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 Post subject: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:25 pm 
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ABT will perform in Moscow for the first time since 1960 in March 2011. A brief report in Broadway World.

Broadway World


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:33 pm 
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ABT performs on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at the New Jersey Center for Performing Arts in Newark. The program features Paul Taylor's "Company B." Robert Johnson previews the performance in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

NJ Star-Ledger


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:35 am 
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Location: New Jersey
American Ballet Theatre
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, New Jersey
November 20, 2010

"Company B," Seven Sonatas," "Everything Doesn't Happen At Once"

American Ballet Theatre returned to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center last night for the first time in more than ten years. For this one-night-only performance, ABT selected three one-act pieces from its repertory that were representative of its “contemporary” side. While the works and the performances were very good, the program choice wasn’t. For a once-in-a-decade appearance, something more traditional, if even only a pas de deux, would have been welcome, and something not seen across the Hudson within the past year might have attracted more interest.

That having been said, the three works presented last night ranged from ‘superb’ to ‘much better than expected,’ and the evening provided an opportunity to see some memorable choreography and wonderful dancing.

The program opened with Paul Taylor’s “Company B,” fresh from ABT performances last spring at the Met. Overall, the piece was danced somewhat more balletically than it should have been. But Mr. Taylor’s work often lends itself to a balletic gloss, and the performance quality was stellar enough to overcome any complaints by stylistic purists. Particularly outstanding were Marian Butler, partnered by Roddy Doble, in the “Pennsylvania Polka” segment, Craig Salstein and accompanying entourage in “Oh Johnny, Oh Jonny, Oh," and Misty Copeland’s intoxicating “Rum and Coca Cola.” It might be a stretch for her, but having seen her in this and as the Gypsy Girl in “Don Quixote,” Ms. Copeland might make an interesting “Carmen,” should ABT decide to take chances.

The second piece was the jewel of the evening: Alexei Ratmansky’s “Seven Sonatas,” which ABT performed in Manhattan during its brief fall ‘season’ at Avery Fisher Hall a year ago. It was luminous when I saw it then, and remains so on subsequent viewing.

Using seven keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti as his foundation, Mr.Ratmansky has constructed a series of independent and yet interdependent dances for three men and three women, and in the process transformed the baroque musical framework into a work of timeless visual lyricism. With the simple white costumes created by Holly Hynes, and Brad Fields’s gentle lighting, it was like watching silk in motion – hardly a description that could be applied to the music alone. Solos yield to pairs which yield to trios, partners mix and match, there are wicked changes of direction and backward movements, and yet it’s all woven seamlessly – every sequence is there because it should be there. Though plotless, the piece is rich with emotional nuance and meaningful interaction. While each of the dancers -- Stella Abrera, Xiomara Reyes, Christine Shevchenko, Gennadi Sevaliev, Herman Cornejo, and David Hallberg – performs at a level where perfection is a virtual given, Ms. Shevchenko was a pleasant surprise. Still in the corps, she danced with rare presence and control (she handled a slight slip deftly, without missing a beat), combined with a sense of playfulness and joy.

Mr. Ratmansky is a consummate craftsman. Even when I find his works less than fully cohesive, as I did with “Namouna” for New York City Ballet last spring, his choreography displays an almost rhapsodic emotional core, and always seems to spring as much from the heart as from the head. In that sense, and even though there’s no obvious similarity, his work frequently brings to mind Jerome Robbins’s creations. And like Robbins, Ratmansky’s work is “contemporary ballet,” with the accent on “ballet.”

Which brings me to “Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once.” I missed Mr. Millepied’s piece when it premiered with ABT a year ago, but from the comments I heard afterward, I expected the worst. And with the opening movement, I thought it was just another pre-packaged “contemporary ballet” with the accent on “contemporary.” Mr. Millipied is not yet the craftsman that Mr. Ratmansky is, and he appears to use the tempo of the music to which he choreographs (in this case, by David Lang) more as commandments to be followed then sources of inspiration. But, except for that opening movement, and even though it suffered in comparison to the pieces by Ratmansky and Taylor, for what it was I found it to be a pleasant surprise.

Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once,” fortunately, lives up to its title. After the initial movement, where everything really did seem to happen all at once, the piece settles down as if to dissect the initial frenzy into component parts. It doesn’t always work – but it is unexpectedly engaging, with an effervescence that prompted a standing ovation at its end. And the repeating images of Daniil Simkin as a sort of human self-propelled catapult who repeatedly is snared in a net of dancers is not one I’m likely to forget any time soon.

But in addition to the sparkle, Mr. Millepied’s work also had a soul.

Toward the mid-point of the piece, the action yields to a deceptively simple-looking duet danced by Isabella Boylston and Marcelo Gomes, choreographed to continuing and incessantly repetitive “gongs” of sound that give the duet a deliberate, almost ritualistic quality, with an understated but undeniable passion simmering beneath a surface of subdued sensuality - perhaps a “Bugaku” of another time and place.

Mr. Gomes surrounds and almost seems to absorb Ms. Boylston as the duet progresses to its climax. His eyes, and his arms, are everywhere as he transports Ms. Boylston from one step to another, from one level of choreographic intimacy to another. But though Mr. Gomes was the dominant force, Ms. Boylston, assigned a more limited movement vocabulary, was at all times the duet’s ripe, exposed heart. The two of them were mesmerizing.

Finally, a word about NJPAC. I last visited NJPAC when it was relatively new and still somewhat of a work in progress. It is now a magnificent performing arts facility, and Prudential Hall, the largest of the three performance spaces and the venue for ABT’s program, is a jewel. Large, but intimate at the same time (and raked – at least in the orchestra – so that sight lines are not likely to be obstructed), it provides an opportunity for NJ residents who prefer to avoid public transportation or the game of chicken that is getting into Manhattan to see companies that may not get to perform on a regular basis in this metropolitan area, and it should be a magnet for ballet/dance companies that cannot afford New York costs.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:16 pm 
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ABT soloist Misty Copeland has been busy:

Firstly, she's the star of a new (or new to me) Blackberry ad. I think I saw it on either NBC or Ovation.


Also, she's been dancing for Prince:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/purp ... q8jFB53BpI


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Thanks, balletomaniac, for your fine November 23 review. I just found it here.

ABT is bringing these works to London and if Alina Cojocaru doesn't wind up being scheduled for "Giselle" over at the Royal Ballet that night, I hope to see them.

I have seen some Ratmansky and my last viewing of one of his works, "Russian Seasons " performed by the Bolshoi, raised my interest and appreciation of his work considerably. I am hoping that "Seven Sonatas" will do the same. It sounds like it will.

I also saw a work by Millipied at a tribute to Jerome Robbins and would like to see some more of his choreography. I will particularly watch for the "soul."

I will also try to keep Christine Shevchenko in mind, since she so impressed you.

ksneds, I'm glad to hear that Prince is a ballet fan. Maybe this could give both art forms a boost. (I once sent Diana Vishneva an email suggesting that she try to dance to something like Jimi Hendrix. She responded that she would think about it, but it hasn't happened yet)


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Confessions of A !! Dancomaniac !!

( Hi, balletomaniac ! )

On my way home to Europe, my plane arrives in London, February 4.

That evening I am over to Sadler Wells to see ABT perform Seven Sonatas,
Known By Heart, Duo Concertant and -- Everything Doesn't Happen at Once (except when it does (all happen at once), like now!)


The next day, as it would happen, is the only day that Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg will be dancing "Giselle" with the Royal Ballet in my time frame. I just managed the best ticket for the moment somewhere in the ceiling of the Opera House with all sorts of qualifications for about $8 at 12:30. (I will try to upgrade).

I already have a ticket the same afternoon to see "Veronika" (doing her only duet with Marcelo Gomes) and ABT doing their second program at 2:30. I checked my plan for the Underground (railway) and can probably get to Sadler Wells just before "Veronika" does her duet.

That evening I am back to Sadler Wells to see the rest of their second program.

Then....


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Have fun.

But never assume that the Tube will work as advertised. Sometimes it's really quick, other times it takes a lot longer than it should. Closer to the date, I'd check to make sure that the line you need isn't closed or on altered schedule - happens way too frequently. Also, be aware that at peak/weekend times, you cannot enter the Tube via the Covent Garden station (only exit). So you have to hoof it to Holborn, then switch at King's Cross/St. Pancras (not to Leicester Square, since you still have to switch trains because there are two Northern Line routes).


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:48 am 
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Thanks very much, ksneds. This is very good to know.

I have probably walked by the Covent Garden station a hundred times and never knew that you couldn't get in on Saturdays. Way before I was interested in ballet I would go to the Covent Garden area, sometimes every day, to see the street musicians, singers, etc. Still do. One guy has been there singing at the same spot for at least 25 years. I can't imagine London without him. It's all just in back of the Opera House. Didn't even know that the Opera House was there.

Sounds like a taxi to Saddler Wells might be a good idea. I've been told it's about 20 minutes. Now if "Veronika" will just wait for me.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:45 pm 
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I stand corrected. Apparently, you can now enter Covent Garden Station on Saturday afternoons. It's only accessible via lifts, so if it's busy you might be best going to Holborn. Don't know if a taxi is going to be any faster - that part of London is a spiders' web of streets, and quite congested.

It is amazing how things can 'hide' in Covent Garden - I've been there several times and the theatre is certainly not obvious. It's always a surprise to walk in that unobtrusive door in the corner of Covent Garden, and find yourself in the huge theatre.

Kate


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:32 pm 
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ksneds wrote:
It is amazing how things can 'hide' in Covent Garden - I've been there several times and the theatre is certainly not obvious. It's always a surprise to walk in that unobtrusive door in the corner of Covent Garden, and find yourself in the huge theatre.


I think that's one of the charms of London, wandering the neighborhoods and finding hidden treasures. Actually the Opera House has some back wall space facing the highly animated Covent Garden 'stalls' and could probably advertise it's presence to a huge tourist population if it wanted to. I've been going to the Covent Garden streets for years to hear highly talented, very physically attractive, street opera singers.

Thanks again, Kate,

I guess the reason that I know so little about the Covent Garden Underground Station is that it is usually so crowded and you have to wait for an elevator, so I prefer to walk where I'm going. It's a colorful, artistic and high animated area, perhaps my favorite part of London along with the beautiful parks and charming old Georgian neighborhoods. My discovery of the ballet programs at the Opera House added greatly to my enjoyment of this part of London. I even stay regularly at small hotel only a 15 minute walk away, although on the Underground you can get anywhere in London rather quickly.

Since this discussion is about ABT on tour in "London" I hope mentioning these things about London might add to anyone's enjoyment of the ABT performances and being in London in general.

Somewhat lightheartedly, possibly the best thing that's happened to me in all my years visiting London is the introduction of the Oyster Card (automatic, prepaid, public transportation card) that reduces the extremely high cost of navigating the center of the city considerably. I advise anyone visiting London to get one (in most any station) and use it.

I still might stay with the taxi idea, Kate. On a Saturday afternoon it could be easier to get through the 'maze' of streets, but I'll keep your suggestions in the front of my mind. These things always turn out to be a last second call. I remember once actually hiring a taxi to guide me through the 'maze' of one way streets to return a rental car about five blocks away after the men at the hotel desk spent about 15 minutes trying to explain how to get there and then the taxi disappeared into a mass of identical black taxis and I just managed to find it in time.

Even though taxis are extremely expensive, probably justified by the fact that London taxi drivers are perhaps the most professional in the world (they have to study for several years before they can get a license and they're supposed to know everything), I may go for it.

Expensive ! -- Well for Alina and Johan -- Veronika and Marcelo -- The Sky's the Limit !


Reminder: ABT is appearing at the Sadler's Wells Theatre not the Royal Opera House.


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:42 pm 
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In the Washington Post, Sarah Kaufman reviews American Ballet Theatre's performance at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. The program includes Balanchine's "Theme and Variations" and "Duo Concertant," Tudor's "Jardin aux Lilas" and Robbins' "Fancy Free."

Washington Post


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:23 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the Kennedy Center performances of Ratmansky's "The Bright Stream" in the New York Times.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Sarah Kaufman reviews "The Bright Stream" at the Kennedy Center on Friday, January 21 in the Washington Post.

Washington Post


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:13 pm 
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American Ballet Theatre performs "The Bright Stream" at the Dorothy Chandler Paviklion in Los Angeles, July 14-17, 2011. In the Los Angeles Times, Susan Reiter profiles choreographer Alexei Ratmansky.

LA Times


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 Post subject: Re: American Ballet Theatre 2010-11 Touring Programs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:15 pm 
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As a preview of "The Bright Stream," Hollie McKay interviews Paloma Herrera for Fox News.

Fox News


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