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San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco

by Becca Hirschman -- April 25, 2009

George Balanchine’s “Jewels” is well regarded for its homage to modern ballet’s roots. This plot-less ballet, which debuted in 1967, is comprised of three abstract sections: “Emeralds,” “Rubies,” and “Diamonds” to represent France, the US, and Russia respectively. While the choreography may not be groundbreaking, dance aficionados still praise “Jewels” for its wide range of emotions and for being one of Balanchine’s timeless ballets. Often presented in parts, the ballet as a whole is rarely seen on stage outside of New York, but our fine city is sparkling this week with San Francisco Ballet’s superb take on “Jewels.”


Program 8: 'Double Evil,' 'Russian Seasons' and 'Fusion'
by Becca Hirschman -- April 28, 2009

I’m always a little sad at the end of the ballet season. As an audience member, seeing dancers attack new roles, revisit old ones, and expand their performance range feels fulfilling in some strange and unusual way. And each season tends to be different, with various dancers rising to the occasion.

Program 6: 'Stravinsky Violin Concerto,' 'Within the Golden Hour' and 'West Side Story Suite'
by Katie Rosenfeld -- April 4, 2009

The Saturday matinee performance of San Francisco Ballet’s Program 6 was an intriguing combination of the modernity of the 1970s, the subtle neoclassicism of the late 2000s and the exuberance of the American musical.

Russian Ballet
on Tour

Eifman Ballet - 'Onegin'
by Kathy Lee Scott -- May 20, 2009, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California

Russia's preeminent choreographer, Boris Eifman, continues to move further from his classical beginnings and explore the emotional side of humanity. At the Southern California premier of his latest creation based on the Russian classic, "Eugene Onegin," by Alexander Pushkin, Eifman abandoned pointe shoes altogether. However, his dancers still rose high on their demi-pointes as if they were lifting onto their toes.


Bolshoi Ballet - 'La Bayadère'
by Toba Singer -- June 6, 2009 - Zellerbach Auditorium, Berkeley, California

Ballistic energy, shimmering dancers, brilliant costumes, artful sets and virtuoso spirit lifted the Yuri Grigorovich version of Marius Petipa’s “La Bayadère” out of its choreographic puzzlements up into the stratum of highly entertaining dance theatre.

Forums Flashes
Direct from the CD forum...

Imperial Russian Ballet
by Cassandra

Don Quixote is always a highly colourful ballet, but the version danced by Gediminas Taranda’s Imperial Russian Ballet surpasses all other productions I’ve seen by virtue of its levels of raw energy and sheer exuberance; in fact it moves at such a pace it’s almost exhausting. The cast doesn’t just dance but whistles and shouts Olé as the pace quickens and displays its talent for collective comedy in the funniest rendition of this ballet I’ve ever seen. The production is by Taranda himself and follows closely the standard Russian Petipa/Gorsky choreography that the Bolshoi and Kirov dance but with nips and tucks to accommodate a smaller company.

To read more, click here.


Tribute to Melissa Hayden (1923-2006)
by Dean Speer
The door to spacious Studio C snapped open with a crack and the atmosphere was immediately charged by the entrance of the authoritative and energetic prima ballerina Melissa Hayden. Hayden, whose most impressive and stellar dancing career spanned three decades, was on hand to coach PNB dancers in roles that Mr. Balanchine had created especially for her.

East Meets West in Washington D.C: Interview with Marat Dakauyev
by Catherine Pawlick

With his distinguished bearing and unflinching grey-green eyes, Marat Daukayev cuts a sharp figure standing at the front of the ballet studio in San Jose, California. This is just one of many auditions he will hold during his audition tour for the Kirov Academy of Ballet, in Washington D.C., where Daukayev is the new artistic director. As his finely trained eye scans the aspiring students in the room for a series of strict criteria, it is clear that Daukayev’s knowledge is by now engrained. For 20 years he starred in St. Petersburg, Russia on the Kirov’s famed stage, and was subsequently named People’s Artist of Russia, the highest honor bestowed by the Russian State.


Pacific Northwest Ballet - Director's Choice Program
by Dean Speer -- May 30, 2009, Seattle, Washington
I like programs that make my job easier. Writing reviews about troublesome programs is not fun. With the unveiling of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s latest important repertory acquisition, Jerome Robbins’ “Dances at a Gathering,” I was in ballet hog heaven all evening. “Dances” is one of Robbins’ best inventions, if not the best of his pure dance works.

Keo Woolford - 'I Land'
by Carmel Morgan -- May 2, 2009, Dance Place, Washington, DC
The description of Hawai’ian native Keo Woolford’s one-man show “I Land” admittedly intrigues. It’s not often you see a performance billed as combining hula and hip hop. Woolford’s semi-autobiographical tour de force does that and more, and the multi-talented Woolford does it all with aplomb. “I Land,” which was created by Woolford in collaboration with director Roberta Uno, is both reverent (he refers to one hula master as a “Hula God”) and irreverent. The melding of touching and uproariously funny moments makes for a great evening of dance/theater.

Los Angeles Ballet - 'La Sylphide'
by Kathy Lee Scott -- May 16, 2009, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Redondo Beach, California
Los Angeles Ballet's "La Sylphide" gave co-Artistic Director Colleen Neary a chance to shine. And shine she did at the May 16, 2009, opening of the company's last show in its current season at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Neary portrayed the malicious Madge for the full-length story ballet first choreographed in 1836 by August Bournonville for the Royal Danish Ballet. That company has performed the ballet every year since its inception.

Rambert Dance Company - Season of New Choreography (programme 1)
by David Mead -- May 22, 2009, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Rambert Dance Company has always recognised the importance of promoting choreographic talent found within the company’s own ranks, and this year presented three evenings of works by company dancers.

Joe Goode Performance Group - 'Maverick Strain' and 'Wonderboy'
by Carmel Morgan -- May 1, 2009, University of Maryland, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland
Joe Goode has personality with a capital “P,” and so does his small troupe of dancers, the Joe Goode Performance Group, which is composed of six dancers plus Goode plus one puppet. Women are in the minority, as there are only two female dancers. Even the puppet, built in the image of a young Joe Goode, is male. To get things started, Goode stood beneath the stage on the same level as the audience and greeted those assembled like old friends (it was his third trip to the University of Maryland).

Czech National Theater Ballet - 'D.M.J. 1953-1977,' 'Petite Mort' and 'Sinfonietta'
by Carmel Morgan -- April 25, 2009, Sidney Harman Hall, Washington, DC
Being a resident of Washington, DC has its perks. One of them is the abundance of opportunities to experience cultures from around the globe. For a dance enthusiast, residing in DC is a special treat because it affords exposure to dancers and dance companies one might not otherwise be able to see. Case in point was a special spring performance of the Czech National Theater Ballet from Prague.

360º Dance Company - 'Night Journey,' 'Maktub' and'The Devil in Massachusetts'
by Elizabeth McPherson -- May 9, 2009, The Ailey Studios, New York

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company - 'Kavauthavum,' 'Fire Cracker,' 'Undoing Measures,' 'Tillana' and 'Dreams'
by Cheryl Adams -- May 10, 2009, Dance Place, London

Trisha Brown Dance Company - 'Planes,' 'Glacial Decoy,' 'O zlozony/O composite' and 'L'amour au theater'
by Mark Franko -- May 1, 2009, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York

New York City Ballet - 'Coppelia'
by Colleen Boresta -- May 3, 2009, David Koch Theater, New York City

Synetic Dance Theatre - 'Lysistrata'
by Carmel Morgan -- April 11, 2009, Rosslyn Spectrum, Rosslyn, Virginia

Oregon Ballet Theatre - 'Left Unsaid,' 'Tarantella,' 'Hush' and 'The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude'
by Dean Speer -- April 25, 2009, Newmark Theatre, Portland

Coming Up: Peter Boal's Director's Choice and Ken Wolford's "I Land"

editors' choice

· 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."

· "The Stars of the White Nights 2009" International Ballet and Opera Festival
21 May 21, 2009 - July 19, 2009 -- Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia
Ballet stars include Diana Vishneva, Svetlana Zakharova (Bolshoi Theatre of Russia), Ulyana Lopatkina, Alina Somova, Viktoria Tereshkina, Leonid Sarafanov and Vladimir Shklyarov.



For ballet-dance magazine

Executive Editor
Kate Snedeker

Executive Editor 2003-2005
Mary Ellen Hunt

Focus and Photo Editors
Elizabeth McPherson, Dean Speer

Associate Editors & Compositors
Lori Ibay, Holly Messitt, Francis Timlin, Lisa Claybaugh, Azlan Ezaddin

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