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Monthly Archives: October 2010

  • Martha Graham Dance Company Returns to Seattle

    articles_2A contemporary ray of sunshine is headed our way! The Martha Graham Dance Company is slated to perform at the University of Washington's Meany Hall November 4-6, 2010.

    The event promises to be both inspirational and educational thanks to its pre-show lecture and post-performance discussion with MGDC's artistic director, Janet Eilber.

    "Founded in 1926 by dancer-choreographer Martha Graham, the Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest and perhaps most celebrated modern dance company in America. Under director Janet Eilber, the company continues to evolve and to present notable work. In their first performance at UW World Series since 2003, the Company’s program will feature repertory that spans the 20th century." ~ Quote:

    Tickets will go fast for this one, folks! Click here to grab 'em before they're gone.

  • Taking Notes: Suzanne Farrell

    Suzanne Farrell, courtesy The Kennedy


    Have you ever wished you could ask one of the world's most beloved ballerinas what her thoughts are on a particular performance? (I know you can't hear my thoughts, but they're shouting, "Me! Me! I do, I do!")

    Well, your wish--and mine!--has been granted! Suzanne Farrell regularly blogs her thoughts about her company's performances (Suzanne Farrell Ballet) at The Kennedy Center. Check out Farrell's "Notes from the Ballet" here.

  • Spine Tingling Halloween Treats

    untitledEverywhere from Victoria BC to Alabama, ballet companies are preparing for a fantastically fiendish Halloween. One of the most popular ballets featured this season is Dracula. This spine-chilling tale of old is pulsing with new blood--er, life--thanks to Huntsville Ballet Company, Alabama Ballet and Ballet Victoria.

    The Huntsville production of "Dracula--Crossing Over" will be shown in combination with artistic director, Philip Otto's "The Firebird". "Everyone knows the story of Dracula. Everyone knows who Dracula is. This is a new way to tell that story from a different angle," Otto said. "The intent is to show Dracula's struggle within himself. We will see the evil side of Dracula, but we will also see that he has a soul," Braly-Beutjer said. "It's not about Dracula going out and sucking people's blood. It's about how people struggle with choices and the effort to make bad choices right." ~ Quote: California Chronicle via Decatur Daily Alabama. For additional performance information, click here.

    DraculaforemailAlabama Ballet's original production of "Dracula" returns to the stage for the first time in over a decade. "Dracula, which debuted to a sold-out crowd in the late nineties (.....) is back once again in the old, gothic atmosphere of the Alabama Theatre, where organizers say it belongs. “When it comes to presenting a traditional period piece like Dracula, a historic venue like the Alabama Theatre adds to the performance. A spectator is already pulled into the story just by being at a venue with such age and tradition, and when we get on stage and all of the other elements come together, the drama of the organ music, the dark, somber costumes, the set, the props and the dry ice, it’s really a beautiful experience,” said Artistic Director Tracey Alvey." ~ Quote: The Birmingham Additional performance information can be found here.

    Andrea Bayne and Robb Beresford star in Twilight Tango. Photo Courtesy: Ballet Victoria


    Putting their own twist on this beloved horror story--complete with tango dancing-- is Ballet Victoria's "Twilight Tango-Requiem for a Vampire". “The vampire theme for this ballet came out of the history of tango and its dark, underground beginnings,” he added in a media release. “It also has a tremendous sensuality and a dark flavour, much like red wine, port, blood. Love and death in French, l’amour et la mort, share very close phonetic similarities and of course are linked through every story from the beginning of time.” Quote: Paul Distrooper, artistic director, via Click here for ticket information.

    And as mentioned in a previous post, we have Ichabod Crane and his terrifying run-in with a headless horseman in Portland Ballet's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". You can read all about here.

    Well that's about it for this Halloween's spooktacular events! What are you doing to celebrate this year? (By the way, if you happen to catch any of these shows leave a comment and tell us about it! We'd love to hear from you!)

  • Fun Contest: Russian Pointe's Nutcracker Experience

    Nut_Event_LgAttention young Russian Pointe and Nutcracker fans! This one's just for YOU!

    Win a memorable afternoon of arts and luxury!
    Girls and boys ages 6-15 are cordially invited to submit an original response to the question, “How does dance influence my life?”

    Ten winners will enjoy the following:

  • Catered luncheon at the elegant Russian Pointe Dance Boutique
  • Tour of Russian Pointe, Inc. led by founder and President Aleksandra Efimova
  • Limousine ride through Chicago to Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
  • Matinee performance of The Joffrey Ballet’s famous Nutcracker ballet on December 12, 2010
  • Doesn't that sound fabulous?! For complete contest rules and information, please click here.  Good luck!!!!

  • Portland Ballet's World Premiere: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Nell Shipman, who conceived, choreographed and is directing the Portland Ballet production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” makes mental notes during a rehearsal. Shipman recently was named associate artistic director of the company that she joined as a dancer in 2004. Photo by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


    You've never seen Ichabod Crane like this!

    Later this week, Nell Shipman, Portland Ballet's new associate artistic director, will unveil her originally choreographed--highly anticipated--production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". "Shipman conceived the visual aspects of the story, choreographed the ballet and designed the costumes the dancers will wear. She also designed the set and created the overall aura of the show. She wants the ballet to feel more like a ghost story than a fairy tale." ~ Quote: The Portland Press Herald

    You can read all about this spooktacular story here and here. (PS: The second article includes great rehearsal photos!)


  • Gelsey Kirkland Comes Full Circle

    Gelsey Kirkland, the former American Ballet Theater star, puts her pupils through their paces at her new school in TriBeCa. Photo Credit: Andrea Mohin/The New York Times


    Last month, Gelsey Kirkland - one of the world's most beloved ballerinas of all time - and her husband, Michael Chernov, opened The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet.

    The New York Times recently picked up the story and I must say, it's fabulous! Here's my favorite quote:

    "Ms. Kirkland’s classes usually run long: creating an expressive, sensitive instrument that is also healthy is painstaking. “Instead of running away from something,” Ms. Kirkland said, “you have to be able to hang in there and work through it, and that develops an ability to tolerate hardship. This element of suffering through is what gives a dancer that translucent quality onstage. It creates a sense of eternity.” ~ Quote: The New York Times

    Ah...spoken like a true artist! You can read the rest of the inspiring interview with Ms. Kirkland here.

  • First American Grad of Kirov Ballet Launches Career in Boston


    Talk about your "Hometown Girl Makes Good" stories! Check this out... "Of all the new talent flooding into Boston Ballet this season, corps de ballet dancer Keenan Kampa stands out. Willowy and lithe, with long muscular legs and stunningly arched feet, the 21-year-old Virginia native has the physical goods in spades. (...) In June, she became the only American student ever awarded a Russian diploma by the Kirov Ballet’s prestigious school."  Quote: Boston Globe newspaper

    Click this link to read the rest of this talented young lady's story. It's fabulous!


  • Philadelphia's First Prima Ballerina Speaks at Drexel

    Media Credit: Mike Arrison. Founding prima ballerina of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Barbara Sandonato lecturing at Drexel University.


    Philadelphia's first prima ballerina, Barbara Sandonato recently lectured at Drexel University about George Balanchine's impact on ballet. "Her stories of entering his school and his effect on her following career were filled with hilarious anecdotes and emotional memories that showed just how influential the man had been - not only in her own life, but also in many others. ~Quote: The

    "The man had a way about him," Sandonato said, as she recounted the years she spent as his student. "He emphasized the flow of body and speed. The body should never get 'stuck'," Sandonato said while explaining some of the huge technical changes Balanchine had brought to the ballet world."

    Click here to read more.

  • Arriving at Plan C: Struggling With Career Ending Injury

    Lauren Warnecke; Photo Credit: Eddie Eng for Synapse Arts


    "In the throngs of vigorous dance training, rarely do we stop to consider the idea of not dancing, or having a plan B if it doesn’t work out.  I always considered myself a careful dancer, if not a rational one.  I am meticulous about technique and proper form to prevent the chance of injury, but when the occasional sprained ankle or ingrown toenail came up my instinct was always to dance through it, or “walk it off”, as the saying goes.

    What I didn’t and couldn’t prepare for was that one injury that got the best of me.  The one I couldn’t walk off."

    This is a fantastic article written by a dancer who has "been there, done that" and lived to tell about it! If you're struggling with a potentially career-ending injury, read on.

  • Dancers Bring Joy to Hospital's Youngest Patients

    Cleo King-Turner (3) and her mother are all smiles as Royal New Zealand ballerina Adriana Harper hams it up on the other side of the isolation glass. Photo: ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post


    I thought this next tidbit was just too sweet for words. Not only that but it goes perfectly with our previous post!  "Dancers from the Royal New Zealand Ballet's season of The Nutcracker swapped their on-stage children's ward for a real one yesterday, bringing grins to the faces of Wellington Hospital's littlest patients." I definitely think more dancers should give back like this, don't you? Check out the brief, touching article here.

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