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 Post subject: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 12:37 pm 
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Image <P>Houston's 'Cleopatra'<P><BR>'The best little dancers in Texas: Antony Thorncroft looks at the Houston Ballet as the company, one of the top five in the US, prepares to visit London,' by TONY THORNCROFT.<P> <A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=010326000357" TARGET=_blank>http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=010326000357</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2001 11:34 pm 
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'Houston Ballet - Lone star's lucky strike. From the land of oil rigs and rodeos comes Houston Ballet. Saddle up for a balletic bonanza.' BY ALLEN ROBERTSON.<P>Bear in mind that Mr Robertson may not have written the head-line! <P> <A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-105067,00.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-105067,00.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2001 4:32 am 
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'Ballet from the big country. Houston Ballet's artistic director Ben Stevenson has ridden the Texas company's bucking bronco for 25 years. On the eve its visit to Sadler's Wells with a spectacular Cleopatra, Nadine Meisner speaks to an Englishman gone west.'<P> <A HREF="Http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/story.jsp?story=63617" TARGET=_blank>Http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/story.jsp?story=63617</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2001 9:17 am 
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Stuart, I am glad that Houston Ballet is getting so much attention in London. I feel sometimes that they are underappreciated in the US, even in Houston itself. I remember reading an uninformed Houston writer awhile ago who convinced himself and his readers that a star dancer (maybe Nina Ananiashvilli) coming to Houston Ballet was probably not very much good as she would have performed elsewhere otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 10:37 am 
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From the Houston Chronicle:<P><B>Houston Ballet to perform in England</B> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>HOUSTON Ballet is in London this week for a much-anticipated return engagement at the historic Sadler's Wells Theatre, birthplace of English-style ballet in the early 1930s. Two decades later, artistic director Ben Stevenson performed there as a young ballet dancer.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR> <A HREF="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/ae/dance/863964" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 10:44 am 
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From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>'Hunchback' Ballet Focuses on Drama <BR> Choreographer stages a gritty, tutu-free version of Victor Hugo's classic about the deformed bell-ringer.</B> <P><BR>By LISA LIPMAN, Associated Press Writer<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>BOSTON--Michael Pink knows that even a hideously deformed, bell-ringing hunchback can be graceful.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR> <P><A HREF="http://www.latimes.com/editions/orange/calendar/20010331/t000027460.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2001 5:38 am 
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From the Independent:<P><B>She performs a lovely suicide by snakebite<BR>Houston Ballet's blockbuster 'Cleopatra' arrives in London this week. Jenny Gilbert meets its star</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Everything's big in Houston, Texas. Not just the buildings that muscle the skyline or the monstrous Chrysler pickups that hog the roads. The stetsons are huge. The beef consumption is huge. There is vast personal wealth. Even the ballets are bigger than most.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/story.jsp?story=64353" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2001 10:26 am 
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From the Houston Chronicle:<P><B>In London with Ben Stevenson <BR>Houston Ballet's artistic director traces his roots</B> <BR>By MOLLY GLENTZER <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>LONDON -- The artist formerly known as John Stevens was quietly bewildered Saturday backstage at Sadler's Wells Theatre. Sadler's Wells was completely rebuilt in 1998 -- the fourth time in its 300-year history -- so nothing about the place was familiar, though he'd danced here in the 1950s and had visited again in the 1980s.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/headline/entertainment/866658" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2001 6:37 am 
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Some views of Houston Ballet in London and the ballet "Cleopatra":<P><B>reduces you to tears - of laughter</B><BR> <BR> Houston Ballet<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ismene Brown reviews Cleopatra, performed by the Houston Ballet, at Sadler's Wells<P>HOUSTON audiences, and some sere New York dance critics, consider Ben Stevenson's Cleopatra to be a serious costume ballet for the new millennium. Much is made of its many splendid sets: Cleopatra's bath and barge, the Roman senate, Egyptian mobile thrones. Even more is made of the role of Cleopatra, formed around Houston's African-American ballerin.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=qxeedxM9&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/01/4/5/btism05.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P> <BR><B>THE ARTS: Houston offers a Carry On Cleopatra DANCE: <BR>Financial Times; Apr 5, 2001<BR>By CLEMENT CRISP</B><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Watching Houston Ballet's Cleopatra, with which the company began a week's visit to Rosebery Avenue on Tuesday night, was rather like time-travelling. There we were, back in the dear dead days as the 19th century ended. Music by Rimsky Korsakov. Scenery that at best might have been copied from one of Alma Tadema's exercises in academic fakery, and at worst had served for a staging of Thais in Marseilles in 1895. A dramatic manner that semaphored emotion in Capital Letters to the attendant throng. (There is a precious film, circa 1906, showing the Moscow ballerina, Geltzer, being roguish with flowers and drapery, while Tikhomirov lusts carefully after her fair white body. They would recognise this Houston territory at once.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR> <P><A HREF="http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/articles.html?id=010405001260&query=clement+crisp" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR><B>Glam and glitz with the Queen of the Nile</B> <P>Cleopatra<BR>Sadler's Wells, London <P>Judith Mackrell<BR>Guardian<P>Thursday April 5, 2001<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>After Ridley Scott's glossy digital scenery in Gladiator, Houston Ballet returns the land of the Caesars to a much more old-fashioned, theatrical tradition. Cleopatra (created last year) comes from the stable of big, plush story ballets with which director/ choreographer Ben Stevenson has made Houston's name. With the help of designers Thomas Boyd and Judanna Lynn and composer John Lanchbery it presses all the available buttons of classical dance theatre to create a work cosily tucked between the 19th and 20th centuries.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4165428,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P> <BR> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2001 6:46 am 
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Another View:<P><B>Houston has a problem</B><BR> <BR>BY DEBRA CRAINE <BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Houston Ballet's lavishly funded Cleopatra is a timid affair <BR> <BR>Ben Stevenson is one of Britain’s busiest choreographers, but he doesn’t work in Britain. For the past 25 years he has been running the Houston Ballet, and under his direction it has emerged as one of the top regional companies in America. For his Houston dancers Stevenson has made numerous ballets and he’s chosen to kick off his company’s important London season this week with one of them. Cleopatra is new (it had its premiere in Houston last year) and at a cost of $1.2 million it shows how well supported the Englishman is in the heart of Texas oil country. <BR>You can see the money on the Sadler’s Wells stage.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <BR><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-109859,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 05, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2001 9:48 am 
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From the Houston Chronicle:<P><B>'Wow' factor <BR>Houston Ballet's Cleopatra awes even Londoners</B> <BR>By MOLLY GLENTZER <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>LONDON -- Houston Ballet was the toast of the town Tuesday evening as Ben Stevenson's spectacle Cleopatra opened the company's six-performance tour at Sadler's Wells Theatre. <P>The sold-out house was studded with famous Londoners, including legendary ballerina Dame Alicia Markova, still sensational at 91, and flamboyant fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, still pink-haired. About two dozen of the company's Houston supporters also were there.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/entertainment/868871" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2001 6:57 am 
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More Views and Critiques:<P><BR><B>Nice dancing, shame about the choreography <P>Houston Ballet<BR>Sadler's Wells, London</B><P>Judith Mackrell <BR>Guardian<P>Friday April 6, 2001<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It has been 18 years since Houston Ballet last visited Britain and its dancers are obviously unknown here - which is one reason that the company's programme of mostly new one-act ballets is a good follow-up to the ballerina-oriented Cleopatra with which its season opened. On Wednesday most of the company took a turn centre stage and, during the course of the evening, demonstrated the entertaining mix of styles and personalities within Houston's ranks.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4166103,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><B>Houston, we have a problem<BR>Cleopatra | Sadler's Wells, London</B><BR>By John Percival<BR>06 April 2001<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In real life, Cleopatra seems to have given her gentlemen friends a difficult time, and she has been no kinder to anyone rash enough to take her story as the basis of a ballet. Nobody now remembers the Diaghilev Ballet's production where the heroine made her entrance dis- guised as a mummy, and Murray Louis's version for the Royal Danish Ballet 25 years ago sank without trace in spite of the voluptuous Vivi Flindt in the title role. Now Ben Stevenson inexplicably falls into the same trap with a staging for his Houston Ballet. And, even more curiously, he chooses it to open their first London season in 18 years.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/theatre/dance/reviews/story.jsp?story=65115" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR> <B>Houston - we have a problem</B> <BR> <BR> Houston Ballet <P> Ismene Brown reviews a Mixed bill by the Houston Ballet, at Sadler's Wells<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>BY comparison with their unfortunate Cleopatra, Houston Ballet appear in a much better light in this triple bill. The dancers are shown as elegant, sprightly and fluent, in three contrasting modern ballets all less than six years old, even if once again there are questions concerning the choreographers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR> <P><A HREF="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=kC3ZJb7p&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/01/4/6/bmboul.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 06, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 9:50 am 
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And here are the impressions of member Emma Spegler:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Houston Ballet<P>By Emma Spegler<P>Like everyone else on this page, I was disappointed with Cleopatra. It is very much in the vein of Petipa but with none of the substance or finish of his ballets – it just didn’t have any bite. The opening scene sets a bad tone – the dancers of the corps are performing Egyptian dances, but we all know that they aren’t really – nobody would be convinced that that is how Egyptians danced. Lauren Anderson was, however, as convincing a Cleopatra as the choreography permitted and I enjoyed her performance, particularly her intricate dance with Caesar in the bedchamber at the end of Act I. I was convinced that Cleopatra would dance like that with Caesar. I was also convinced of Anderson’s star quality and I was looking forward to seeing her in the following day’s mixed programme to determine whether she would still shine amongst the other principal dancers.<P>I can confirm the Houston Chronicle article that there was a statue of Caesar standing outside “in the evening drizzle”. When I wandered out of the theatre during the interval, I came across this statue on Rosebery Avenue and it made me smile. I am not in a position to comment on the lack of backstage storage at Sadler’s Wells which the article identified, but I did think the stage was rather crowded and that the dancers seemed to be balancing near the front edge. I concluded there was too much scenery and that an attempt should have been made to lose some of the unnecessary pieces. <P>Sacred before the Ground followed a regular pattern of innocent and then brooding, emotional couplings as the music becomes more dramatic, but it worked and I thought Trey McIntyre’s choreography was imaginative and expressive against the African songs. The dancers appeared strong and elegant and I enjoyed Dawn Scannell’s energy expressed with control and poise. In a Whisper choreographed by Natalie Weir to Schubert gave some wonderful individual moments of drama and emotion and the costumes worked well. It sounds an odd thing to record but so many of the costumes of the female dancers designed for modern pieces seem to stick to the dancer and not fall back into place after the dancer has been lifted by her partner. These dresses moved with the dancers and contributed to the overall emotional effect.<P>Carlos Acosta excelled once again in Diana and Actaeon’s pas de deux (I had seen him perform this in St Petersburg in February as part of the First International Festival of Ballet). This piece allows him to show off what he can do with jumps (ie jump high, jump long and jump a lot, all with an engaging smile that suggests he is expending absolutely no energy whatsoever) and the audience loves it. There was a distinctly louder hubbub in the bar during the next interval as people discussed animatedly what they thought of Acosta’s achievement. The piece suited Lauren Anderson less and I was disappointed that I would not see her in something distinctly modern where I thought she might excel.<P>The closing piece, Bruiser by Stanton Welch featured a lot of lead up but leading to nothing in particular. My friend remarked that it was a poor imitation of a scene from West Side Story as groups moved energetically, boxing their way around the stage and coming into contact and conflict and then exiting stage to reappear in another group. Less Bruiser, more cheer leader. But I have to hand it to Houston – I enjoyed the second evening and I walked out of the theatre uplifted.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited April 07, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2001 6:01 am 
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From the Sunday London Times:<P> Image <P><font size=1>'Exotic beauty': <BR>Lauren Anderson as Cleopatra<BR>Photograph: Mark Ellidge</font><P><BR><B>Houston, we have a problem</B><P><I>A visiting Cleopatra may be sumptuous, but it lacks dramatic weight, says David Dougill</I> <P> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The Houston Ballet, on its first visit to London in 18 years, opened at Sadler's Wells on Tuesday with the British premiere of its lavish Hollywood-style epic, Cleopatra. It stars the company's African-American ballerina Lauren Anderson, previously unknown here. Whether, as some say, the historical queen of Egypt was dumpy, with a beaked nose and bad teeth, Anderson enjoys an exotic beauty along film-star lines - her lustrous black skin set off by an extensive wardrobe of luscious costumes - and she is a fine dancer with it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <BR> <BR><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/04/08/sticuldnc03001.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Houston Ballet in London
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2001 6:04 am 
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From the Guardian Observer:<P><B>Frankie Howerd it ain't</B> <P>Jann Parry<BR>Sunday April 8, 2001<BR>The Observer <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Houston Ballet Sadler's Wells, WC2 <BR>Titter ye not. Cleopatra has sailed into town, with a retinue of Texan supporters prepared to applaud anything: Cleo's barge, Ptolemy's ptantrums, Caesar's athletic assassination, the writhing rubber asp.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,470133,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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