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Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company: Bayadère – The Ninth Life
La Bayadère is an evocative name in the ballet world and eminently suitable for cultural re-appropriation by Shobana Jeyasingh, a choreographer who references dance from ballet to Bharatanatyam. Her Bayadère draws together many strands, the Petipa ballet, the visit by a group of devadasi, or temple dancers, to Paris in 1838 and Théophile Gautier’s vivid recount of the event, before moving into the contemporary dance world. Maggie Foyer reports.
Shaken to the core, shaking with laughter: ABT in DC
The diverse mixed repertoire program for the spring visit of the American Ballet Theatre to DC’s Kennedy Center was a mixed bag. “Pillar of Fire” roused strong emotions; “Rodeo” did as well, although the emotions experienced were on fairly opposite ends of the spectrum. While “Pillar of Fire” provided intensity and depth, and “Rodeo” delivered laughter and joy, “Theme and Variations” left me puzzled. Read more.
Jinhao Zhang tops an impressive evening at English National Ballet Emerging Dancer 2015
“This is my favourite night of the year – the one I am most proud of” said Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet. Wise words: a company’s young dancers are its lifeblood and this was the night of the Emerging Dancer Award 2015 when eight of the most promising ENB dancers fight it out for the title. Read more.
Sylvie Guillem farewell tour dates
Sylvie Guillem has announced the first batch of dates and the repertory for her farewell “Life in Progress” tour. It has also been announced that she is to be honoured at the Olivier Awards 2015 in London next month when she receives a Special Award to mark her lifetime in dance. Read here.
Rosas classics in Taipei
“Back in 1983, there was a young 23-year old Belgian dance maker, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. She had already come to attention a year previous with “Fase”, which took its gradual phase shifting principles from four repetitive compositions by Steve Reich. Then came “Rosas danst Rosas”…32 years on, this seminal work remains incredibly watchable; a contemporary dance classic that is both stunningly simple, yet incredibly complex.” David Mead on “Rosas Danst Rosas” and “Drumming”.
From New York
Jerry Hochman and Cecly Placenti report on Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre. ”Measuring creativity in a dance performance can be like trying to measure air. It may be there, but it’s difficult to define, doesn’t have objective standards, and looks different to different people. But you know it when you see it. At Saturday’s performance of “Renewal,” an evening-length work by Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, the creativity was abundant and evident.” Read here.
And New York City Ballet has announced details of its 2015-6 season, including several world premieres. Read here.
New Israeli Voices in Dance: Hillel Kogan and Danielle Agami
When I read that Hillel Kogan’s dance theatre work “We Love Arabs” involved “Jewish and Arab religious identity, national symbols and hummus,” I was intrigued, bemused and somewhat apprehensive. This is a hot, historically explosive topic. How could it possibly be addressed in dance? Israeli dancer/choreographer Kogan, who is also rehearsal director of Batsheva Dance Company, took on this challenge in his male duet at Portland’s White Bird Dance Series on a mild spring night. Dina McDermott reports.
Check out the latest CriticalDance regular columns
From Singapore, Stephanie Burridge reports that Maya Dance Theatre and RAW Moves offered international choreographic platforms this month while Singapore Dance Theatre Artistic Director Janek Schergen restaged Petitpa’s “Sleeping Beauty”. Also on the agenda: Frontier Danceland, where she checked out their progress with visiting Australia choreographers Gabrielle Nankivell and Luke Smiles for their show “SLIDES” in May. Read here.
Book review: Like A Bomb Going Off, Leonid Jakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia
Charlotte Kasner takes a look at Janice Ross’ recent book on Soviet choreographer Leonid Jakobson. Read here.
And check out our new links to major choreographer and dancer archives, foundations, trusts and resources, under Other Resources on the Links pages.