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Subject: "Latest Review Links w/b 8th July 2002" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2868
Reading Topic #2868
Brendan McCarthymoderator

08-07-02, 07:47 AM (GMT)
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"Latest Review Links w/b 8th July 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 8th. Brendan McCarthymoderator 08-07-02 1
     RE: Links - Tuesday 9th Brendan McCarthymoderator 09-07-02 2
         RE: Links - Tuesday 9th(2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 09-07-02 3
             RE: Links - Wednesday 10th July '02 AnnWilliams 10-07-02 4
                 RE: Links - Thursday 11th Brendan McCarthymoderator 11-07-02 5
                     RE: Links - Thursday 11th (2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 11-07-02 6
                         Artsworld collapse alison 11-07-02 7
                             RE: Artsworld collapse Karen Ritchie 11-07-02 9
                     RE: Links - Thursday 11th Jane S 11-07-02 8
                         RE: Links - Fri 12th Brendan McCarthymoderator 12-07-02 10
                             RE: Links - Sat 13th Brendan McCarthymoderator 13-07-02 11
                             RE: Links - Sat 13th(2) Brendan McCarthymoderator 13-07-02 12
                             RE: Links - Sunday 14th Brendan McCarthymoderator 14-07-02 13
                             RE: Links - Sunday 14th AEHandley 14-07-02 14

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Brendan McCarthymoderator

08-07-02, 07:50 AM (GMT)
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1. "Links - Monday 8th."
In response to message #0
   LAST EDITED ON 08-07-02 AT 12:50 PM (GMT)

Royal Ballet in Melbourne

Vicki Fairfax of the Age on the Royal Ballet's Giselle. "Guillem's Giselle is unlike any other, headstrong, insouciant, her extensions slightly higher, the leaps a little longer and she turns a fraction faster than you have seen before. But, at an earlier performance, Alina Cojocaru's Giselle was able to melt your heart and reduced the audience to tears.
It is a singular performance at which you marvel and occasionally gasp in wonder. Her partner Johan Kobborg,is a beautiful dancer who performs all the challenges of the second act solos, the tricky turns, the arabesques held suspended in space and the unfolding series of entrechats, with flawless grace. It is hard to recall another performance of Giselle that has been able to reveal the redeeming power of love with such clarity."
The Age

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Clement Crisp savages PNB's mixed bill in today's FT. He does have praise for Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15. "Without the technical fine-tuning we know with New York City Ballet, this troupe's dancers dealt honourably with a masterwork. The spirit of the piece is 18th-century courtly, with elegance of spirit and manners the key. The artists took it in their spirited stride, and chief honours must go to Patricia Barker and Jeffrey Stanton, both taking secure command of their prodigious variations; and to Carrie Imler, demonstrating an unfailing bravura in her allegro solo and making light of every demand. After which bliss, the pits. To follow Balanchine with Nacho Duato (his Jardi Tancat) is Hyperion-to-a-Satyr time. Duato's tosh offers three couples, barefoot and wearing Life Is Too Much For Me expressions, who display symptoms of amoebic dysentery while a Catalan folk-singer dismally bays. The dance is nugatory, the entire affair an affront. The Corsaire pas de deux then inexplicably arrived, looking (shall we say) uneasy, save when Patricia Barker was involved, generous in style, musical, grand, a wonderful dancer. Fearful Symmetries...is more cruelty than choreography."
Financial Times

Jenny Gilbert of the Independent on Sunday rivalled the other critics in her scorn for PNB's Silver Lining. "PNB has a repertory bristling with Balanchine ballets rarely seen in London, but instead it brought Silver Lining, a big-budget, rhinestone-studded, full-evening creation by its artistic director, Kent Stowell. Too bad this labour of love takes 30 dimly glinting songs from the Kern legacy of the 1920s and 1930s and turns them to unrelenting dross.Five minutes into Silver Lining no one in the theatre can doubt the dancers' ability to lift their legs up past their ears, nor Stowell's sincerity in eliding slide and shuffle with standard ballet steps. But he might as well replay the first five minutes on a loop for all the variety he injects into the following two hours. A frenzied number of costume changes fails to relieve the monotony of mood and temperature. Only a couple of full-company ensembles (with an impressive 36 bodies on stage) build anything approaching a buzz to match the music – handsomely played by the Royal Philharmonic but dismally sung by the soprano and baritone soloists."
Independent on Sunday

ABT's Swan Lake

Jack Anderson of the New York Times on some of the recent performances. "On Thursday night at the Metropolitan Opera House, when David LaMarche conducted, Nina Ananiashvili was once again compelling in the dual role of Odette and Odile. This time her Prince Siegfried was Maxim Belotserkovsky, a hero with a sunny disposition. Once Mr. Belotserkovsky encountered Ms. Ananiashvili's Odette, his gallantry increased."
New York Times

Anna Kisselgoff of the NY Times on Saturday night's final performance. "Gillian Murphy followed up her outstanding debut of last year as Odette-Odile with an amazingly fresh performance and a different Siegfried, José Manuel Carreño. Ms. Murphy, coached by Georgina Parkinson, one of the company's ballet mistresses, has created a vivid link between Odette, Siegfried's ideal, and Odile, her evil imposter. Her young swan queen foreshadows Odile's dynamism, and she is especially agitated in her first encounter with the prince. This energy transforms her amiable Siegfried. In Act I, Mr. Carreño gave his solos, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie, an admirable purity, but there was also room for precision in two double turns in the air. In Siegfried's brooding variation, he brought out the right melancholy through his lyrical phrasing and superb control."
New York Times

Arts in the Classroom

The Guardian has a story on a Cambridge University study showing that arts and music is being squeezed out of the classroom by the government's testing regime. "The report warned that the teaching of art, drama, music and ICT was "only partially covered by lunchtime and after-school clubs. The decline in the curriculum time available for these creative subjects is matched by a decline in teachers' own sense of creativity."
The Guardian

ABT's Michele Wiles

Thanks to balletalert for this link to the LA Times. It is a profile of ABT's Michele Wiles, who has won the Varna competition in Bulgaria. "Her win made her someone to watch. It's hard not to watch a dancer who starts with Wiles' basic ingredients--long limbs that seem to float into high realms (she's 5 foot 8), impressive turns and a gift for balancing that often elicits gasps. But technical prowess, sometimes dismissed as an ability to do tricks, doesn't impress everyone. A critic in Toronto, where the 22-year-old Wiles, now an American Ballet Theatre soloist, recently won the Erik Bruhn Prize, called her "a technical monster," and she wasn't being complimentary. The New York Times' Jennifer Dunning offered a kinder appraisal: "There is no one quite like Michele Wiles for big, easy dancing that is inherently classical but has the freedom and intensity of a horse bolting onto the course."
LA Times

Iran bans dancer for life

The Washington Post reports the following: "A Tehran court has sentenced the country's best-known male dancer to a 10-year suspended jail term for promoting corruption among young people by setting up dance classes in the United States, newspapers reported Monday. The sentence, handed down Sunday, bans Mohammad Khordadian from leaving Iran for 10 years, giving dance classes for life and attending public celebrations or wedding ceremonies of people who are not close relatives for three years, according to Iran daily. Khordadian lives and performs in Los Angeles, but was jailed in May during a visit to Iran."
Washington Post

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

09-07-02, 07:06 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Links - Tuesday 9th"
In response to message #1
   LAST EDITED ON 09-07-02 AT 09:18 AM (GMT)

MacMillan Tribute - Exeter Festival

Allen Robertson reviewed it for the Times: "The central core of the evening was a complete performance of Sea of Troubles, one of Mac- Millan’s most rarely seen ballets. Created in 1988 for the long-defunct Dance Advance, it is the choreographer’s Expressionist musings on Hamlet performed to chamber music by Webern and Martinu with simple but impressive designs by his artist wife, Deborah MacMillan. Compressed and compacted, it races along like a film, with taut encounters jump-cutting from one scene to the next without linear logic. MacMillan wasn’t interested in telling Hamlet’s story — indeed, someone who is not familiar with Shakespeare would be in a sea of muddle. Instead, the cast of six round-robins through the roles. However, it was the penultimate number that really brought the house down. Wildor and Cooper blazed through the desperate final moments of Manon with an intense, go-for- broke passion that perfectly illustrates why dancers continue to thrive on the choreography of Kenneth MacMillan." The Times

Alberto Vilar

Alberto Vilar tells the LA Times that persistent rumours he has reneged on philanthropic pledges to arts institutions are untrue. (According to the story he is now engaged to the Harvard musicologist Karen Painter). "He says he has four yet-to-be-announced projects with major arts organizations, to which he plans to donate a total of $150 million to $250 million. At least one of those projects he will begin to fund next year, he says. This time, however, Vilar plans to hold any announcements until the stock market bounces back in hopes that the timing will be better to leverage other gifts--which may help to avoid future attacks from the press for announcing another engagement before the ring is given."
Los AngelesTimes

Pacific Northwest Ballet

John Percival's review for the Independent is a surprising exception to the prevailing verdict from his fellow critics. "A big cheer for Pacific Northwest Ballet. Silver Lining is pure entertainment and, at the same time, first-rate dancing. It is entirely their own, made specially for these dancers, but it extends them into something new: singing. Also, it joyfully celebrates their own American culture in the musicals of Jerome Kern. If only more companies would work like this. Kent Stowell made the piece, we are told, out of sheer nostalgic enthusiasm for the movies and shows that inspired his youthful self to become a dancer. The enthusiasm is clear, and he has succeeded in passing it to the company, who perform with a whole-hearted unanimity. It's the total effect that counts: a lovely company. Silver Lining is not "high art"; Pacific Northwest Ballet save that for their second programme. But I enjoyed it more than any other company at Sadler's Wells since Pina Bausch last January."

Remembering Sept 11th.

According to the Toronto Globe and Mail the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Ottawa's Opera Lyra are to collaborate on Requiem 9/11: A Performance for Peace, the first time Verdi's Requiem has been choreographed.
Globe and Mail

Ban on Iranian dance teacher

The FT's Tehran correspondent on the case of the Iranian-American dance teacher. He has been barred from leaving Iran for 10 years, given a suspended jail sentence, banned from attending weddings for three years and from teaching dance for life.
Financial Times

Deaf Ballet Dancers?

From an MSNBC story on an international arts festival for deaf people (scroll down): "There was a time, Asphyxia says, when she wanted nothing more than to be a member of the Australian Ballet. She had the technique. She had the physique. Why not? But the company’s officials, she says, saw things differently: They couldn’t wrap their minds around a deaf ballet dancer. Never mind that she could feel the music (deaf dancers rely on the percussive rhythms of the music, the vibrations resonating deep in their chests, to dance). With a life of ballet closed to her, she ran off to join . . . the circus. "


Jennifer Dunning of the NY Times on the company's third programme in its present NY season. "The best and the most troubling aspects of the Pilobolus Dance Theater came through clearly on Saturday night when the company presented the third program in its summer season at the Joyce Theater. Hearteningly, the best included Alison Chase's haunting "Ben's Admonition," a new work that suggests Pilobolus can still blend narrative and acrobatic movement into a third thing that is pure metaphor."
New York Times

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

09-07-02, 03:01 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Links - Tuesday 9th(2)"
In response to message #2
   Hamburg Ballet

John Percival has been to see Hamburg Ballet for the Independent: "The Seagull, which opened this year's festival, could hardly be more different; well, it is just as intense, but far quieter in tone and plotting. The inspiration of course comes from Chekhov's play, but presenting the situation as ballet brings major changes. The most obvious is that the two actress characters become dancers, and the two writers are now ballet-masters. Arkadina lost something in the change. Beautiful as her dreamy evocation of a former role is (and beautifully done by Anna Polikarpova), her later Pavlova parody comes off less well, and we lose the intriguing ambiguity in the play that arises from only being told about her acting, so that we are never sure how good she really is. Nina, on the other hand, gains enormously. Her solo as the seagull, all lyric loveliness, easily outshines the silly "futuristic" speech that Kostya's play inflicts on her, and her later dance of sad uncertainty brings a wonderful understanding of her character. Heather Jurgensen rises to the subtlety of this part with absolute conviction."

Pacific Northwest Ballet

John Percival again, this time on PNB's mixed bill at Sadler's Wells. "Fearful Symmetries is set for a cast of 23, all of them at full stretch; there are three featured couples (with Louise Nadeau and Batkhurel Bold outstanding), but everyone is given demanding solo work. Wearing shades of red, they hurtle across the stage in great leaps, or twist and turn with precipitate zest. The way they keep up the energy for a full half-hour is amazing. And the Royal Philharmonic (or "pit band", as one national paper quaintly renamed it) under Stewart Kershaw plays the demanding score with warmth as well as power. Martins's ballet brings the programme to a fine close, and it opens equally well in quite a different mood with another masterwork from the NYCB stable, Divertimento No. 15 – Balanchine's cool, graceful dances set to Mozart (with Allan Dameron conducting this time). Brief, varied solos for five women and three men; a handsome series of gently fluent duets; an intricate minuet for eight supporting women: this shows that the PNB company can produce elegance as well as energy."   

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10-07-02, 09:06 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Links - Wednesday 10th July '02"
In response to message #3
   A Tribute to Sir Kenneth MacMillan

Ismene Brown in the Telegraph on the MacMillan programme in Exeter. MacMillan, she says was a ' Jekyll and Hyde character who was a classical goldsmith on one hand, a turbulent, scary fantasist on the other - the two sides held in check by a distinguished, inquiring mind..... Raw-edged it might have been, but this thoughtful, accurately designed gala left a large and indelible assertion of MacMillan's value in the mind. I only wish it were widely available to complement the more obvious but limiting tributes to come.'

Eva Yerbabuena

Nadine Meisner in the Independent on Eva Yerbabuena: 'Yerbabuena, who was born in Frankfurt before moving to Granada to live with her grandparents, has been most inspired by Carmen Amaya, the whirlwind Gypsy of the 1940s who performed in trousers and danced like a man. Yerbabuena in turn challenges received ideas. She does this not just by including non-traditional unison groups – a feature often seen before – but by renovating her entire grammar. Pared down to a limpid, deceptive simplicity, it seems to strip flamenco back to its original bones, yet it expands its potential, entering into unexplored realms of movement.'


Merce Cunningham

Tony Phillips in the Village Voice on Cunningham... 'Cunningham was "barely 20" when he arrived in New York, summoned from Centralia, Washington, by none other than Martha Graham. "I stepped on the pavement," he remembers, "and knew this was home." Two months later he was dancing on Broadway with Graham. "Regardless of everything," he says, "I've never changed my mind about this place." Choreographer Mark Morris, like Cunningham and Trisha Brown a Washington State native who settled here, adds, "Merce is the most darling thing on earth and his work is thrilling to me. I think of it as one piece that's 50 years long." '



Also in the VV, Elizabeth Zimmer on Pilobolus... 'Founded by Dartmouth undergraduates in 1971, (Pilobolus) had a good run of real glory as its sensual, dreamy fantasies unspooled across world stages. But the company (which has four artistic directors who've endured since the beginning, and a constantly shifting population of six dancers) now repeats itself, extruding pieces that still appealto a generation of unreconstructed frisbee players, but put anyone looking for formal rigor and clarity promptly to sleep.'


The Kirov in New York

Anna Kisselgoff in the NY Times on the Kirov' 'Bayadere': 'Visually, the impact is spectacular, with the set designs for a 1900 Petipa production in St. Petersburg offering an Orientalist vision of India that speaks of space as well as splendor. It is startling and breathtaking to see the usual ghosts of temple dancers performing the celebrated "Shades" scene in a rocky canyon against a reddish sky, anything but the usual moonlight'



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Brendan McCarthymoderator

11-07-02, 07:38 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Links - Thursday 11th"
In response to message #4
   Eva La Yerbabuena

Ismene Brown of the Telegraph on the flamenco performer's programme at Sadler's Wells."La Yerbabuena is only young - 31 - but she dances like a grandmother, and I can think of no finer compliment in flamenco. Not for her plunging cleavages and scarlet Carmen-flowers in her sultry hair. This diva lets the other girls wear the best dresses and arrays herself in unpromising greys, blacks and shawls. And then she makes them look like Barbie dolls with dancing of a deep volcanic rumble, with whispering feet, hips like a fertility goddess's, and arms as light as lacewings, or as honeyed as Venus fly-traps. Besides her sensual qualities, there's the marvellous speed of her musical instincts."

Clement Crisp of the FT was less impressed: "I did not find the evening - pace the vociferous fans - anywhere near as exciting, or as rewarding, as those earlier visits to this same theatre by the flamenco groups of a decade ago, nor La Yerbabuena a patch on such heel-rattling marvels as Carmen Cortes or La Chana."
Financial Times

A review from Judith Flanders of the Standard: "This is indeed flamenco as it was intended - gypsy dancing, not Spanish dancing, the art of the outsider. The stark costuming of the dancers in black, white and brown removes the viewer from the world of show-business glitz, and reinforces the aura of moral seriousness that motivates the evening. While the dancing is impressive, this seriousness of purpose gradually begins to pall. Seriousness does not always have to equal solemnity, but here the two are synonymous. Bulerias are supposed to be partly comic, a communal boasting session. No one here cracks a smile."
Evening Standard

Christopher Wheeldon

Time Out New York profiles Christopher Wheeldon (it is several weeks old and is only now online). "Christopher Wheeldon detests nothing more than being compared to George Balanchine or Jerome Robbins. At 29, he's already built a reputation as a ballet choreographer of extraordinary merit; he'd rather not read about how his work—for better or worse—compares to a couple of late, great geniuses. But while watching Wheeldon's mastery of the classical form unfold at the New York City Ballet, it's difficult not to ponder his possible place in the pantheon, as pundits are already doing. He's that good.
Time Out NY

Arts TV Channel closes

The TV channel Artsworld is to close, according to the Guardian. It is expected to cease transmission from the end of July. Its management blames competition from the BBC.

Bernard Haitink

TheTelegraph's retrospective on the ROH's departing music director is by Rupert Christiansen. "As the press and public look back at his regime, two cliches recur. One is that Haitink ranks among the greatest of modern conductors, and that he has maintained the House's musical standards at a world-beating level. This is absolutely true. The other is that he has not been enough of a leader, proving "unpolitical" in his outlook and remaining "detached" from an institution which, over the redevelopment crisis in 1997-98, badly needed his muscle and influence. This is quite untrue."
The Telegraph

The old order changes at NYCB

This is a New York Observer piece I found on balletalert. Robert Gottlieb writes about the passing of a generation of NYCB dancers and of a successor generation that is, as he sees it, underpowered. Further down the piece he has kind words for Andrea Quinn, NYCB's music director, and formerly of the Royal Ballet. "Perhaps most important, the company’s impressive new music director, Andrea Quinn, who has been specializing in the modern repertory, conducted the great Mendelssohn score (Dream) in a way that retained its dancy lightness and charm yet brought out its symphonic implications."
NY Observer


A Times story on the UK Government's Dance and Dramatic Awards.
The Times

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

11-07-02, 12:02 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Links - Thursday 11th (2)"
In response to message #5
   LAST EDITED ON 11-07-02 AT 12:11 PM (GMT)

Ballet Central

Judith Flanders of the Standard on Ballet Central. "Although the intentions are good, and the dancers eager and willing to tackle new challenges, I am not sure the policy of those planning the programme is the wisest. Most of the pieces are choreographed by teachers at the school. Good choreography is much harder to produce than good dancing, and for the most part the dancers are working with choreography that neither stretches them nor shows them off to full advantage."
The Standard

Several links not explicitly about dance, but nonetheless of interest to balletco readers

The UK Government and the Arts

Martin Kettle, writing for the Guardian, chronicles the end of the government's love affair with the arts. "New Labour has never been publicly at ease with the arts. Tony Blair may be an occasional theatre-goer, but the philosophy and practice of Blairism have little real place for the arts as such. Predisposed as they are (or were, until the 2002 budget) to American rather than European models of the role of government, senior Labour ministers have an intellectual aversion to arts spending."
Martin Kettle's article.

Also in the Guardian, Jude Kelly shares Kettle's gloom. "As a young man, Pierre Boulez declared that we should burn down the opera houses. What a great idea. Of course, a successful avant-garde arsonist must act in the belief that once the old institutions have been razed, new and brilliant alternatives will take their place. But which musician, actor or painter would share such confidence today? The entire fabric of the arts in this country has become so fragile that no creative artist would dare to strike the match."
Jude Kelly's article

Alberto Vilar and the ROH

The Guardian has a feature on the Vilar Young Artists' scheme at the ROH. "But is it wise for the house to rely so heavily on one donor? Alberto Vilar is recovering from operations for back problems; last November he was critically ill after emergency surgery on a perforated gall bladder. And the past 18 months have seen a slide in the assets of Amerindo, the company with which he made his fortune. Although he says he has honoured all contractual agreements, he admitted earlier this week in an interview with the LA Times that his illness caused him to "miss a few payments" to some organisations. Padmore insists that the Young Artists programme has had no such problems. Still, Vilar doesn't look quite as much of a sure thing as he might have done when the scheme was first mooted."
Link to article

Artsworld Collapse

The Times reports the impending collapse of the TV channel Artsworld. There is more detail than in the Guardian story.
The Times

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11-07-02, 01:28 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "Artsworld collapse"
In response to message #6
   What a terrible shame for the arts in this country. I'd been looking at Artsworld's programming recently and thought that it'd certainly be one I'd be interested in as and when I got around to going digital. I presume the Performance Channel is still running, although since that's on cable it's likely to be less useful to a lot of people. What really worries me, though, is the statement:
"The failure of Artsworld means that it is unlikely that any private sector group will be able to launch an arts television channel to compete against the BBC." Given BBC4's lack of visible commitment thus far to dance in particular, I find that very disturbing.

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Karen Ritchie

11-07-02, 05:14 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Artsworld collapse"
In response to message #7
   I feel the same Alison. Where are we going to see dance now on the box? I watch Artsworld a lot and will miss it, there is nothing else like it apart from Performance, which I cannot get. Come on BBC you have won the battle now give us something to show for it.

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Jane S

11-07-02, 02:58 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Links - Thursday 11th"
In response to message #5
   A couple of things from The Stage, which has no archive - read before July 18th

Merce Cunningham at Tate Modern next year?

The director is in talks with legendary American choreographer
Merce Cunningham to stage a site-specific performance next
year in the London gallery – the UK's second most popular tourist
attraction after the British Museum.


Silver Lining - someone else liked it!

From Gavin Roebuck: "We're Gymnastic is a humorous number with seven gorgeous girls
and a large red ball. That ballet trained dancers can do anything
is proved as the evening also has a danced magic act complete
with a disappearing lady. Not serious art but a great light hearted
show for all."


And one from today's Guardian which isn't strictly dance-related but I thought it was relevant:

Is there a science of

Are there equations behind the most beautiful works of
art? The consensus has been that this is a hopeless quest. In a
seminal work, The Analysis of Beauty (1753), William Hogarth
wrote: "The subject is generally thought to be a matter of too
high and too delicate a nature to admit of any true or intelligible


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

12-07-02, 07:36 AM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Links - Fri 12th"
In response to message #8
   Verdi's Requiem Ballet

Celia Franca, founder of National Ballet of Canada, says plans for a ballet version of Verdi's Requiem are in bad taste. It is intended as a tribute to the victims of the Sept 11th bombings. She told the Ottawa Citizen: "The Requiem stands alone. It doesn't need any embellishment. I'm speaking as a ballet dancer and I love ballet, but I feel I also have respect for music. I think it's a matter of respect for the way Verdi wrote it, and Verdi didn't write it with ballet in mind. I just think this is in bad taste. To embellish a work that stands alone is the height of conceit."
Ottawa Citizen

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Giannandrea Poesio, writing for the Spectator (not online) was at one with most of his fellow critics about their two programmes at Sadler's Wells. He dismissed 'Silver Lining' as "rather tiresome, uninventive and stylistically debatable" and went on: "I wish I could say that the second programme, a rather oddly concocted mixed bill, was better. Alas, it was not. It kicked of with a rather flat performance of Divertimento No. 15 by Balanchine, continued with an equally unimpressive rendition of Nacho Duato's Jardi Tancat, which is normally one of the most poignant pieces by the Spanish dance maker, followed by an outrageously over the top performance of Le Corsaire pas de trois and concluded with Fearful Symmetries, a choreographic horror by New York City Ballet's current director."

Bangarra Dance Theatre

Jill Sykes of the Sydney Morning Herald reviews Bangarra's ''Walkabout'. "While Aboriginal culture is still the central concern, Walkabout looks less at the distant past, more to relatively recent history and current events. Rations, by Frances Rings, explores the impact of white settlers on Aboriginal independence and Stephen Page's Rush looks at survival challenges in today's urban wildside. Together, they take a tougher line than most of Bangarra's work in the past. The raw edge has been there before in sequences about drugs, alcoholism, brutality and deaths in custody, but it hasn't dominated as it does here."
Sydney Morning Herald


Richard Morrison writes for the Times on the demise of the arts TV channel. "I must point out that the Philistines/morons/etc running BBC One and BBC Two have now cut arts programmes to such a dribble that the Culture Department’s demand for the BBC to broadcast 230 hours of arts next year (out of 17,000 hours of airtime) is seen as a huge challenge."
The Times

Jacob's Pillow

The Christian Science Monitor reports from this year's festival. "Ella Baff, director for four years now, is the most recent visionary to continue the tradition that stretches back to American dance pioneer Ted Shawn. He bought the old farm (Jacob's Pillow) in the Berkshires and turned it into his home.Shawn started the tradition of welcoming the public to "Tea Lecture-Demonstrations" in 1933, and then expanded his invitation into this annual summer festival. Jacob's Pillow was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest continuing dance festival in the United States."
Christian Science Monitor

Allegra Kent

The Boston Herald watches the former NYCB star teach class. "``It was never an arduous process for Balanchine to choreograph. He always came in prepared. Balanchine never pondered. It was there, and everything flowed out of him, like a river . . . the Mississippi, the Amazon, the blue Nile. It just flowed.''
Boston Herald

San Francisco Ballet

According to the San Francisco Business Times, SF Ballet is to spend $20 million on a state of the art centre comprising studios and rehearsal space.
SF Business Times

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

13-07-02, 06:40 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Links - Sat 13th"
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   LAST EDITED ON 13-07-02 AT 09:40 AM (GMT)

Kirov in NY

Anna Kisselgoff of the NY Times reviews the Kirov's Swan Lake at the Lincoln Center. "The Kirov Ballet's "Swan Lake," presented for the first time this season on Thursday night as part of Lincoln Center Festival 2002, evokes memories of great performances more past than present. Yet on the surface it remains a splendid theatrical spectacle fleshed out with a superb full-bodied performance from the Kirov corps. The question is which "Swan Lake," among myriad versions, was on view at the Metropolitan Opera House on Thursday night when Svetlana Zakharova, a dancer of exciting and newly controlled extremes, led the cast with bird-of-paradise allure."
New York Times

Makhar Vaziev, director of the Kirov, talks to Radio Free Europe. "We wanted to stage 'Jewels' from the very beginning, and we were discussing it with Barbara Horgan of the Balanchine Trust. They were sending their teachers and repetiteurs. Naturally, we were trying to develop the work exactly as we were coached, as we were guided. We didn't have, as it is said proverbially, a desire to dance it 'Russian-style,' although unconsciously we are perhaps dancing it a bit differently. It is natural. It is unconscious, in a way."
Radio Free Europe

UPI on the Kirov's La Bayadere
United Press International

Violette Verdy

Violette Verdy talks to the Boston Globe about the film ''Violette et Mr. B'. "Verdy directed the Paris Opera Ballet in the late 1970s; the troupe's famously entrenched bureaucracy drove her to leave after three years. In the movie, she seems completely at home with the current company. She speaks to them in French, of course, so the film has English subtitles. Verdy thinks and talks about dance as eloquently as she performed it. She calls the ''Emeralds'' section of Balanchine's ''Jewels'' ''an homage to Impressionism,'' and cites its aquatic qualities as well. She demonstrates arms that float like seaweed, and how to start a phrase with those arms and let them carry the body into the rest of the phrase. She indicates the kind of leeway Balanchine gave dancers in solos with the remark ''Sometimes I'd do it like this'."
Boston Globe


Debra Craine of the Times previews the RB's Onegin next week. "The opening night sees the return of the guest star Adam Cooper in the title role and, as anyone who saw him last time around can attest, he is a natural for the brooding, unprincipled Onegin. His Tatiana is scheduled to be Mara Galeazzi, who so impressed audiences last time with her womanly sensuality."
The Times

ABT's Le Corsaire

Lewis Segal of the LA Times finds ABT's Corsaire to be lacklustre. " A far superior production by the Kirov Ballet (available on home video) makes a persuasive case for "Le Corsaire" as a high-Romantic dream of freedom in a corrupt world. However, the familiar 1998 Anna-Maria Holmes version for ABT simply pumps in as much showpiece dancing as possible, tries to laugh off the rest and turns over the irredeemably silly result to Corella, Carreño, Murphy, De Luz, Bocca and Ananiashvili (the first cast in a five-performance engagement) for salvage."
Los Angeles Times

Kiss Me Kate to close

According to BBC News Online, Kiss Me Kate is to end its West End run because of poor ticket sales. "Most performances of Kiss Me, Kate now play to half-full audiences at the Victoria Palace Theatre, an indicator of a general slump in tourist numbers to the UK. It is one of a number of high-profile productions to close sooner than expected in the West End, a problem put down to a noticeable drop in foreign tourists after the foot-and-mouth crisis and 11 September."
BBC News Online
The story is also reported in the Independent

Elitism in the Arts

A Guardian essay by AC Grayling. "Pretension aside, the very idea of people who enjoy Renaissance painting or classical music irritates those who place all consumption of high culture in the same basket, if not as the affectation of the conceited (the low-brow rightwing complaint, opposed to what it brands as Islington trendiness in such things as the championing of contemporary art and music) then as the recreation of the privileged (the anti-highbrow leftwing complaint, opposed to the spending of public money on the Royal Opera House instead of on grants to ethnic dance groups in deprived areas) - both of which in their different ways explain why questions of culture have a political edge."
The Guardian

Thai RBS Student

A Bangkok Post story on Pattra Sarikaputra, a Thai student, who has been awarded a scholarship to study at the RBS.
Link to article

Whose plie is it anyway?

A SF Examiner story by Rachel Howard on a dance equivalent to the panel game 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?': "Former Dutch National Ballet soloist Kevin Cregan grabbed the largest of those eponymous bells, piled stage right in Matthew De Gumbia's beautifully lit idea lab of a set, and tied it in front of his groin, slinging it side to side in deep pliÈ. "This is the sound of dancing," Circo Zero founder Keith Hennessey whispered as Ledoh, a wide-eyed roaming Shaman, rang the smallest bell in eerily slow cadence. "This is the sound of toe shoes," he continued, as Ballet Frankfurt dancer Amy Raymond pattered across the stage, tracing slinky Forsythian patterns with her arms and hips. "This is the sound of pain," he hissed, as Motion Lab's Kathleen Hermesdorf mockingly rose onto the tips of her bare feet."
San Francisco Examiner

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

13-07-02, 12:14 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Links - Sat 13th(2)"
In response to message #11
   The FT has a profile of Gerry Robinson, Chairman of the Arts Council, in which he concedes that in his time as Chairman, he (i) 'went native' (ii) 'discovered the attractions of dance.

"He now talks the arts talk with total conviction, effortlessly embracing both the social importance of the arts, which has become a key factor under Labour, and the pursuit of excellence. "It's amazing how wonderful the arts can be to people who are under-privileged," he says, speaking from long exposure to out-reach initiatives in hard pressed communities, but "it is an influence on the social agenda that must be driven by quality. I think you can only get people interested in the arts if they are good". It is a mantra to please both the arts-in-the-community lobby and traditional elitists."
Financial Times

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

14-07-02, 11:46 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Links - Sunday 14th"
In response to message #12
   LAST EDITED ON 14-07-02 AT 04:08 PM (GMT)

Scottish Ballet

"Ballet fatties told to hold the chips" is the extraordinary headline for a Scottish Sunday Times story about weight problems among SB's male dancers. "Some Scottish Ballet dancers are self-confessed foodies. Senior dancer and self-confessed cake-lover Preston Clare has compiled a recipe book of their favourites, called Dancing Around the World on a Lettuce Leaf? His book argues that leaps and lifts keep them in shape rather than salad greens. It includes the favourite recipe of Scottish Ballet’s founder choreographer, Peter Darrell, who loved whizzing up a Fish Catalan with creamed potatoes for his dinner guests."
Sunday Times

Eva La Yerbabuena

Jann Parry of the Observer on the flamenco performer's programme at Sadler's Wells. "Yerbabuena is redefining flamenco as austere, neo-classical dance. Instead of modernising it with fusion moves and designer outfits, like Joaquín Cortés and Sara Baras, she retains its traditional form but pares away improvisational excesses. What matters to her is the choreographic shape of each dance and its relationship to the music, rather than the risky chance of inspiration on the night. Hers is a controlled theatrical experience, not a jazz riff in a steamy nightclub."

David Dougill's verdict for the Sunday Times:" While furious in her attack, she is, thank goodness, not furious of countenance. Her passion has dignity. She is proud without being pompous. Likewise her fellow dancers, two women and three men, all fine technicians. Yerbabuena’s choreography deploys them mostly in unison dances, separate from herself; but I found these numbers overstagey, too regimented. What we don’t get, in this show, are any encores — party pieces, singers showing that they too can dance, and so on. Rather a relief."
Sunday Times

Matthew Bourne

Matthew Bourne is the subject of an Observer profile by David Benedict. "He was heralded as the Damien Hirst of ballet. 'It's rubbish. I'm so traditional,' he argues. He is, however, smart enough to recognise that such phrases have served him well, notably his reputation for creating dance for people who hate it. Twyla Tharp once argued that dance was frightening to examine because it implicitly reminds you of death. Bourne is more practical. 'The image people have is either ballet, which they think is too archaic or full of things they don't understand - even if it's a story they still think they won't get it - or it's old school 'modern dance' in leotards with abstract movement, difficult music, difficult everything. People say "You've won so many people over to dance" but I don't think that's true. What we're presenting is theatre. Dance is just one aspect. It's got great music, it just doesn't have words.'

Kirov in NY

Makharbek Vaziev, the artistic director of the Kirov, talks to Anna Kisselgoff of the NY Times about the restoration of the classics, stripping away their 'Soviet overlay'. "In Russia, some leading ballet critics and balletomanes have accused Mr. Vaziev of restoring ``fossils'' in overlong, overstuffed spectacles. Those raised on versions in the West argue that these 19th-century works have survived precisely because they have been either changed by Soviet choreographers or streamlined by balletmasters in Europe or the United States, who have focused on dance rather than on the mime and lengthy processionals of the original versions. In Vaziev's view, the accretions of Soviet choreography added to the Petipa classics must be removed if these ballets are to be seen in their true structure and context, all influenced by what Mr. Vaziev calls the ``culture'' of the time in which they were created."
New York Times

Nureyev's Canadian Beauty

The Ottawa Citizen has an excellent archive feature on Nureyev's creation of Sleeping Beauty for the National Ballet of Canada in 1972. "Rudolph Nureyev blew through the National Ballet of Canada like he did everywhere else -- a tornado of attitude, talent and defiant tomcattery. If his colleagues' manners were refined, he made a point of being coarse. If they danced with purity and reserve, he demanded typical Russian drama and athleticism. "You must eat up the stage," he told the Canadian dancers. And if the choreography called for the male dancer to simply escort the female -- forget it. Nureyev, who at 34 was at his peak, reworked The Sleeping Beauty so it had no less than five solos for men. The original, choreographed by the renowned Maurius Petipas, had just one. He was just as outrageous offstage. One dancer recalls dragging Nureyev out of a bar before he got them both in trouble for chatting up some fetching Hell's Angels.
Ottawa Citizen

The Toronto Globe and Mail has a profile of Kevin Garland, the new executive director of the National Ballet of Canada.
Globe and Mail

Philosophy and Dance

The NY Times interviews Gerald E Myers, Philosopher in Residence at the American Dance Festival. "He is trying to give dance the intellectual respectability that many of its practitioners say it lacks. He contends that scholars like the college president who dismissed dance "as that hopping and jumping going on down in the gym" need enlightenment. Some choreographers and critics haven't helped their own cause with their anti-intellectual, shut-up-and-dance approach — an odd circumstance in a field where the intimate relationship between body and mind is a daily concern to every dancer. Dr. Myers hopes to alter such attitudes. "I have taken on a private mission of being an advocate for the art form and giving reasons for placing it on a par with the other arts," he said."
New York Times

From the barre to the podium

The conductor Nicolae Moldoveanu tells the Sunday Herald that it was only because his nascent talent for ballet was spotted as a child that he wields a baton today. "'I don't think any child can wish to be a conductor,' Moldoveanu explains, 'except perhaps a very posh child from a musical family, and I wasn't . I started out in Romania as a dancer -- I was selected for ballet as a child . I then did a little bit of gymnastics -- I was a colleague of Nadia Comaneci. In that generation of children in Romania, every child wished to be on the stage as a performer or on a platform as a gymnast. That was the way we thought. It was only later that I turned to music.'
Sunday Herald

The arts on BBC1

According to the Observer, BBC1 could soon have its own equivalent of ITV's South Bank Show. "For some months, BBC executives have admitted to the serious decline in cultural programming, particularly during 'prime-time' viewing, in the mid-evening. The launch of BBC4 has merely underlined fears that the new digital channel will become an arts ghetto."
The Observer

A seat on the board

The following link is relevant because, apparently, Bernard Haitink. the ROH's outgoing music director, omitted the ROH's board from those he thanked at his final performance last night.

Vanessa Thorpe writes for the Observer: 'Might I have a quiet word in your ear? I wondered if you might consider... ' This is usually how it starts; the tentative preliminaries before the door creaks open and you are invited to enter an incestuous world of gala dinners, air kisses and warm champagne. And, once you have taken up a seat on the board of one of Britain's major arts or heritage institutions, there is no telling where it might lead, although, in all likelihood, it will simply lead straight to another seat on a board of governors or trustees."
The Observer

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14-07-02, 09:17 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: Links - Sunday 14th"
In response to message #13
   I don't know if the online Sunday Times has all the pictures from the hard copy, but anyway - did anyone else spot the VERY strange photograph illustrating "Onegin" in the Culture section? Possibly the absolute worst moment at which the shutter could have clicked, and I'm amazed that the dancer concerned (couldn't even tell who it was, actually!) didn't raise hell!

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