Performing Arts: Theater and Dance

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London Theater Journal: A Scorching Momma Rose

LONDON – The small, determined woman who is sharing her obsessions so enthrallingly from the stage of the Savoy Theater here is unmistakably a product of the United States. She’s as American as apple pie — or perhaps the homemade blueberry kind she says she’s so tired of; as American as the Great …

Stephen Sondheim

Review: At Indian Dance Festival, Subtleties in the Sway of a Torso

Since India has many languages, it would take a true polyglot to comprehend all its poetry. On Friday, when the Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance held an indoor program enticingly called “An Evening of ‘Poetry, Danced’ ” at Pace University’s Schimmel Center, the audience was given words in …


Review: Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Hamlet,’ Cocooned in an Aura on a London Stage

LONDON — He is, he complains sulkily, “too much in the sun.” That is correct on so many levels.

When the title character of “Hamlet” offers this self-diagnosis early in the highly pictorial production that opened on Tuesday night at the Barbican here, the image matches the word. For the Prince of …

Benedict Cumberbatch

1st African-American actor to play Valjean on Broadway dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Jean-Baptiste, the first African-American and youngest person to ever play the role of Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables" on Broadway has died after falling from a fire escape, according to a show spokesman. He was 21.

Jean-Baptiste died Friday night following the show's evening …

New York City

Johan Renvall, American Ballet Theater Principal, Dies at 55

Johan Renvall, a principal dancer at American Ballet Theater whose range there from 1978 to 1996 could stun audiences with spectacular classical technique and — in dramatic ballets — powerful intensity, died on Monday in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. He was 55 and lived in Manhattan.

The cause …

Performing Arts

Review: Taking In the New York International Fringe Festival, From Ferry to Theater

The tall young man in the baseball cap was upwind of me, which should have made me cautious, but my attention was a bit divided. It was Monday night and I was at a play, part of the New York International Fringe Festival. I was also standing at a railing on the Staten Island Ferry as it churned …

New York City

Way Off Broadway, But Maybe Not for Long: What’s Playing (and What’s Working) in the Berkshires

What used to be called the straw-hat circuit is long gone, as is the customary summer haberdashery that gave it its name. Stars no longer caravan …

New York City

Dance links w/b Sunday August 23, 2015 - Dance Links - reviews & features

Links – Sunday August 23, 2015

Review - Sylvie Guillem, Life in Progress, Sydney: Deborah Jones blog

Feature - Awakening to the joys of The Sleeping Beauty: …


The Death of the American Dance Critic

Why are there so few mainstream outlets covering the art form?

Misty Copeland has become something of a household name in recent months. In late June, she became the first black ballerina to be named principal at American Ballet Theater, one of the most storied companies in the U.S., and her success …


City Center Adds to Season With Wendy Whelan, Ballet and Flamenco

Wendy Whelan, the former New York City Ballet dancer whose retirement has been anything but quiet, will perform at City Center as part of three programs that have been added to round out the theater’s spring season.

She will be joined the Royal Ballet principal dancer Edward Watson as they reprise …


Review: The Battery Dance Festival Evokes Courtship Rituals Amid Flying Hats

The Battery Dance Festival, presented by the Battery Dance Company in Lower Manhattan for 34 years, has become known for its international roster. This year artists from India, Norway and Poland are among those appearing along the Hudson River — routinely backed by stunning, if blinding, sunsets — …


In the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Archives, a Magical Past and Present Unite

BECKET, Mass. — Jacob’s Pillow, the oldest dance festival in the United States and always eclectic and international in taste, began in the early 1940s. But its founding director, Ted Shawn, had been here since 1931, and when he died in 1972, still at the helm, he left the festival with archival …


Review: Martha Graham’s ‘Embattled Garden,’ Deconstructed

In the August heat, Janet Eilber, the artistic director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, apologized for the “breathless and sweaty” conditions in the Martha Graham Studio Theater, a storied spot cooled only by fans. She also joked with the audience that the steamy atmosphere was exactly right …


Alexei Ratmansky - Simple and Wise, a Q&A about Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty for ABT

American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty.
© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

Simple and Wise, a Q&A about …


Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance – New York

Pallavi Krishnan in Cholkettu.
© Darial Sneed. (Click image for larger version)Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance
Featuring: Sanjukta Wagh, Jiva


The Way Station

A young couple takes a detour in Annie Baker’s new play.

Annie Baker’s “John” (a Signature Theatre Company production, at the Pershing Square) is so good on so many levels that it casts a unique and brilliant light. It’s a handsome object, “old” in structure. While most new plays run for two hours …

Pulitzer Prize

Review: ‘Informed Consent’ Tests the Ethics of Genetic Research

In “Informed Consent,” a thoughtful and engrossing play by Deborah Zoe Laufer, a research scientist specializing in genetic diseases finds herself embroiled in controversy when her fierce dedication to her work, and her deeply personal reasons for pursuing it, lead her into murky ethical …

Informed Consent

Watch: Exploring the evolution of ballet pointe work

Former Ballet Mistress Ursula Hageli recently explored the development of ballet pointe work as part of a Ballet Evolved Insights event.Hageli …


Smoke and Mirrors at Edinburgh festival review – circus that's brainy and beautiful

Don’t be deceived by the title, which suggests one of those anodyne, soft-focus circus shows with a mirrorball and lots of dry ice. This two-hander by the New Mexico-based Ricochet Project is a brutal and uncompromising look at how we tie ourselves up in knots; how we contort the body and the …

Edinburgh Festival

'I would have jumped off a roof for Mao': how Li Cunxin danced to freedom

Li Cunxin was just 11 when Chinese officials came to his home in rural Shandong and told him he’d been selected to study at the Beijing Academy of Dance. It was 1972, the height of Mao’s cultural revolution, and an entire nation was being shoehorned into creating a new communist China. Cunxin had …

La danseuse tire sa révérence - Hier soir à Lyon... la tournée d'adieu de Sylvie Guillem

A 50 ans, Sylvie Guillem, la plus grande danseuse française de son époque effectue sa tournée d'adieu. Elle était lundi soir à Lyon pour les Nuits de …

American Ballet Theatre – The Sleeping Beauty – New York

American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty.
© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)American Ballet Theatre
The Sleeping

Metropolitan Opera

Great performances: Michael Redgrave as Uncle Vanya

Laurence Olivier wasn’t exactly famous for his generosity towards rival actors. But even he was moved to write in his autobiography that Michael Redgrave’s Uncle Vanya was “the best performance I’ve ever seen in anything”. Olivier may, of course, have been swayed by the fact that he himself …

Dancing with Mrs Dalloway: Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor – in pictures

Royal Ballet: Woolf Works review – a compellingly moving experience

When the final curtain fell on Wayne McGregor’s new ballet, Woolf Works, the cast were greeted with cheers and a standing ovation. And sighs of relief backstage, one imagines, because in more than one sense the Royal Ballet had bet the bank on the piece. If it had failed, it would have proved what …

A New Dance by Rebecca Patek at Chocolate Factory

The title of Rebecca Patek’s new performance piece is a mouthful: “The Future Was Looking Better in the Past: My Family Herstory: or from religious persecution to american greed to murderous infamy to denial, repression and the slow dissolution into moral confusion, financial ruin and karmic …

Drama League Names ‘An American in Paris’ Best Musical

The Drama League, a national organization of theatergoers, has chosen “An American in Paris” for its top musical honor this year.

The organization on Friday announced its 81st annual awards, naming not only “Paris” for its distinguished musical award, but also naming “The Curious Incident of the Dog …

Julia-Rose Lewis: 'If artists can keep being brave then you get a lot back'

One of the brightest young talents on the Australian stage, Julia-Rose Lewis won the Philip Parson fellowship for emerging playwrights for her first play Samson. After a run at Brisbane’s La Boite and currently running at Sydney’s Belvoir theatre, the coming-of-age story of four young people …

Religion (UK)

A Century of Alberto Burri: 1915–2015 on Sotheby's Blog

MILAN - In the year of the centenary of Alberto Burri’s birth, the Modern and Contemporary Art sale in Milan will pay homage to one of the most …