Category Archives: Interviews

Twyla Tharp: So Much To Do, So Little Time


Listen to this wonderful but brief podcast, because there is nothing like hearing her speak- and it is only 10 minutes long. Several profound statements can be gleaned from this, as well as her basic working philosophy, her theories, and you begin to see why she is such a monumental and important voice in our modern choreographic repertoire.

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Ardani Artists 25th Anniversary Galas – Interview with Natalia Osipova


Ardani 25 – Interview with Natalia Osipova – YouTube.

Doug Fullington – on Stepanov Notation | NetworkDance


Doug Fullington – on Stepanov Notation | NetworkDance.

Maina Gielgud on Giselle


via Maina Gielgud on Giselle – YouTube.

Save the Date! March 27th @8pm: Edward Henkel’s MovementTalks: Real Men Dance—92nd Street Y – New York, NY


Edward Henkel's Movement Talks: Real Men Dance-We've Come A Long Way Baby (Randy James,  10 Hairy Legs, Adam Weinert, and Norton Owen

OVERVIEW

The story of men who dance is complicated, with ups and downs, stereotypes and triumphs.

This program presents several people with different perspectives and insights about the legacy and meaning of male dancers. Randy James’ talks about his all-male company, 10 Hairy Legs, which celebrates the technical and emotional range of male dancers. The group will also perform two pieces. Andy Weinert (also performing at 92Y on April 24 and 25) has been reconstructing dances by Ted Shawn, the first important male American dancer of the 20th century, and by other modern dance pioneers, while also creating new works that investigate that legacy. For perspective and a sense of the changing history of male dancers, Norton Owen joins us. He’s the archivist for Jacob’s Pillow, which was founded by Shawn.

via Edward Henkel’s MovementTalks: Real Men Dance—We’ve Come a Long Way Baby – 92nd Street Y – New York, NY.

Inspiring Talent – English National Ballet Bringing Ballet to the Masses-Exceptional Ballet!


Inspiring Talent – YouTube.

Dwight Rhoden: Великий Гэтсби – The Great Gatsby (Kirov)- Interviews


via Великий Гэтсби – YouTube.

Garage Magazine: Sergei Polunin (2013)


 

Garage Magazine: Sergei Polunin (2013) – YouTube.

Teen Ballet Dancer Harrison Lee Wins Prestigious Prix de Lausanne Prize


REPOSTED FROM THE AGE/JOEL MEARES
Harrison Lee, 15, back home in Castle Hill after winning the famed Prix de Lausanne. Photo: Steven Siewert

At first, Harrison Lee thought he was in trouble. His mother had called him into her bedroom early in the morning, and he was “a little scared” – this was not the regular morning routine at their Castle Hill home. Then she gave him the news: “She sat me down on her bed and said, ‘Congratulations, you’re going to Switzerland!'”

It was the news the 15-year-old had been waiting more than a month to hear, ever since he sent a DVD of himself performing a variation from the ballet Flames of Paris to the judges of the Prix de Lausanne, among the world’s most prestigious competitions for young dancers. From 300 entrants, he was one of 70 invited to Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva, for a week of classes and performances.

“When she told me I got in, happiness just took over my body,” says Lee. But he did not leap down the road, Billy Elliot-style, painting his delight for the world in pirouettes and arabesques. “I’m not one to scream and shout and go crazy,” he says calmly. “It just took over inside.”

Harrison Lee: The dancer won the Youth America Grand Prix in 2014. Photo: Steven Siewert

Last week, after eight days of classes and major performances, Lee took top prize in Lausanne. He again showed trademark control when called forward from a line of finalists – some three and four years his senior. “I was shocked, and I was getting very emotional so I had to hold that in until it was over.” He adds with a laugh: “I didn’t want to watch this back five years later and see myself crying.”

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The Lausanne win comes just shy of a year since Lee took out the equally prestigious Youth America Grand Prix: the one-two punch puts him among the most promising, and prized, young dancers in the world. Watching the YouTube video of Lee performing his classical variation at the Lausanne finals – a video that has clocked 37,000 views in less than a week – it is easy to see why. His control and strength astounds: he springs to impossible heights from the raked stage; his toes arch improbably towards his heel. One commenter writes under the video: “Good lord those feet are so good they should pay taxes!”

Brisbane’s Lucid Dance Theatre founder Louise Deleur was a choreographer at the Prix, and watched Harrison on stage and in classes, where the dancers are also scored. “He was blessed with these long legs and beautiful feet,” says Deleur, “but what also stood out about Harrison was his humility and graciousness in class. He’s a beautiful soul to work with.”

Lee spent a week in London before the competition taking classes at the Royal Ballet School. He did some sightseeing – Harry Potter World, even though he’s not a great fan of the boy wizard – but mostly it was business. It’s the same at home: he takes two hours of ballet every day at the McDonald College, and three more hours every day after school. His diet “is not as strict as the girls” but he watches what he eats. He points out, humbly, that teachers Josephine Jason, Jane Kesby and Allan Cross have sacrificed as much as he has for his success.

The goal, Lee says, is to become the principal dancer at a company so that “I can dance as many lead roles as I can”. He’s not being unrealistic. Following his successful 12 months, Lee now has his choice of schools: by September he will be living in New York and attending the American Ballet Theatre, or in London at the Royal Ballet, or anywhere else he chooses to attend in Europe. Recruiters are clamouring.

“It’s weird to think at 16 I will be on the other side of the world, living by myself and cooking and cleaning and washing up,” says Lee. “It’s scary, but it’s what I’ve been training for.”

For mother Cindy, a travel agent, the prospect of Harrison moving is bittersweet. The family delights in his success – his brother skipped schoolies to go to Switzerland and watch Harrison compete; Cindy gets giddy recalling how Li Cunxin (of Mao’s Last Dancer fame) told her he was looking forward to seeing her son dance.

“But it’s sad too to think of your child travelling so far away at such a young age,” she admits. “A lot of people probably don’t understand it – people who don’t have a child with a passion or dream and the talent don’t understand how you could see your child do that. We’re happy to see him reach his goals.”

And wherever Lee lands, mum will be visiting. A lot. “It will be a path well worn, I imagine,” she says.

via Ballet dancer Harrison Lee wins prestigious Prix de Lausanne prize.

beat that! Millepied’s plans for the Paris Opéra


REPOSTED FROM DANCING TIMES

Millepied’s plans for the Paris Opéra : Wednesday, 04 February 2015

Benjamin Millepied has announced plans for the 2015–16 season of the Paris Opéra Ballet, the first he has programmed as director. It’s an ambitious season, with many new works, including one by new associate choreographer William Forsythe and a new production of The Nutcracker, to be choreographed by Arthur Pita, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Liam Scarlett, Edouard Lock and Millepied.

Millepied announced his season alongside Stéphane Lissner, who has been general director of the Opéra since July 2014: the two leaders promise a new level of cooperation between the ballet and opera companies. The new Nutcracker will be performed as a double bill with Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta – as these works were performed together at their premiere in 1892. The five choreographers will create separate scenes for the new production.

Millepied has also commissioned new works from Justin Peck, Wayne McGregor, Jérôme Bel and himself. Peck’s work will be danced to Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, with designs by artist John Baldassari. McGregor’s piece will be set to Pierre Boulez’s Anthème II as part of an evening celebrating the composer.

Millepied, who danced at New York City Ballet (NYCB) from 1995 to 2011, brings an American slant with some of his programming. The season will include Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Duo Concertant and Brahms-Schönberg Quartet, Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer, Goldberg Variations and Other Dances. Justin Peck, the resident choreographer at NYCB, is represented by In Creases as well as his new commission; Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, created for NYCB, also joins the repertoire. The season will also include company premieres by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Alexei Ratmansky and Maguy Marin.

There are just three evening-length revivals: Giselle and Rudolf Nureyev’s productions of Romeo and Juliet and La Bayadère. There will also be works staged in the foyer of the Opéra Garnier. Choreographer Boris Charmatz will stage a new event to open the season, with 20 dancers performing solos from the 20th-century repertoire in the public spaces of the Opéra Garnier.

Millepied and Lissner also announced a new digital platform, “3e Scene”, or “Third Stage”. Hosted on the Paris Opéra website, this will present new work by composers, choreographers, directors, visual artists, filmmakers and writers. There will also be a new Paris Opéra Academy, which will offer residencies to young choreographers from inside and outside the company. The choreographers will be mentored by William Forsythe. Millepied told the New York Times that the academy aimed to teach dance-making as a craft. “We won’t necessarily discover more geniuses, but there will be more competence,” he said. “Composers learn the principles of harmony, counterpoint, technique, and choreography is no different.”

Millepied has also announced touring plans, and works scheduled for later seasons. The company will visit one French city each season, touring to Brest in the 2015–16 season. Major tours to the US are being planned. Guest companies at the Paris Opéra will include Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas, Batsheva Dance Company and English National Ballet, who dance Le Corsaire at the Opéra Garnier in June 2016.

Looking ahead, Millepied has commissioned an evening-length work from Alexei Ratmansky for the 2016–17 season. He also expects to schedule some work by the iconic modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham. At the press conference, critic Laura Capelle reports, Millepied explained that he had almost left NYCB to dance for the Cunningham company.

Performances for the Paris Opéra Ballet’s 2015-16 season are now on sale.

Picture: Benjamin Millepied at the Opéra Garnier. Photograph: Julien Benhamou

via Millepied’s plans for the Paris Opéra.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to direct Royal Ballet Flanders


REPOSTED FROM DANCING TIMES Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to direct Royal Ballet Flanders: Wednesday, 04 February 2015

Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is to be the new artistic director of Royal Ballet Flanders, it was announced on February 4. Cherkaoui will take up his post on September 1, 2015, with Tamas Moricz as his associate artistic director.

Cherakaoui joins the company after a series of upheavals. In 2012, director Kathryn Bennetts left Royal Ballet Flanders after clashing with Flemish culture minister Joke Scahuviliege; her successor, Assis Carreiro, left abruptly in 2014.

As a contemporary choreographer taking over a classical ballet company, Cherkaoui has said that “The course I will be seeking to pursue with the company is one of reconciliation”. Tamas Moricz said: “We want to take Royal Ballet Flanders to a new and inspiring place in the world of dance. We both share the aim of allowing dancers to maintain their firm classical background by continuing classical training and repertoire, while also bringing the company into a contemporary space. Classical ballet and contemporary dance can exist alongside each other, and that is the situation at present. Our aim is to draw both these worlds into a creative hub within this company.”

Cherkaoui praised the company’s achievements: “As a contemporary choreographer who was born in Antwerp, I have been following the development of Royal Ballet Flanders for 20 years now. The talent, technical virtuosity, sensitivity and musicality of its dancers have always inspired me, so it was an honour for me to share a piece from my own repertoire with the company last season. Faun [as part of Diaghilev Unbound, 2013–2014 season] was a first step towards an exchange of repertoire with the ballet company.

“For the past ten years, as well as developing my contemporary choreography work I have also worked with foreign ballet companies every year… Through all these experiences I have gained the confidence and energy that I will need in the role of artistic director at Royal Ballet Flanders…

“For a number of years there has been a constantly growing exchange between the different dance disciplines, as classical ballet and contemporary dance increasingly complement each other. Although there is always a key idea running through the content of my work, what I am able to achieve with ballet dancers in terms of form and technique is very different from my work with contemporary dancers. I am therefore looking forward to seeing these differences evolve further in future.

“At Eastman I open up specific themes that allow contemporary dancers to translate them into earthbound gestures with strong contrasts and an animalistic flexibility, but in ballet I can develop feather-light pointe movements to draw outlines in space in a more calligraphic way. In time, I also want to be able to reverse those ‘differences’; I find it exciting to let the two worlds flow into one another without losing any of their fascinating differences or nuances.

“I am not making this move to Royal Ballet Flanders alone. I am bringing with me Tamas Moricz as my right hand man: a highly talented dancer and dance teacher who has himself danced for many years in performances created by William Forsythe. Together with him I will be working out the future direction for the ballet. That direction will respect its history while also cherishing the ambition to open up new paths. Eastman will still be my contemporary company. Organic exchanges with Royal Ballet Flanders will of course develop, but I am definitely not going to force that.”

Picture: Sidi Larbi Cherkaou. Photograph: Koen Broos

via Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to direct Royal Ballet Flanders.

Darcey Bussell dazzles in elegant Audrey Hepburn documentary – and gets Twitter in a spin – Mirror Online


Darcey Bussell dazzles in elegant Audrey Hepburn documentary – and gets Twitter in a spin

Dec 30, 2014 11:47

By Kara O’Neill

The Strictly Come Dancing judge proved to be a hit as she delved into the glamorous actress’s life and the secrets of her past.

Darcey Bussell is already a firm favourite on primetime telly, and her latest venture in the land of showbiz has made her even more popular.

The former ballerina, who is also known as a Strictly Come Dancing judge, was a hit on Monday night with her documentary Looking For Audrey.

Delving into the past of glamorous film star Audrey Hepburn, Darcey stepped back in time to uncover the truth about the actress behind the glitz of a Hollywood smokescreen.

Paying visits to locations all around the globe that played an important part of Audrey’s life and career, Darcey discovered how she started as a dancer, risked her life in the war, and was often a lonely individual looking for true love.

But while Audrey’s past swept enthralled viewers along quite nicely, it seems that Darcey’s softly softly presenting style and her clear passion for her idol really shone through.

Twitter users were suitably impressed with her performance with one writing: “Brilliant, Darcey. Do more. You both sparkled!”

This could be just the beginning for Darcey, who also made her name as a dancer.

The 45-year-old trained at the Royal Ballet School before going on to have a long career in The Royal Ballet.

She is most widely know now as a judge on BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing, when she joined the panel in 2012.

Speaking to the Telegraph about her idol, Darcey admitted she had been obsessed with Audrey and her life from a very young age.

“She has inspired and intrigued me since I was about 10.

“She was always very real, one of those natural stars who never tried to be anything other than who she was. It’s hard to stay true to yourself and it’s rare, especially today.”

*Catch up on Darcey Bussell’s Looking For Audrey on BBC iPlayer

​Misty Copeland: Still proving herself – CBS News


http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/misty-copeland-the-cover-girl-for-a-new-kind-of-ballet

​Misty Copeland: Still proving herself – CBS News.

Celebrate ‘The Nutcracker’ Tradition in Indianapolis!


Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2014 11:23 am

By VICTORIA DAVIS/Reposted by Mysylph

Now that stomachs are full, Black Friday shopping has ended and thousands of pounds of turkey have been sold, it’s the time of year to truly appreciate our loved ones through rich traditions. Maybe your family cherishes the moment the star is placed on the peak of the family Christmas tree, or enjoys visiting holiday shows such as “The Nutcracker.”

The Indiana Ballet Conservatory (IBC) will be putting on six shows of “The Nutcracker” at two different venues, the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre and at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s “The Toby.”

Miko Fogarty, who plays Princess Masha (Clara) and Sugar Plum said she began rehearsing for this season’s Nutcracker about a month ago.

“Each ballet is different in terms of the storyline and characters,” said Fogarty. “Dancers feed off the energy in the audience. When you ‘feel’ the audience reacting to your performance, you can’t help but rise to the occasion. That type of collaboration is exhilarating.”

Since Fogarty has been playing these two roles for the past five years, she finds many similarities in her characters and herself as a ballerina.

“Masha is a young girl who opens her heart to an ugly nutcracker doll. Her kindness and love help to transform the doll – and herself – into the prince and princess,” said Fogarty. “They go on a spectacular journey and awake the next morning to wonder if it was magic or a dream. Really, the life of a dancer is similar.”

She continues, “For those of us who are pursuing ballet as a career, we recognize this gift is not something to keep to ourselves, but to share with an audience. When we give our all on the stage and embody the character, the audience gets taken on a journey of their own. It is our goal to ensure that each person leaves the theater feeling something special and is transformed in some way.”

While there are a variety of “The Nutcracker” productions happening around the city, Alyona Yakovleva-Randall, founding artistic director, master teacher, and coach at IBC mentioned that this production’s version is closest to the original staging from nearly 100 years ago where it debuted in Russia.

“Even the names of our characters are true to the original storyline, Masha (Marie) instead of Clara. Even the backdrops, which were commissioned to be painted, match the original sets,” noted Yakovleva-Randall.

IBC’s Camel studios are bustling with over 170 dancers ranging from 3 years old to adults, countless production staff and volunteers during this time of year. Practice for “The Nutcracker” and other productions can begin early in the morning until 9 p.m. daily. In addition to Fogarty, acclaimed principal dancer with the Boston Ballet, Lasha Khozashvili is also one of the main characters in the show. Yakovleva-Randall said it’s a pleasure working with all of the dancers.

“It’s always satisfying to see our older dancers work together as a team to encourage and support each other,” she commented. “One simply cannot put on a production of this magnitude without harmony between the dancers. What always brings the biggest smile to my heart is when the older students reach out to the younger ones and help them learn their parts. Seeing the pre-professional students passing down what they’ve learned to the next generation of young dancers is truly satisfying. My entire life’s work is passing down the legacy of ballet down to the next generation.”

Indiana Ballet Conservatory’s ‘The Nutcracker’

The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre

Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

(Limited seats available for Nutcracker Tea, noon – 1:30 p.m., and VIP, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

Indianapolis Museum of Art’s “The Toby”

Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.

Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at IndianaBalletConservatory.org.

Facts about ‘The Nutcracker’

Began as the published work “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” in 1816

First production performed Dec. 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia

Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky composed the music for the ballet “The Nutcracker”

The first U.S. performance was in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet

The New York City Ballet first performed George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker”® in 1954, which then became a popular holiday tradition

via Celebrate ‘The Nutcracker’ Tradition – Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper: Around Town.

Pointe magazine – Ballet at its Best.


The Workout: Rebecca Krohn

Balanchine powerhouse

By Jenny Dalzell (reprinted by Mysylph)

Published in the February/March 2014 issue.

Krohn with Justin Peck in Balanchine’s “Four Temperaments.” Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Glancing at the long and sinewy Rebecca Krohn, one might not guess that the New York City Ballet principal eats about every two hours. But to keep up with the rigorous rehearsal schedule that comes with her job, Krohn has figured out a mix of strengthening, refueling and daily maintenance that keeps her on top.

On the menu: Before or after class, Krohn has a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, fruit, coconut water, spinach and sometimes half an avocado. “I also eat simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout the day. They’re not filling, but they’re satisfying. And I always keep a chocolate and peanut butter Luna protein bar in my bag in case hunger strikes.”

Cross-training: Private Pilates classes three times a week in the off-season, and on Mondays in-season. “I have a little bit of scoliosis and I always feel more even after the sessions.”

Rolling out: “I have a ball for each part of my body: small rubber balls from vending machines at grocery stores that I use in between my metatarsals; a slightly larger ball for my plantar fascia; and the next size up I use on my calves and back. The biggest, called KONG Balls, are for the front of my hips. I found them at the pet store—they’re for dogs.”

Recharge: A 15- to 20-minute cat nap between rehearsals and performances. “I lay down and put my legs up against a wall to decompress my back. Plus, your feet get so swollen from standing all day, sometimes you can barely get your pointe shoes back on.”

Stamina secrets: A lean-protein–filled meal, like a chicken breast, two hours before curtain. “It’s enough to keep me going through the evening without getting hungry. I make sure I have water on hand, and adrenaline helps. Once you’re in the zone, you just do it.”

via Pointe magazine – Ballet at its Best..