding a troupe of huge horned monsters in a wild rumpus.

ABT's Onegin

Jennifer Dunning of the NY Times on two casts in Onegin. "Ms. Ferri is known for her tempestuous acting, and the wild abandon of her performance as Tatiana communicated the power and pain of a first love with heart-rending immediacy. Mr. Gomes was a revelation, turning Onegin into a tantalizingly cruel love object who was irresistible not only to Tatiana but to women in the audience, judging by the post-performance bus stop conversation. Mr. Gomes's immaculately clear virtuoso dancing burnished Onegin's chill sensuality."

Carlos Acosta

The NY Daily News profiles Carlos Acosta, who made his debut there last week. "With the addition of Acosta, says dance historian Elizabeth Kendall, the ABT "has leaped forward." Acosta admits he would like to place that relationship on a more permanent footing. New York is especially significant to him. "It is every dancer's dream to be with the American Ballet Theatre at the Met," he says."


Judith Flanders of the Standard on Rambert's first programme at Sadler's Wells. "Ek's ballets are always concerned with how we live our lives today. She Was Black opens in the interior of a house, and of a marriage. A couple stare blankly. She is in fuchsia and black, with her hypnotically thrusting pelvis marked out by a large red bullseye. We are instantly locked inside their psychodrama, as the excellent Deirdre Chapman and Paul Liburd play out their desires and frustrations against each other. Intermittently, a black formless shape struggles up out of the gloom at the back of the room, sometimes attempting to climb the stairs, more often falling off, falling back."

Last Dance

Ruth Gledhill of The Times, herself an accomplished dancer, reports that modernisers in the world of ballroom dance think white tie and tails increasingly out of place. "The new rule would not bar tails altogether but would allow ballroom dancers, now known as “dance sport athletes”, to choose between a tail suit, lounge suit or waistcoat and trousers. Cost is also cited, with a tail-suit at £1,000 or more. Opponents of change fear that Britain’s ballrooms will be overwhelmed by dancers trying to foxtrot, waltz and tango in the shell suits, jeans and T-shirts, which are already in evidence at some competitions on the Continent."

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

20-05-02, 09:31 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Links: Monday 20th (2)"
In response to message #1
   Ballet Summit - RB to use surtitles with mime scenes?

At the weekend we linked to a National Post story about a 'ballet summit' in Canada. This is from the Toronto Star.

"A ballet company is not a business; it is an artistic mission." That statement from keynote speaker Grant Strate, resident choreographer to the National Ballet in its earliest years, launched an open forum among 10 artistic directors from ballet companies in Europe and North America at the Conference on the Past Present and Future of Ballet. "The artistic process is about change. We shouldn't assume that ballet will go on forever and ever," said Matz Skoog, artistic director of the English National Ballet. Not as we know it, perhaps, Kevin McKenzie of American Ballet Theater responded. "Swan Lake is told a lot differently today than it was originally." In London, according to Monica Mason, assistant artistic director of the Royal Ballet, ballets have been projected live on a large screen on Covent Garden to draw in audiences. And there is talk, she said, of employing surtitles over mimed scenes to make the story ballets more accessible to new audiences."
Link to story

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

20-05-02, 11:33 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Links: Monday 20th (3)"
In response to message #2
   Judith Flanders of the Standard was underwhelmed by Christopher Wheeldon's Tryst. "In Tryst, the curtain rises on a row of neo-Balanchinean Amazon women. But the excitement of that starkly-lit opening is not sustained, and Wheeldon's return seems like a retrograde step. Instead of echoing the sub-Stravinsky pulse of James MacMillan's 1989 music, the dancers are left to doodle around on stage, in groupings that are at both confused and purposeless. Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope perform the central pas de deux, but with no energy or focus, they are left adrift. The steps are extremely complex, wildly difficult, and hopelessly dull."

John Percival writes for the Indie on Rambert's first week at Sadler's Wells. This is what he says about Lindsay Kemp's The Parades Gone By. "Best of all is that at some performances Christopher Bruce is playing the director: reportedly his farewell to the stage. It doesn't really give him the scope of so many past roles, but he makes the most of it – and then some – from his white hair and make-up (a clever imitation of Kemp, although Kemp actually made the role for another dancer, Bob Smith), through his impeccable timing, to his teasing smile, part touchingly warm, part cynical."

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

21-05-02, 05:52 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Links: Tuesday 21st"
In response to message #3
   LAST EDITED ON 21-05-02 AT 07:58 AM (GMT)

The Royal Ballet/Tryst

Ismene Brown, writing for the Telegraph, is completely persuaded by Christopher Wheeldon's Tryst. "The setting and leotards are pearly, like a changing Orkney sky, and yet the choreography is New Yorkese, as boldly intricate as city traffic. James MacMillan's music, fierily conducted by the Scots composer himself, has subsumed a shimmering folk ballad, The Tryst, inside a craggy outer crust, which Wheeldon has seized upon to embed an outstanding pas de deux. What all those steps have to do with all those notes isn't clear on one viewing, nor why so many flattened Egyptian hand-beakings and turned-in knees are scattered throughout. But suddenly, the crowds and noise vanish and Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope have a tryst of exquisite, sensual tension.

The Times review is credited (possibly wrongly) to Benedict Nightingale, the paper's music critic."Here at last is the one new ballet of the Covent Garden season. Not a continental import from the anti-ballet brigade, but a sophisticated classical creation from Britain’s own Christopher Wheeldon, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet. His Tryst is distinctive, daring and different, a real shot in the arm to opera-house classicism. It’s exactly what the Royal Ballet needs. The central pas de deux is a slow coupling, shadowy and illicit, the dancers’ bodies twisting sinuously as they drift into rapture. The choreography allows Bussell to dance with an Amazonian beauty and Cope with a brooding mystery. Like MacMillan’s astringent, energetic music, their dance exists in the dark, ears alert to the score’s brassy whispers of alarm."

Rambert Dance Company

Ismene Brown of the Telegraph on Rambert's Programme 1 at Sadler's Wells. "Rambert has such an unlikely, entertaining double bill to open its Sadler's Wells fortnight that it's a big shame houses are thin. Who would have thought that Christopher Bruce, in his retiring year as director, would suddenly stick the surreal and horny Swedish nightmare of She Was Black alongside the madcap movie kitsch of The Parades Gone By? Well, he did, and it is fun. I hope it will send Bruce off with at least a couple of good houses to justify his splendid, if rather late, burst of humour." Also Mathilde Monnier at the QEH.

David Bintley

David Bintley talks to the Glasgow Herald about himself and BRB, as the company prepares to tour in Scotland next month. "Madam, as she was known to colleagues and friends, remains a talismanic figure in Bintley's life and work. "My belief is this," he says, quietly but forcefully, "quite honestly, heart and soul, Madam's company resides here. Madam was my mentor. I dare call her my friend. And the way I run the company is always with an eye on the way she ran the company, in terms of principle." He pauses, laughs. "Perhaps not in terms of actually dealing with people. Well, in those days Madam was The Boss and you did exactly what Madam wanted. Now my whole feeling is that a happy company is a good company. A company's not happy unless it's productive and unless everybody in it feels important whether they're at the bottom or the top. And I do spend a lot of time trying to ensure that that happens. I don't run it as an autocracy."

Paris Opera Ballet School

Alan Riding visits the school for the NY Times. "While Ms Bessy wants the school to be admired, she never forgets that it serves above all as cradle to the Paris Opera Ballet. If the company is not to start looking outside for its dancers, as is now the case with London's Royal Ballet, it must be able to count on a steady supply of talented young dancers. As important, it is at the school that the distinct dancing style of the Paris Opera Ballet — what Ms. Bessy calls its "purity of movement" — is forged. "People say we are distinguished by legs and feet," said Agnès Letestu, 32, a principal at the Paris Opera Ballet, who danced the lead role in the school's "Fille Mal Gardée" when she was only 13. "Every company has its own style. The Russians have great quality of arms and upper body movement. The Royal Ballet is very sober. The Americans have a lot of extravagant arm and leg movement. Our style comes from the school and its teachers."


Anna Kisselgoff of the NY Times on Helene Alexopoulos's final performance with NYCB. "Many in the house had followed Ms. Alexopoulos's career since her first days in the corps under Balanchine's direction in 1978. After his death in 1983, Mr. Martins promoted her to soloist in 1984 and to principal dancer in 1989. Although she came to notice early with her long-legged, sleek line and streamlined technique, she did not have a storybook meteoric career. Rather she found herself only gradually and then triumphed (especially in the 1990's) as a highly individual dancer. Jerome Robbins helped her rebirth as a dramatic dancer when she created a sensation as a singing and dancing Anita in his "West Side Story Suite." She was wickedly funny and sexy there, as she was as the burlesque dancer in Balanchine's "Slaughter on 10th Avenue."

Ballet BC
The Vancouver Sun previews Ballet BC's Orpheus by its AD John Alleyne. "I am forever battling between what I want to say and what people are capable of hearing," he says. "It's an ongoing battle," he says. "I want to touch your heart, but if I'm frightening you, then I'm not going to get the chance, am I?
"Making dance requires creativity, it requires a sense of history and it requires close attention to the idea of the performance. Because in the final analysis you have 2,000 people in a room who are there to have a theatrical experience."
Link to story

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Jane S

21-05-02, 09:16 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Links: Tuesday 21st"
In response to message #4
   The print version of The Times credits the Wheeldon review to Debra Craine.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

21-05-02, 12:34 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Links: Tuesday 21st (2)"
In response to message #5
   Mathilde Monnier

John Percival, writing for the Indie, hated it. "Who was the more deceived? Any spectator fooled by the publicity into attending Mathilde Monnier's show on the South Bank in the expectation that it would reveal something about the legendary Merce Cunningham and John Cage, or Monnier herself if she believes her own blurbs? She apparently attended Cunningham's New York studio in the Eighties, but what she has brought away bears no visible relation to the real thing. This is an instance where what was named on the label was certainly not found in the jar."

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22-05-02, 09:16 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May "
In response to message #6
   American Ballet Theatre

Anna Kisselgoff in the NY Times on ABT's Tchaikovsky Spectacular programme:

' "Theme and Variations".. ....sets the tone as a statement of Tchaikovsky's universal range. The work is one of Balanchine's grandest tributes to the ballets of Petipa and Tchaikovsky and to "The Sleeping Beauty" in particular. Recalling the dazzle of Petipa's diamond-sharp classicism, it is Aurora's Wedding distilled for our time. The ballet's Polonaise is an accelerated version of the Polonaise danced in Act III of "Sleeping Beauty" but its pas de deux and solos are fiendishly difficult. Never has the Neo in Balanchine's Neo-Classicism been so obvious as in this extension and translation of the classical vocabulary. It is a 20th-century gloss on 19th-century conventions'

Eric Bruhn Competition

The Toronto Star reports on the Eric Bruhn competition:

'Bruhn was artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada at the time of his death from lung cancer in 1986. The 57-year-old dancer had been the foremost male ballet performer of his generation. In his will he left money to establish a prize to be awarded to two dancers, one male and one female, between the ages of 18 and 23. The competitors are chosen from the companies with whom Bruhn was most associated.'

link to article

Meryl Tankard

Sharon Verghis in the Sydney Morning Herald interviews the mercurial Austrialian choreographer Meryl Tankard:
'The aristocratic Meryl Tankard moves in mysterious ways. She is a cultural democrat, embracing mass and niche, high and low, stepping sideways into high-kicking musicals, pursuing career pathways with the Dalai Lama and Disney. She sees no incongruities in a grab-bag of commissions for jeweller Tiffany's and edgy productions for Netherlands dance companies. Work, in the choreographer's view, is simply work.'

Carolina Ballet

The Frankfurter Allgemeine is enthusiastic about a ballet set to Handel's Messiah by Carolina Ballet, which is touring Europe. Its AD is George Weiss, a former soloist with NYCB. "The final section -- developed as a ballet blanc -- is neoclassicism in its purest form: a half-hour-long hymn of jubilation celebrating the redemption of the world through Christ, much in the tradition of Balanchine's Concerto barocco and Serenade. Described in the program as something potentially formalist, it is powerful, suggestive and convincing on stage. It is touchingly old-fashioned and timeless at the same time -- a ballet from the days when dancing still sought to help its audiences."
link to article

Dublin's International Dance Festival

The Irish Times on the Italian Compagnia Abbondanza Bertoni's production of Romanzo d'infanzia (A Childhood Tale), dance theatre for the young. "The absolute highlight of the performance occurred in the midst of Tomaso and Nina's imaginings of how, if they were parents, they would look after a baby. When their imagined infant gets lost, the dancers begin a frantic search throughout the theatre which involves scrambling among the audience to uproarious laughter."


The Irish Times critic Michael Seaver reviews Michael Clark's "Before and After: The Fall". "Masturbation is the common theme in the second part, Rise. Much has been made of its throwback to Nijinsky's L'Après-Midi d'un Faun, in which the Faun gently rubs its crotch against a scarf as the lights fade. The gesture caused a scandal in Nijinsky's time, but we have become so desensitised that nowadays we need a Sarah Lucas giant 10-foot-high hand to get the same effect. Certainly the scene where the dancers cross the stage with fluorescent lightbulbs has echoes in Nijinsky's two-dimensional choreography (and spelling IV reminds us of Clark's drug-taking days). We quickly leave that behind and soon the giant hand performs the obvious to Zorba's Dance as a grand finale. It was all very adolescent."

The Irish Times on the Akram Khan Project. "The most astounding section of the dance is where he embarks on a series of multiple pirouettes, or chakkars, which toss him to the ground with centrifugal force only for him to stop perfectly balanced before swinging back again. In Rush, he is joined by dancers Moya Michael and Inn Pang Ooi, who allow him play with different formal devices. As in all of his choreography the movements are unpredictable until they happen and then they seem to make perfect sense. Although all of the dancers embody the form, the eye is constantly drawn to Khan, who combines serenity with incredible speed of movement and articulation.

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Jane S

22-05-02, 09:37 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May "
In response to message #7
   There's a paragraph in The Times about Gerald Scarfe's plans for his Nutcracker designs for ENB:

"I'm trying to modernise it. I'm planning to have the soldiers dressed as commandos and the mice will be terrorists. There are obvious echoes of current events, although I'm not making a political statement."


"I don't want to see any craziness with {Clara}. But Drosselmeyer will be presented as a very magical man."


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

22-05-02, 10:32 AM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May "
In response to message #8
   LAST EDITED ON 22-05-02 AT 10:36 AM (GMT)

Judith Flanders of the Standard on Rambert Programme 2 at Sadler's Wells. "The centrepiece of the evening is Jirí Kylián's Symphony of Psalms, which Rambert are dancing wonderfully well: seriously, but not solemnly, profoundly, but with no false piety. In fact, Rambert at the moment are just a joy altogether.

This link goes to the Gerald Scarfe story, without having to go through the registration interface.

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Jane S

22-05-02, 05:18 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Links: Wednesday 22nd May "
In response to message #8
   There's a story in the Standard about a party tonight at which the Queen will present Golden Jubilee awards of £10,000 each (of her own money) to five rising talents from different sectors of the British arts world - one of them being dance.


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23-05-02, 08:18 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: Links: Thursday 23rd May"
In response to message #10
   Rambert Dance Co

Clement Crisp in the FT on Rambert at Sadler's Wells:

'(Symphony of Psalms) was the only musical reward in an evening otherwise given to electronic tosh. Wayne McGregor's tough-muscled detritus from last season coasts along over mechanical clatter by Scanner; Glenn Wilkinson's brand new Tree Finger Soup 3 (I suppose I should wonder what that means, but I'm damned if I care)'
link to article

Judith Mackrell in the Guardian was similarly cool about the
whole thing. On 'Tree Fingr Soup': 'In the past Wilkinson has made some well-crafted, edgy little pieces, and it was right to let him loose on a more ambitious project. What a shame that he wasn't up to it and that Tree Finger Soup3 seems in the end to be about nothing more than squandering a big design budget.'


English National Ballet

THE English National Ballet, in harmony with the England football team, has had to make a last-minute substitution for its star attraction in the forthcoming Swan Lake after the Kirov's Igor Zelensky suffered a foot injury. The show will go on at the Albert Hall, however, with a dancer from the Kirov's rivals, the Bolshoi, taking up the slack. His name is Sergei Filin.

Australian will oversee revamp of South Bank

The Guardian reports on the appointment of Michael Lynch as Chief Executive of SBC

The Melbourne Age reports on the same story:

'An Australian has landed another plum British cultural job with the surprise appointment of Sydney Opera House chief executive Michael Lynch as the head of central London's most controversial arts complex, the South Bank Centre. Lynch, 51, one of Australia's most experienced and respected arts administrators, told The Age in London the opportunity to leave the Opera House after four years and "test myself in a bigger world" was just too good to miss... "They've got a Swede running their football team, and they've got David Williamson doing Madonna up the road, so I think they will be able to cope with me," he said'


Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice on this week's NY dance scene
'The single evening at City Center was entitled "Indisputably Martha Graham." As the legal battle over who actually owns Graham's works winds down, there's no doubt that the dances presented were hers—grand, lofty artworks unlike anything seen before or since—and that the dancers were "hers," trained in her technique and (some of them) exposed to her power while she lived'

Karinne Keightley's 'Islander' souns more fun:

'It's all in the program—how Marcus Antonius was a stalwart fellow, but also a debauchee who screwed up royally when Caesar left him in charge of Rome. Losing the sea battle of Actium, he turned tail, leaving his troops in the lurch. And then there was his power-hungry sweetie, Cleopatra. Karinne Keithley is not only an extremely interesting choreographer; she's a history buff........ I wouldn't mind seeing Islander again right now.'

Art in Zero Gravity

A new dance form evolves: floating around in space (don't try this in your kitchen unless you've got a fully-accredited member of the European Space Agency standing near the sink).

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

23-05-02, 09:14 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #11
   LAST EDITED ON 23-05-02 AT 09:41 AM (GMT)


Clement Crisp's review of Tryst was in yesterday's FT, but is only online today. "Tryst is bold in scale, alert, challenging, assured. James MacMillan's score of 1989 is tough, rhythmically driven, and not given to taking prisoners. Wheeldon handles his cast - like his score - with authority, exploring group activity, mirrored and canonic double-work (dance-ideas pass from one pair to another), and allowing seeds of movement to generate larger ideas. The duet - grandly done by Bussell, with Cope a faultless partner - has a signature phrase, first seen earlier in the piece, in which the woman's spine is flexed, rippling and curving. This colours the dance so that a vocabulary made of lines stretched, limbs contorted and slowly pulled and then bent, emerges: it is engrossing, dense in feeling, mysterious. This was classical choreography, and oh how welcome! Editing is needed. But, on all other counts, cheers: for Wheeldon, for his excellent dancers, for MacMillan's score."

There is also an Independent review, not credited to its author in the online version. " Wheeldon's movement etches clean, uncluttered contours – streamlined classicism mixed with occasional brief quirks. There are strangely angled hands, for example, or, to close, the scattered cast silhouetted in profile, torsos undulating. So is Wheeldon destined to join the pantheon of Tudor and Ashton? Not with Tryst, although he has a fistful of near-outstanding pieces to his name. His mistake is the score by James MacMillan, which gives the ballet its name. The contrasts are too disparate for Wheeldon to shape them into cohesive sense. The design introduces occasional quasi-narrative events, such as the ray of white light that ends the Bussell-Cope adagio, the dancers watching as they would climatic phenomena. Wheeldon pulls out all the stops for Bussell and Cope in an attempt to inject an atmosphere of romantic mystery and to justify his title, the dancers lengthily separated from each other before eventually meeting. But these hinted ideas pull in opposite directions, unbridled by any semblance of internal logic."

Queen's Jubilee Award

Also referring back to Jane's posting last night, the Queen's dance award goes to Caitlin Hughes. I can see it in the print edition of the paper. I don't know the URL

South Bank

The CEO of the Sydney Opera House is to take over at the South Bank, reports the Independent.

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23-05-02, 09:32 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #12
   Article on the Queen's Jubilee Award is also on the BBC.

So that WAS Darcey Bussell on the news last night!

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23-05-02, 01:46 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #13
   AND on the front page of the Daily Telegraph this morning! (Just thought I'd get in there before Eugene does!).

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Lynette H

23-05-02, 04:53 PM (GMT)
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15. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #14
   Crisp's review of Rambert's second programme is available online today: hope this works


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23-05-02, 05:40 PM (GMT)
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16. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #15
   Boo-hoo, the only day when I did not get the Daily Telegraph, Darcey appears in it.

I wonder whether it would be more appropriate if we only announce when Darcey is NOT in the D. Telegraph.

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23-05-02, 05:52 PM (GMT)
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17. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #16
   What - if anything - is the significance of Darcey's appearances in the Telegraph?

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24-05-02, 09:00 AM (GMT)
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18. "RE: Links: Friday 24th May '02"
In response to message #17

Ismene Brown in the Telegraph on Ramberts' programme II at Sadler's Wells:

'The world, stylistically, is Rambert's oyster - this company has the right to stock its cupboards with the widest range of ballets of any British dancing company..... But the range has become too broad for a company of only 23 dancers. They are rushed by the constant turnover into a homogeneity that does not illuminate the hugely different characteristics of the choreography.'
link to article

Debra Craine in the Times is not wholly enthusiastic about Rambert' second programme either:

'In the middle we get Jiri Kylian's Symphony of Psalms, one of the most important works of the 1970s. Stravinsky's fantastic music is played live by London Musici and sung by New London Chamber Choir. The earnest choreography, for 16 dancers, is full of spiritual suffering and soothing prayer. It caused a sensation in 1978; 24 years later it's an embarrassment'

Valerie Lawson in the Sydney Morning Herald reports on the success of Wheeldon's 'Tryst' In an article headed 'Stretton bringing Ballet Triumph to Australia' she reports:

'The Times said Tryst was "distinctive, daring and different, a real shot in the arm to opera-house classicism. It's exactly what the Royal Ballet needs ... The title is a tease. What happens between the two leading dancers is a covert mating dance, nestled within a large ensemble that seems bent on amorous exchanges."The Guardian's Judith Mackrell described the Bussell-Cope pas de deux as "ravishing, like nothing we have ever seen before".'

Also in the SMH, a report on a ballet version of 'Zorba the Greek', choreographed by and starring Lorca Massine, son of the more famous Leonid:
'Massine must have been doing something right because he's been playing Zorba since the ballet's world premiere in 1988. Since then, he says, it's been performed to 3.5 million people in more than 30 countries "We had 120,000 people one night on Beach in Rio," Massine says. "We got a dancing ovation from the audience. That's what it's all about, the sense of celebration, of living in the present." '

New York City Ballet

Anna Kisselgoff on the continuing Diamond Project. On Stephen Baynes' 'Twilight Courante' she writes: 'No company encourages creativity on as sustained a level as City Ballet, and it was a capital idea for Peter Martins, the troupe's artistic director, to include choreographers from abroad. Like Mario Bigonzetti, whose ballet "Vespro" was among the season's first premieres. Mr. Baynes offers a fresh perspective. Unlike George Balanchine's disciples, he does not so much visualize musical structure as create his own structure inspired by musical atmosphere. '

Stars of the White Nights

From the English-language St. Petersburg Times, a report on the forthcoming 'Stars of the White Nights' festival.


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Jane S

24-05-02, 01:04 PM (GMT)
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19. "RE: Links: Thursday 23rd May (2)"
In response to message #12
   The Independent site has now got round to crediting its Tryst review to Nadine Meisner.

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

25-05-02, 06:36 AM (GMT)
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20. "RE: Links: Saturday 25th May"
In response to message #19
   LAST EDITED ON 25-05-02 AT 06:40 AM (GMT)


Allen Robertson reviews BRB's Hobson's Choice for The Times. (Michael O’Hare, who created the role of Will Mossop, will dance it for the last time tonight.). "Parker (as Mossop) and Isabel McMeekan as Maggie took on these roles for the first time this week and both are a joy. Maggie, buttoned up and prim, always travels in straight lines and marches along on her heels with a kind of determination that could make her appear frigid, but McMeekan has a way of letting us know that all she needs is a touch of human kindness to blossom.Throughout, Bintley pulls the right strings, shamelessly uses sentiment and bouncily harks back to a less sophisticated and less complicated type of dance entertainment. The felicitous result serves up bold dollops of character-driven dancing. Everywhere you look there are charmingly conservative echoes that evoke the Englishness of Bintley’s mentors, Ninette de Valois and Frederick Ashton."

Akram Khan

Kelly Apter of the Scotsman has been to see Kaash. "Khan and his four fellow dancers are like coiled springs which burst into action during moments of devastating synchronicity. Arms flail, backs arch and bodies roll across the floor at speed, before swooping back to their starting point. But although Khan has his dancers well-versed in the Kathak style, our eyes fall most readily on him – a true master of the craft. Kaash is billed as a collaboration, with Khan, Sawhney, Kapoor and the dancers all responsible for its highs and lows. Happily, there are more of the former than the latter, but weak points do emerge."

Oxford Dictionary of Dance

The Times reviews this dictionary by its own critic, Debra Craine, together with Judith Mackrell. "Informative, scholarly and entertaining, this volume is an addictive read."

The South Bank

Martin Kettle, writing in the Guardian, has some advice for Michael Lunch, the new director of the South Bank. "The first thing Michael Lynch should do when he takes up his new job as head of the South Bank Centre is to make a phone call to his opposite number at the Royal Opera House, Tony Hall, and arrange to have lunch. What Lynch would get out of the encounter would be a precious piece of simple reassurance. For more than a decade, anyone running Covent Garden has had to become an instant master of siege warfare. Many tried, and many fell in the front line, though whether they were shot by the enemy or by their own side was sometimes a moot point. "

Bush at the Ballet

According to the Telegraph, George and Laura Bush will be seeing the Mariinsky Theatre's Nutcracker tonight. "Mischievous suggestions that the White House vetoed The Nutcracker as the entertainment for tonight on the grounds that it was a children's ballet appear to have been off the mark. The Bushes and the Putins will settle down to watch a version of the Tchaikovsky ballet which is decidedly grown-up in the Marinksy Theatre as planned."

Christopher Wheeldon

Giannandrea Poesio, writing for the Spectator (but not, unfortunately, online) dissents from the general critical acclaim for Christopher Wheeldon's Tryst. "It was quite a shock to be confronted, back in London, by the rather cold, somehow unappealing and slightly dated linearity of Christopher Wheeldon's new creation for the Royal Ballet. Wheeldon has always remained true to stylistic modes that many have labelled as neo-classical, and Tryst is no exception, even though it contains solutions that seem to go far beyond the boundaries of balletic neo-classicism. The architectural symmetry of the work and the poised, often elegant feel of the choreogrpahic flow are indeed in line with a well-established tradition of classical theatre dancing , which finds its roots in the work of the 20th century choreographer George Balanchine. It is a pity, however, that unlike Balanchine's memorable inventions Wheeldon's visually pleasing solutions have little theatrical impact and merely complement James Macmillan's music. The presence of modern-ish elements, which have little or nothing to do with the classical choreography, do not help either, and make one wonder whether such tame unballetic touches have been introduced to confer a contemporary feel to the whole without upsetting too much those who go to the ballet to see pretty steps."

This Christian Science Monitor profile of Christopher Wheeldon is several weeks old, and was written at the time of the premiere of the Broadway musical, "Sweet Smell of Success". "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." He conceived the idea of a 16-member chorus that could change character as the story progressed. "The dancing chorus is like a chameleon for me," Wheeldon says. "They represent different aspects – at times the urban energy or the conscience of the characters, at times a Greek chorus. I was trying to find an image for them to grasp. I told them to watch the raptors in the film 'Jurassic Park.' "

NYCB Diamond Project

Two cheers from Clive Barnes of the New York Post for Stephen Baynes' Twilight Courante for NYCB. "The mood is civilized and urbane, the choreography modestly inventive, and the dancing - particularly that of the outstanding Wendy Whelan and Nikolaj Hubbe - immaculate. But at first sight it grabs more at the mind than the heart."

Zorba Ballet

The Sydney Morning Herald interviews Lorca Massine, star, author and choreographer of Zorba the Ballet for Greek National Opera. ""People were not very happy at first, wondering, 'What is this Russian doing playing Zorba?'" laughs Massine, whose father was the renowned choreographer Leonide Massine. "But after a while I was accepted. Like Zorba's , the Russian nature is very celebratory. There is no set end for our parties: we finish when we finish. Some parties last a week." Massine must have been doing something right because he's been playing Zorba since the ballet's world premiere in 1988. Since then, he says, it's been performed to 3.5 million people in more than 30 countries "We had 120,000 people one night on Beach in Rio," Massine says. "We got a dancing ovation from the audience. That's what it's all about, the sense of celebration, of living in the present."

Erik Bruhn Competition

This report is from the Toronto Globe and Mail. "In controversial decisions in the Erik Bruhn Prize, the judges went for straight technique versus well-rounded proficiency. Bruhn (1928-1986), the late artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada and one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century, established the ballet competition in his will to honour emerging artists in the four companies closest to him -- the National, Royal Danish, Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. To celebrate the company's 50th anniversary, the National's current artistic director, James Kudelka, expanded the competition to include the Stuttgart and San Francisco ballets. With the Royal Ballet declining this year, audiences were treated to a rich array of talent from five companies overall, judged by their collective artistic directors, in both classical and contemporary works." Link to story

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

25-05-02, 11:52 AM (GMT)
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21. "RE: Links: Saturday 25th May (2)"
In response to message #20
   From the McKinsey Quarterly (registration required), how the Bolshoi Theatre is adjusting to a capitalist economy. "A big problem inherited from the old distribution system was the fact that about a third of the tickets—usually the best—could be reserved for artists, theater managers, and state bureaucrats. More often than not, these tickets were sold to the pillar people for a small fraction of their market price. By cutting the number of reserved tickets and creating a pricing structure based on acoustics and sight lines, the theater has begun to realize the true value of its seats (Exhibit 1). Prices for tickets in the very cheapest zone, accounting for about 300 of the Bolshoi’s 1,847 seats, were reduced under the new scheme and, at 10 to 20 rubles (34 to 68 cents) apiece, are well within reach of students and other low-income citizens."

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

26-05-02, 05:56 AM (GMT)
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22. "RE: Links: Sunday 26th May "
In response to message #21
   Christopher Wheeldon's Tryst

David Dougill, the Sunday Times critic, is unpersuaded by Tryst and underwhelmed by Rambert's second programmme, but he seemed to like Riverdance. Here is his take on Tryst: "There are musical, rhythmic echoes of The Rite of Spring, as an ensemble of 22 dancers parades the stage. Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope enter separately, secretly, on a darkened stage for their lover’s meeting. This is a complex, weirdly inventive pas de deux, in which the dippings of their torsos suggest the mating patterns of birds. He locks her to his body; mani- pulates her like a doll; twists her dislocatingly. But where, one starts to wonder, are these contortions leading us? Back, in fact, to the ensemble, with some oriental references in flat-footed walks while trumpets blast and a cock crows. The finale, with the dancers in silhouette, looks very striking. But then, movement in silhouette always does. The good things about Wheeldon are his commitment to classical ballet, and his works being all dancing. This piece, though, I found busy and unfocused. As he does so much, I suppose not everything can be the tops."

Jann Parry of the Observer (who also writes about Rambert) has reservations about Tryst: "Restricted sightlines mean that dancers and scenic effects on the periphery are lost to large sections of the audience. A dancemaker as experienced as Wheeldon should take these limitations into account, rather than placing the corps along the sides of a square. His great virtue, however, lies in his use of the ensemble as the engine of Tryst, not just as decorative filling. The ballet is driven by wave power, its 22 dancers surging and swaying in response to James MacMillan's 1989 score, conducted by the composer. The music's energy is reflected in contrasting currents of movement, the dancers now a coral reef, now a crowd of commuter fish. At the centre is a mating ritual, set against the changing light in a northern sky. Darcey Bussell coils and flexes (even the orchestra seems to hold its breath) as Jonathan Cope stakes out his territory. When the two come together, they entwine in the courtship dance of long-necked grebes. Their cool passion and origami shapes have overtones of Balanchine's Bugaku, an erotic coupling of supple beings whose emotions are unfathomable. Lovely, yes, but awesome, no. The set (by Jean-Marc Puissant, lit by Natasha Katz) overcompensates in moody atmospherics for clinical choreography. Wheeldon's manoeuvres are too overt, as though he had not finished modifying them, yet lacking in clarity. The corps is not articulate enough to illuminate the musical structure of the piece and the pas de deux ends weakly. If Wheeldon is to produce a classic, he will need more time to polish it."

Akram Khan

Ellie Carr of the Sunday Herald on Akram Khan's Kaash. "While there are moments of wonderful unity -- with Khan acting almost like an orchestra conductor, leading his quintet of bodies through the grinding power of Sawhney's floor-shaking Indian drums and pounding beats -- there are also times when it is almost impossible to tear your eyes from the main man. One moment he is snatching his compact frame from the jaws of gravity; the next he is springing like a hunted animal from his heel to the ball of his foot. He has tried, as all contemporary dance-makers do, to make his company democratic -- but he has not factored in his own astonishing power to hold the audience in the palm of his twirling, dextrous hand.

Boring Balanchine

Jennifer Homans, writing in the NY Times, charges NYCB with having made Balanchine's work 'pompous, boring and passe'. There's more. "At Lincoln Center, Balanchine's ballets have been stripped of theatrical content. With few exceptions, they are presented as formal architectonic structures, carefully constructed monuments to technique. Peter Martins, one of Balanchine's most celebrated dancers, directs the company and the school. He has interpreted the Balanchine legacy in the most restricted fashion: just the steps, ma'am. Not surprising, perhaps. His own strength as a dancer lay in his powerful physical technique and handsome but stoic demeanor. Mr. Martins openly concedes that he preferred dancing in class to performing onstage. Should we be surprised, then, that his leadership has produced legions of technically proficient dancers who seem to think that Balanchine is just about doing the steps, beautifully? Mr Martins and his dancers have no feel for mystery, taste or formal etiquette; they have flattened Balanchine's exquisite ballets into straight-talking, "can do" common-sense dances."

Antony Tudor

Kevin McKenzie of ABT writes to the New York Times defending the company against the charge of inattention to the works of Antony Tudor (scroll down). "While it is true that Ballet Theater is not presenting works by Tudor this spring at the Metropolitan Opera House, part of the driving force behind our City Center seasons is to showcase the works of Tudor and others in a more intimate setting."

Dance in Australia

Mary Reicher writes for The Age on the dubious merits, as she sees them, of the Melbourne dance ensemble, Chunky Move. "Chunky Move offers little that I can relate to, and Obarzanek's work seems to be a rejection of qualities that I, as dance-educated audience member, value."

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