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San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
February and March 2001 Review

After months of waiting, Spring has finally arrived in Northern California. And though
we may not be done with the rain quite yet, flowers are blooming and trees are emerging from their wintry slumber. With transition all around us, now is the ideal time to look back at the amazing dance that transformed the stages of the Bay Area over the past two months.

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
February 2001 Preview
January 2011 Review
So much fantastic San Francisco/Bay Area dance to attend in the month of January - from Company C Contemporary Ballet’s winter program to the opening of the 2011 San Francisco Ballet season to the three weekends of “Gush” at Brava Theater. And thankfully, there wasn’t just a vast quantity of dance, but exceptional quality as well.

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
January 2011 review
December 2010 preview
"The Nutcracker" is an institution in the Bay Area. With so many fantastic local versions to choose from, any "Nutcracker" fan can attend Christmas Eve at The Stahlbaums several times during the holidays. But if "Nutcracker" isn't your cup of tea, there are other festive San Francisco dance offerings to take it, including ODC's long-running presentation of "The Velveteen Rabbit" and the annual ACT “A Christmas Carol”.

National Ballet of Canada

Russian Seasons Triple Bill
by Kate Snedeker
March 23, 2011 - Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, ON

Don Quixote
by Kate Snedeker
March 9, 2011 - Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, ON

by Kate Snedeker
December 10, 2010 7pm - Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, ON

Triple Bill
by Kate Snedeker
November 24, 2010 - Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, ON

by Kate Snedeker
November 11, 2010 - Four Seasons Centre, Toronto, ON

Nutcracker Memories

Inside Out: Cracking PNB's 'Nutcracker'
by Dean Speer
December 22, 2010 - McCaw Hall, Seatle, Washington

Joffrey Ballet - 'The Nutcracker'
by Heather Desaulniers
December 23, 2010 - Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

American Ballet Theater -'The Nutcracker'
by Jerry Hochman
December 23 and 26, 2010 - Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, NY

Mark Morris Dance Group - 'The Hard Nut'
by Cecly Placenti
December 10, 2010 - Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, NY





David Mead
MOVE IT, London’s four-day dance exhibition may now be in its sixth year, but for various reasons I had never managed to get there. If I’m being honest there was also a part of me that had studiously avoided it. I sort of figured that it probably didn’t have too much to offer someone more interested in ballet and contemporary dance rather than what one might call the more commercial entertainment side of the artform.

Ninth Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize
Kate Snedeker
In a few weeks, it will have been twenty-five years since the untimely death of the brilliant Danish dancer Erik Bruhn. However, his memory shines on brightly in the performances of the young dancers who have had the honor of competing for the prize established through a bequest in his will and bearing his name.

39th Annual Dance on Camera Festival
by JUliet Neidish
The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association presented its 39th Annual Dance on Camera Festival (January 28- February 1, 2011) held at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City. Kudos once again, for a diverse and engaging selection of new and old films on and about dance.

A Month In Taipei
by David Mead
When it comes to Taiwanese dance, it’s generally Lin Hwai-min’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre that comes to mind. Quite rightly widely acclaimed, they are very much the international face of dance from the island. But Cloud Gate is but one aspect of a very diverse dance scene, especially in Taipei, a city that always seems to be buzzing with activity. The last few weeks of 2010 were no exception.


Rosas - Early Work
by David Mead
April 10-16, 2011-- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK
The Sadler’s Wells week proved to be a fascinating journey. Each of the works presented (“Fase”, “Rosas danst Rosas”, “Elena’s Aria” and “Bartok/Mikrokosmos”) features De Keersmaeker’s pared down and repetitive vocabulary that minimises the movement elements.

Pennsylvania Ballet - Building on Balanchine Triple Bill
by Lori Ibay
April 14, 2011-- Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania Ballet opened “Building on Balanchine,” a program including two Balanchine works and a world premiere by Benjamin Millepied, on Thursday evening before a packed house at the Merriam Theater.

Richard Alston Dance Company - Triple Bill
by David Mead
April 5, 2011-- The Curve, Leicester, UK
For Richard Alston music and dance are inseparable bedfellows though. They do not get much closer than in “Out of the Strong”. Previously danced at The Place under the working title “Even More,” Alston’s choreography conveys the moods inherent in Prokofiev’s “Piano Sonata no.6,” itself very much a reflection of the composer’s personal and professional circumstances.

Russell Maliphant Company - 'AfterLight'
by David Mead
April 4, 2011-- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK
Russell Maliphant’s “AfterLight” began life as a 15-minute solo created in 2010 for the “Inspired by Diaghilev” programme at Sadler’s Wells that commemorated the centenary of the founding of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The piece has since been extended to a near hour-long work, the new sections featuring two additional dancers and new music by Andy Cowton, best known for his documentary and film soundtracks.

Pacific Northwest Ballet School - 'Pinocchio'
by Dean Speer
March 26, 2011-- Seattle, Washington
Pacific Northwest Ballet and its School are lucky to have Bruce Wells on its artistic staff – as a valued and experienced faculty member and as a witty choreographer. His concept and
choreography for PNB’s spring story ballets that are geared for the whole family, such as this one – “Pinocchio” – are well-thought through and designed, tidily choreographed, and very nicely executed by the students.

Ballet Central - Mixed Bill
by David Mead
March 26, 2011-- The Theatre, Chipping Norton, UK
It would be fair to say that Chipping Norton, a small market town in the North Oxfordshire Cotswolds, is not exactly a regular stop on dance company tours, except that is for Ballet Central, the touring company of the Central School of Ballet, which has a long association with Northern Ballet.

Dancers Responding to AIDS - Dance From the Heart
by Cecly Placenti
March 21, 2011-- Cedar Lake Theatre, New York City, NY
In the spirit of compassion, united humanity, and all that it means to be human, the worlds of ballet, tap, and contemporary dance came together in a spectacular night of artistry and passion to raise money and awareness for an important organization.

Scottish Dance Theatre - Letters From America
by David Mead
March 21, 2011-- Robin Howard Dance Theatre, The Place, London, UK
The opening programme of Scottish Dance Theatre’s 25th year brings together choreographers from the east and west coasts of the United States, both dance makers showing their work in Britain for the first time. Although coming from very different starting points, and featuring quite different movement styles...

Phoenix Dance Theatre - Reflected
by David Mead
March 18, 2011-- Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, UK
Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre is on something of a roll. Not only is the company presently celebrating its 30th birthday, but last autumn it moved into plush new purpose-built premises shared
with Northern Ballet. If the company’s latest vibrant programme, “Reflected”, is anything to go by, that move is already reaping rewards.

Henri Oguike Dance Company - Mixed Bill
by David Mead
March 8, 2011-- Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London, UK
After a while making work for other companies, including the successful “Tread Softly” for Rambert, Henri Oguike is back with a new group of dancers and three new works in a programme that while interesting and imaginative, was ultimately less than wholly satisfying.

Pennsylvania Ballet - 'Swan Lake'
by Jerry Hochman
March 5, 2011-- Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
Every once in a while, attending a ballet performance becomes more than just attending a ballet performance: It becomes an opportunity to recognize, and to celebrate, a landmark work of art. Christopher Wheeldon’s “Swan Lake” is cause for celebration.

Pennsylvania Ballet - 'Swan Lake'
by Lori Ibay
March 3, 2011-- Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania Ballet first presented the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s re-envisioned “Swan Lake” on June 4, 2004, neatly timed with the Dance Critics Association’s 30th annual conference taking place in Philadelphia the same weekend, and allowing dozens of critics (myself included) to witness the historic event. The timing of this season’s opening night was probably not coincidental either.

Bern:Ballett - 'Carte Blanche'
by Renee E. D'Aoust
March 3, 2011 7:30pm -- Stadttheater Bern, VIDMARhallen, Bern, Switzerland
An international looking company, befitting the capital city of Switzerland, Bern:Ballett has a pleasing diversity of shapes and colors. There is also cohesive unity that comes, I suspect, from the Company’s overall direction by Cathy Marston.

Beatrice Fleischlin & Anja Meser
by Renee E. D'Aoust
March 3, 2011-- TOJO Theatre, Reitschule Bern, Bern, Switzerland
What begins as a gender exploration by two women about men and masculine gestures, gradually transforms into a cabaret spoof complete with a chorus line of pug balloons and tribute to Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. If I’m not mistaken, the same choreography from the film is used in this “Dirty Dancing” duet. It is this skill—mimicking recognizable movement to the tune of pop culture allusions—that propels an evening with Beatrice Fleischlin and Anja Meser into raucous hilarity.

Birmingham Royal Ballet - 'La Fille mal gardée'
by David Mead
March 2, 2011-- Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham, UK
The key to “Fille” is its simplicity and charm. And can there be a more charming Lise than Nao Sakuma? She is an excellent technician and made Ashton’s tricky footwork look easy. In fact, that part of her dancing is so good that it is often taken for granted. She can present a serious exterior sometimes, but it is roles such as this that bring out the best in her and reveal the bright and cheeky personality that lies within.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo - Mixed Bill
by Kate Snedeker
February 11, 2011-- Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto, ON
The Trocks have hit Toronto … and what a collision! Though their Toronto tour dates were unfortunately scheduled simultaneously with those of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Trocks managed to draw in a appreciative and enthusiastic crowd to the cozy Winter Garden Theatre.

Mariinsky Ballet - 'Giselle'
by Carmel Morgan
February 8, 2011-- John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC
As often has been the case, the opening night of the Mariinsky Ballet’s Washington, DC visit featured the ever-popular Diana Vishneva in the lead role of “Giselle.” No surprise there. The surprise was that Vishneva seemed uncharacteristically vulnerable in Act I.

San Francisco Ballet - Program 2
by Catherine Pawlick
February 6, 2011-- War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA
A mixture of British and Russian influences spanning over 60 years of ballet history colored what was the final performance San Francisco Ballet’s Program 2, a mixed bill with works by Frederick Ashton, Yuri Possokhov and George Balanchine.

Mark Morris Dance Group - Mixed Bill
by Carmel Morgan
February 4, 2011-- George Mason Center for the Arts, Fairfax, VA
George Mason University hosted the Mark Morris Dance Group (“MMDG”) again in the middle of winter, as it does practically every year. This year, thankfully, the weather didn’t interfere!

American Ballet Theatre - London Tour
by Ana Abad-Carles
February 1-2, 2011-- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK
For their new visit to London, ABT brought two mixed bills. Both had a good mix of old and new works and the range in choreographic material should have really put the company in the best possible light. Heritage repertoire like "Theme and Variations" or "Lilac Garden" were presented alongside recent works by Benjamin Millepied and Alexei Ratmansky...

Seattle Dance Project Number 4
by Dean Speer
January 29, 2011-- Erickson Hall, Seattle, WA
Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch’s Seattle Dance Project gave us both real dance infused with a notion and nod to “choreography” this past Saturday night at a venue that’s just right for an intimate dance experience that’s best shown off in a proscenium shape with plenty of room to move ...

New York City Ballet - Mixed Bills
by Jerry Hochman
January 21 and 28, 2011-- David H. Koch Theater, New York City, NY
Concerto DSCH, which I was able to see at both the January 28 and 21 performances, is a masterfully crafted example of Alexei Ratmansky’s ability to create works that breathe.

TAKE Dance- 'Salaryman', 'Linked', 'Footsteps in the Snow'
by Carmel Morgan
January 23, 2011-- Dance Place, Washington, DC
Dance Place, which doubles as a dance studio and a small performance venue, features mainly local dance, but it also brings a few gems from outside the DC area to light up the stage each year. This year, New York based TAKE Dance...

Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group
by Victoria Dombroski
January 18, 2011-- Merce Cunningham Studio, New York City, NY
“History Matters” was a captivating dive into Merce Cunningham’s piece entitled “Fabrications”, first danced by the entire company and Merce himself in 1987. The insight on the creation of this piece is presented by a wonderful panel

American Ballet Theater - Kennedy Center Quadruple Bill
by Carmel Morgan
January 18, 2011-- John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC
The Kennedy Center is marking the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration by celebrating its namesake with a series of special performances. On opening night of the American Ballet Theatre’s annual visit to DC, the company presented a mixed program of purported favorites of Mrs. Kennedy.

Shadows, Raincoats, & Monsters - Whim W'Him
by Dean Speer
January 14, 2011-- Intiman Theatre, Seattle, Washington
The turnout of support for Whim W’Him’s opening night read like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the Seattle ballet and dance scene. It was a heady night and exciting to see many current and former dancers...

Taipei National University of the Arts - Winter Concert
by David Mead
December 17 and 19, 2010-- Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei
It was something of a coup when Taipei National University of the Arts, one of Asia’s leading vocational dance schools, persuaded Anna Markard agreed to stage Kurt Jooss’ 1932 classic “The Green Table” on the students. Jooss’ expressionist style is not the easiest to master, but both casts did themselves proud.

Alwin Nikolais

The Joffrey Ballet - 'Pas des Déesses,' 'Monotones,' 'Confetti,' 'Light Rain'
by Dean Speer
July 22, 2004 -- Reno Hilton Theatre, Reno, Nevada
Presenting excerpts from its current touring repertory, including the complete Alwin Nikolais masterwork from 1951, "Tensile Involvement," plus lively and brief commentary on partnering, which showed the Romantic as opposed to more “bravura” styles, types of tutus, and pointe work. Questions from young audience members concluded the bill. Kinetically exciting, Tensile’s principal male, Michael Smith, made a very impressive debut in this part. Great attack and passion.

Nikolais Dance Theatre - Crucible,' 'Lythic', ' Blank on Blank,' ' 'Liturgies 'Finale,' 'Noumenon Mobilus,' ' Mechanical Organ,' ' Tensile Involvement'
by Toba Singer
October 24, 2003 -- Memorial Auditorium, Stanford, California
There is a medium-sized list of choreographic works that you should see if you want to make friends with modern dance. Of those that played a pioneer role in the establishment of the art form that continues to inspire audiences today are the works of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Alwin Nikolais in collaboration with Murray Louis. The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s Nikolais Dance Theatre brings the genuine Nikolais-Louis article to its audiences. There is nothing of the no-commitment, audience-impervious, self-conscious, navel-gazing stuff that shrieks “experimental,” and yet puts you right to beddy-bye. Every moment of the Murray Louis-Alwin Nikolais choreography is experimental and committed. It draws the audience into a support system for a completely mesmerizing integration of ingenious lighting, costuming and manipulation of dancer bodies into currents of motion that you didn’t know could really happen quite like that.
read more..

editors' choice

· Royal Danish Ballet's "A Folk Tale'
March 11, 2011- April 8, 2011, Operaen, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Royal Danish Ballet premiere's Nikolaj Hübbe's new version of the Bournonville classic "A Folk Tale".  With new sets and costumes by Mia Stensgaard, it's sure to be a new classic.

· National Ballet of Canada - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
June 4- 23, Toronto, Ontario
The National Ballet of Canada presents the North American premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's highly praised take on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

For ballet-dance magazine

Executive Editor
Kate SnedekerExecutive Editor 2003-2005
Mary Ellen Hunt Focus and Photo Editors
Elizabeth McPherson, Dean Speer

Associate Editors & Compositors
Francis Timlin, Holly Messitt, Lori Ibay, Lisa Claybaugh, Azlan Ezaddin, Jerry Hochman


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