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May 2009
in this issue
updated June 7, 2009 (check back weekly)

SF Ballet & Mark Morris

SF Ballet's all-Mark Morris Program
by Heather Desaulniers -- March 14, 2009, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

I was worried that I had run out of things to say about Mark Morris. When you’ve seen one choreographer’s work multiple times and perhaps even the same piece more than once, it can be difficult to have a fresh perspective. Yes, one could comment over and over again about his musicality, genius casting and whimsical imagination but that’s a bit boring. Thankfully, San Francisco Ballet’s evening of Mark Morris brought to light something that I rarely notice in his work: an overwhelming sense of stability and security. This thread wove through “A Garden,” “Joyride” and “Sandpaper Ballet,” embellishing the joy and fun of Morris’ ballets with a sense of calm, a feeling of safety and a gentle protective force.


Another perspective
by Becca Hirschman -- March 18, 2009


International Dance Open
by Elizabeth H. Stern -- April 11, 2009,
Standing in the wings at the Oktyabirsky Theater, I listened to the dancers chat and joke good-humouredly in a mixture of Spanish, English and Russian as they stretched and adjusted their pointe shoes before the evening’s Gala Performance.


Erik Bruhn Prize Competition
by Denise Sum -- March 18, 2009, Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, Canada

A palpable sense of excitement filled the Four Seasons Centre at the International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. The competition is a rare treat for Toronto dance lovers. As few international companies include Toronto in touring schedules, this is a special opportunity to see upcoming talents from some of the leading ballet companies. This year, there was the added excitement around the introduction of a choreography competition. Although in the past some companies have commissioned new works for the Erik Bruhn Prize, for the first time each company was required to present an original work.


Erik Bruhn Prize Competition
Another view by Kate Snedeker -- March 18, 2009, Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, Canada

Forums Flashes
Direct from the CD forum...
Birmingham Royal Ballet
by Stuart Sweeney

It was good to see this BRB mixed bill at the Coliseum. But it's usually good to see dance at the Coli, as the sight-lines are excellent and it vies with Sadler's Wells as the best venue for dance in London. If only the Royal Ballet could perform there, as The Royal Opera House is entirely the wrong shape for ballet – the designers intended it as a place to be seen rather than to see.To read more, click here.

Royal Ballet
by AnaM

I fell in love with the old Leslie Hurry production and, to my horror, when I first came to London and bought my tickets for the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake in 1989 I encountered this "horrible production" staged by Dowell...

To read more, click here.


Broadway Nelle: A personal tribute to dancer, choreographer and teacher Nelle Fisher (1920 - 1994)
by Dean Speer
Tributes to friends and colleagues are challenging; one hardly knows where to begin. My first recollections of Nelle were in association with her sister, Dorothy, who was one of the pioneering ballet teachers in Seattle, having taught here since 1940, following her own performing career in vaudeville. Both Dorothy and Nelle (and their younger sister, Claire) were Seattle natives, daughters of an advertising executive. Dorothy and Nelle attended Cornish College of the Arts (then Cornish School).

Interview with Viengsay Valdés
by Catherine Pawlick

"It’s the second. In 2005, I was in Moscow for the Maya Plisetskaya Gala, 8th Anniversary in 2005, at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. But this is the first time I’m going to dance a full-length ballet in Russia. It’s my first time in St. Petersburg."



Russell Maliphant - 'TWO: FOUR: TEN'
by Annie Wells -- April 4, 2009, London Coliseum
In fittingly recession busting fashion, Maliphant used four re-staged duets to look back on the ten years of work that have forged him a place as an important British choreographer. Unmistakably from the same camera, these carefully selected snapshots were varied enough in dynamic and focus to maintain a good level of pace and interest. Whether or not familiar with Maliphant’s body of work, the programme should have left spectators with a clear sense of the particularities of style, dimension and design that have come to define him as a dance artist.

Pacific Northwest Ballet - 'Swan Lake'
by Dean Speer -- April 11, 17 and 19, Seattle, Washington
Let’s get the fouetté question out of the way first – she did 27, okay?! Carrying a full-length ballet is so much more than just the individual steps or even discrete phrases. It’s shaping the course of an evening, artistically. On the edge of retiring from dance performing, Louise Nadeau has been a vanguard of artistic betterment and is one who has that wonderful “je ne sais quois.”

Festival Ballet Theatre - 'Sleeping Beauty'
by Kathy Lee Scott -- April 4, 2009, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Irvine, California
For a ballet company with few strong male dancers, "The Sleeping Beauty" gives a perfect opportunity for its lady dancers to shine. And several rose to the task at Festival Ballet Theatre's April 4, 2009 performance held at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine, Calif. This was the last production in its season.

Mariinsky Theatre Gala Concert
by Catherine Pawlick -- April 12, 2009, St. Petersburg, Russia
A series of short divertissements completed the mixed bill in Sunday night's Gala Concert at the Mariinsky. Despite the rather bright debuts of Evgenia Dolmatova and Anna Lavrinenko as Fanny Cerrito and Lucille Gran, respectively, in the famous "Pas de Quatre", it was in fact Ekaterina Kondaurova who outshone the other three ballerinas in her role as the proud Maria Taglioni.

American Ballet Theatre in London - 'Swan Lake'
by Stuart Sweeney -- March 25, 2009 -- Coliseum, London
American Ballet Theatre's season of full-length ballets might well have seemed a natural progression after the success of the Sadler's Wells visit, a couple of years ago, with one act works. However, bringing “Swan Lake”, in particular, to London can be a mixed blessing -- full houses are virtually guaranteed, but the critics see so many productions of this famous and revered ballet that any problems or deficiencies stand out more clearly than usual.

Mariinsky Theatre - 'La Bayadere'
by Carmel Morgan -- April 7, 2009, St. Petersburg, Russia
Along with the rest of the traditional classical repertoire at the Mariinsky Theatre, “La Bayadère” holds a special place and continues to be performed by leading ballerinas of the company. Just last week, Tereshkina danced it with newcomer Denis Matvienko.

'The Fountain of Bachchisarai'
by Catherine Pawlick -- March 28, 2009, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - 'A Quarreling Pair'
by Carmel Morgan -- March 25, 2009, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eisenhower Theater, Washington, DC

Juilliard Dances Repertory
by Elizabeth McPherson -- March 27, 2009, The Peter Jay Sharp Theater

'Eonnagata' - Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage and Russell Maliphant
by Ana Abad-Carles -- March 2, 2009, Sadler's Wells Theatre, London

City Contemporary Dance Company - 'The City of K'
by David Mead -- March 7, 2009, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza

Oregon Ballet Theatre - 'Ash,' 'The Rite of Spring,' 'Lambarena'
by Dean Speer -- February 28, 2009, Keller Auditorium, Portland, Oregon

National Ballet of Canada - 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Kate Snedeker -- March 11, 2009, Four Seasons Centre, Toronto

Coming next week: a Melissa Hayden tribute, Oregon Ballet Theatre's 'Left Unsaid' program, Synetic Dance Theatre's 'Lysistrata' New York City Ballet's 'Coppelia.'

editors' choice

· San Francisco International Arts Festival
May 20 - 31, 2009 -- San Francisco, California
Sasha Waltz headlines artists and performers from around the world in various venues throughout San Francisco.

· Ballet Russes Festival and Conference
May 16 - 23, 2009 -- Boston, Massachusetts
Featuring dance, music, visual art, cinema, and other happenings inspired by the genius of Diaghilev's creative team and the extraordinary figure of the impresario himself.

· American Dance Festival
June 11 - July 25, 2009 -- Durham, North Carolina
Performances, panel discussions and film celebrate this year's theme of "Where Ballet and Modern Meet."



For ballet-dance magazine

Executive Editor
Kate Snedeker

Executive Editor 2003-2005
Mary Ellen Hunt

Focus and Photo Editors
Elizabeth McPherson, Dean Speer

Senior and Supervising Editors
Lori Ibay, Holly Messitt

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

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