July 18, 1997 |
A century ago, when Bram Stoker wrote "Dracula," ballet had become utterly corrupt in most of Western Europe--devoid of creative interest and almost wholly dependent on spectacle. It is this nadir of 19th century classicism that choreographer Ben Stevenson inadvertently re-creates in his lavish, empty-headed ballet version of Stoker's vampire tale, now at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
December 25, 2000 |
The eminently watchable Amanda McKerrow--wistful, poignant and possessed of a beautiful line--donned Cinderella's glass slippers Friday as American Ballet Theatre continued its seven-performance run of the familiar fairy tale, which ended Saturday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. And while injuries may have sidelined her Prince, Ethan Stieffel, the majestic--and indefatigable--Maxim Belotserkovsky stepped in to fill his ballet shoes with sublime rigor.
August 5, 1997 |
Only a few moments after the Prince meets a glass-slippered party-crasher in Act 2 of Ben Stevenson's ballet "Cinderella," he must express his growing affection for the mysterious young woman by grabbing her upper thigh and heaving her over his shoulder, then fling her about as if testing her capacity for shock absorption. Even Don Giovanni never mauled his conquests so roughly, but in the Stevenson/American Ballet Theatre world, this kind of gymnastic assault passes for fairy-tale romance.
December 22, 2000 |
If wishing could make it so, Ben Stevenson's "Cinderella" would be a fairy tale in spite of itself. That was the determined intention of the lyrical and demure Ashley Tuttle when she took over the title role for American Ballet Theatre on Wednesday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.
August 1, 1997 |
A disturbing vision of women being controlled by men, followed by a series of dances exalting them: It was a strange mix of repertory that American Ballet Theatre chose for its opening Tchaikovsky program Wednesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. James Kudelka's aptly titled "Cruel World" preceded a series of three showpiece pas de deux and the final act of "The Sleeping Beauty." ABT turns to another fairy tale with Ben Stevenson's "Cinderella" today through Sunday.
December 21, 2000
BREA 8:30pm Comedy With four "Tonight Show" appearances under his belt, Willie Barcena has become one of Jay Leno's favorite comedians. The L.A.-born comic, who does a lot of material on Latino culture and dating, went to high school with a classmate who gained fame in her own right: former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. * Willie Barcena, Brea Improv, 945 E. Birch St. 8:30 p.m. Also Friday, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. $10 to $12. (714) 529-7878.
November 23, 2000 |
Need some expert advice on what to see this holiday season? Our arts writers offer recommendations on the best of the best. Dance and Music "The Nutcracker" has become the perennial holiday ballet partly because the first act takes place at a Christmas party. But as a wonderful fantasy, the ballet comes up a bit short by ending ambiguously. The heroine's visit to Candyland in the second act turns out at the end only to have been a dream. Or has it?
December 17, 2000
Movies "Cast Away," above, reunites Tom Hanks with "Forrest Gump" director Robert Zemeckis and "Apollo 13" screenwriter William Broyles Jr. Hanks plays a FedEx systems engineer whose life is ruled by the clock--until he becomes stranded on a remote island. Helen Hunt is also featured. Opens Friday. * Nicolas Cage stars in the fantasy "The Family Man" as a high-living Wall Street trader who one snowy Christmas morning awakens in an alternate suburban universe as a husband and father of two.
June 16, 1999 |
In an exclusive California engagement, the famous Stuttgart Ballet will make its Orange County Performing Arts Center debut during the center's 2000 dance season. The German company joins a lineup that includes the previously announced Bolshoi Ballet, Julio Bocca's Ballet Argentina and American Ballet Theatre. Only ABT has appeared at the center before. "It's a really good season," Judith O'Dea Morr, vice president of programming, said Tuesday.
May 5, 1988 |
It was a sad opening at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Tuesday. The Joffrey Ballet was returning to its coastal home away from home for the first time since the death of Robert Joffrey. There was nothing funereal, however, about the programming, nothing solemn about the dancing. The Joffrey company has always prided itself on youthful high spirits, and, in that surface respect, the performance suggested business as usual.