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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
Lucy-<BR>I actually didn't work with Massine when he staged Boutique at Oakland Ballet. Though the ballet master was quite stringent in carrying on the Massine legend. <P>I did take a class from him once when I was a student at Contra Costa Ballet. Through Miriam Lanova (sp?) and a friend that lived in Walnut Creek (she's since passed away) Massine came to the San Francisco/Bay Area.<BR>He was very old, demanding and pretty cranky. I have an LP of the sound track from the Red Shoes that he signed. <P>Fondly, <BR>David <P>PS: Lucy, in regards to Belong Pas at Diablo Ballet. The restaging (A) Lacked some of the original choreography (B) Lacked the style that I believe Norbert Vesak intended it to have and (C) The glitter at the end was a bit much. <BR>Cheers! <p>[This message has been edited by DavidH (edited December 20, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2001 10:02 am 
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Location: SF CA
Thanks David, happy to hear that Howard was keeping up the Massine tradition. As for Belong, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I agree that glitter was a bit over the top. Have a good holiday!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2002 4:40 pm 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
A letter to the Chronicle Editor from, um, a typical Smuin fan (see elsewhere in this forum):<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Smuin Story Overdue<P>The article on Michael Smuin ("That's Entertainment," Dec. 16, 2001) was very good and long overdue.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/01/20/CM143657.DTL target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 8:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Somehow I missed all this debating the first time around. <P>This article left me...bored. I quickly skimmed it when I got the paper that day and forgot all about it. (I hoped only that Azlan would post, which he did). In it's defense, it piqued the interest of several of my friends who are not dance fans but are starting to become such because of articles like this one. So in that case I have to think it is successful.<P>I like to think of companies like Lines and SmuinBallet as training wheels for budding dance fans. I hope that this whets their interest and eventually they will graduate to more challenging work.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 9:01 am 
The woman who wrote the letter must be the sole crossover audience member between ODC and Smuin. <P>I agree with her about Helgi's lame Balanchine imitations and, for that matter, his not terrible interesting interpretations of classic ballets.<P>But, in fairness, the other choreographers they've brought into the company during the Helgi directorship are much better than the Smuin era, which was completely dominated by his stuff. <P>LMC Tech: Sorry, but I don't like to see Lines and SmuinBallet SF lumped together. I think Lines is the best chamber ballet company in the US. Alonzo King doesn't hit a home run every time, but most of the work he creates is heads above what the in-house choreographers at SFB produce. His dancers are very good (Melanie Henderson is excellent) and I think the live music, costumes and lighting are the best I've seen in a US dance company. Their fan base has as much in common with Stephen Petronio, Mark Morris and ODC as with SFB. I don't think anybody needs to "graduate" from them.<P>Smuin, to me, is exactly what you described... a dance company for people who like middle-of-the-road pop music, and want a pleasant night out. <BR>------------------<BR>cheers,<BR>ralph<P>[This message has been edited by ralphsf (edited January 19, 2002).]<p>[This message has been edited by ralphsf (edited January 19, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 2:13 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Here is where we will cordially differ, because I find Alonzo King's choreography to have a limited vocabulary. However, I agree that SmuinBallet and Lines are very different companies (NO argument there), but they serve the same purpose for some dance goers. They are simply much less intimidating than going to see a ballet company or even a well-known modern company like Cunningham or even Morris. And I do think people need to graduate from Lines. Their style is very distinct and every dance viewer should see more than just that. I believe the same thing for people who watch only SFB. They should go see Lines to see what "real" contemporary ballet can be.<BR>I am a true democrat here. I think everyone should see everything. <P>And I think that Smuin serves a purpose, whether I like the dancing or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: California
Interesting discussion. Different strokes for different folks - as it should be. I do wish we would all preface strong statements with IMHO (in my humble opinion) as they do on other boards. And perhaps share with us what company you've seen dance the "classics" in a way that pleased you. IMHO the fact that Mr. Tomasson put before us Elizabeth Loscavio and Joanna Berman (and many, many other wonderful dancers) is enough for me to forgive him his choreographic "sins". <P>My two cents! <BR>buh bye.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 6:02 pm 
I am in total agreement, there is room for all these companies, and I'm thankful the Bay Area has them. I'm not a Smuin lover, but I'm glad he's got his company and is doing well... there is an audience that loves what he does.<P>I'm curious about how Lines would be less intimidating than, for instance, SFB? Is the Black Cake intimidating or Fanfare? Or Stars and Stripes or Sleep or Magrittomania for that matter? I see many wonderful pieces in the SFB rep but I don't see that much I would call challenging. Well, maybe Othello. I think they're a middlebrow company... and that's meant in a very positive way. They are attempting to please a wide range of public and they do just that.<P>------------------<BR>cheers,<BR>ralph


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 8:18 pm 
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Location: new york, ny usa
however, remember that joanna berman, at least, was not hired by helgi, but by michael!<p>[This message has been edited by pmeja (edited January 19, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2002 11:03 pm 
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Location: California
Ya, I remember. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:27 pm 
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Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Mr. Smuin waxes nostalgic to Octavio Roca for no apparent reason.

Quote:
Time travels
A fantasy of seeing premiere of 'Fancy Free'

Octavio Roca Sunday, February 16, 2003

Michael Smuin, founder and director of Smuin Ballet:

"I wish I could have been there that first night of 'Fancy Free.' That must have been something.

"It was Jerry Robbins' first ballet, and he was tired of dancing all those fairy-tale ballets that was all everybody did. This one was something else, a really American ballet."
more...

<small>[ 14 February 2003, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: LMCtech ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 7:03 pm 
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Posts: 537
Location: New Orleans, LA
Looks like an interview that might have been done for another piece. But the reminiscences are interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Michael Smuin
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12415
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
It is one of 25 similar short pieces beginning from the premise that if you could "time travel" to see a performance, witness the creation or unveiling of a piece of visual art or architecture, view a TV show for the first time, etc., what would you choose? All of the regular San Francisco Chronicle reviewers weighed in with their own selections and, in addition, interviewed one or two people who work in the fields reviewed by those critics. Mr. Roca chose May 18, 1909 at the Theatre du Chatelet -- the opening of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2003/02/16/PK6577.DTL

The other articles may be accessed by choosing from the sidebar selections accompanying the Smuin piece.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
These Little Toe Shoes Are Longing to Stray
by SYLVIANE GOLD for the New York Times

SYLVIANE GOLD. So why Sinatra?

MICHAEL SMUIN. When I was a child, my mother would get home from her job around 5 or so, and my dad wouldn't get home until about 6:30. So we ate dinner relatively late. And my mom and dad were always in the *******. He'd come in and help her. And if a Sinatra tune came on the radio, my dad would grab my mom, and they would dance in the *******.

published: August 7, 2005
more...


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