the danceview times
writers on dancing

 Volume 4, Number 4  January 30, 2006    The weekly online supplement to DanceView magazine

The Opening Gala

San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco
January 25, 2006

by Ann Murphy
copyright ©2006 by Ann Murphy

Every year, like some kind of distillation device, the well-heeled San Francisco Ballet gala reveals something essential about the state of the country, the city, and the ballet itself, all in only a few hours. Five years ago, the SF gala was a sedate, beautifully mournful affair. That January, a hall of black gowns tasteful enough for an aristocratic funeral reflected how frightened the country was but how prepared, too, for introspection. Then, within a year or two, as national fear was replaced by national swagger, exaggerated 18th century hoops, yards of tuille, and a fairy tale approach to grandeur took the place of careful black.
read review

Uneven "Swan Lake" in San Francisco

"Swan Lake"
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco
January 28, 2006

by Paul Parish
copyright ©2006 by Paul Parish

"Swan Lake" opened on a rainy Saturday night to a full house, with standees several rows deep. When the final curtain came down, half the audience stood to applaud Gonzalo Garcia's debut in the role of the Prince and Tina LeBlanc's fascinating and deeply moving performance as the Swan Queen. The corps of swans had moved beautifully, and if the national dances hadn't been so unfocussed and the would-be brides so dull and the new lift in the Black Swan so unnecessary, there would have been little to quarrel with aside from some terrible mistakes amongst the trumpets. But had it been at its best, ours is not a great "Swan Lake" — it is pretty, rather than beautiful, elegant rather than noble, sad, rather than tragic.
read review

New Combinations, Old Hats

“Monumentum Por Gesualdo/Movements for Piano and Orchestra”, “Klavier”, “Symphony in C”
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
January 24, 2006

by Mary Cargill
copyright ©2006 by Mary Cargill

New York City Ballet has for the past few years called January 24, Balanchine’s birthday, “New Combinations”, based on Balanchine’s quotation “There are no new steps, only new combinations”, and has used the occasion for one of the season’s premiers. This birthday present was a new work by Christopher Wheeldon, and unfortunately, it was something of an empty package. Wheeldon used the adagio from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, another in the long list, it seems, of music not to be choreographed. There was little variety in the introspective, haunting music, and the steps seemed to float on the top—they could have been set to any old piece.
read review

Time Capsules

"Episodes," "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz," "Firebird"
New York City Ballet
State Theater
New York, NY
January 25, 2006

by Lisa Rinehart
copyright ©2006 by Lisa Rinehart

Dances can capture the tenor of a time, but only a few manage timelessness. Balanchine's 1959 work "Episodes," (trimmed of the Graham contributions), is as slick and tight as greased hair and black Capri pants, but nonetheless relevant to 2006 anxieties. Jerome Robbins' "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz," on the other hand, is inextricable from the on-the-edge-of-exploding sensibilities of 1958, and what was hip and disaffected then is quaint by today's standards.
read review

No Moment Wasted

Protégés: The International Ballet Academy Festival
Atrium and Opera House
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington, DC, USA
January 25 & 26, 2006

by George Jackson

copyright ©2006 by George Jackson

Youth isn't always wasted on the young! 104 students from six of the world's important academies for classical ballet were invited to Kennedy Center this past week to perform, take class together and talk. Talk came first. Ten pupils from five of the schools—the Paris Opera's, the Royal Danish Ballet's, Britain's Royal Ballet's, Dance Theater of Harlem's and that of Japan's New National Theater—met the public in the rooftop Atrium room on the evening of January 25 for a question and answer session about their training and themselves. These were advanced students, one female and one male from each of the institutions except Japan's which was represented by two young women. The group's members had much in common besides youth. All understood and spoke at least a little English although the Japanese and French sometimes relied on the help of translators. The young women were dressed up more than the guys, There only male students, wearing suits and ties, weere from Japan and sat in the audience. Julia Ward, interlocutor, first asked the panelists to identify themselves by name, age and school, and then tell us how they spent a typical day.
read review


“Anytown: Stories of America”
Shapiro & Smith Dance
Joyce Theater
New York, NY
January 25, 2006
By Susan Reiter
copyright ©2006 by Susan Reiter

The title of “Anytown,” an ambitious and intermittently moving full-evening work choreographed by Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith, suggests a generic, ”this is your life, America” approach. Over the course of 19 songs by Bruce Springsteen, Soozie Tyrell and Patti Scialfa, we are invited into a community — its family conflicts, moral quandaries, loves and losses — without any of the specificity of the Twyla Tharp/Billy Joel collaboration “Movin’ Out,” which so clearly charted a course from early 1960s upbeat innocence through the churning morass of Vietnam and the counterculture — complete with appropriate hairstyles (big afros!) and costumes (bell bottoms, loud print shirts).
read review

Amadeus in Action:
The Incredible Lightness of Balanchine

“Divertimento No. 15”, “Firebird”, “Symphony in C”
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
January 27, 2006

by Tom Phillips
copyright ©2006 by Tom Phillips

George Balanchine has often been compared to W.A. Mozart,  and these two prolific geniuses do have a quality in common:  both were able to build works of great density and complexity, yet retain an illusion of almost effortless lightness.  Last Friday, on Mozart’s 250th birthday,  New York City Ballet opened its program with Balanchine’s only surviving work to Mozart’s music, with a debut in it by a young dancer who matches them both in that incredible lightness.
read review

To find out how you can support this site, click here.

Search this site or
the web powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search

What's On This Week
Index of Writers

Back Issues
About Us



Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Rita Felciano
Marc Haegeman
George Jackson
Eva Kistrup
Alan M. Kriegsman
Sali Ann Kriegsman
Alexander Meinertz
Gay Morris
Ann Murphy
Paul Parish
John Percival
Tom Phillips
Naima Prevots
Susan Reiter
Lisa Rinehart
Charlotte Shoemaker
Jane Simpson
Alexandra Tomalonis (Editor)
Lisa Traiger
Kathrine Sorley Walker
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


The Autumn Issue of DanceView is OUT!
(subscribe on line)

Review of the Bolshoi Ballet's Met Season by Mary Cargill.

Robert Greskovic reviews several new DVD releases.

A chapter from Alexander Meinertz's forthcoming biography of Vera Volkova (dealing with Volkova at Sadler's Wells during the War)

Interviews with Sonja Rodriquez and Heather Ogden (National Ballet of Canada), by Denise Sum

Paul Taylor at the Guggenheim, by Nancy Dalva

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and San Francisco (Rita Fellciano).

This site is the online supplement to DanceView, a quarterly review of dance published since 1979.

DanceView is available by subscription ONLY. Don't miss it. It's a good read.  Black and white, 48 pages, no ads. Subscribe today!


Copyright © 2006 by DanceView
last updated on January 30, 2006