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Latest Dance Links - wb Saturday 24 December 2011

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Each day we add the latest links to reviews and interviews that we find on the major newspaper web sites around the world. If you find a link that we have missed do please post it up, preferably as a URL link.


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Saturday Links - 24 December 2011


INTERVIEW – Peter Wright, Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker: Peter Wright interview

As BRB takes its ‘Nutcracker’ to the O2, Mark Monahan meets the show’s veteran producer, Peter Wright.


by Mark Monahan

“I find the whole thing a very exciting challenge,” says Wright, “and we’ve done a lot of planning, particularly with the use of the stage. It’s completely different from Romeo and Juliet. You can’t do Nutcracker, with all its effects and changes of scene, without that arch – you have to have it.”



REVIEW: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater demonstrates its ever-expanding range

Home, Streams, Journey, Minus 16

USA, New York, City Center

Dancers: Green, Harder, Rushing

by Robert Johnson

“Created by trailblazing individuals, modern dance can only survive through solidarity. Could Ailey be the model, and the base?”

Newark Star Ledger


REVIEW: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Dancing in Character: Pina Recalled, Gelsey Returns

Dancing Dreams (documentary on Kontakthof)

Anywhere, Anywhere, Cinema screening

by Joel Lobenthal

“Pina gives us lengthy and representative samplings of her “dance-theater” pieces, but only by the most oblique means does the movie attempt to provide an interpretative handle on her life or work.”

City Arts



Top flight

YEAR IN DANCE 2011: Dancers excelled with exciting new work (and vintage classics), and redefined the concept of “performance space”

San Francisco

by Rita Felciano

“YEAR IN DANCE If you are a trend spotter, you will have noticed two changes within the local dance ecology that probably will influence how we see dance in the foreseeable future…”




A whirlwind year of dance

From Fela! to Merce

By Marcia B. SiegeL

“ive dance, especially ballet and contemporary dance, is still resistant to decent filming, though when Fela got the audience up on its feet to try some pelvic gyrations, I wanted to join in.”

Boston Phoenix


Australian Ballet in Images

Celebrating the Australian Ballet


by staff

“Photographs from the book “Luminous: Celebrating 50 years of the Australian Ballet”

Melbourne Age


INTERVIEW: Oakland Ballet – Graham Lustig

Oakland Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ breaks ice with kids

San Francisco

by Sara Hayden

“I don’t want anybody to feel that what we’re doing is something elitist, that you have to have a degree to understand it,” Lustig says. “I think that that’s the greatest power of this art form – you don’t have to be verbally proficient to understand ‘The Nutcracker.’”

SF Chronicle


American Ballet Theatre & Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose teams with NY’s American Ballet Theatre

San Jose

By staff

“Under the partnership, Ballet San Jose is expected to be able to have access to the New York-based American Ballet Theatre or ABT’s resources, staff and implement its curriculum.”

San Jose Business Journal


REVIEW: New Jersey Ballet

New Jersey Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ feels like several holidays packed into one

The Nutcracker

USA, Morristown, Mayo Performing Arts Center

Dancers: Davydov, Kojima-Noa, Noa-Pierson, Roje, Ryu, Sugawa, Verterich, Rubel, Yamamoto

by Robert Johnson

“A simple frolic when it starts, the “Nutcracker” ends as a feast for ballet lovers.”

Newark Star Ledger



MOMIX in ‘Botanica’: a kinky frolic through the natural world


USA, New York, Joyce Theater

by Robert Johnson

“…Pendleton does not extract a moral or a philosophical point of view from his startling, visual effects. In “Botanica” the flora and the fauna are decorative, whimsical and occasionally titillating—nothing more.”

Newark Star Ledger


REVIEW: Victoria Thierree Chaplin

3 stars


UK, London, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Dancers: Thierree

by Lyn Gardner

“Murmurs is a little too long, spread a little too thin, and is inclined towards whimsy, but at best it is mysteriously enchanting.”



REVIEW: Texas Ballet Theater

‘Nutty Nutcracker’ is over the top

The Nutty Nutcracker

USA, Fort Worth, Bass Performance Hall

Dancers: Judson, Kilps, Priolo, Zweifel

by Mark Lowry

“In short, TBT’s Nutty Nutcracker is the Stahl-bomb. Let’s have more than one performance next year.”


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Can I say how nice it is to have the links back to opening in separate windows? When I go to the "front page" and try launching several reviews from there, I end up with them almost all cancelling each other out because they all just show up on the "next" page. (And for the last decade Ballet.co's been my easiest way of getting round my local library's annoying ban on launching multiple browser windows the normal way!)

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Sunday Links - 25 December 2011


Merry Christmas Everybody

Message/card link on new forum


Merce Cunningham Company - many quotes from dancers and management on the position

Merce Cunningham company dances to the end

The late choreographer planned his troupe's demise. But the final performances this week may lead to new beginnings.

NY via LA

by Susan Reiter

"We've seen an enormous increase in the number of companies licensing Merce's work," Carlson said. "Repertory companies are stepping forward with interest in making it something regularly programmed."

LA Times


REVIEW: Scottish Ballet

4 stars

The Sleeping Beauty

UK, London, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Dancers: Blyde, Laplane, Martin, Mutso

by Zoe Anderson

"This Beauty is by far the strongest of Page’s updated classics for Scottish Ballet, with more warmth and sharper invention."




A rich time for Boston

Solid repertoires, wealth of variety


By Jeffrey Gantz

"This wasn’t a watershed year for dance in Boston. No star choreographers emerged here in 2011. No outstanding new troupes formed. No internationally renowned ballet companies visited.

"And yet it was an almost unimaginably rich year for dance in Boston. From Savion Glover to George Balanchine, we saw every kind of hoofing imaginable.

Boston Globe


REVIEW: Birmingham Rep

The Snowman

UK, Birmingham, ICC Theatre

Dancers: Coppen

by Diane Parkes

"This Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company production was a huge hit when it was premiered in the city in 1993 and nearly two decades later it still cannot fail to charm."

Birmingham Post


REVIEW: Victoria Thierree Chaplin

3 stars


UK, London, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Dancers: Jakobsson, Thierree

by Zoe Anderson

"Murmurs unravels itself on purpose, but sometimes trips over its own trailing threads. The work sags when it takes too long over changing scenery, or pushes too hard into whimsy."



REVIEW: Victoria Thierree Chaplin

A sequence of moments rather than a distinguishable line or body of material that means whatever you want it to mean


UK, London, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Dancers: Jakobsson, Martinez, Thierree

by Ian Shuttleworth

"Personally, I am interested in what the Thiérrées want it to mean, but of that I could glean no clue."

Financial Times


INTERVIEW/PREVIEW: Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre - Jose Mateo

The ‘Nutcracker’ prince

Jose Mateo brings holiday classic to Dorchester stage


By Keith Powers

"We are looking for more than just audience, we’re looking for participants,” he said. “‘The Nutcracker’ is ideal for initiates."

Boston Herald


REVIEW: Peter Schaufuss Ballet

The Nutcracker - A Happy Dream

UK, Brighton, Brighton Dome

Dancers: Bernadet, Christensen, Oki, Wise, Lopez

by Richard Amey

"There is much more to tell, but save me the trouble and see it yourself."

Midhurst and Petworth Observer


Pole Dancing Nutcracker

The Sl*tcracker: Tchaikovsky's timeless Christmas ballet performed by pole dancers

Boston via London

By Daily Mail Reporter

"She told ABC News: 'Slutcracker, the name just kind of popped into my head and my husband was like, you have to do that!'"

Daily Mail

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Monday Links - 26 December 2011



Crabb: Dancing their way into our hearts


By Michael Crabb

"Top 10 dance events to hit the GTA in 2011

"1. For theatrical daring and hauntingly poetic imagery it was hard to beat Montreal’s Compagnie Marie Chouinard in Orpheus and Eurydice. Greek mythology was never this much fun.

"2. For high-tech spectacle of the multi-million dollar variety, the National Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was eye-poppingly awesome."

Toronto Star


REVIEW OF THE YEAR: San Franncisco

Dance 2011: Highs, lows and top 10 moments

San Francisco

Mary Ellen Hunt

"High: Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin at San Francisco Ballet. In the greatest partnerships in ballet, the union is greater than the sum of its parts, and so it was with these two dancers throughout the 2011 season."

SF Chronicle


QUIZ OF YEAR: Black Swan film and Luke Jennings reviews

G2 quiz of the year: culture

Another fine year for the arts, but how much attention were you paying? Test your knowledge with our irreverent quiz on all things cultural


by Alex Needham

"In January, the Guardian asked the cream of Britain's ballet to review Black Swan. Spot the quote we've made up..."



Joffrey Ballet Award

Joffrey Ballet in Chicago wins national award for most well-reviewed 'Nutcracker' production


By staff

"Chicago's Joffrey Ballet has the country's "Best-Loved 'Nutcracker'" performance.

"That's according to online ticket seller Goldstar, which selects a winner each year based on member reviews and ratings."

Chicago Tribune


American Ballet Theatre & Ballet San Jose

Ballet San Jose, American Ballet Theatre in deal

San Francisco

by Jesse Hamlin

"The deal with New York's ABT, which is not a merger, licenses Ballet San Jose to implement ABT's comprehensive National Training Curriculum for dancers. ABT teachers will train Ballet San Jose School instructors to teach the holistic curriculum, which focuses on the mind and the body."

SF Chronicle


REVIEW: Ballet Philippines

Ballet Philippines’ lavish ‘Sleeping Beauty’ hurdles the odds

The Sleeping Beauty, Inamorata: Hardin ng Balo, Everywoman

Philippines, Manila, CCP Main Theater

Dancers: Adea, Cordero, Arisola, Bankova, Fujino, Gabriel, Gequinto, Trofeo, Winder, Yadao

by Elka Requinta

"...a feast for the senses, patterned after the original 1890 Russian production in St. Petersburg. Lavish set designs (Ricardo Cruz) and poufy costumes shone and sparkled..."



Strictly Come Dancing - Christmas Special

Strictly Come Dancing, Christmas Special, BBC One, review

Michael Hogan reviews the Christmas special of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC's pro-celebrity dance contest.


by Michael Hogan

"This wasn’t classy television but it was extremely Christmassy and enormous fun. A suitably celebratory way to round off a superb year for the ballroom institution. Ho ho quick quick ho."


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Tuesday Links - 27 December 2011


Birmingham Royal Ballet Nutcracker - preparing to move to O2

How to move a ballet


By Staff

"Birmingham Royal Ballet's principal dancer Robert Parker and technical director Paul Grace spoke to BBC News about the exciting challenge of taking the classic Christmas ballet on the road."

BBC News


REVIEW: Texas Ballet Theater

Nutty is as Nutty Does - What are Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and the Oz gang doing in The Nutcracker? Welcome to Ben Stevenson's wacky diversion for Texas Ballet Theater.

The Nutty Nutcracker

USA, Fort Worth, Bass Performance Hall

Dancers: Judson, Kotelemets, McBride, Oliveira, Zweifel

by Margaret Putnam

"But if The Nutty Nutcracker has strayed into a totally different fairy tale, it isn't inclined to stop there. Characters from Star Wars and Swan Lake pop up in unexpected scenes, like the shaggy Chewbacca in the Arabian divertissement."



worth a visit for the Swan Lake picture...

Senior Ballet Troupe - Barborka

Ballet keeps Polish seniors on toes

Poland via Beijing

By Maja Czarnecka

"If we stayed at home all the time to do dishes, we'd just be like old grannies," said Ola Szczepanska."

China Daily

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The review of Peter Schaufuss' Nutcracker at Brighton is a very good description, only Clara (Megumi Oki) wore pointe shoes, which was odd, there was no real pas de deux, only solo's and the coda from act 2, the music was cut down to a total of 1 hour 15 minutes for both acts, and started and finished with the adagio from the grand pas de deux accompanying a scene where The Dream Master (Stefan Wise, by far the best role of the ballet) either by himself in Clara's bedroom in the prologue, or with a mysterious Woman in White (Yoko Takahashi) for the finale, which came off rather well.


A disappointing evening really, but Romeo and Juliet later this week should be much better.


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Wednesday Links - 28 December 2011


REVIEW: New York City Ballet


USA, New York, David H. Koch Theater

Dancers: Angle, Fairchild, Hyltin, Marcovici, Mearns, Peck, Reichlen, Somogyi, Stafford, Taylor, Veyette

by Alastair Macaulay

"At the Nov. 27 matinee Sara Mearns was dramatic and compelling in a way that puts her in a league apart from other ballerinas today, but neither her technique nor her physique was remotely near its best..."

New York Times


REVIEW: Birmingham Royal Ballet

The perfect production is left high and dry with X-Factor pixie Joe McElderry as baffling warm-up


UK, London, O2 Arena

Dancers: Barton, Morales, Parker, Sakuma

by Ismene Brown

"Fortunately for me, if unfortunately for BRB, there were many unoccupied spaces to enable a quick move to better positions, which rescues my review from a wholesale protest to a half-cheer."

The Arts Desk



Oh, Those Dancing Feet: The best of dance in 2011

New York

by Susan Reiter

"Orbs by Paul Taylor

"He made us wait 29 years to see this work again, and it was worth the wait."



REVIEW: Bavarian State Ballet

Bayerisches Staatsballett, Nationaltheater Munich - Company proves more than equal to the challenge of MacMillan’s ‘Song of the Earth’ in a quadruple bill of first-class English ballet. 4 stars

Steps and Times: Scenes de ballet, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan, Song of the Earth, Voices of Spring pdd

Germany, Munich, National Theater

Dancers: Dino, Lacarra, Mikayelyan, Slavicky, Hancox, Markowskaja

by Gerald Dowler

"MacMillan’s monumental Song of the Earth is a challenge for any company – to evoke the spirituality and core humanity of this great work is no small task. Here, coached expertly by Donald MacLeary, the entire cast succeed in delivering a performance of rare cohesion and intensity."

Financial Times

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Thursday Links - 29 December 2011


We need to talk about Nutcrackers

Why seasonal ballet shows are crying out for some fresh ideas

by Clement Crisp

"…London is clogged, blighted, with stagings of The Nutcracker. It is a state of affairs which would seem ludicrous were it not so artistically stultifying, and so horridly typical of artistic policies and artistic funding."

Financial Times


REVIEW: Birmingham Royal Ballet

BRB's specially expanded version of Peter Wright's 'Nutcracker' has plenty to offer - provided you're in the right seats


UK, London, O2 Arena

by Mark Monahan

"Still, three cheers to BRB, whose dancers rose as one to the demands of the venue, repeatedly taking to the air with a leonine grandeur worthy of the Bolshoi."

Daily Telegraph


Why I will miss dance great Alexander Grant

by Michael Crabb

"Grant’s was a humanity bred of direct experience, of a full embrace of life’s little triumphs and sometimes greater disappointments."

Toronto Star



Reviews of 2011

London: Shining moments amid the gloom

Whatever 2011 failed to bring, some dance performances and productions shone

by Clement Crisp

"But the crown of the year, a performance of bravura physicality and penetrating sensibility, was Edward Watson’s incarnation of Gregor Samsa in Arthur Pita’s realisation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis at the Linbury Studio."

Financial Times


Canada: Flights of fancy and leaps of faith

Dance in 2011

by Paula Citron

"How smart is (NBC) artistic director Karen Kain? Delivering two original superhits by red-hot choreographers – Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet –in the same calendar year was an incredible feat. "

Globe and Mail


New York Area: The Year's Top Ten in Dance

by Robert Johnson

"The impending dissolution of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company is an act of willful and perverse destruction—stingy and disastrously ill-advised. Naturally, it overshadows everything."



Chicago: The year’s biggest dance headlines

by Zachary Whittenburg

"New highs and surprises, lots of stellar work by lighting designers, and notable new artists all made dancegoing rewarding in 2011."

Time Out Chicago

(Don't miss the Ballerina and the Bull link.)



Feature: Daniel Arsham, set designer for Merce Cunningham

Cunningham Fostered Serendipity in Set Design

by Ted Loos

"A few months later Mr. Arsham — who at first didn’t even know the concept of “stage right” — was at work on the set for Cunningham’s 2007 piece “eyeSpace.”"

NY Times


Film: "Pina" - A Posthumous Spotlight on a Force of Nature

by Robert Greskovic

"While selective excerpts of the four works throughout "Pina" amount to a welcome addition to Bausch's thin screen catalog, Mr. Wenders's focus on the performers is an even rarer glimpse into the choreographer's world."

Wall St Journal

An additional Canadian review at:

National Post


Preview: Mark Morris Dance Group Returns to the Kennedy Center

by Jeremy D. Birch

"Dancer Maile Okamura, who joined the company in 2001, said, “I love that this piece has stayed with us. The beauty of it is that you can age with it and experience it with different people who you dance with over the years.”"



Boston Area 2012 Preview

A strong season of dance and song

by Debra Cash

"From the comic to the sublime, with a dash of flamenco, the winter season has it all."

Boston Phoenix


San Jose Preview: Students pair with dance company to dance their souls out

by Sharon Noguchi

"Still, that's exactly what San Jose choreographer Margaret Wingrove is inducing two dozen Yerba Buena High School students to do. And the generation that typically prefers Facebook or text messages as venues for venting and gushing is loving it."

Mercury News

Edited by Ian Macmillan
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Friday Links - 30 December 2011


Merce’s last dance

A 58-year journey is coming to an end.

by Leigh Witchel

"Cunningham’s works will live on — other companies will perform them. But watching his company shut itself down is like watching a beloved ballroom close. Somehow, even though you knew, you never thought you would come to the very last dance."

NY Post


New York: Dance in 2012

Tackling Beethoven and the ‘Firebird’

by Alastair Macaulay

"What choreography in 2012 whets the appetite in advance? It’s dismayingly hard to know……At present what looks most historic about 2012 is not choreography but casting."

NY Times


UK: Dance in 2012

Highlights of the year ahead

by Judith Mackrell

"A selection of 8 UK and visiting companies."



UK: Dance in 2012

Highlights of the year ahead

by Zoe Anderson

"Scroll down to a selection of 5 UK and visiting companies."



Film: Wenders' Pina: Dance Crazy

One icon of German modernism pays thrilling tribute to another in Wenders' 3-D doc on the late Pina Bauch's Wuppertal Dance Theater Company

by Richard Corliss

"In the dancers’ deadpan athleticism, I find hints of two saturnine humorists: Buster Keaton in his silent-film glory and Samuel Beckett in his late, minimnalist playlets."



Calgary 2011: Six that made an impact in 2011

by Bob Clark

"All through 2011, Calgary proved itself what it soon officially became for 2012 — a Cultural Capital of Canada"

Calgary Herald


Boston Area 2011: Best dance moves of the year

by Iris Fanger

"The year 2011 in dance marked a number of anniversaries and several farewells that will shape local stages for years to come."

Patriot Ledger



And a seasonal sidelight:

When glitz met Glasgow

Broadway production values brought a special magic to the city’s pantoland in the early 1960s

Alison Kerr talks to Johnnie Beattie

"One of the glitziest, most spectacular productions ever to grace the Scottish stage opened in Glasgow in December 1961. It boasted music by Cole Porter, choreography by Sir Robert Helpmann, scenery and costumes by Loudon Sainthill and a sequence devised by the future founder of Scottish Ballet, Peter Darrell."


Edited by Ian Macmillan
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