October 15, 2013 |
In 1961, George Balanchine summoned some of the nation's top ballet teachers to a seminar in New York, hub of the U.S. dance world and one of the few cities where professional ballet was being performed at the time. "Something has to happen," said the great choreographer and founder of the New York City Ballet and its School of American Ballet. "You're turning out more and more dancers. Where are they going to dance?" "If you really are serious, Mr. B.," said Barbara Weisberger, who had been his first child student (at age 8)
April 14, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Maria Tallchief, 88, one of America's first great prima ballerinas who gave life to such works as The Nutcracker , Firebird , and other masterpieces from legendary choreographer George Balanchine, died Thursday in Chicago, her daughter Elise Paschen said Friday. Ms. Tallchief danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947, but her career was most associated with the New York City Ballet, where she worked from 1948 to 1965. Balanchine, the Russian-born dance genius, was not only the company's director; in 1946, he became Ms. Tallchief's husband for some years.
January 22, 2012 |
In the early aughts, nervous dance companies were looking over their shoulders at the gathering holiday-time competition. As inhabitants of that lucrative calendar slot, productions of The Nutcracker had long been cash cows. But with Disneys on Ice and Christmas-theme theater productions multiplying, it looked as if Nutcracker revenue might take a hit. It hasn't turned out that way, at least locally. Pennsylvania Ballet's production of the Tchaikovsky/Balanchine ballet closed Dec. 31, earning about as much as it did last year.
January 15, 2012 |
Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina A Biohistory of American Performance By Brenda Dixon Gottschild Palgrave Macmillan. 370 pp. $27 This is a Philadelphia story that rivals Rocky in blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention fabulous footwork. Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope for the Black Ballerina is, of course, about the visionary founder and artistic director of Philadanco, the internationally renowned dance troupe that is still going strong after 40 years and that embodies the spirit of Philadelphia.
October 10, 2011
HERE'S what will make news in Philadelphia this week: CITY HALL Extend teen curfew? Do you know where your kids are? If not, it could cost you. On Wednesday, City Council will begin hearings on a bill to stiffen the curfew for teens and increase fines on parents whose kids violate the curfew. Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the bill on behalf of the Nutter administration, in response to a series of violent attacks by teen mobs last summer. * The curfew would be 8 p.m. for children 13 and younger, 9 p.m. for those ages 14 and 15, and 10 p.m. for those 16 and 17. The curfew would be an hour later during the summer.
April 16, 2011 |
Satisfaction comes early in Pennsylvania Ballet's "Building on Balanchine" program, seen at Thursday's opening. First up, Agon (1957) is a paragon of classy midcentury modernism. George Balanchine had serious fun collaborating with Igor Stravinsky on 12 sections of a dance for 12 dancers. He deployed all permutations of his cast to Stravinsky's 12-tone-inflected score. Black and white costumes modeled on practice clothes reveal each nuance of Mr. B's play with movement. He punctuates with flexed feet and wrists, rolling shoulders, and hip swivels.
October 21, 2010 |
MIRIAM GOLDEN Ziegler Hailparn, who went from Philadelphia to become a ballet star, danced in films with the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and founded a ballet company, died Sept. 30. She was 90 and lived in Los Angeles. Miriam, who performed under the name Miriam Golden, was the last surviving member of the original American Ballet Theatre, the first dance company to define the American style of ballet. She was born in Philadelphia to Israel Oscar Goldstein, a pharmacist, and Freda Simons Goldstein.
May 7, 2010 |
Some of the best dancing happens in the studio, where dancers are free to throw themselves into the movement, take risks, make mistakes, mark some steps, and dance others full out. They can practice in a corner or study their moves in a mirror. Choreographer William Forsythe moved that scene onto the stage in 1987 with his In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which Pennsylvania Ballet gave its company premiere Wednesday night at the Merriam Theater. In green and black practice clothes, nine dancers performed explosive jumps, stretched legs up to their ears, danced small combinations, and turned in many different positions to a storm of crashes, industrial music, and sounds by Thom Willems.
December 8, 2006 |
For 38 holiday seasons, audiences have thrilled to Pennsylvania Ballet's glorious production of "The Nutcracker. " With soaring music by Tchaikovsky and superb dancing to brilliant George Balanchine choreography, enhanced by the company's elegant sets and costumes, it's one of our city's treasures. Though many people make "Nutcracker" an annual visit, first-timers are always astonished by the skill of the many children in the cast. This year, 200 kids auditioned for 120 roles, and the lucky ones began rehearsing six weeks ago under the direction of Christine Cox. Cox, who retired in June after 13 seasons, shouldered this responsibility for the last six years while also dancing in the production.
November 10, 2006 |
As a young Israeli growing up in Tel Aviv, Ronen Koresh knew that he wanted not only to be a dancer but to have his own dance company. His wish was fulfilled in 1991, though financial solvency has been a constant struggle. His nine-member Koresh Dance Company will perform three works this weekend in a show called "Le Bal Noir," the title of one of these works, by New York choreographer Donald Byrd. Koresh, known as Roni, created the other two pieces: "Standing in Tears" and "Looking Back: The Music of the '40s and '50s.