Archive for the ‘Dance Performances’ Category

Ballet Training Pays Off

September 26, 2012

Season 9 of the FOX show, So You think You Can Dance, ended last week so I won’t get my weekly dose of dance viewing. I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but enjoy watching the dance segments of the show. And the dancing this season was fabulous! It was exciting to see that the public selected the two best dancers, Eliana and Cheon, instead of picking the most popular.

Both of the winners had ballet training and performed a classical ballet number the week before the final show.  Ballet numbers are not usually included in the competition because it is too difficult for a dancer to perform ballet if they have not studied that style of dance for many years.  Yet, with a ballet background, the two ballet dancers were able to perform beautifully in most of other genres of dance.

I hope that this will show young dancers how important it is to have a ballet foundation. Ballet carries over to other forms of dance and to everyday life

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Too Short!

August 10, 2012

Logo for Saratoga Performing Arts CenterThis year’s New York City Ballet (NYCB) season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) was wonderful! I immersed myself in the world of dance by attending all open rehearsals (SPAC members only) and many performances. And for the first time we went to the Gala!

We didn’t participate in all the Gala festivities, but did enjoy the dance performance. The draw for me was the opportunity to see the premier of Justin Peck‘s piece, “In Creases”. It was a fun piece and I found myself wishing for more.

That’s how I feel about the length of the NYCB SPAC season. Two weeks is not enough! The company used to perform at SPAC for three or more weeks, but the season has been cut back due to financial reasons. Next year the season will be even shorter – one week.

Something has to be done about this! A grassroots group, “Save the NYC Ballet“, has formed to help the effort. They even have an online petition targeted to NY State officials. It may be too late for 2013 and I don’t know if the season will ever be extended to three weeks. I hope that it will be at least two weeks!

What is the Breaking Pointe?

May 30, 2012

I’m not a big fan of reality television shows, but I have high hopes for the new ballet show, “Breaking Pointe”.

This new show follows Salt Lake City’s Ballet West (BW) company dancers. Supposedly it will set the record straight about the real behind the scenes work of dance and will erase misconceptions created by the movie “Black Swan”. The BW Artistic Director, Adam Sklute, is a creative consultant for the show and plans to make sure that this is the case.

I hope that there will be lots of dance and that the show will foster an appreciation of ballet. We’ll see tomorrow night when the show premieres on the CW (May 31st).

If you watch it, share your impression of the show.

New Dance Movie to Open

May 10, 2012

I’m excited about a new ballet movie, “First Position“, that opens on May 11, 2012.  I’m not sure if it will be as popular as “Black Swan” was, since this new movie is a documentary.

“First Position”, directed by Bess Kargman, follows six young dancers as they prepare and then compete in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP). The YAGP is the world’s largest student ballet competition that provides scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. This prestigious competition is held annually around the world and in New York City.

I had the opportunity to view a couple of stories about the movie on Good Morning America and Nightline. The dancing looks out of this world! And the reviews are remarkable.

For those of you that are in the Capital District/Saratoga NY area, there will be a screening at the Saratoga Film Forum on Sunday, June 24, 2012, 7:30 pm, as part of the Film Festival of Dance (some other great dance films will also be shown during the four day festival). I can’t wait to attend this screening in June!

Visions of Sugarplums

December 20, 2011

Last week PBS broadcast George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (TM) live as part of the Live from Lincoln Center series. I felt like I was in the audience watching this holiday performance. The only difference was that we also got a backstage tour that included interviews with several cast members, as well as Peter Martins, Artistic Director of New York City Ballet.

One of the interviews was with the young children playing the lead roles of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince. Both are ten years old and this is their second year performing these roles. What a thrill it must be to perform lead roles with the NYCB at such a young age!

It makes me wonder what the future brings for these two young dancers. Will they end up dancing with a professional dance company when they are older? Will it be New York City Ballet? Or will they go on to do something totally different? Either way, I’m sure that  they will always have amazing memories of this experience.

I never had the opportunity to perform Nutcracker with a professional company, but did dance in a local production of this holiday classic.  Those performances usually included a couple guest dancers from professional companies. I would watch backstage in awe when they danced.

And now, whenever I hear the Nutcracker music, it brings back memories of that fabulous time.

A Chance to See Ballet Performances at Movie Theatres

November 20, 2011

Tickets are now on sale for New York City Ballet’s acclaimed production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ in 530 movie theaters in the United States for one night only on Tuesday, December 13. The production will be shown live at 6 p.m. in the Capital District Region at Crossgates Stadium 18. Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for children.

This is a special live broadcast from Lincoln Center and will be shown in High Definition (HD) format. This is the first time that a New York City Ballet performance will be broadcast live in theatres. It gives families across the United States a chance to see the New York City Ballet perform this classic holiday tradition.

For more information about this performance go to http://www.fathomevents.com/performingarts/event/nycb_nutcracker.aspx

As I write this entry another live broadcast of is being shown at  Crossgates Stadium 18 and also Proctor’s in Schenectady, NY.  (I would have attended this if I had known sooner.)  It’s the Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty and will be shown again this week.

As I was researching the live NYCB broadcast, I learned that there are several other ballet performances scheduled at both Crossgates Stadium 18 and Proctors. Here is a link to information about upcoming movie theatre ballet performance broadcasts in Albany and the surrounding area:

http://www.balletincinema.com/search/#for=theaters&near=Albany%2C%20NY%2012205%2C%20USA&within=100mi

Must See Ballet Performance on PBS

October 27, 2011

I was very happy to see that WMHT, the local PBS station has several dance performances included in the PBS Arts Fall Festival. The first one, Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp, airs tomorrow night at 9pm.
I had the pleasure of seeing Miami City Ballet perform at SPAC several years ago and I am looking forward to seeing the show on TV.
Here is a link to a video clip about the show http://video.wmht.org/video/2151623251

In addition, there is a wonderful interview with Edward Villella, Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet: http://video.wmht.org/video/2130779031
Don’t miss it!

Beautiful Ballerinas Honored

October 7, 2011
Jerome Robbins Award Statue

Jerome Robbins Award Statue

On September 30, 2011, the Jerome Robbins Foundation honored thirty ballerinas who worked with Jerome Robbins. I had the pleasure of being in the audience as twenty six of them accepted their award.

What a treat to watch each dancer walk across the stage and take a bow as Chita Rivera introduced them!  Some of the dancers are up there in age, but they all looked elegant.

In addition to a wonderful slide show of the dancers working with Robbins,  the audience received a brochure that listed the dancers’ thoughts about working with Robbins. I’ve read that Jerome Robbins could sometimes be difficult to work with, but all of these comments were positive.

Every time we curtsy in the classes that I teach, I think about those lovely ballerinas. It was beautiful!

To see what ballerinas were honored and to read their comments about working with Robbins, go to http://jeromerobbins.org/foundation/jerome_robbins_award .

Unusual Dance Programming at The Egg

September 28, 2011

The Egg in Albany, NY is offering dance performances this year! I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any given the economic situation of New York State. It does seem like there are fewer performances than usual, but we’ll take it.

I’m not sure what I think of the line-up, though. It’s very different from what The Egg usually has. They are featuring contemporary choreographers who mix it up with live music, videography, spoken word, and performance art.  Maybe this is a way of trying to reach out to a broader audience.

Here’s what’s scheduled:

Sunday, 10/16/11, 7pm Millicent Johnnie & Dancers Symphony for the Dance Floor
Friday, 10/21/11, 8pm Monica Bill Barnes & Company Everything is Getting Better All the Time
Friday, 11/4/11, 8pm Roxanne Butterfly Worldbeat Ensemble The Tap Experience
Thursday, 11/10/11, 8pm Companiia Flamenca Jose Porcel Gypsy Fire
Friday, 1/20/12, 8pm Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company 20th Year Celebration

 

For more information:  http://www.theegg.org/events/dance

Are you planning to attend any of the shows?

McCartney + Martins = Ocean’s Kingdom Ballet

September 21, 2011

Paul McCartney Ocean's Kingdom

A couple of years ago I read something about Peter Martins and Paul McCartney collaborating on a full length ballet and it caught my interest. Well, Ocean’s Kingdom will premier tomorrow night at the New York City Ballet (NYCB) Fall Gala.

How exciting to have two icons from different art forms working together!  In addition, Paul McCartney’s daughter, Stella has designed the costumes for this work.  Sir Paul has also released an album  which is due out October 2011.

I’m anxious to read the reviews and hear what one of my friends has to say about it (she will be attending the Gala).

Here’s a brief article and a video clip http://www.gigwise.com/news/67147/Paul-McCartney-Previews-Oceans-Kingdom-Ballet—Video