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 Post subject: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:02 pm 
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Cinderella came to the National Arts Centre. Everyone loved what they saw. Cinderella danced her shoes off! Cinderella most certainly conquered one and ALL!!

Denis Armstrong of the Ottawa Sun called her ‘The Stuff of Dreams.’

Quote:
“In case you thought fairy-tales were strictly kids’ fare, think again. The National Ballet of Canada’s spectacular new production Cinderella is an eye-popping stage fantasy for kids of all ages.”
Natasha Gauthier of the subscribers only Ottawa Citizen raved over Cinderella:
Quote:
“If the lingering chill and ice have you longing for spring, you needn’t travel any further than the NAC for a pick-me-up. James Kudelka’s sumptuous staging of Cinderella offers up such a carnival of hothouse colour and carefree fun, you’ll feel like you’ve been on a tropical holiday.”
Sadly, the 2nd edition of the Globe & Mail’s Performance Magazine did not write one word promoting the National Ballet of Canada’s Cinderella return to the Hummingbird Centre for one weekend only (April 23 to 24)-Very, very, very odd indeed. Michael Crabb, who writes on a regular basis for the National Post, has some explaining to do? Of course, I highly doubt the Galloping Critic, nor his editor, Shelly Robertson, will respond to my post. I smell fear! At least I can find solace in being the Lion of my Ballet Domain! I highly recommend you see Cinderella despite the lack of publicity! :p

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 9:40 am 
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Martine Lamy’s swan song will be as Eva in ‘the contract’ at BAM. I totally disagree with carting this ballet over the border. Though, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is the perfect venue because they present many avant-garde pieces totally inappropriate for a regular ballet audience.

Quote:
“The Contract is not a party piece,” Kudelka concedes, adding that that was precisely the purpose behind its darker vision, its edgier moves. “It was my anti-Nutcracker, in which I tried to use everything you'd use in a Nutcracker but tried to put it into another package.”

Not surprisingly, considering what a departure it is, it has not found universal favour among either critics or audience -- but those of us who've liked it have liked it a lot.

“I'm not pure enough for the purists and not avant-garde enough for the avant-garde,” Kudelka says philosophically.
Click here for the Toronto Sun article trumpeting Kudelka’s contractual ballet.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:01 am 
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Quote:
Tales of innovative dance
by SUSAN REITER for the New York Newsdays

Still, Kudelka hankered to do something "more far-reaching than 'Sleeping Beauty,' in terms of the discussion you might have afterward - something that actually has ideas in it," he said recently. He came up with "The Contract," a drama that draws both from the myth of the Pied Piper and from the biography of Aimee Semple McPherson, one of the first media-savvy evangelists.

April 5, 2005
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:43 am 
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Click here for John Rockwell’s critique of ‘the contract.’ Below is the highlight of the review:

Quote:
“This action poses more questions than it answers. Mr. Kudelka is espousing, the Brooklyn brochure says, "dancing that bypasses traditional story ballet mime in favor of movement that stems from genuine feeling." As if mime can't seem genuine. In fact there is a lot of mime, and the dance never stakes out all the twists and turns of the narrative. What powers does Eva bring to the community? Are the disorders caused by repression? Is Eva into "sexual healing," as the Blind Boys of Alabama song would have it? What has Will done to deserve being abandoned? And on a more mundane level, what are long swaths of non-mimetic dance telling us in terms of the narrative?

The choreography itself, in the abstract, does not look very interesting. By far the best bit comes in a sexual pas de deux for Eva (in a subtly see-through costume) and Will. It was somewhat compromised by the impassiveness of Martine Lamy, who danced Eva in last night's cast, and by poor Guillaume Côté being stripped down to his baggy boxer shorts. Oh, well. The dancing, by Ms. Lamy and Mr. Cote and the many others, adults and children, was earnestly done. Mr. Torke's score, in a sometimes overwrought post-Minimalist idiom, with periodic odd yelping demanded from a solo soprano, was conducted by Ormsby Wilkins.”
Like Michael Goldbarth’s review, his review was rather mixed. In regards to entertainment value, the ballet flat out fails. Unfortunately, ballet companies sometimes fail to realize they are in the ‘entertainment’ business. Hello!!!

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:01 am 
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One more preview -- this one from the CBC:

http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2005/04/05/Arts/nationalballet050405.html


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:51 am 
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Quote:
Canada's National Ballet back on NY stage
by JOHN COULBOURN for the Toronto Sun

Also drawing plenty of attention was dancer Jean Sebastien Colau, who stepped into the role of Father to replace injured principal dancer Aleksandar Antonijevic (out for the remainder of the season) only last Friday - and did a bang-up job.

Published: April 7, 2005
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:06 am 
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...I've just been reading comments in another discussion thread deploring John Rockwell's dance reviews. So - does that mean that his negative review of the "The Contract" could be good news if his abilities as dance critic are held in so low esteem?


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:14 am 
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Simon Houpt of the Globe & Mail comments on the NBoC’s ‘contractual’ visit to BAM and the poor review given by Times critic, John Rockwell. Interestingly, the writer of the article did not comment on the ballet and there was no review of it in the paper. My biggest problem with ‘the contract’ is the lack of entertainment value. There is no big audience for this ballet in Toronto. Kudelka knows this but he created it anyway for artistic reasons. Fine and dandy, I don’t mind seeing something a little different. Given that it was such a short ballet (they even removed the 2nd act making it a rare one act full ballet), why not condense it even more and present it as part of a mixed program? That way, everybody can leave happy.

Quote:
But the Times's current dance critic John Rockwell penned a sharply dismissive review this time around, taking issue with almost all aspects of The Contract: the choreography, storytelling, dancing, and even the small amount of singing interpolated into the score. While Rockwell praised the ideas behind the ballet, he said that, "from the first, problems of pacing and clarity intrude." The kindest comment he could make of the execution was that, "the dancing . . . was earnestly done."

Melillo said the review didn't make a difference to him. "Sure, there's an algebraic equation. A great review in The New York Times means the telephone starts ringing to sell tickets, but that's a minor issue for BAM. The issue is to get the work on the stage and to serve an audience that we have for contemporary work."

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:06 pm 
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In the Toronto Star, Janice Mawhinney interviews Victoria Bertram with an accent on fragrances:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&cid=1112781787314&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:00 am 
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Quote:
Farrell enlists National Ballet for 'Don Quixote'
the CBC Arts

The National Ballet of Canada will collaborate with celebrated American dancer and instructor Suzanne Farrell this summer for a production of George Balanchine's Don Quixote.

...

The June performance will be the first time the ballet – which premiered in 1965 and starred Farrell and Balanchine himself – has been performed in more than 25 years.

published: April 6, 2005
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:48 am 
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Quote:
...I've just been reading comments in another discussion thread deploring John Rockwell's dance reviews. So - does that mean that his negative review of the "The Contract" could be good news if his abilities as dance critic are held in so low esteem?
At least he’s got people talking about ballet again! I wouldn’t take him too seriously. Remember, the New York Times is in the business of selling newspapers. At least he doesn’t perform the role of PR man, which is sadly the case in too many cities. To me this can do more harm than good. People lose respect for you and no one will read your articles. This means no one will be reading about ballet. I don’t like his writing style all that much or some of his controversial views, but at least he had the good sense to give thumbs down to ‘the contract!’ :D

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:40 pm 
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Looking into my crystal ball I see Sonia Rodriguez, Chan Hon Goh, and Tanya Howard as Dulcinea.

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:47 am 
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Of course, Heather Ogden could also dance Dulcinea to life! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:47 am 
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Quote:
Martine Lamy's final Contract
Retiring principal dancer says bye to Kudelka's ballet

Before the New York trip, Cote credited Lamy with helping him to understand what it is to partner a ballerina in a meaningful way.

published: April 11, 2005
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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada Spring 2005
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:57 pm 
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John Coulbourn waxed most enthusiastically over Martine Lamy’s ‘contractual’ send-off:

Quote:
“New York -- IT WAS their fifth performance in as many days, but the artists of the National Ballet seemed determined to pour their hearts into the final performance of their engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Saturday night. Everyone from the youngest students of the National Ballet School to their leading lady did their utmost to milk the last measure of magic from James Kudelka’s controversial but still arrestingly beautiful creation, The Contract (The Pied Piper).

…BANNER DAY: Her three performances in The Contract weren’t the only mark Lamy made on New York last week.

Determined to give Lamy a fitting sendoff on her final tour with the company, David Banks, chairman of the NBOC Board and all ‘round dynamic gentleman, arranged to have an 11-foot banner of Lamy, dancing the role of Eva, suspended on the front of Ulysses, the Manhattan/Irish pub at which the board hosted the entire company at brunch yesterday, before their return to Toronto.”

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