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Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002
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Author:  Emma Pegler [ Sat Feb 16, 2002 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

I will certainly be there:

DANCE: PICK OF THE WEEK Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino Wed to 23 Feb Peacock Theatre, London
The Independent - United Kingdom; Feb 16, 2002

<small>[ 30 November 2003, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Feb 16, 2002 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Here is the link to the details about the Ballet Argentino visit on The Peacock Theatre website.

Emma, I'm a little concerned. Pray tell - this performance won't in any way be, er..., shall we say, um.... , I mean, to put it another way, somewhat 'heated', will it?

<small>[ 12-06-2002, 14:59: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Joanne [ Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Interview with Julio Bocca in The Independent (found via the FT site).<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Why does he bother? For two decades Julio Bocca has been an international star. At 35 he is still top dog among the many excellent male dancers of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), and is offered plenty of engagements elsewhere. Mark Morris and Twyla Tharp have both created roles for him. In London he has guested with the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet. He has just danced Swan Lake with Nina Ananiashvili in Los Angeles and is going to La Scala for Romeo and Juliet with Alessandra Ferri. Nice pickings, but instead of resting on his laurels and counting the dollars, he is bringing his own Ballet Argentino to London.<P><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Mon Feb 18, 2002 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Stuart - if this production is not heated, it is not authentic Argentinean. How do you think they keep warm in the winter if not wearing bright colours and the type of material that when rubbed against a naked torso produces sparks?

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Oh dear! I do wish people would keep this <small><small><small>sex</small></small></small> business completely out of dance.

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Tue Feb 19, 2002 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Sex? I was talking about environmentally-friendly sources of heat!

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

In this week's Time Out there is a wonderful picture of the trio pictured above doing something unspeakable in the name of tango. Allen Robertson interviews Julio Bocca.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Feb 19, 2002 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

It is as I feared. If only the Argentine had taken up The Military Two-Step as their national dance, we might have been spared all this unnecessary physical stuff that makes people hot under the collar.....and elsewhere. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited February 19, 2002).]

Author:  Cassandra [ Thu Feb 21, 2002 4:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

I last saw Julio Bocca dance in Moscow, at the Bolshoi theatre. It was a starry gala evening and he danced Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux with Alessandra Ferri and brought the house down. <P>Last night at the Peacock Theatre was a very different experience. Bocca has brought to London his own company, Ballet Argentino and although this company occasionally dances classical pieces, the programme last night was made of ballets specially commissioned by Bocca.<P>The first work, “Encuentros”, was choreographed by Robert Hill who once danced briefly with the Royal Ballet. This was an enjoyable piece danced by the entire company to a piano concerto by Kurt Atterberg. Hill doesn’t break new ground as a choreographer, but has nevertheless created a very watchable piece that was well danced by the company. Bocca himself danced the pas de deux and there was one dancer I particularly liked, a raven-haired girl whose dancing was so full of joy that I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I would like to tell you who she was but... Here comes my major gripe of the evening – the programme was useless with regard to who danced what and there was no cast list either. Perhaps this was due to a first night blunder, but these dancers deserved to at least have their names properly displayed.<P>Next came a pas de deux called t.b.a. But there was no announcement. This nameless pas de deux was danced to the adagietto from Mahler’s 5th symphony, a piece of music that has become something of a cliché over the years. This was rather a boring number and definitely the weakest link of the evening.<P>Completing the first half of the programme was a work called “Desde Lejos” with choreography by Mauricio Wainrot and music by Wim Mertens. The programme note says it is “inspired on (sic) past times and far distances”. It is in fact quite a folk influenced piece to a part choral score. This is another attractive work for the entire company with a mixture of ensemble groups, pas de deux and solos.<P>The second half of the evening is dedicated to Tango. “Piazzolla Tango Vivo” is a suit of dances on the theme of Tango danced to the evocative music of Aster Piazzola. I have to admit a bias here as I LOVE Piazzolla’s music with its unique blend of sorrow and sensuality.<P>The dancers, all dressed in black, seem totally absorbed in the rhythms of the tango as they dance in various combinations. A conventional couple, three bare chested men strutting their macho stuff and Bocca himself dancing first with a table and then with an elegant woman in an evening gown. The evening finishes with two men dancing with textbook precision in front of an admiring group of onlookers, showing everyone how tango ought to be done. The audience loved it.<BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Feb 21, 2002 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Many thanks for this review Cassandra. I'm looking forward to seeing the programme on Saturday.

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Fri Feb 22, 2002 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

<B>Judith Mackrell<BR>Guardian</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Julio Bocca may take centre stage in much of the repertory danced by Ballet Argentino, but he clearly does not run his small touring company as a vanity troupe. Bocca's career as principal with American Ballet Theatre could thrive without another group, and he seems committed to giving dancers from his native Argentina the chance to perform in some decent theatres and choreography. <P>The company's debut at the Peacock was justified by its final work - a fusion tango piece choreographed by Ana Maria Stekelman with music by Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla Tango Vivo is full of the dance idioms of Buenos Aires: slick, menacing footwork, haughty glides and eyeball-to-eyeball partner work. It is danced as elegantly as you would expect from an Argentinian cast. It is also choreographed with a supple alertness to group dynamics, with its surprise patternings and pairings-off. And, when Stekelman expands her tango vocabulary with glossy moves from ballet and modern dance, she seems genuinely inspired by the texture of the music. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF=",4273,4360854,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P><BR>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Here’s another couple of Ballet Argentino reviews. The critics seem to love the tango piece in the second half, but are less convinced that the first half choreography does the dancers justice:<P><BR><B>Julio Bocca</B> <BR>by Debra Craine in The Times<P><BR>IN THE Americas, where Argentina’s Julio Bocca is a big star, his name is probably enough to sell the dance troupe he founded in 1990 to showcase the talent of young Argentine dancers. Here in Britain, where he is remembered from a few guest appearances with the Royal Ballet, it’s probably the lure of the tango that sells tickets to Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino. Certainly the Peacock Theatre was packed for the opening night of the company’s debut London season. And if it’s tango they wanted, it’s tango they got. <BR> <A HREF=",,684-214422,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A> <P>*****************************<P><B>Masters of fizz and spin</B> <BR>Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews Julio Bocca at the Peacock Theatre and Carmen at Sadler's Wells<P> <BR>MEN are the new ballerinas. Where it used to be divine females of elusive presence and mystical aura who dominated the ballet world, in our more pragmatic, egalitarian world, it is males who again rule the roost with their athleticism and physical assertiveness.<BR>Julio Bocca is one of the brightest stars of American ballet. He is a compact, dynamic Argentinian who alternates starring roles with American Ballet Theatre, the Bolshoi and other great ballet companies with running his own touring group of "rambunctious" young Argentinian dancers, as he charmingly describes them.<P>This is their London debut, a mixed bag of four dances, of which only the last really sets the evening alight with Latin sizzle.<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited February 22, 2002).]

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

<B>How to disenchant the Latin lovers</B><P>Review by Nadine Meisner<BR>The Independent<BR>26 February 2002<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>There is nothing like the faintest promise of Latin dance rhythms to bring out an avid audience, as Ballet Argentino found out for its British opening. Maybe people were enticed by the celebrity of the company's founder, even though Julio Bocca is more a name echoed across the Atlantic, given the rarity of his guest performances here. Either way, they received the showcase of mostly Argentine contemporary ballet enthusiastically and, with Ana Maria Stekelman's Piazzolla Tango Vivo, got everything they had come for.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>

Author:  sylvia [ Thu Feb 28, 2002 1:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

Julio Bocca, of ABT fame formed Ballet Argentino in 1990 and brought a dozen of his dancers for a London debut last week. Saturday’s last night at the Peacock Theatre was definitely one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a long time.<P>The program did not start off promisingly. The first piece, Encuentros was a banal effort. The strange music edits gave it a very disjointed feeling and I found the choreography by Robert Hill (also from ABT) to be trite, swinging from purely classical to something else, and back again. Guys would come running in with a girl lifted awkwardly in their arms, fouettes popped out of nowhere and completely against the music. The placement of dancers, especially when they were all on stage was messy. It almost gave a feeling of under-rehearsal (and the worry of course is that they weren’t and this was the intended effect!). Perhaps the muted response was hindered by the lack of detailed notes in the programme – no description of the reasoning behind the choice of music nor the motivations of the choreography. I found myself asking what was the point of it all.<P>The untitled pas de deux which followed breathed a little life into the evening. True it wasn’t terribly original, more reminiscent of the product of student dance workshops (the choice of music especially). Nevertheless the pdd between Bocca and an unnamed girl was silky smooth and very lovely to watch. <P>The best piece of the first half had to be ‘Desde Lejos’ to the “rhythms and cadences of flamenco and folk dance and inspired on past times and far distances”. Whatever that means, it was very inventive, dancers assuming bent positions, the women lifted on stage their legs cycling furiously. It was my favourite of the three and the least balletic. The music by Wim Mertens is madly danceable, the choreography for the corps fascinating and much more cohesive, and I finally had the feeling of a company dancing rather than assorted dancers.<P>The most crowd pleasing was the rather short second half. Piazzolla Tango Vivo is of seven beautiful and very sensual contemporary tangos of solos, duets, triples and quintets. The women dressed to the nines slithered over the floor. A pas de trois between three shirt-less men consisted much tussling and tangoing on a press-bench, almost like a three-way arm wrestling match. This one in particular was of six or seven minutes of full out dancing – an amazing feat given how exhausting it looked, and how near it was to the end of the evening and off the back of the matinee. Bocca’s own solo tango with a table in a spotlight was electric, sliding over and under, and more indecent imagery to make one blush. The final tango was a fast red-hot number with Bocca and another man taking the lead. Again, it’s probably all been done before but it’s still fantastic dancing and provided an appropriately climatic end to the evening.<P>Ballet Argentino is not really a star vehicle for Bocca but is exactly what it proclaims – a vehicle to provide young Argentinean performers with the opportunities that were made available to Bocca himself. I was quite impressed with the overall standard of the company after a steady diet of Royal Ballet. From a technical perspective I didn’t find them remarkable. Bocca’s superstar aura separated him from the rest and his dancing stood head and shoulders above them. But I loved seeing the attack and energy this company had. The dancers vary in shapes, shades and sizes. Their strengths lie not as individuals but as a cohesive group. Still it’s a shame that few cast biographies and no photos were provided - there was no way to identify any of the dancers. I really want to single out “that tall girl that danced with Bocca in the pdd in Enceuntros” as the most striking of the night, but that’s of no help. In any case Bocca himself was marvellous, teasing the audience with sudden bursts of virtuosity and exuding sexual charisma. The auditorium was packed and there was little doubt from the noisy and appreciative curtain calls the effect Ballet Argentino had on us all. I keenly await another visit.

Author:  sylvia [ Thu Feb 28, 2002 1:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino in London 2002

I've just skimmed the other reviews for the first time - rather nice that I seem to be in tune with everyone else for once!<P>And BTW, it was lovely to finally meet you Stuart and Joanne - thanks again for the evening!

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