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San Francisco - Bay Area Columns

May 2013 Column
by Heather Desaulniers

April 2013 Column
by Heather Desaulniers

March 2013 Column
by Heather Desaulniers

February 2013 Column
by Heather Desaulniers

January 2013 Column
by Heather Desaulniers

Alberta Ballet - 2013

Interview with Alexandra Pera
by Kate Snedeker
April 29, 2013-- Jubilee Auditorium North, Edmonton, AB

Prior to the world premiere of Alberta Ballet’s ‘Balletlujah!’ in Edmonton, the company spent a week rehearsing in Edmonton. During this Edmonton residency, I has the pleasure of talking with company member Alexandra Pera about her career and the ‘Balletluhah’! experience.

Alberta Ballet: 'Balletlujah'
by Kate Snedeker
May 3, 2013 -- Jubilee Auditorium North, Edmonton, AB

Jean Grand-Maître has become known for his series of ballets inspired by the songs and lives of well-known musical artists – Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and Sarah McLaughlan. With the world premiere of the fourth such production, Balletlujah!, Grand-Maître and the Alberta Ballet have struck Alberta gold. Inspired by the experiences and music of k.d. lang, the ballet ostensibly follows the love story of two women. More so however, Balletlujah! is a tribute to the spirit of Alberta and Albertans...
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Alberta Ballet: Celebrating Mozart
by Kate Snedeker
April 5, 2013 -- Northern Jubilee Theatre, Edmonton, AB

Supposedly, April showers bring May flowers. That may be true in warmer climes, but in Edmonton, April snow brings the Alberta Ballet. For their April 2013 visit, the company provided a well-needed energy boost to winter-weary Edmontonians in the form of a balletic celebration of the music of Mozart.
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Mikhailovsky Ballet
London Tour

Duato Triple Bill
by Stuart Sweeney
April 3, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

The Mikhailovsky Ballet is already a firm favourite in London, bringing work we haven't seen here before, such as the restaging of Vakhtang Chabakuani's “Laurencia” and Petipa's “The Cavalry Halt”, as well as the more familiar classics from the Russian ballet rep.

'Laurencia'
by Charlotte Kasner
April 3, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

Actually, at second viewing, I think its main failure is that it is not dark enough. It is a 20th-century ballet trapped inside a 19th-century shell. The peasants are not really downtrodden and trip around in pretty clothes, till the land and do the laundry; for all the world like Jerome K Jerome’s peasants in “Stageland.”

'Don Quixote'
by Charlotte Kasner
March 30, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

“Don Quixote” is usually presented as a rather clunky Soviet-era warhorse; all too often, a dull, rather silly story that is only bearable because the audience knows that the fireworks of the famous sections, such a staple of galas and competitions, will enliven the tedium. The Mikhailovsky production has found a way to make it relevant and even exciting...This “Don Q” is a joy throughout: a breath of warm air and vibrant colour that brought to life a dull, cold, late spring evening in London.

'Giselle'
by Jessica Wilson
March 26, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

The Mikhailovsky Ballet’s “Giselle” saw Natalia Osipova create a truly succinct character, which was both of childlike innocence and learned power simultaneously. The split of Giselle’s character across the two acts, as young villager and then as the newest recruit of the Wilis


 

In Conversation with Andris Liepa
by Charlotte Kasner
June 2013

In July, Andris Liepa, former Bolshoi Ballet star turned ballet entrepreneur returns to London with his company Les Saisons Russes du XXIe Siècle from July 16 to 20. Headlining the season is Patrick de Bana’s “Cléopâtre - Ida Rubinstein,”...

On Midnight Express and Tutus: A Talk With Wayne Eagling
by Charlotte Kasner
April 2013

Wayne Eagling has had a notable presence in dance since 1969, first the Royal Ballet as a dancer, then as a director at Dutch National Ballet and English National Ballet...Recently...Eagling found a few moments to talk to Ballet-Dance immediately prior to the opening night…

Marin Ballet's 50th Anniversary: Review & Interview
by Heather Desaulniers
April 13, 2013 -- College of Marin Theater, Kentfield, CA

Marin Ballet is a true arts ‘institution’ in every sense of the word. Nestled just north of San Francisco, this long-standing ballet school is dedicated to fostering dance education and promoting arts appreciation. This year, the faculty, students and alumni celebrate an amazing accomplishment as they mark this dynamic organization’s fiftieth birthday.
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An Interview with Boston Ballet's Mikko Nissinen
by David Mead
April 2013

This summer Boston Ballet, celebrating its 50th anniversary, makes its first visit to London for over 30 years. Nissinen says, “I think this is the pinnacle. This is the most important tour we have done, definitely under my leadership, but I think ever. London is one of the dance capitals of the world. It is also part of our strategy for our fiftieth anniversary celebrations.
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Marin Ballet
Photo © Olivier Wecxsteen


reviews

Akram Khan: 'iTMOi'
by Stuart Sweeney
May 29, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

As one of the most sought after UK dance artists worldwide, based on his extraordinary talents as dancer, choreographer and collaborator, a new work by Akram Khan is a major event. “iTMOi” (in the mind of Igor) is Khan's take on the “Rite of Spring”, commissioned by Sadler's Wells for the 100 th anniversary of the mould-breaking dance work.
read more...

English National Ballet: 'Swan Lake'
by Jessica Wilson
June 12, 2013 -- Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

English National Ballet’s “Swan Lake” in the round is a visually stunning masterpiece. At the Royal Albert Hall audiences were treated to a dazzling display by the sixty-plus swans danced by the corps de ballet; Matthew Golding debuting as Prince Siegfried, and ENB Artistic Director Tamara Rojo as Odette/Odile, even if the drama was missing at times.
read more...

National Youth Dance Company & RIOT Company: (in between) & RIOT Offspring
by David Mead
June 8, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

The new National Youth Dance Company has been much heralded as being an important part of a policy of engaging further young people with dance, and sparking new opportunities for young artists and audiences to experience the richness and diversity of the art form.
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School of American Ballet: 2013 Workshop Performance
by David Mead
June 1, 2013 -- Peter Jay Sharp Theater, New York, NY

So how appropriate that this year’s Workshop Performances should feature three of his works, and three that focus purely on dancing to great music: the gorgeously delicate “Divertimento No. 15” (to Mozart), staged by Suki Schorer; the elegant and delightfully well-mannered “Le Tombeau de Couperin” (to Ravel), staged by Rosemary Dunleavy and Arch Higgins; and the free-spirited “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” (from Gounod’s “Faust”), staged by Susan Pilarre.
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Birmingham Royal Ballet: 'Coppélia'
by David Mead
June 5, 2013 -- Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham, UK

With its easy to understand story, humour and pleasant choreography, “Coppélia” is close to the perfect ballet for many. Peter Farmer’s designs are a winner too with his unspoiled mid-European village buried amid rich green foliage and set alongside a dark lake. It all suggests immediately mystery and magic.
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Ballett Bern: Hexenhatz
by David Mead
May 22, 2013 -- Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London, UK

Six years have passed since Marston’s “Firebird”, her debut work as ballet director in Bern. Differences over artistic direction with new Konzert Theater director, Stephan Märki, have been instrumental in leading to a parting of the ways at the end of this season. “Witch-hunt”, or “Hexenhatz” to give it its rather more evocative German title, is some going away piece, though. It is not often that a work hits you so hard that you are still about it and the issues it raises days afterwards, but that is what happened here.
read more...

Verve 13
by David Mead
May 24, 2013 -- The Place, London, UK

It is right that postgraduate companies should be about the dancers, and in recent years some of the best performances have come from the dancers of the Northern School for Contemporary Dance in Leeds. There is enough in this year’s Verve programme to show that this year’s crop of performers is as good as ever.
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Shen Wei Dance Arts: 'Undivided Divided'
by Carmel Morgan
May 23, 2013 -- Atrium, JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC

If you don’t know the Chinese-born choreographer Shen Wei, then please go see his work. He’s one of the must-sees in contemporary dance. If you’re familiar with him, then you may know he has a background in painting.
read more...

Sylvie Guillem: '6000 miles away'
by Jessica Wilson
May 20, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

“Catch it while you can,” they say of fleeting moments. You might think that of the iconic and ethereal Sylvie Guillem given she seems to have been gracing stages for so long, but despite the fact her age is no secret, on the evidence of this evening it is clear that audiences will be able to witness and experience her phenomenal talent for many years to come, so youthful is her body and its gestures.
read more...

Keigwin + Company: Works in Process
by Cecly Placenti
May 20, 2013 -- The Guggenheim, New York, NY

According to Larry Keigwin, dance is everywhere. And as a choreographer and dancer myself, I have to agree. On subway platforms, crowded city streets, in the interaction between wolves in a pack, in the gestures of lovers on the train, the keen and refined eye sees dancing. We all have bodies.
read more...

Grand Rapids Ballet Company: 'Romeo & Juliet'
by Steve Sucato
May 18, 2013 -- Peter Martin Wege Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI

Re-envisioning Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet must be a little like trying to re-envision the act of breathing. The story is so culturally ingrained that any retelling automatically carries with it the burden of knowing expectation. Despite this, seemingly every dance season another choreographer adds their dance interpretation to the bountiful Romeo & Juliet’s already out there.
read more...

Sonia Sabri Company: 'Kaavish'
by Shezad Khalil
May 2013 -- UK

Established in 2002, the Sonia Sabri Company is committed to the exhibition of Kathak, a North Indian classical dance form. With their contemporary constructions, they seek to show Kathak as a progressive and forward-thinking mode of expression.
read more...

Boston Ballet: 'Coppelia'
by Carla DeFord
May 16, 19 and 22, 2013 -- Boston Opera House, Boston, MA

This month I had the privilege of seeing the Boston Ballet production of Coppélia three times with three different casts. The opening night Swanilda was Misa Kuranaga, and what I found particularly impressive about her performance was her ability to whirl through a movement and then stop on a dime, suspended on one toe.
read more...

The Singular Collective
by Jerry Hochman
May 17, 2013 -- The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre, New York, NY

The Singular Collective is a recently-formed support network for young, emerging choreographers to pool resources, explore ideas, and provide mutual support. The group presented its first concert, a collection of five dances by its five founding choreographers at performances last weekend at The Steve & Marie Sgouros Theatre in Greenwich Village.
read more...

Northern Ballet: 'The Great Gatsby'
by Charlotte Kasner
May 14, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

You wait for ages, then two come along at once. It is nearly forty years since the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow film of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, yet merely four days after a new film version is released, we have David Nixon’s production for Northern Ballet.
read more...

Stuttgart Ballet: Masterworks
by David Mead
April 24, 2013 -- Staatstheater, Stuttgart, Germany

How many directors would even think about programming together the three works that made up Stuttgart Ballet’s “Masterworks” evening: George Balanchine’s sharp, classical yet angular “The Four Temperaments, Jerome Robbins’ warm and comforting “Dances at a Gathering,” and Glen Tetley’s very male-oriented “Rite of Spring.” Not only did Reid Anderson dare to think, his dancers pulled it off brilliantly is what was an exhilarating, if long, it ran three hours and twenty minutes, evening of dance.
read more...

Book Review: 'Agony and Ecstasy: My Life in Dance' by Daria Klimentova with Graham Watts
reviewed by Charlotte Kasner
March 2013

...her book is a breath of fresh air. Its core strength lies in Klimentova’s honesty and openness. Without being sensationalist, she does not shy away from the difficulties of dancing in an under-funded, pressured company with the instabilities that changes of artistic director and partners inevitably bring.
read more...

Choreographics - A Letter To...
by David Mead
May 3, 2013 -- The Place, London, UK

“Choreographics - A Letter to…” is English National Ballet’s new choreography project, which this year saw five dance makers from within the company’s ranks each teamed up with a composer from The Royal College of Music. Director of the project, George Williamson hoped the outcome would be thought-provoking experimental work, made in a true spirit of collaboration that saw structural and aesthetic parity between the art forms.
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Jump on the DanceWagon
by Jerry Hochman
April 26, 2013 -- Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York, NY

When you attend a performance under the umbrella “Jump on the DanceWagon,“ you anticipate a program of emerging modern dance companies that may not have yet found their direction and probably don’t have ‘regular’ (semi-permanent) company dancers, presenting works that are not overly complex and have little in the way of production values. To a large extent that general description holds for the last weekend’s program at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.
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The DREAM Celebration
by Carmel Morgan
May 4, 2013 -- Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC

I had not been inside the historic Lincoln Theatre on DC’s U Street until the DREAM Celebration, a very special performance presented by CityDance and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, which was co-produced by Rasta Thomas. The Lincoln Theatre was built in 1922, and acclaimed African-American artists such as Washington natives Duke Ellington and Pearl Bailey performed there.
read more...

National Ballet of Canada: 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Stuart Sweeney
April 21, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

It's 26 years since NBoC visited London and they returned with an enticing calling card – a new production of Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky, one of the most successful ballet choreographers around. NBoC Artistic Director, Karen Kain, felt the need of a replacement for John Cranko's version as “...there is very little dancing except for the lovers,” and Ratmansky accepted the challenge.
read more...

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: 'Puz/zle'
by Charlotte Kasner
April 25, 2013 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is guaranteed to produce work that is dangerous and complex and “Puz/zle” is no exception. His collaboration with Filip Peeters on the set bears some of the familiar hallmarks. It is monumental and has a tendency to look as if it is threatening to flatten the dancers as great slabs tumble and slide across the stage, with or without effort from the performers.
read more...

Peter Schaufuss Ballet: 'Midnight Express'
by Charlotte Kasner
April 10, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

Anyone who was put off attending this year's production by Schaufuss Ballet after the ghastly Tchaikovsky triple bill that they presented when last in London made a big mistake. Thirty five years after the film of “Midnight Express” shocked so many and on the day that we hear that a British woman has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling, Schaufuss gave us the chance to see Billy Hayes’ story represented in dance - and it works.
read more...

English National Ballet: Ecstasy and Death
by Charlotte Kasner
April 18, 2013 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

Tamara Rojo has stated that she wants to challenge audiences and bring something different to the English National Ballet repertoire. Well, there is plenty in this programme to challenge the Company, although perhaps less for the experienced audience members.
read more...

American Ballet Theatre: Mixed Repertory Program
by K. Mitchell Snow
April 9, 2013 -- Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

The American Ballet Theater opened its annual spring schedule at the Kennedy Center with two contrasting masterworks from the mid-20th century showcasing the heritage of the evening’s main event -- the Washington premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s much anticipated setting of Shostakovich’s Symphony #9.
read more...

New York Theater Ballet: Legends & Visionaries, Program B
by Jerry Hochman
March 22, 2013 -- Florence Gould Hall, New York, NY

New York Theater Ballet is one of those companies that, if it didn’t exist, would have to be invented. A small company, NYTB’s ‘mission’ is to provide a showcase for infrequently performed ‘chamber’ ballet masterpieces and for works by choreographers who have fallen from prominence, as well as an encouraging pathway for new, and relatively new, choreographers: that is, to combine the legendary (but under-performed or overlooked) with the emerging. Friday’s program, one of two collectively titled “Legends & Visionaries,” fulfilled this mission admirably in all respects.
read more...

Riedel Dance Theater & Ariel Rivka Dance- Joint Performance
by Jerry Hochman and Cecly Placenti
March 9, 2013 -- Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York, NY

The joint program of new dances by Riedel Dance Theater and Ariel Rivka Dance at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on March 9, 2013 demonstrates how fresh ideas can stimulate creative dance theater, but also how difficult it can be to translate an interesting idea into a compelling work of choreography. While both pieces, In Violent Circles and Vashti, danced respectively by Reidel Dance Theater and Ariel Rivka Dance, were promising, each would benefit from further development.
read more...

American Repertory Ballet: 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Jerry Hochman
April 12, 2013 -- Union County Perfoming Arts Center, Rahway, NJ

The new full length version of Romeo and Juliet by American Repertory Ballet’s Artistic Director Douglas Martin, which had its first full-choreographic ‘preview’ (full-length choreography, with costumes but not sets) on Friday at the Union Count Performing Arts Center (“UCPAC”), is destined to be one of those successful productions, and in many respects it’s already a pleasant surprise.
read more...


New York City
Spring Ballet - 2013

American Ballet Theatre: 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Jerry Hochman
June10, 11, 12(m), 14, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

Either Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s choreography is a guarantee, or I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate over the years, but I’ve never seen a poor presentation of MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet – and with respect to the lead roles, the performances, overall, have been either wonderful or shattering or both.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Romeo and Juliet'
by Colleen Boresta
June 15(m), 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

American Ballet Theatre performed Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from June 10th to June 15th this year. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is a ballet which took quite a few viewings before I could really get into it.

New York City Ballet: Spring Finale
by Colleen Boresta
June 9(m), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

New York City Ballet ended their 2012-2013 season with a ballet from each of the three composers honored this year. ‘Serenade’ has music from the Tschaikovsky Festival, ‘Stravinsky Violin Concerto” from the Stravinsky Festival and ‘Stars and Stripes’ from the American Music Festival. Even better, all three works were choreographed by George Balanchine.

New York City Ballet: Spring Finale
by Jerry Hochman
June 7, 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

Things are going so well for New York City Ballet this 2012-2013 season that even programs that you think will be lackluster turn into sparklers. So it was with last Friday’s performance. I’d seen three of the four pieces on the program previously, all except Barber Violin Concerto, and although I thought they were varying degrees of good...

American Ballet Theatre: 'Le Corsaire'
by Colleen Boresta
June 5(m) & 8(m), 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

Anyone who attended a performance of American Ballet Theatre’s ‘Le Corsaire’ (which ran from June 4th through June 8th) was in for a swashbuckling good time. ABT’s new production is very much like their old ‘Le Corsaire’ except for costume and scenery changes.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Le Corsaire'
by Jerry Hochman
June 4 & 5, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

American Ballet Theatre unveiled its ‘new’ production of Le Corsaire on Tuesday at the Metropolitan Opera House. I saw that performance, as well as one the following evening. That’s enough.

American Ballet Theatre: Shostakovich Trilogy
by David Mead
May 31, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

American Ballet Theatre Artist-in-Residence Alexi Ratmansky clearly has quite an affinity with the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. He has already made seven ballets to the composer’s work, but a trilogy, three in one evening, is a particularly challenging undertaking. So, it is good to report that he pulls it off with some style, with much to admire in the three ballets...

American Ballet Theatre: Shostakovich Trilogy
by Jerry Hochman
May 31 and June 1(m), 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

Anyone familiar with Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography knows that he has a special intellectual and emotional relationship with Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, perhaps similar to the relationship that George Balanchine had with Tchaikovsky... Now he has created the Shostakovich Trilogy, which may be Mr. Ratmansky’s ultimate homage to Shostakovich.

New York City Ballet: Mixed Bills
by David Mead
May 28 & 30 and June 1 & 2 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

The penultimate week of New York City Ballet’s spring season featured no fewer than sixteen ballets across seven performances. Saturday evening’s programme rather summed up the company and Balanchine...

American Ballet Theatre: 'Don Quixote'
by David Mead
May 29, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

Is there a more inappropriately named ballet that “Don Quixote”? After all, it is not really about the Don at all, but about the two sweethearts, Kitri and Basilio, and their ultimately successful attempt to marry.

New York City Ballet: Quad Bill
by Jerry Hochman
May 29, 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

There was a New York City Ballet Gala at the David H. Koch Theater last night...A Gala where the usual champagne was replaced by beer. Free beer. Brooklyn beer. It was a Gala for the rest of us.

New York City Ballet: Tribute To Broadway
by Colleen Boresta
May 26(m), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

Even though New York City Ballet’s American Music Festival officially ended on May 19th, the May 26th matinee performance features music by Americans George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. The afternoon begins with ‘Fancy Free’. ‘Fancy Free’ was the first collaboration between choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein.

New York City Ballet: 3 Mixed Bills
by Jerry Hochman
May 19, 24 and 25(m), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

The highlights for this viewer were Lauren Lovette’s New York debut in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), for which the word ‘stunning’ would be an understatement; Ashley Laracey’s striking performance in Peter Martins’s The Infernal Machine; Erica Pereira’s outstanding effort in George Balanchine’s Tarantella (opposite Daniel Ulbricht at his best), and all of Sterling Hyltin’s performances, including her debut in Balanchine’s Serenade and her 'routine' performance in Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Don Quixote'
by Colleen Boresta
May 25, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

There was excitement in the air when I arrived at the Metropolitan Opera House for the May 25th evening performance of the ballet ‘Don Quixote’. Russian superstars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev were dancing the leading roles and it was definitely standing room only.

American Ballet Theatre: Mixed Bill
by Jerry Hochman
May 22m, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

It never ceases to amaze me how different casts, different venues, and different points of view can impact one’s response to a particular ballet – but how with certain ballets such changes have little or no impact. Yesterday afternoon’s American Ballet Theatre program at the Met illustrated both these points.

American Ballet Theatre: Triple Bill
by Colleen Boresta
May 22(m), 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

This week American Ballet Theatre is presenting four performances of a mixed bill. This is rare for the company’s spring season at the Met..The fact that two of the works on the program are classics choreographed by Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine translates into pure joy for the ballet lover.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Onegin'
by Jerry Hochman
May 15m, 18 and 20, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

While it may not do very well with galas, American Ballet Theatre is superb with its bread and butter – full length ballets, whether they be classic or contemporary. A perfect example of what’s great about ABT, and of what could make it still bette...

American Ballet Theatre: 'Onegin'
by Colleen Boresta
May 18(m), 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

American Ballet Theatre’s first production of their 2013 Met season is John Cranko’s ‘Onegin’.  Cranko choreographed the work for the Stuttgart Ballet in 1965. He was not allowed to use any music from the Tschaikovsky opera ‘Eugene Onegin’...

American Ballet Theatre: Spring Gala
by Jerry Hochman
May 13, 2013 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

It is common knowledge that the purpose of a ‘Gala’ is, in the first instance, to get well-heeled donors to open their checkbooks, and second, to display the company’s talent to help encourage the first purpose.

New York City Ballet: All Balanchine Program
by Colleen Boresta
May 11(m), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

At my second viewing of New York City Ballet’s American Music Festival, the audience was treated to an all Balanchine program. One well performed George Balanchine work brings a huge smile to my face but seeing four is pure heaven.

New York City Ballet: Spring Gala
by Jerry Hochman
May 8, 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

At its annual Spring Gala, NYCB showcased its greatest asset – its future: young dancers, at all levels, who already demonstrate performing excellence and who are expected to be with the company for a long time.

New York City Ballet: All Rodgers Program
by Colleen Boresta
May 5(m), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

The first week of New York City Ballet’s American Music Festival ended with an all Rodgers program. The afternoon begins with Peter Martins’ ‘Thou Swell’, which was created in 2002 in honor of Richard Rodgers’ 100th birthday.

New York City Ballet: American Music Festival
by Jerry Hochman
May 2 and 4(me)), 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY

While few of these ballets match the classic masterpieces that George Balanchine choreographed to Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, the ballets on these programs are not without merit.

Youth America Grand Prix: Screen & Stage

Movie Review: Ballet's Greatest Hits
by Jerry Hochman
March 31, 2013 -- New York, NY
When I think of "Ballet's Greatest Hits," I think of the title of one or more CDs I used to see in seldom perused stacks at classical music emporiums, consisting of ballet music by 19th Century composers...Ballet's Greatest Hits, the film produced under the auspices of Youth America Grand Prix, which premiered at selected theaters on March 31, 2013, is similar in that it consists of excerpts from full length ballets.

Youth America Grand Prix Gala
by Jerry Hochman
April 17-18, 2013 -- Koch Theater, New York, NY
Whether one likes them or not, competitions in the arts have a long and celebrated history, and when you have one that’s run as comprehensively and as efficiently as Youth America Grand Prix runs its annual competition, you can overlook imagined ethical concerns and focus instead on a few simple observations: the size and scope of YAGP’s reach is enormous; the participating student performers seem to love it, win or lose; and the talent on stage, from 12 year olds to 19 year olds, defies belief. Mix that with one of the better annual galas, and you have to concede that YAGP is not just a competition but a formidable international talent search engine.

Interview with Marcelo Gomes
by Jerry Hochman
April 1, 2013 -- New York, NY
In a review of La Bayadere several years ago, I described Marcelo Gomes, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, as the most valuable dancer on ABT’s roster.
In connection with the premiere of the film “Ballet’s Greatest Hits,” which was produced under the auspices of Youth America Grand Prix and in which he danced Prince Siegfried in the White Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake, I spoke with Mr. Gomes.



editors' choice

· New York City Ballet: American Music Festival
April 30-May 19 , 2013 -David Koch Theater, New York, NY
The New York City Ballet celebrates the music of Americam composers during the company's spring seasons. Performances include a world premiere by Christopher Wheeldon.


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