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Dean Speer Remembers...

'Reno Was Keno': A Choreographer's Reflection on a Pageant Experience
by Dean Speer

My father fell in love. With a state. Specifically Mrs. Utah. Leaving his local harem at his Senior Citizens Center, he accompanied me, as the choreographer of the "entertainment" portions of the Mrs. America pageant in 1996. Most of the performers in my two pieces were from Washington, so we left together from Sea-Tac Airport; an exuberant group.

Morris, Duato and Tharp

A Conversation with Morris and Duato
by Carmel Morgan

On October 20, 2008, the Washington Ballet invited some its patrons to an intimate, in-studio conversation with two of the most exciting choreographers of today – Mark Morris and Nacho Duato. Both Morris and Duato were in Washington, DC to coach the Washington Ballet’s dancers in upcoming works – Morris’s “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” and Duato’s “Cor Perdut.”

Talking with Twyla Tharp
by Dean Speer

Following the Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared” takes a lot of discipline – and thought. It’s a mantra I try to follow, sometimes more successfully than others. Never the less, I knew that my allotted 30 minutes with the contemporary choreographic icon Twyla Tharp needed to be disciplined to achieve maximum benefit for both of us.

Forums Flashes
Reports from the 21st Havana International Ballet Festival
by 'Cotorrita'

The Opening Gala of the 21st International Ballet Festival of Havana was a fabulous evening...

The gala began with the Cuban national anthem. All the while the floor on both sides, lined with press, was buzzing with cameras going off. First we were treated to the desfile solemne – the “parade” of Cuban ballet students on stage, starting with the very youngest, I would guess age 6-7-8, through teenagers and older students, and finally the principal dancers of the Ballet Nacional... This progressed, going from youngest to oldest dancers, until finally from upstage, Alicia Alonso appeared escorted on both sides by 2 of the male principal dancers...

To read more, click here


First Position - by Toba Singer
reviewed by Rosella Simonari
“I do believe (…) in the importance of dance scholarship. Writing on dance can illuminate the past in a way that archival or dance film alone cannot”. With these words Bruce Marks, in the Foreword to Toba Singer’s book, First Position, highlights the value of researching and writing on dance, a practice that allows us to think of dance and dance questions in a different manner...Singer’s book is a precious work in this sense. It groups together the lives, and personalities of 15 great ballet dancers...

An Interview with Nikolaj Hübbe
by Kate Snedeker

Though he did not officially assume his new leadership role until July 1, Nikolaj Hübbe spent a good deal of the 2007-08 season at the Royal Theatre. In April of 2008, he slipped on James’ kilt one more time to end his dancing career with a final performance of “La Sylphide”. Shortly after this farewell performance, I had the pleasure of talking with him about his career and his outlook for the Royal Danish Ballet.


Mark Foehringer Dance Project - 'In Fugue' and 'Entrelazo'
by Becca Hirschman -- September 5, 2008, Jewish Community Center, San Francisco, CA
Mark Foehringer's lucky 13th season brought a pair of well thought-out works to the Jewish Community Center's Kanbar Hall stage last weekend. With last year's "In Fugue" making an encore and the world preview of "Entrelazo," Foehringer shook things up, albeit with the help of plate tectonics.

Birmingham Royal Ballet - 'Beauty and the Beast'
by David Mead -- October 1, 2008, Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham, UK
Although originally made and programmed as an alternative to “The Nutcracker”, David Bintley’s “Beauty and the Beast” is far from the jolly Christmas fare that well-worked ballet usually serves up. Now appearing in the autumn schedule, it may be a fairy tale, but like all the best fairy tales it’s more than a children’s story.

CityDance Ensemble - 'Next', 'Folksay', 'War', 'Drop Down', 'Han', 'Nocturne', Monologue', 'Ties That Bind'
by Carmel Morgan -- October 18, 2008, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Terrace Theater, Washington, DC

Rosie Kay Dance Company - 'Double Points: K', 'Supernova'
by David Mead -- October 14, 2008, Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Birmingham Royal Ballet - 'Raymonda Act III', 'Concerto', 'The FIrebird'
by David Mead-- October 9, 2008, Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham, UK

Kirov Ballet - 'Don Quixote' and 'Giselle'
by Kathy Lee Scott -- October 7 & 10, 2008, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA

Pacific Northwest Ballet - All Tharp Program
by Dean Speer -- September 27, 2008, McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington

EmSpace Dance - 'Keyhole Dances'
by Becca Hirschman -- September 27, 2008, San Francisco, CA

editors' choice

· Matthew Bourne's 'Edward Scissorhands'
Dec 2, 2008 - Jan 9, 2009 -- Sadler's Wells, London
Matthew Bourne's delightful adaptation of the classic Tim Burton motion picture is a treat for all the family.

· Pina Bausch's 'Bamboo Blues'
Dec 11-14, 2008 -- BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn, NY
India is Bausch's latest port of call, and in Bamboo Blues, she transforms the stage into an amalgam of sensations.



For ballet-dance magazine

Executive Editor
Kate Snedeker

Executive Editor 2003-2005
Mary Ellen Hunt

Focus Editor
Elizabeth McPherson

Senior and Supervising Editors
Holly Messitt, Lori Ibay

Associate Editors & Compositors
Dean Speer, Francis Timlin, Lisa Claybaugh, Azlan Ezaddin

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