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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:36 pm 
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Location: Canada
The full press release on Jelinek:


November 20, 2009... Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada,
is pleased to announce that Jiří Jelinek will join the National Ballet as a
Principal Dancer in January 2010. Mr. Jelinek has been a Principal Dancer at
Stuttgart Ballet and danced extensively throughout Europe.

"Jiří's strong dramatic stage presence will be a great addition to the company. I am
delighted that he will be joining the company in the new year," says Ms. Kain.

Mr. Jelinek says, "I have achieved a lot in Prague and Stuttgart and I consider
myself very lucky to be given the chance for a third career as Principal with The
National Ballet of Canada."

Jiří Jelinek was born in Prague and trained at the Conservatory of Dance and the
Ballet School of The Hamburg Ballet. He joined the National Theatre in Prague in
1997 as Soloist and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1998. Mr. Jelinek joined
Stuttgart Ballet's Corp de Ballet in 2001, was promoted to Demi Soloist in 2002,
Soloist in 2003 and Principal Dancer in 2004. With Stuttgart Ballet, Mr. Jelinek has
danced numerous major roles in full-length ballets by significant choreographers
such as the title role in Onegin, Romeo and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Petruchio in
The Taming of the Shrew, Gremin in Onegin, Siegfried and Rothbart in Swan Lake (all:
John Cranko), Armand Duval in The Lady of the Camellias, Stanley Kowalski in A
Streetcar Named Desire (both: John Neumeier) and Hilarion in Giselle (Production:
Reid Anderson, Valentina Savina). His wide ranging repertoire includes major roles
such as Apollo in the ballet of the same name by George Balanchine, Mortimer and
Lightborn in Edward II (David Bintley) and the role of Dr. Franz Schöning in the
full-length ballet Lulu. A Monstre Tragedy by Christian Spuck, Choreographer in
Residence of Stuttgart Ballet. Mr. Jelinek has danced a great number of solo roles
in neoclassical and modern ballets by such renowned choreographers as Maurice
Béjart, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Glen Tetley, Uwe Scholz, Itzik Galili,
Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen and Jorma Elo. Many roles have been created for him by
contemporary choreographers, among them Christian Spuck, Kevin O'Day, Nicolo Fonte,
Wayne McGregor, Matjash Mrozewski and Stefan Stewart. In 2006, the audience and
press enthusiastically acclaimed his interpretation of the title role in Onegin
(John Cranko) at the State Opera in Vienna. Most recently the Hamburg Ballet invited
him to dance Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (John Neumeier) in 2009.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
One note: As much as I admire Bridgett Zehr's excellent dancing, her thinness detracts from the performance for me. I know ballerinas generally don't have an ounce of fat on them, but she looks alarmingly skinny. I find it distracting and I honestly worry about her health. I know for some people it's just natural, and I hope that's the case with Bridgett, but I think she'd look so much better on stage if she gained a bit of weight.


I too was going to comment on the 100% fat free Bridgett Zehr but was afraid because this is still a very, very sensitive subject in the ballet world. Hence, I do not want to go too far in regards to the skinny on Zehr other than to mention she is or was a smoker and is very muscular. All ballerinas are slim; the danger is when you are far too slim. After seeing Zehr in the mixed program, I wanted to buy her a hamburger. This may be her performance weight.

Quote:
Once again, though the company’s selection of repertoire can hardly be faulted, the programs and over-casting of the company’s dancers is worrisome. Whether due to financial realities or the perceived likes of the Toronto audience, NBoC seems reluctant to stray from the literal three 30-40 minute principal & corps ballets conception of the triple bill.


In regards to over casting, this has been going on for the past decade. Even the corps will regularly dance multiple roles in a full-length classical ballet. In regards to the over-casting in the mixed fare, we don’t know for sure if this is a strain for the dancers involved. I suspect it may have more to do with budget and time constraints. It’s easier to run with one principal like Zehr because you know what you’re going to get on stage.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Anyone notice that Joseph Welbes is no longer listed on the online NBOC roster? (unless I missed it). He did perform at the matinee yesterday - did quite well. During curtain calls he was thrust to the front, and the company cheered. It looked likea special recognition of some sort - perhaps a farewell??

:(


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:58 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
That is the traditional way of sending off a dancer who is not important enough to merit a farewell evening and I doubt the National will post an announcement and it is unlikely you will read anything in the papers. I must assume he is leaving for another company or another vocation. It is odd to leave at the start of the season.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Location: Canada
I think they may have kept a few men on short term contracts to help cover their bases in the big full-length and rep pieces. Avinoam Silverman (sp?) was credited as being an additional dancer in "Sleeping Beauty". Union contracts often prohibit short-term contracts except in a few specific instances, but they're not unheard of in some places. Scottish Ballet has hired often dancers for specific productions in which larger corps are required.

It may also be that Welbes is moving on to a new job or educational opportunity that doesn't begin until 2010, so it worked for the company & the dancer to employ him up until Nutcracker. Perhaps he's starting at school after the Christmas holidays...

Wherever he is heading, I wish Welbes all the best...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:34 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I also wish Joe well. He was one of the kids that crossed my path when I worked for a famous ballet school. He was always a nice kid and a talented dancer.


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 Post subject: National Ballet of Canada Sleeping Beauty
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Location: Where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
Said to be set to the most faithful of orchestrations of the Tchaikovsky score, National Ballet of Canada’s “Sleeping Beauty” follows the familiar libretto. However, the Rudolf Nureyev version numbers the fairies in lieu of naming them and has the Lilac Fairy in a costume layered like a frosted cake, floating in at critical moments more in the persona of an eyes-everywhere Godmother, rather than dancing her benevolence as the story’s silken binding. If you’ve grown up on other versions, you can be looking for the wrong things from the right dancers and vice-versa—or—mid-way through the show realize that you should let go of your orthodoxy and just watch the dancing. If you do the latter, you see a three-dimensional Prince Florimund (Guillaume Coté), whose heart rules his gallantry, a Princess Aurora (Heather Ogden) whose saucy speed spirits a delicious exhilaration, and enjoy the technically spiffy and artful dancing of Bridgett Zehr as “Sixth Variation/Principal Fairy.” Carabosse, the Wicked Fairy is danced by Rebekah Rimsay, whose Joan Crawford dastardliness cathects with Heather Ogden’s timeless sweet sixteenishness to lard the story with theatricality.

Unlike most productions where the audience feels as though it has been invited to a three-act soirée, the text of this one is enriched with mime, so that each story detail is clear, up to and including the King’s edict that Carabosse’s curse places the palace on something tantamount to “Orange Alert” and so he renders it a needle-free zone. When a poor old woman found knitting on the palace steps nearly becomes the Saddam Hussein of the story, the Lilac Fairy rolls in just in time to win the King over to commuting the knitter’s beheading. Florimund makes his entrance as a game of darts begins in a clearing. He has an eye not only for darts, but in a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, contrives to attach himself, caboose-like to a train of beautiful women.

These touches, along with the elegant costumes, not all of which offered the most advantageous view of the dancers’ line, book-end the ritual moments in the show: the Rose Adagio—dispatched deftly by Ogden and her suitors—and the Act III Divertissements, which make for a discrete performance in their own right. Bluebird and Princess Florine, danced by Naoya Ebe and Jillian Vanstone drew cheers from the audience, as did the more affectionate and less fractious-than-other-versions Pussycats, delivered delightfully by Klara Houdet and Robert Stephen. Bridgett Zehr’s Diamond Lady, danced with Diamond Man Brett Van Sickle, captured the iconic zest of the Divertissements interlude and their black-and-white diamond-studded costumes mirrored the aristocratic glamour of the entire production. We missed seeing Red Riding Hood and her Wolf, but the buoyant Aurora’s Wedding pas de deux by Ogden and Coté more than made up for that omission. Though the score may not have waxed as elaborate as those that have succeeded this version’s, it was not a stumbling block to this reviewer whistling the waltz melody rather loudly as she boarded her flight from Toronto to San Francisco two days post-performance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:43 am 
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Location: Toronto
Still no casting up for Nutcracker. I'm going to the first show on Saturday afternoon (taking a friend who's never seen it) and I'm eager to know who we'll be seeing.

Glad to hear that the National surpassed their box office goals for the fall:
http://ballet.ca/pdf/pressreleases/Fall ... uccess.pdf

ETA: A couple hours after I posted this the casting went up. It's like magic! ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:27 am 
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Thanks Keira, I too was waiting for the casting! You must have that magic touch! Someone from the National must read CD. Sadly, they really should try to post casting earlier. Here it is.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:35 am 
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Location: Toronto
I really wanted to see Heather and Guillaume, but c'est la vie. If the casting had been up earlier, that certainly would have helped! Although I'm sure Sonia and AA will be fab.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:14 pm 
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I imagine the National would rather one and all purchased their tickets early rather than pick and choose to see their favs. For many it may not make a difference, as they will simply choose the night of the week they are free. For others, it makes a difference and thus I believe we should receive posting a little earlier. If you call them, they will usually admit they have casting a week before it is actually posted on the website. Of course, casting is always subject to change.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:28 am 
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Location: Toronto
Oh yeah, I'm sure the majority of people who go to the Nutcracker have no idea who any of the dancers are. But for we dedicated fans, it does make a difference. It's not a deal breaker, but it's just nice to be able to see your favourites.


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Autumn 2009
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:55 pm 
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As a reminder, Nutcracker reviews etc. should be posted over in the Holiday Performances section. I've just posted my first few comments on the opening Nutcracker of 2009!


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 Post subject: Re: National Ballet of Canada - Autumn 2009
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:40 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
Check out an interesting article about the Royal Ballet’s Tamara Rojo in Toronto to learn all about what it takes to be an AD from Mrs. K.

Quote:
Kain admits she was a little wary, but after spending three weeks with Rojo is very glad she agreed. "Tamara has been a delight to have around. She's super-smart and has been asking the most intelligent and often stimulating questions."
The admiration is shared. Rojo is awed by the way Kain balances her various responsibilities as both National Ballet's artistic leader and its public figurehead.
"It's a company of the first rank," says Rojo. "The only pity is it's not seen more internationally. Canada should want the world to know it has a ballet company of this standard."

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