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San Francisco - Bay Area Columns

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
Summer 2012 Reviews

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
June 2012 Reviews

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
April 2012 Reviews

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
Winter 2012 Reviews Part 2

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
Winter 2012 Reviews Part 1

San Francisco Bay Area
by Heather Desaulniers
December 2011 Reviews

Summer in Taiwan
Reviews from Summer 2012

Sun Shang-chi Company - 'Breakfast'
by David Mead
August 12, 2012 -- Wellspring Theatre, Taipei
I’m sure we’ve all been there, sat at the breakfast table, staring into some distant space, bodies and minds somewhere between night and day, being awake and asleep, being fully conscious and still living a now hazy dream. That is the starting point for fast rising Berlin-based Taiwanese choreographer Sun Shang-chi’s latest creation, “Breakfast”

Chamber Ballet Taipei - 'Romance: The Music and the Destiny of Tchaikovsky'
by David Mead
August 11, 2012 -- Metropolitan Hall, Taipei
Allen Yu, the Austria-based Taiwanese choreographer, and founder and director of Chamber Ballet Taipei is far from the first choreographer to have fallen in love with Tchaikovsky’s music. He particularly likes its combination of romance and sadness. It provides him with “limitless imagination,” he says.

Jade & Artistis Dance Troupe - 'An Encounter in Time'
by David Mead
August 10, 2012 -- Arts Hall, Xhongli, Taiwan
In an “An Encounter in Time”, founder and artistic director Jade Hua continues her shining of a philosophical spotlight on the search for and the meaning of love began in her 2010 work “An Untold Secret”. Here, her starting point was the fact that, while humans are inescapably tied to love, the nature of love changes all the time.

La Ballet du Siecle de Taipei - 'The Little Mermaid'
by David Mead
August 3, 2012 -- Family Theatre, City Hall, Taipi
Le Ballet du Siècle de Taipei was formed in 2006 by Li Lin Lili, who believes strongly that there is a place for classical ballet in its truest sense on the island. Since then they have staged at least two productions most years...Latest in the line is “The Little Mermaid” , a traditional telling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale; incidentally, originally written as a ballet.



A Trio of Stories From the World of the Ballet Impresario
by Paul Seaquist
The Heart of the Matter
Berlin is a lovely city in springtime...Just steps from Hackeschermarkt, there is a small café called Barcomi´s which doesn’t just prepare the best latte macchiatos in the city but also delicious homemade ice cream and muffins, hidden under the benign and refreshing shade of centenary Lindens. It is here, at Barcomi´s, where a few days back I shared a coffee and an interesting conversation with the young Italian choreographer Mauro de Candia.

Havana Blues
Fresh from a brilliant Stern Grove performance as the ‘scotch girl’ in George Balanchine’s “Scotch Symphony”, San Francisco corps de ballet member Nicole Ciapponi sat down with criticaldance to give a behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco Ballet’s June tour to Hamburg and Moscow.

Ballet, Blackberries and Cognac: Advice for Dancers

Interview with San Francisco Ballet's Nicole Ciapponi
by Heather DeSaulniers
Fresh from a brilliant Stern Grove performance as the ‘scotch girl’ in George Balanchine’s “Scotch Symphony”, San Francisco corps de ballet member Nicole Ciapponi sat down with criticaldance to give a behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco Ballet’s June tour to Hamburg and Moscow.


Singapore Dance Theatre : 'Masterpiece in Motion'
by Stephanie Burridge
August 24, 2012 -- Esplanade Theater, Singapore

Singapore Dance Theatre’s 'Masterpiece in Motion' season at the Esplanade Theatre, August 24, featuring international choreographers was a stunning triple bill. World Premiere of Chant by Val Caniparolli is just a wonderful work- primal and instinctive; the company really nailed the intricacies of Balanchine's Divertimento No.5 and the Age of Innocence by Edwaard Liang was poetic, passionate and sexy.

Birmingham Royal Ballet: 'Far From the Madding Crowd'
by David Mead
June 20 & 23, 2012 -- Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham, UK

Quite why audiences have never really bought into David Bintley’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” has always been a bit of a mystery. Thomas Hardy certainly has something of a reputation for being a difficult author to read, something I would contest, but his 19th-century turbulent tale of love, obsession, deceit and tragedy is perfect ballet material. Better still, it is so English.

Opera North - 'Carousel'
by Stuart Sweeney
August 23, 2012 -- Barbican, London, UK

“Carousel” is one of my favourite musicals, ranking alongside “Oklahoma”, with superb songs and having more dramatic weight than many, although raising concerns that are discussed later. Opera North's production is full of vitality and visual interest to set alongside the wonders of the score.

'The Brown Bomber: A Dance Suite in Three Scenes'
by Thea Nerissa Barnes
July 15, 2012 -- Southbank, London, UK

It's the Olympics in London and practitioners in dance are doing their part to spur on and invigorate the interest and excitement that accompanies this event. Inspiration permeates the air as athletes strive to do their best while supporters cheer them on.

Maris Liepa Gala
by Charlotte Kasner
July 29, 2012 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

This, the second Liepa gala that London has seen recently, started each act with wonderful fragments of films, rather crudely assembled but fascinating nonetheless. The opening montage reminded us that he was also a fine classical dancer who tackled all of the major danseur noble roles.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - 'Story/Time'
by Carmel Morgan
July 31, 2012 -- Filene Center, Wolf Trap National Park, Vienna, Virginia

I try to go once a year in the summer to see dance at Wolf Trap, the nation’s only national park for the performing arts, which is located outside of Washington, DC. The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company prompted me to make this year’s trip to Filene Center, Wolf Trap’s popular outdoor ampitheater.

Paris Opera Ballet : 'Giselle'
by Colleen Boresta
July 14(m), 2012 -- David Koch Theater, New York, NY

I am very impressed by POB’s “Giselle”, but it does not move me. I feel as detached from the 19th century world of Giselle and Albrecht as the leading dancers Isabelle Ciaravola and Karl Paquette seem to be. Isabella Ciaravola is a beautiful looking Giselle, but her footwork is not as precise as it should be.

Paris Opera Ballet: 'Giselle'
by Carmel Morgan
July 5, 2012 -- JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC

They presented “Giselle,” a romantic classical ballet favorite. Instead of intense bursts of fire and light, the performance generated a sustained and assured soothing cool. Thanks to the Paris Opera Ballet, the audience received a much needed dose of refreshment to take minds off the record-breaking heat wave that the city was experiencing.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Le Corsaire'
by Colleen Boresta
July 7, 2012 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York NY

There was ballet magic at the Metropolitan Opera House on July 7, 2012 (the matinee). American Ballet Theatre is presenting their rollicking version of “Le Corsaire”, staged by Anna Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Swan Lake'
by Colleen Boresta
June 27 (m), 2012 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York NY

I have seen “Swan Lake” live close to 40 times in my 30 plus years of attending the ballet. My non-balletomane friends are amazed at this fact. How can I see the same work over and over? Isn’t it always the same? Don’t I get bored hearing Tchaikovsky’s music so many times? The answer to all these questions is no.

New English Ballet Theatre: Synergies
by Charlotte Kasner
July 4, 2012 -- Peacock Theatre, London, UK

It is not often that one can welcome a brand new ballet company to London, let alone a home-grown one. It’s an ambitious company too: self-consciously modelled on Diaghilev, although Vaganova-based rather than continuing the Cecchetti legacy. They also used live music for all but one of the nine works presented this evening.

American Ballet Theatre: Mixed Bill & La Bayadere
by David Mead
July 12-13, 2012 -- National Theatre, Taipei

As is their want on tour, ABT’s version of “Apollo” in Taipei came minus both the birth scene, for which hurrah. I’m at one with Mr. B’s later view that the ballet looks much better without it. Some versions omit this but retain the concluding ascent to Mount Parnassus. Here, both were left out, the latter replaced by a reprise upstage of the sunburst, an ending I find less satisfactory.

Schaufuss Ballet: Tchaikovsky Triology
by Charlotte Kasner
July 24-25, 2012 -- London Coliseum, London, UK

"Swan Lake" is a pretty robust creation and has survived much mauling over the last century and a half...
But if Petipa and Ivanov suddenly materialised in the London Coliseum they would conclude from this production that we are living in some sort of balletic Dark Ages.

Birmingham Royal Ballet : Summer Celebration
by David Mead
June 27, 2012 -- Hippodrome Theatre,
Birmingham, UK
Broadway choreographer Joe Layton’s 1971 ballet “The Grand Tour” is about the antics of various Hollywood stars, other celebrities and an American spinster and a couple of Italian stowaways aboard a 1920s cruise ship. The costumes and art deco promenade deck set were most lively. The ballet, though, quickly became rather becalmed.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Swan Lake'
by Jerry Hochman
June 27 and 30, 2012 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

When all is said and done, the success of any performance of “Swan Lake,” or any other ballet for that matter, boils down to the quality of the performances. Certainly the choreography provides the essential framework, and this version, choreographed by American Ballet Theater’s Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie (‘after’ Petipa and Ivanov), is what this viewer considers to be Mr. McKenzie’s best work.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Firebird'
by Jerry Hochman
June 12 and 22, 2012 -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

I expect a lot from Alexei Ratmansky. While I have not always gushed over his ballets, I have found all that I’ve seen to be intelligently crafted works of art that are also interesting to watch unfold, and that frequently tend to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone at the same time.

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures
by Stuart Sweeney
May 21, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

This triple bill forms part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of Matthew Bourne's company, originally Adventures in Motion Pictures and later New Adventures. 
Formed in 1987 with students fresh out of London's Laban Centre, these AMP works cover a period from 1988 to 1991. It is astonishing that in this early period Bourne's flair for comic dance using distinctive movement was so well developed.

American Ballet Theatre: 'Onegin'
by Jerry Hochman
June 9, 2012 (matinee & evening) -- Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY

When John Cranko died suddenly on June 26, 1973 while on a flight from New York to Stuttgart, at age 45, it was generally accepted at the time that ballet had lost one of its most accomplished contemporary choreographers... In this viewer’s opinion, in no ballet is the loss so clearly demonstrated as in “Onegin,” which returned to the ABT repertoire last week, in a run that ended Saturday night.

Verve 12
by David Mead
June 1, 2012 -- The Place, London, UK

In recent years the programmes presented by Verve, the graduate performance company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, have tended to outshine those of similar groups. The dancers of Verve 12 are certainly talented and athletic. They not only bring power and energy to their performance but can dance as one when they have to.





Tanztheater Wuppertaal Pina Bausch in London

by David Mead
June 6, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

'Nur Du'
by David Mead
June 9, 2012 -- Barbican Theatre, London, UK

'... como el musguito en la piedra, ay si si si...'
by Charlotte Kasner
June 12, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

'Ten Chi'
by Charlotte Kasner
June 15, 2012 -- Barbican Theatre, London, UK

'Der Fensterputzer'
by Stuart Sweeney
June 19, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

'Bamboo Blues'
by David Mead
June 21, 2012 -- Barbican Theatre, London, UK

by David Mead
June 24, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

by David Mead
June 28, 2012 -- Barbican Theatre, London, UK

by Stuart Sweeney
July 8, 2012 -- Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, UK

editors' choice

· Edinburgh Internationl Festival- Dance
August 11-September 1, Edinburgh, Scotland
The 2012 Edinburgh International Festival line-up includes a diverse range performances by Julliard Dance, Leigh Warren + Dancers, the Mariinsky Ballet, Deborah Colker Dance Company, Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj and the Batsheva Dance Company.

For ballet-dance magazine

Executive Editor
Kate Snedeker

Executive Editor 2003-2005
Mary Ellen Hunt

Focus and Photo Editors
Elizabeth McPherson, Dean Speer

Associate Editors & Compositors
Francis Timlin, Holly Messitt, Lori Ibay, Azlan Ezaddin, Jerry Hochman, Carmel Morgan, Heather Desaulniers


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