May 7, 1989 |
"So, Mme. Riabouchinska, do you think you'll ever outgrow being called a baby ballerina?" The question caused Tatiana Riabouchinska-Lichine, 73, to toss back her head and uproariously giggle. As she strained--unsuccessfully--to stop, her platinum blonde hair twitched until it seemed as if her beaming round face were ringed by a halo. There are those in the dance world who would say Riabouchinska has been blessed. Born on the eve of the Russian Revolution in Moscow, she began life precariously as a premature infant whose family had to dodge insurgents' bullets in their home.
May 3, 1989 |
When the Joffrey Ballet returns to San Diego tonight for a four-performance run at the Civic Theatre, it will be a homecoming of sorts for the company and an opportunity for San Diego balletomanes to renew an ongoing love affair with the first world-class dance troupe to include the city on its regular touring schedule. "Joffrey started here (with the San Diego Foundation for the Performing Arts) the same year it started the bicoastal arrangement with Los Angeles, so we've had a special bond since 1983," said Suzanne Townsend of San Diego Performances, local sponsors of the Joffrey.
April 30, 1989 |
Ballets generally live or die according to their place in the repertory. Let too many years slip by and suddenly, in spite of the best intentions, a ballet has become "lost," the province of history books and photo archives. That might have been the fate of George Balanchine's "Cotillon," one of the most conspicuously lamented "lost" ballets of the 20th Century. But thanks to a couple of amateur films, the remembrances of a few performers and two dedicated and experienced historians, the work has been reconstructed.
April 22, 1989 |
The Joffrey Ballet's reconstruction of Vaslav Nijinsky's watershed ballet "Le Sacre du Printemps" was introduced to Orange County on Thursday, capping a program devoted to works created for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. It was simply sensational. "Sacre" made dance and music history in 1913 when audiences rioted at the Paris premiere. Which had proved more inciting--Stravinsky's rhythm-mad score or Nijinsky's violently anti-classical choreography? For nearly 74 years, the answer had to be Stravinsky's music, because the choreography had virtually vanished.
December 31, 1988 |
During the yearlong existence of the Joffrey Ballet's "Nutcracker," Sugar Plum Fairies have come and gone, but there's been only one Drosselmeyer, that mysterious figure in the eye patch and cape who guides the child-heroine, Clara, from her Christmas Party to a magical Candyland. Night after night, plus matinees--more than 40 times this season alone--the distinguished British character dancer Alexander Grant has appeared as a guest with the Joffrey in his first U.S. appearances since 1976.
December 26, 1988 |
Yes, Virginia, another "Nutcracker." Everybody wants to get into this instantly adorable, perennially kitschy, eminently profitable yuletide act. On Peter Ilyich, on Marius, on Lev, on E.T.A., on Dancer, on Prancer. . . . The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo led the way for us back in 1940, touring the land with its abridged ode to Tchaikovsky, Ivanov and tippy-toe sugarplums.
December 26, 1988 |
David Murdock was misty-eyed, as were Burt Sugarman and Mary Hart. And Frank Lynch. Maybe Murdock had a point when he said, "There's something about watching 'The Nutcracker' that sort of makes you feel like a kid again." Then a big grin. "It makes you feel like jumping up and down and singing." This, of course, wasn't just any run-of-the-mill "Nutcracker."
December 18, 1988 |
"It was Bob's last gift to all of us, and nothing could be more appropriate," said Gerald Arpino, reflecting on what became Robert Joffrey's final theatrical venture. Former associate director and resident choreographer, Arpino has been the Joffrey Ballet's artistic director since the founder's death in March at the age of 57.
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.
May 1, 1988 |
"These are not the easiest times, I tell you that from my heart. . . . " With a passing reference to his private grief, the Joffrey Ballet's newly appointed artistic director, Gerald Arpino, discusses the era in the company's history that began on March 25 with Robert Joffrey's death. "The saving grace is that Bob and I had been together for 31 years collaborating on practically every project that the company has undertaken," the 60-year-old choreographer and former associate director says.