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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ashton's Sylvia livestream from Buenos Aires



The ballet of the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires will be live-streaming Frederick Ashton's Sylvia this coming Saturday, 29 August, at 8 pm local time (7 pm Eastern Time). To watch the livestream, follow this link:
www.teatrocolon.org.ar/en-vivo

Here are some excerpts performed by Darcey Bussell, Roberto Bolle, and the Royal Ballet:

https://youtu.be/JWgi5lleN8c 

  



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ballet Appreciation Course, University of Toronto

I will be offering the following course, featuring ballets at the National Ballet of Canada and in the Cineplex theatres, at U of T School of Continuing Studies, St George (downtown) campus, Wednesdays 630-830 pm starting September 30. To enroll: 
http://learn.utoronto.ca/interactive-course-search#/profile/2415

COURSE PLAN
Week
TOPIC/LESSONS
1
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Prokofiev's stirring music have inspired almost every ballet choreographer. We look particularly at the version by Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, and also at the version created by Alexei Ratmansky for The National Ballet of Canada.
2
In Don Quixote, the late 19th-century team of choreographer Marius Petipa and composer Ludwig Minkus filled the stage with fun and virtuosity. Spanish? Not really, but who cares.
3
In The Two Pigeons, the master of the warm fuzzies, Frederick Ashton, takes a simple tale of a wayward lover who comes back to his sweetheart and leaves you in tears with a beautiful pas de deux created for a Canadian ballerina.
4
John Neumeier, the creative genius of the Hamburg Ballet, keeps the art of the story ballet alive and pays homage to the history of ballet. His Lady of the Camellias is one of the most heart-wrenching works in the repertoire.
5
In The Winter's Tale, hot international choreographer Christopher Wheeldon takes on Shakespeare's tale of insane jealousy and forgiveness.
6
George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins tower over all other choreographers of ballet in America. Two of their most beautiful pas de deux, Afternoon of a Faun and Tchaikovsky pas de deux, reveal much about their different styles and personalities.


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free

In honour of Leonard Bernstein's birthday (born August 25, 1918).

https://youtu.be/nQxihx9WU_k


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Dance at Guggenheim Works and Process Fall 2015

Each intimate, 80–minute performance combines artistic creation with stimulating conversation, and takes place in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed, 285–seat Peter B. Lewis Theater in New York. A reception for the audience and artists follows most programs. In the past these programs have been livestreamed and available online after the event.

Fall 2015 Season Schedule


Balanchine’s Harlequinade: Commedia dell’arte Explored Sun and Mon, Sept 20 and 21, 7 pm
New York City Ballet dancers perform excerpts from George Balanchine’s Harlequinade, a masterful two-act ballet in the commedia dell’arte style, prior to the New York City Ballet’s full presentation in October. Following the performance, Pacific Northwest Ballet Education Programs Manager and dance scholar Doug Fullington will moderate a discussion exploring Balanchine’s Harlequinade, which was choreographed in the spirit of Marius Petipa, in whose Les Millions d’Harlequinade he danced as a student.



BalletCollective Mon, Oct 19, 7 pm
BalletCollective founder, choreographer, and New York City Ballet dancer Troy Schumacher discusses the upcoming season at NYU Skirball Center. Dancers Harrison Coll, Lauren King, Claire Kretzschmar, Ashley Laracey, Meagan Mann, David Prottas, and Taylor Stanley, accompanied by musical ensemble Hotel Elefant, perform excerpts from a new work by Schumacher and BalletCollective resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, inspired by commissioned photographs by Paul Maffi, and selections from a new Schumacher male duet with a score by NOW Ensemble Artistic Director Mark Dancigers, inspired by commissioned photographs by Dafyi Hagai.


Hagaromo Mon, Oct 26, 7 pm
Prior to the world premiere at the Brooklyn Academey of Music (BAM), as part of the 2015 Next Wave Festival, dancers Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto, director David Michalek, choreographer David Neumann, composer Nathan Davis, and puppeteer Chris Green discuss their reimagining the Japanese Noh theater classic Hagoromo. Excerpts are performed by Whelan and Soto, tenor Peter Tantsits, and International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).


Daniil Simkin’s Intensio Sun, Nov 8, 7 pm
Prior to the New York premiere at the Joyce Theater, excerpts from Intensio, including four new works by choreographers Alexander Ekman, Gregory Dolbashian, Jorma Elo, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, are performed by Daniil Simkin and fellow American Ballet Theatre dancers Isabella Boylston, Alexandre Hammoudi, Blaine Hoven, Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Cassandra Trenary, and James Whiteside, as well as Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal’s Céline Cassone.


Broadway Dance Lab Sat, Nov 14, 7 pm
Broadway choreographer and Broadway Dance Lab (BDL) founder Josh Prince shares the culmination of BDL’s most recent eight-week session. Prince and choreographer Marcelo Gomes discuss their creative process with moderator Robert LaFosse and BDL’s ten dancers perform new works by Prince, Gomes, Camille A. Brown and others.


Juilliard Dance: New Dances
Sun, Nov 15, 7 pm
Juilliard Dance students perform excerpts from new works by four innovative choreographers prior to their premiere. Helen Simoneau’s piece features first-year dancers; Aszure Barton’s, second-year dancers; Zvi Gotheiner’s, third-year dancers; and Kyle Abraham’s, fourth-year dancers. Juilliard Dance Artistic Director Lawrence Rhodes discusses the creative process with the choreographers.


 
Paul Taylor Commissions: Doug Elkins & Larry Keigwin Sat and Sun, Nov 21 and 22, 7 pm
For the first time, as part of choreographer Paul Taylor’s significant new commissioning initiative, new creations by some of the most compelling voices of the next generation will be choreographed for dancers of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Choreographers Doug Elkins and Larry Keigwin participate in a discussion moderated by Paul Taylor–biographer Suzanne Carbonneau. Excerpts of the new works are performed alongside Taylor classics.


Inspired Collaborations: Emily Coates & Sarah Demers Mon, Nov 30, 7 pm
Yale dance professor and former New York City Ballet dancer Emily Coates and Yale physics professor and particle physicist Sarah Demers discuss their inspired collaboration in the classroom that has led to many inventive outcomes. Coates and Demers demonstrate how their interdisciplinary projects can expand the creative boundaries of both their fields.



Location:
Peter B. Lewis Theater, unless otherwise noted
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
Subway: 4, 5, 6 train to 86th Street
Bus: M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus on Madison or Fifth Avenue

Tickets:
$40, $35 members, unless otherwise noted
$10 student rush tickets available one hour prior to each performance if space allows (for students under 25 with valid ID).
Priority ticket access and preferred seat selection starting August 12, 2015, for Friends of Works & Process or Guggenheim Members Associate level and above.
Season tickets will be on sale August 24, 2015.
Specific seats may be reserved when ordered online.
For more information, call 212 758 0024 or 212 423 3587, Mon–Fri, 1–5 pm, or visit worksandprocess.org


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meet the Etoiles of the Paris Opera Ballet

Paris Opera Ballet has published a series of 90-second videos for each of their étoiles:

Mathieu Ganio
https://youtu.be/eTBL2xEKlKQ


Dorothée Gilbert  

https://youtu.be/IbMWNVCj3Bk 

Laetitia Pujol 

https://youtu.be/QwzwO2as-9I

Amandine Albisson

https://youtu.be/WYZc5Iq_00M

 

Aurélie Dupont 

https://youtu.be/My0DU2qSDlM

 

Jérémie Belingard 

https://youtu.be/QEDBqJpBP2g

 

Myriam Ould-Braham 

https://youtu.be/b82UCnGiAO8

 

Josua Hoffalt 

https://youtu.be/d6lUA8AVR98

 

Stéphane Bullion 

https://youtu.be/46txdLZaIgI

Ludmila Pagliero 

https://youtu.be/Rfw8LoqHChs

Mathias Heymann

https://youtu.be/pmatmUzF8o8

Marie-Agnès Gillot 

https://youtu.be/ienVy_0mXrM

 

Alice Renavand 

https://youtu.be/uUaFWCFLJC4 

 

Hervé Moreau

 https://youtu.be/wC0m8iIdiY0

 

Karl Paquette 

https://youtu.be/How9xhR7x7I 


Emilie Cozette 

https://youtu.be/2eDM3Q7idyw



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

FREE! Watch NBOC class and tour studios

Celebrate Culture Days at The National Ballet of Canada

The National Ballet of Canada and Culture Days invite you to see how ballet dancers begin each day with the daily ritual of company class. Observe professional dancers warm up their bodies with stretches and exercises, preparing physically and mentally for a day of rehearsals and performances. Tour the company's stunning studios at The Walter Carsen Centre and see beautiful costumes being created in our Wardrobe Department and visit the Pointe Shoe Room.
Culture Days at the National Ballet is FREE but space is limited.
Reserve today by calling 416 (1 866) 345-9595.





Friday September 25, 2015

10:15 — 11:15 am

The Walter Carsen Centre for The National Ballet of Canada
470 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3K4


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Ballet Gala

For those of you who haven't yet had a chance to travel somewhere for a good old-fashioned summer ballet gala, or to see some of the top names in ballet, here's a nice one for you, starring:

Silvia Azzoni, Aleksandr Ryabko (Hamburg Ballet): Don Juan pas de deux (John Neumeier)

Claudio Coviello, Lusymay Di Stefano (La Scala): Le Spectre de la Rose (Michel Fokine)

Denys Cherevychko, Maria Yakovleva (Vienna State Ballet): Don Quixote pas de deux (Nureyev after Gorsky)

Friedemann Vogel (Stuttgart Ballet), Oscar Chacon (Béjart Ballet Lausanne): Song of a Wayfarer (Maurice Béjart)

Giuseppe Picone : Swan Lake prince's solo (Rudolf Nureyev)

Lucia Lacarra, Marlon Dino (Bavarian State Ballet): White Swan pas de deux (Rudolf Nureyev after Ivanov)

Maurizio Nardi (Martha Graham Company): Lucifer (Martha Graham)

Ashley Bouder, Joaquin de Luz (New York City Ballet): Diana and Acteon pas de deux (Agrippina Vaganova); La Sylphide pas de deux (August Bournonville)

Evgenia Obraztsova, Denis Rodkin (Bolshoi Ballet): La Bayadere pas de deux (Nureyev after Petipa); Sleeping Beauty pas de deux (Petipa)

Vladimir Shklyarov, Maria Shirinkina (Mariinsky Ballet): Le Corsaire pas de deux

https://youtu.be/CrMrH0MFeYU


https://youtu.be/4xCr83VQXAE


https://youtu.be/VGp9yhhc21k


 


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

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Monday, August 17, 2015

New Carlos Acosta book

Gift idea for ballet lovers!

Carlos Acosta at the Royal Ballet

Carlos Acosta at the Royal Ballet

Binding: HardBack | Page extent: 160
ISBN: 9781783198900
£35.00
COMING SOON - This title will be available from Nov 2015
Carlos Acosta is the most iconic dancer of our times, a genius of ballet and an international star. This superb quality photo-led book is published to mark Acosta’s farewell season; an exciting retrospective to capture his greatest performances with The Royal Ballet.
With tributes from three successive Royal Ballet Directors; Sir Anthony Dowell, Dame Monica Mason and the present Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare; Associate Director Jeanetta Lawrence and various dancers of the Royal Ballet.
Carlos Acosta at The Royal Ballet is a tribute to his phenomenal success and popularity with Royal Ballet audiences since 1998. The book contains over 150 images of Carlos on stage and in rehearsal. Ballet photographs include his own production of Don Quixote, Requiem, Apollo, Romeo and Juliet, La Fille mal gardée, Sleeping Beauty, Judas Tree and Winter Dreams, plus many more.
This book is a unique record of his time with The Royal Ballet and a must-have book for all dance fans.

This book is available for pre-order from amazon.co.uk but not yet from amazon.ca or amazon.com

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Bolshoi Babylon documentary at TIFF

Bolshoi Babylon

slideshow_large

Synopsis

The Bolshoi. Symbol of Russia, a national treasure - mystical and intriguing. Recently, however, in the wake of the acid attack on the ballet's artistic director Sergei Filin, the theatre has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: intrigue, personal attacks and management changes have created lurid headlines. Now, for the first time, the theatre directors have allowed a BBC film crew access backstage to record the 2013 -14 season as a unique cinematic experience. Bolshoi Babylon gives a voice to artists and company members who are not usually in the limelight in irreverent and candid terms. Combining epic themes with intimate portraits, historical dramas are counterpointed with the untold personal stories of agony and ecstasy that lie behind every acclaimed performance. With unparalleled behind the scenes access, the film pays tribute to the dancers' extraordinary artistic and athletic talents, their abiding fear of injury and the ruthless ambition needed to survive in the world's most famous ballet company.
Official Selection Toronto International Film Festival 2015 - TIFF Docs
Screening times and locations at TIFF (SEPTEMBER 10 - 20, 2015) will appear shortly.

Details

Year
2015
Type of film
Features
Director
Nick Read
Producer
Mark Franchetti
Principal Cast
Anastasia Meskova, Ludmilla Semenyaka, Joy Womacks, Sergei Filin, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, Boris Akimov 
 
 
If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vail International Dance Festival

If you were to play a word association game with the word "ballet", the first thing to come to mind would probably not be...

"bratwurst". 

But,  unfazed by the alleged "stuffiness" the uninitiated think is a necessary characteristic of the ballet audience, the baseball-cap-coiffed gentleman sitting next to me at the Vail International Dance Festival was tucking into a mustard-drizzled sausage on a bun before the show. On my other side, a couple of women were clutching a bottle of wine and two plastic cups.  Behind us, beyond the covered seating area, the lawn of the Gerald Ford Amphitheater was chockablock with picnicking dance lovers. 

This informality is just one of the things that make watching dance in Vail such a unique experience. You would think you were about to see the local high school musical... except that the performers at VIDF include some of the top names in international ballet. This year we were treated to such stars as Sara Mearns, Yuan Yuan Tan, Isabella Boylston, Tiler Peck, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Misa Kuranaga,and Wendy Whelan, plus more, including New York City Ballet's Joseph Gordon, a corps de ballet member you should definitely keep an eye on (see his airborne jumps at the beginning of this video):


https://youtu.be/ce0YxtyZIGM 


The other characteristic of VIDF is its remarkably eclectic programming, thanks to its Artistic Director, former New York City Ballet star Damian Woetzel. Memphis jookin rubs shoulders with Romeo and Juliet, 19th century Romanticism meets Alvin Ailey's Revelation, and that one-man versatility machine, Balanchine, is represented in all his guises: black and white, tutu, classical virtuosity, beautiful lyricism, Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky to Gershwin to Sousa. Speaking of versatility, I am convinced that NYCB's Tiler Peck can do ANYTHING and make it look stunningly gorgeous. She took my breath away in both the Midsummer Night's Dream excerpt and in Who Cares? 

https://youtu.be/hVliLqtaUGE 


https://youtu.be/gLakBprQMZ4 


Another standout, as always, was Sara Mearns, in Alexei Ratmansky's Fandango.  Unfortunately her breath was literally taken away, as she succumbed to altitude sickness after her performance (Vail is above 8,000 ft) and had to be flown to sea level and a few days in hospital. It's not for nothing that oxygen tanks are kept backstage for the dancers.

Another aspect that makes Vail a must-visit for the ballet lover is the beautiful setting. In the videos above and in this picture from Sara Mearns' instagram, 
https://instagram.com/p/6DNfzbJ5FN/?taken-by=saramearns
you can see the amazing "backdrop" of the stage: a planting of living flowers interspersed between six Colorado (naturally!) Blue Spruce trees. To get to the theatre from the bus stop you cross the cascading Gore Creek by means of this charming covered bridge (one of several in Vail).
   

Best known as a ski resort, it is hard to imagine how the town could be more beautiful in winter than in summer. Created artificially out of sheep-grazing pasture in 1964, Vail certainly has a faux-German/Swiss look to it, and is not like a normal town in that it is all hotels and restaurants.  

But it is so tastefully done, and so bedecked with flowers, art, fountains, and streams, that one cannot help but fall under its charm. Idyllic is the word that comes to mind. Walking through the village on its pedestrian streets, one cannot take a turn without finding yet another beautiful hidden garden. They seem to have a "leave no space unlandscaped" attitude in Vail. Flowers cascade out of windowboxes. Bronze sculptures of bears, moose, and other wildlife lurk among the flowerbeds. Wind sculptures spin in the breeze:
https://youtu.be/7gg71bKAxwM

 A fantastic treelike light sculpture cycles through a myriad of colours. The walls of the many fountains and artificial waterfalls reveal more hidden wildlife:  

And then there are the natural watercourses: Gore Creek cuts through the village, burbling over rocks in its shallow bed, its ripples sparkling in the sun. Various rivulets join it along its course, so the sound of rushing water is never far away.  

On summer Sundays, an open-air market offering food and handicrafts takes over the pedestrian streets, and live jazz is on offer.

Up near the theatre, the Betty Ford Alpine garden is another haven of tranquil beauty:




 

You can take one of the two gondola ski lifts up another 2000 feet for a spectacular panoramic view of the mountains. 

"The Vail festival spoils dancegoers. We start to feel that every theater should be surrounded by pine-clad mountains and approached by a path featuring a rushing river (and at least one hummingbird). There are other reasons to pay heed to the Vail International Dance Festival, but this plenitude and diversity of talent alone makes it extraordinary." Alastair Macaulay, "Vail International Dance Festival Sets Itself Apart With an Enchanting Lineup" New York Times, 11 August 2015

The Vail International Dance Festival. Not to be missed. You should go next year!

Tours en l'air will be offering a trip to Vail in 2016, August 5-8, to see the International Evenings of Dance. Further programming and dancers participating will be announced in February. Booking will open in early March.


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

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