writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, New York edition

      Volume 1, Number 10  December 1, 2003            An online supplement to DanceView magazine

A Whirlwind Nutcracker

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®
New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
New York, NY
November 28, 2003

by Eric Taub
copyright © 2003 by Eric Taub

I was going to start this review by noting that there are two long-awaited moments in the first Nutcracker of the year which invariably bring a smile of joy to my lips: the first sight of Rouben Ter-Arutunian's curtain, with its airborne angel, and, even more, the appearance of the first Snowflake, who seems to be saying it's finally time for the real dancing to start. Then I realized I'd have to add the growing Christmas tree, poor Fritz rescued from being a wallflower by his mother in the party scene, Dewdrop, Candy Canes, and most of the ballet. So much for a brief, witty, lead; there are too many cherished, familiar moments to single out two, or even a handful.
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Reprinted from the Midweek Extra:

A Gala Opening, with Brilliant Dancing

Serenade/Bugaku/Symphony in C
Gala, Balanchine 100: The Centennial Celebration
New York State Theater
New York, NY
November 25, 2003

by  Mindy Aloff
copyright ©2003 by Mindy Aloff

The news is that the audience left this gala drunk on the performance of George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, which, for the first time in memories going back at least a decade, fielded four principal couples who were more than adequate to their roles, a flock of demi-soloists who danced with finesse and close attention to detail, and a superbly rehearsed corps de ballet. Symphony in C—presented (with Concerto Barocco and Orpheus) at the inaugural performance of the New York City Ballet on October 11th, 1948—is debatably the cornerstone of the New York City Ballet repertory: both a condensation and a summation of Balanchine’s gifts and a monumental index to the full company’s depth and range. A Karinska tutu ballet that, in this production, begins with a squadron of 12 dancers at attention in fifth position and concludes with a battalion of 50, photographically arrested at the crest of a rousing, almost jazzily swinging march toward Georges Bizet’s top note, the work stakes a powerful claim to just about every aspect of the classical lexicon—adagio, allegro, jumps large and small, corkscrew turns and smooth tours, transition steps and lifts—and, the ultimate program closer, it wages what is debatably the most persuasive campaign on behalf of classical dancing in the past 100 years. Even in uneven or indifferent performances of it, the ballet advances toward a sense of triumph; it is dancer-proof in that its individuals become subsumed in a larger whirlwind of energy and choreographic design.
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Mindy Aloff's Letter from New York will return in two weeks

past Letters from New York


A Revised St. Louis Woman, and the Return of Alicia Graf

Serenade/St. Louis Woman
Dance Theatre of Harlem
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, NJ
November 29, 2003

By Susan Reiter
copyright © 2003 by Susan Reiter

Once a ballerina, always a ballerina—or so it seemed when Alicia Graf swept onstage as the "angel" figure in Serenade in her return to Dance Theatre of Harlem after what her program bio calls a "four-year hiatus." Her imposing presence, innate elegance and technical aplomb were immediately apparent when she first surfaced as an 18-year-old in such roles as the Siren in Prodigal Son, and she has lost none of her allure while pursuing a history degree at Columbia and holding several internships. She has a ways to go to gain back full strength; she held the high arabesque, during which she is promenaded by an "invisible" partner, beautifully, but her descent from it was not altogether smooth, and there was a similarly muddied moment during the final "Elegie" section. But she claimed the stage with that muted glamour and quiet sophistication which make so many of DTH's women so special.
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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson






Mindy Aloff
Dale Brauner
Mary Cargill
Nancy Dalva
Gia Kourlas
Gay Morris
Susan Reiter
Alexandra Tomalonis(Editor)
Meital Waibsnaider
Leigh Witchel
David Vaughan


The Autumn DanceView is out:

New York City Ballet's Spring 2003 season reviewed by Gia Kourlas

An interview with the Kirov Ballet's Daria Pavlenko by Marc Haegeman

Reviews of San Francisco Ballet (by Rita Felciano) and Paris Opera Ballet (by Carol Pardo)

The ballet tradition at the Metropolitan Opera (by Elaine Machleder)

Reports from London (Jane Simpson) and the Bay Area (Rita Felciano).

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