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  1. The annual critics’ survey of the German dance magazine tanz yielded the following results: best productions: "Grand Finale" by Hofesh Shechter and "Formosa" by Lin Hwai-min with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre best choreographer: Crystal Pite best female dancer: Polina Semionova best male dancer: Trajal Harrell (a voguing specialist) no company of the year was chosen, as too many were nominated
  2. Some more new dancers for Berlin State Ballet: Sarah Brodbeck, Vahe Martirosyan, Evelina Godunova and Daniel Norgren-Jensen join as soloists (the first two well known to the Zurich audience, they left when Spuck came), Jenna Fakhoury, Ross Martinson and Jonny McMillan join as demi soloists. Murilo de Oliveira is promoted to demi soloist. The Casting for the first Swan Lake performances is already online.
  3. For anyone who has the channel arte on her or his TV: Cranko's Romeo is on at Sunday night, and you can watch it online for one month German https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/080539-000-A/romeo-und-julia/ French https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/080539-000-A/romeo-et-juliette/
  4. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    I thought the Harry Kupfer Ring at Bayreuth once took that direction, many of the singers looked and acted "right". But this is way off topic, I'm sorry.
  5. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    Janet, it may be four hours plus intermission - I checked my Berlin programme from 2013, but it does not state the length of the show or the acts (a huge flaw in many German theatres). The intermission at Berlin was shorter than the one hour they have at Bayreuth, that I remember 😁 Can't find the old programme from 1990...
  6. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    Oh thanks, dear Douglas, I'm glad to read that Béjart is appreciated. I always thought that for the pure ballet lovers, there was too much philosophy or literature in his works, too much theatre. The Ring around the Ring was made for Berlin in 1990, they had some revivals, the last in 2013, and now it will probably never be seen again. Berlin had a rich Béjart tradition in the 1990s, for the Ballet of the Deutsche Oper (West) and the Ballet of the Staatsoper (East), but I don't think the new director is interested in these works. Another ballet with chorus: Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, choreographed by Jirí Kylián in 1978
  7. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    Christian Spuck made Verdi's Requiem two years ago at Zurich, with the chorus on stage amid the dancers.
  8. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    Martin Schläpfer choreographed "Ein Deutsches Requiem" by Brahms for Ballet on the Rhine in 2011, the chorus was on a balcony above the stage.
  9. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    The great William Forsythe made his very first ballet on a song: "Urlicht" by Gustav Mahler, from the second symphony.
  10. Angela

    Choral Ballets

    There is a four hour ballet by Maurice Béjart called "Ring um den Ring", where you have exactly that: dancers als Wotan, Brünnhilde, Siegfried and so on, clearly looking much younger and much more like heroes than the opera singers who usually do the job . Béjart used taped extracts from the Tetralogy, but also a live pianist on stage playing parts of Wagner's music, and Michael Denard as narrator. He had great ideas, a ballet barre was made into Wotan's spear, and Loge, the god of fire, danced with a delirious Brünnhilde for the immolation scene at the end. I knew the Ring very well but Béjart's ballet made me understand even more of the philosophy behind it, he even pointed the way to Parsifal at the end, from Buddhism to Christianity. I never understood why you don't like Béjart in England and the US... 😔
  11. About "Initials R.B.M.E.", the premature death of John Cranko and the late Richard Cragun: somebody told me that it was Cragun who said that the letters RBME form the words "Remember me".
  12. It was Glen Tetley's Sacre, and he was outstanding in it - as he was in every role. My favorite Onegin forever, I think - such a wonderful, wonderful dancer.
  13. Other casts diminish the work only if you have seen the original cast, which was a long time ago - so an audience of today should not be bereaved of the opportunity to see this wonderful ballet! If you have a bit of information about R, B, M and E, about Ricky, Birgit, Marcia and Egon, you can easily discover their personalities and their technical skills in the solo parts - Cragun's jumps and his joyful, open charisma, Keil's long-limbed elegance, Haydées adagio quality and her wonderful port de bras, Madsen's Danish heritage of petit allegro. No, it's not Egon Madsen's part, I have seen it done perfectly by Vladimir Malakhov for example - on the technical level it's Cragun's part with the many turns and jumps in a very fast succession where most dancers nowadays struggle (and they say that technique is better now!). For me personally it's the Marcia Haydée part, her "singing" arms, her sad and angel-like floating through the air - I very often close my eyes here, I have to admit, to remember her. But it is a wonderful, wonderful neoclassical ballet about friendship, with great parts for the corps de ballet - the six boys who surround Cragun's part for example. Cranko made it in 1972, and he had seen Dances at a Gathering before, there is a similar throwing of a girl between three boys in the B part 😉
  14. So what’s happening at Tanztheater Wuppertal? – I’m sorry I’m so late. It all started on 6 July with an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, normally Germany’s equivalent to the New York Times, but, alas, not with dance coverage. The title was “An obviously dramatic failure” and it accused Wuppertal’s Artistic Director Adolphe Binder who until July allegedly had not even offered a schedule for next season. It went on about a completely dysfunctional relation between her and the management (thus suggesting she was not even part of it), it reported that dancers had complained about “mobbing, sexist remarks, authoritarian and discriminating behaviour”. Only a few hours later, the dance critic of “Die Welt”, another national newspaper, offered in his blog a different view of the proceedings and accused Wuppertal Tanztheater’s company manager Dirk Hesse of wanting to take over all responsibilities from Binder. Unlike in other dance companies, at Wuppertal Binder reports to Hesse, the Artistic Director to the company manager; Hesse had been working at Wuppertal for nine years already, Binder started last season. The “Welt” blog says that Hesse turned down Binder’s repertoire schedule for 2018/19 and cancelled her press conference, that he gave fake news about her to the press. The article continues with accusing the journalist from FAZ of “a very close relationship” with Hesse and of having applied for Binder’s job herself. Other German newspapers like Süddeutsche Zeitung and Tagesspiegel followed suit in defending Adolphe Binder, dancers of the Tanztheater started to speak out about the accusations, talking about “scheming” and an “anti Binder campaign”. Nazareth Pandoro and Julie Shanahan said they wanted to continue working with Binder. So it was his word against her’s. People at Wuppertal started to get nervous about the fate of the proposed Pina Bausch Centre which is to be funded with a huge contribution by the German government, a very rare thing in Germany where cultural funding is up to the Länder (states) and cities, in this case Northrhine-Westphalia and Wuppertal. The dancers continued to defend Adolphe Binder, some of them suspected that it was “too new” what she had brought to the Tanztheater in the last year, two full-length creations by Dimitris Papaioannou and Alan Lucien Øyen. Many of them signed a declaration that they were not involved in discussions with the management and did not receive information about the accusations against Binder. On 13 July, the advisory board of Tanztheater Wuppertal decided to dismiss Adolphe Binder; company manager Dirk Hesse resigned and will quit in December 2018. A committee of experts, among them Alastair Spalding from Sadler’s Wells, will have to find replacements for both of them until the end of the year, working closely with the dancers. Newspaper comments about these decisions suggest that it was a huge mistake to have the Artistic Director report to the Administrative Director and it would be better to start over with another form of organisation. The damage to the Tanztheater seems huge, but the company will continue with tours and performances at home in September.
  15. It's complicated, I'm gonna try and write something tomorrow. It was a fight between Binder and the company manager Dirk Hesse, who will also quit in December. They intend a fresh start. The dancers voted for Binder. If you read German, try these articles: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/tanz-wuppertaler-wirren-1.4043363 http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buehne-und-konzert/tanztheater-wuppertal-in-der-krise-mit-alphonse-binder-15676494.html https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/krise-am-tanztheater-wuppertal-schreckliche-angst-um-die.1013.de.html?dram:article_id=422395 http://www.wuppertaler-rundschau.de/kultur/taenzer-beziehen-stellung-aid-1.7634875 https://www.weser-kurier.de/bremen/bremen-kultur_artikel,-scharmuetzel-um-das-erbe-von-pina-bausch-_arid,1747242.html http://www.wuppertaler-rundschau.de/kolumne/kommentar/kalt-kalkulierter-wahnsinn-aid-1.7635091