October 25, 2008 |
Former civil rights attorney Mark Blankenship and his wife, Bertha Suarez Blankenship, use the word "bravura" to describe the ballet dancing characteristic of Bertha's native Cuba. "It's very strong -- the girls can do the boys' steps," says Bertha Suarez Blankenship, a former member of the National Ballet of Cuba who defected in 1994. "When we were in Cuba, it was the only freedom we had, so we danced with a lot of bravura."
June 18, 2006 |
FULL-evening abstractions remain a rarity in the ballet world, so back in 1967, when George Balanchine choreographed "Jewels," the first work of its kind, he was really swimming against the tide. In that era, other classical companies were mortgaging their futures to stagings of story ballets, old and new. Just two months earlier, for instance, American Ballet Theatre had premiered its first complete "Swan Lake," in a version far more authentic than the one it dances now.
April 23, 2006 |
DISLOCATED shoulders, ruptured tendons, torn ligaments, foot fissures, fractures ... sprains, strains, bruises, bunions. In the world of professional dance, potential disaster lurks in every picture-perfect pose and plie. The required aesthetic of line and the illusion of absolute corporeal control that define this visual art form come about through passion fueled by muscle, buckets of sweat and bullheaded determination.
February 26, 2006
THANK YOU for the wonderful article on Alvin Ailey [" 'Revelations' Revealed," by Lewis Segal, Feb. 19]. I never got to see it ["Revelations"], but as an ex-"boy dancer" (as we were called in those days) I appreciate the history of the dance and how it has changed. I enjoyed Dorene Richardson's remarks about how the dancing has become acrobatic and technique instead of being emotional. That's been happening for some time. I recall saying in the middle 1970s that the working dancers then could technically dance circles around us but they all looked alike.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2006 |
Rebecca Wright, a former Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre dancer who performed and later taught frequently in Los Angeles from the 1960s through the '90s, has died. She was 58. Wright died of cancer Sunday at her home in Chevy Chase, Md., according to the Washington Ballet in the District of Columbia. She had been director of the company's Washington School of Ballet since 2004.
June 25, 2005 |
Boris Eifman is utterly fearless: unfazed by precedent, criticism, the rules of making dances, building a company, staying out of trouble. Even before the curtain rises on his new two-act ballet, "Anna Karenina," he startles you by lowering the lights to the same Tchaikovsky score (on tape) that the late George Balanchine used for "Serenade," one of the sacred icons of 20th century classicism. Music familiar as the finale from Balanchine's "Theme and Variations" turns up later.
December 3, 2004 |
With Seattle awash in dot-com and aerospace money a few years ago, the city built an airy, $172-million performance hall for the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. But high culture has since become a low priority at City Hall and beyond. Because of the recent downturn in the Northwest economy, the politicians want the opera and the ballet to shoulder more of the hall's leftover construction costs -- a move the arts organizations fear could ruin them.
October 9, 2004 |
Though trying to start a ballet troupe in this town may be a Sisyphean task, Omhmar Griffin hopes to make his mark as founder-artistic director of Los Angeles Modern and Ballet Company. In its sparsely attended inaugural concert at the El Portal Theater on Thursday, the boulder, unfortunately, got the better of LAMBCO. Besides beginning 35 minutes late, the four-piece program was beset by technical glitches, including bungled light and sound cues.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2004 |
Josephine Schwarz, 95, who co-founded one of the oldest regional ballet companies, died Friday in Boulder, Colo., after a long period of declining health. With her older sister Hermene, Schwarz started the Dayton Ballet in Dayton, Ohio, in 1937. She directed the company for 43 years before retiring in 1980. The New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the Atlanta Ballet are the only professional ballet companies in the United States older than the Dayton ballet.
February 5, 2003 |
The Boston Ballet plans to lay off 11 administrative and teaching employees and cancel four performances of "Romeo and Juliet" following sluggish sales for "The Nutcracker." Ballet officials said the Christmas ballet brought in $800,000 less than expected after ticket sales declined by 14% from the previous year. "As you know, most ballet companies depend on 'Nutcracker' performances as a major source of revenue, and Boston Ballet is no exception," executive director Valerie Wilder said.