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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:59 pm 
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Well, it seems like if you keep your account on auto-log-in, things stay OK. Strange....

But to swing this back to the real topic at hand, NBoC, I wanted to ask those of you who are more used to see Kudelka's choreography if you don't see some similarities to Balanchine. With the speed and angularity that I saw with the Nut, I felt like there was something of a kinship. Now granted, Kudelka seems to go in for a lot more production-element embellishment (which Michael's review of Firebird also gets at), and Kudleka does ask more of his men. But I wonder if the resemblance is unique only to the Nutcracker.

I also, just to get really psychological here, wondered if the whole "Nutcracker banging on the Faberge egg to get in" motif wasn't a supremely logical next step in the evolution of the Balanchine "Nutcracker as metaphor for Clara's womanly maturation" motif. Of course, that wasn't Clara inside the egg, but you get the idea. I had a bit of a giggle at the show, watching the poor prince trying to crack open the egg. although maybe it just means I've just watched Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" waaay too much.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:00 pm 
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I agree in that many of Kudelka’s ballets involve high speed but overall they are very different for me. Mr. B’s choreography often involves creating beauty through simplicity on stage. Mr. K’s choreography is often very complicated and sometimes too complicated to the point it makes no sense.

Click HERE for more. You’ll have to scroll down to the middle of the page. I have dubbed James Kudelka the Anti-Petipa! :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:52 am 
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The New York Sun talks to Ormsby Wilkins about ‘inside stuff’ regarding a conductor’s relationship with a dancer. This is must reading for all balletomanes!

Quote:
What makes someone a good ballet conductor? What does Mr. Wilkins have that makes dancers enjoy working with him? "It's important that dancers feel they've got someone looking after them in the pit," Mr. Wilkins said. "Confidence, consistency, and musicality."

That last one sounded a little oxymoronic to me. How can a conductor not be musical? Isn't that an occupational requirement? Yes, but it's not that simple, as ABT's new top baton explained.

"For dancers tempi are very important," Mr. Wilkins said. "We all come to agreement about tempi in the studio, and then consistency is important. What was agreed upon is what happens."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:55 am 
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Click HERE for some fun educational material about Mr. K’s Swan Lake for its performance at the Kennedy Centre. They actually encourage fans to use BINOCULARS! Once again, I have been vindicated. And I only have theatre glasses that fit in your pocket! Vindication is soooooooooo sweet!

* You’ll have to scroll down and then click on ‘The Program’ and then click on ‘cuesheet.’

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:12 am 
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Click HERE for a very distressing article about Arts Funding in Canada and the effect the Canadian Federal election may have on it. I posted this somewhere months ago. If this Man is elected funding may be drastically reduced or completely cutoff. At some point, it would not surprise me if the entire Arts government program were dissolved. If you crunch the numbers for promises like cutting the GST, something has to go.

I do believe it was pie in the sky thinking to think ‘the arts’ would actually be mentioned during the televised debate when there are so many other more pressing serious concerns to deal with like healthcare and government integrity.

Quote:
A long-overdue breakthrough seemed to have been made on Nov. 23, just before Martin's government fell, when the Liberals dramatically announced a present to mark the Canada's Council's 50th anniversary this year: more than $300 million in extra funding.

In November, officials of the Canada Council as well as Ottawa's heritage ministry insisted this wasn't just an election pledge but a fait accompli built into the government's financial planning structure. But Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper's surging numbers in opinion polls have put leaders of the Toronto arts world into near-panic mode.

Bev Oda, the Conservative heritage critic (and incumbent in Durham riding), has backed arts funding over the past two years, but last month in an interview with this columnist, she refused to say whether a Harper-led government would protect the additional funding for the Canada Council.

"I wouldn't put any credibility in what the Liberals did at the last minute," she said. "The Canada Council is a wonderful organization, and I am aware of their needs, but we would have to take a close look before determining what the right number is. There has to be more accountability."

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:37 am 
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Quote:
A long-overdue breakthrough seemed to have been made on Nov. 23, just before Martin's government fell, when the Liberals dramatically announced a present to mark the Canada's Council's 50th anniversary this year: more than $300 million in extra funding.

The announcement represented a triumph for the Canadian Arts Coalition, an umbrella organization that had fiercely lobbied for $5 per capita in extra arts funding.


That's, what, about 200USD? Canada has about 40 million people.

The US has about 275 million souls, and our National Endowment for the Arts is budgeted at just under $140 million.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:24 pm 
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That works out to $258,830.55 in your greenbacks. The Canadian economy is picking up. I shall ignore this obvious slight and remind you of the Critical Dance courtesy policy. How did you get across the border to the National Ballet of Canada? I want to see your papers!!! LOL! :lol:

All you Americans care about is pigskins, baseballs, the Donald, Martha, and Uncle Sam! I like to think that we Canadians are a little more cultured than you Americans.

By the way, Canada only has a population of about 32 million ballet fans!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:16 am 
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Good news for the Arts and the National Ballet of Canada. It appears the Conservative Party will honour the Liberals promise of $306 million.

Quote:
“We will respect the promise of $306 million for the Canada Council, which will double the budget of the organization, because we believe in the importance of the council for the Canadian arts community,” Bev Oda said on Info-Culture.


The 2nd statement (see below) is a little less optimistic. It should be noted this is an election year and politicians have made promises in the past to be elected, and then not honoured their words when it came time to pony up the bucks! It appears the Conservatives are on their way to a majority government meaning they will have the final say on all proposals in Parliament. Hence, I think it prudent for Karen Kain to perhaps send Heather Ogden and Tanya Howard for a pas de quatre photo op with Stephen Harper!

Quote:
“We’ll honour it once we see the plan,” she explains. “We have to see how much money is needed and how it will be spent. And we have no indication where the Liberals intended to get that money, because it was not in their economic update (mini-budget), and there is no trace of it in any Liberal fiscal plan we have seen so far.”


For those not in the know, the :D Liberals :D themselves have tipped the political scales in favour of the Conservatives by portraying the Conservative leader as the Anti-Christ in their advertising. So much so, it is becoming quite comical. The ads have turned :twisted: Harper :twisted: into a celebrity. Hence, he will no doubt win just so Canadians can satisfy their curiosity as to what they will get. I was hoping for a minority to keep everybody in check. Whatever the outcome, I do hope the promise will be fulfilled. I gather the reason tickets cost so much for San Francisco Ballet is simply because of a total lack of government funding.

Click HERE for information about voting for the arts.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:51 am 
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Karen Kain talks about dancing Swan Lake on tour at the Kennedy Centre.

Quote:
“Some of the younger dancers are about to learn the difference between dancing at home and dancing abroad,” Kain told CBC Radio.

“Canadian audiences always love National Ballet productions, but outside of Canada, it’s a different game,” Kain says, “because they’re more likely to run into unreceptive audiences and harsher critics.”


Click HERE for casting.

Heather Ogden did not get Opening Night! :cry: Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. :x

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 7:14 pm 
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Obviously Karen Kain has a mole working for her at the Washington Post! How else could she possibly know beforehand that critic Sarah Kaufman would detest Mr. K’s Swan Lake so much?

Quote:
“The problem with this lavishly dressed and designed production, which premiered in Toronto in 1999 and is being seen in this country for the first time here, is that the tinkerings don’t add up to improvements. Though certain dramatic moments are played up, the ballet feels emotionally flat. The love story at its core has been overshadowed; neither Siegfried nor Odette is fleshed out enough to feel real and sympathetic….

But there are also more than a few episodes of banal choreography that underwhelms at best and fights with the music at worst.”


My mole at the Kennedy Centre told me there were quite a few empty seats. I believe that says more about the lack of ballet interest in the Washington area than the National Ballet of Canada. No matter what you think about Kudelka’s Swan Lake, the dancing would be infinitely better than Washington Ballet or Suzanne Farrell Ballet. I will post my review from the Hummingbird Centre performance on the weekend. I have grown to appreciate it more than my first viewing years ago.

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 Post subject: Stepanenko & Uvarov performing in Toronto?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:10 am 
Can somebody with better connection to the ballet world give us more info on this performance:

http://www.casinorama.com/ent_gig.aspx?gid=167

It's most intriguing, especially with the venue!

Separately, why is this year's Stars of the 21st Century scheduled on May 7, which could potentially clash with National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet?

http://www.starsofthe21stcentury.com/stars/events.html

For the past two years, show time was 5:30 pm. If it stays the same, does it mean I need a Ferrari to connect between Hummingbird and Toronto Centre?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:19 am 
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Are you sure the Bolshoi will present Swan Lake at Casino Rama? Given the venue, a more appropriate program would be Black Jack Ballet, Bolshoi Roulette, and Texas Tutu! :lol:

I too am surprised Stars of the 21st Century picked that date. They should change the time to 7 in the evening. It is for their own good to attract those balletomanes who may wish to enjoy a ballet doubleheader.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:52 am 
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The Washington Times was even less impressed by Mr. K’s Swan Lake. Funny how I have liked it more over the years! At first viewing it was a total thumbs down for me back in 1999. I still see lots of problems with it but given the NBoC is not NYCB or Royal Ballet and given the spectacular costumes and excellent dancers, the reviews are hardly fair.

* It appears page 2 of the review is missing from their site.

Quote:
The choreographer’s tinkering ignores the great emotive swell of the music and gives us something drier and darker. His arsenal of dance steps seems limited. There are lots of simple leaps and an overabundance of landings in arabesque. His way with group patterns -- so vital in a work in which we have come to expect a glorious sweep of swans in the second act -- is busy but not enthralling.

…At times, Mr. Kudelka’s simple, athletic choreography brings new energy to the ballet, but mostly his approach is timid: beginning a sequence in the traditional way and then adding lesser choreography of his own that doesn’t stand up to the original.


In principle I agree with the reviews but they could have devoted a little more to what they liked.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:55 pm 
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Click HERE for a humorous commercial about the NBoC. It gave me a giggle but I don’t think it has much staying power. You watch it, and that’s it. You have to show the National Ballet of Canada dancing music to life to attract new fans. Just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:34 pm 
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The NBoC will be in Cleveland January 27th to the 29th performing a twin bill of the Four Seasons and the Firebird. Anybody going? No casting has been posted yet on the National’s website.

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