Monday, December 25th, 2000
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11:34 pm
FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!
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Friday, December 22nd, 2000
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11:17 pm - Español

Harold King, elegido nuevo director del ballet de Zaragoza

Un jurado presidido por la bailarina Ana Laguna, primera figura del ballet de Suecia, decidió ayer por unanimidad que el actual director y gerente del London Ballet, Harold King, sea el nuevo director del ballet de Zaragoza, plaza vacante desde la dimisión de Arantxa Argüelles en diciembre de 1999, por discrepancias con el equipo del Ayuntamiento.
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Tuesday, December 12th, 2000
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8:15 pm - Français
Concours de Danse de Paris
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Espoirs et Consécrations


Un seul Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris (Médaille de vermeil) a été décerné à l’issue du 9 ème Concours international de Danse de Paris que Mme Chirac préside depuis la fondation du concours en 1984 ; manifestation que l’épouse du Président de la République suit avec un intérêt tout particulier puisqu’elle a non seulement assisté au gala de remise des prix, mais aussi aux finales classiques et contemporaines. Finales qui ont réuni cette année 21 candidats sur 70 inscrits pour le concours contemporain, et 40 sur 150 en danse classique. C’est la jeune française Mélanie Lomoff, 22 ans, une des plus jolies finalistes du concours contemporain, qui a remporté l’unique Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris, d’un montant de 40.000 f, une artiste particulièrement vive, souple et musicale, dans un solo plein d’humour de José Montalvo, et qui, bien que dansé pieds nus, prouvait une solide technique classique.



Le jury du concours contemporain réunissait les chorégraphes Nils Christe, Andy de Groat, Odile Duboc, Jean Grand-Maître, Nicolas Musin, Philippe Saire, Mme Mei Qi Yang, pédagogue renommée en Chine, et le directeur du Centre Suzanne Dellal à Tel-Aviv, Yair Vardi, tous placés sous la présidence du chorégraphe Thierry Malandain, directeur du Ballet Biarritz, Centre Chorégraphique National.
Ce jury a également décerné un Ier prix féminin à la Chinoise Zhenyan Wu, 20 ans, un Ier prix masculin au Coréen du Sud Young Jun An, 24 ans interprète de sa propre chorégraphie, et un Ier prix couple aux Français Nadia Debuf et Dorian Cretey, 22 ans l’un et l’autre, dans un duo musclé de Philippe Tréhet. Trois 2 ème prix ont été attribués à la Philippine Georgina Sanchez , au Coréen du Sud Jong-Chul Shin, et au couple brésilien Andréa Spolaor et Luciano Tavares. Enfin les Prix Espoir ont été décernés à la charmante Française d’origine malgache Zaratiana Randrianantenaina 18 ans, et au Français Bruno Pere, 21 ans, tous deux élèves du CNSMD de Paris, tandis que l’AROP remettait son prix au danseur et chorégraphe Philippin César Locsin, que le prix Florence Gould (Prix spécial du jury) revenait au très séduisant Tchèque Martin Vrany, et qu’un prix de la Fondation Noureev était attribué au danseur et chorégraphe français David Drouard.
Malgré cette profusion de prix, on regrette que le jeune chinois Hui Qiu, un acrobate virtuose, et que l’athlétique couple de danseurs et chorégraphes portugais Claudia Martins et Rafael Carrico, n’aient rien eu. Mais le jury du concours de danse contemporaine a distribué toutes les récompenses dont il pouvait disposer…



Le jury du concours classique s’est montré beaucoup plus intransigeant et n’a décerné ni Grand Prix, ni 1er prix homme, ni 1er prix couple. Présidé par Pierre Lacotte, ses membres comprenaient des directeurs de compagnies renommés : la cubaine Loipa Araujo, la Lettone Lita Beiris, la Norvégienne Dinna Bjorn, le Russe Boris Eifman, la Britannique Maina Gielgud, l’Américaine Nanette Glushak –directrice du Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse- le Bulgare Yassen Valtchanov et la danseuse étoile française Dominique Khalfouni.
Le concours classique comprenait deux sections : junior et senior. Les deux étaient égaux en éléments prometteurs. Le niveau technique est de plus en plus solide, les filles sont grandes et belles –ce qui rend le jury plus exigeant sur la taille de leurs partenaires masculins (malheur aux petits virtuoses !)- et l’on a admiré la qualité du style des danseurs français notamment des jeunes de l’Opéra de Paris, ainsi que l’élégance et l’aisance naturelle des très nombreuses candidates asiatiques. Les longues et fines Chinoises et Coréennes ont aujourd’hui supplanté au palmarès les nombreuses petites Japonaises virtuoses infaillibles, si nombreuses il y a dix ans dans tous les concours.
C’est la grande et superbe brune Aurore Cordellier , 16 ans, quadrille stagiaire à l’Opéra de Paris (elle était la Princesse de L’Oiseau de feu dans le spectacle de l’Ecole de Danse en avril dernier au Palais Garnier) qui a remporté le 1ere prix femme junior pour son interprétation racée du Grand pas classique, tandis que le jeune ukrainien Léonid Sarafanov, un délicieux gamin de 18 ans, remportait le 1er prix homme junior dans un solo de Paquita. Une adorable petite Chinoise au sourire irrésistible, Yu Hui Choe a gagné le 2ème prix junior femme dans Diane et Actéon, tandis que le 2ème prix junior homme était remporté par le Français Ludovic Ondeviela, le benjamin des lauréats, 15 ans, pour sa très charmante variation de James dans La Sylphide.



Chez les seniors, la Chinoise de Shanghai, Pingping Ji, 25 ans, a remporté l’unique 1er prix classique , très élégante dans la czardas de Raymonda , tandis qu’une autre Chinoise de Shanghai, Shu Fu gagnait le 2 ème prix, pour sa technique infaillible en Esmeralda. Le 2 ème prix homme a été décerné à Julien Meyzindi, 22 ans, coryphée de l’Opéra de Paris, élégant et brillant interprète de Etudes, et le 2 ème prix couple aux quadrilles de l’Opéra de Paris Lise-Marie Jourdain et Jean-Sébastien Colau, 22 et 23 ans, qui ont remporté un vif succès dans un Carnaval de Venise aussi virtuose que spirituel. Le prix de la Florence Gould Foundation (prix spécial du jury) a été attribué au jeune ukrainien du JBF, Yaroslav Salenko pour son aérien Solor de La Bayadère, le prix de l’AROP est revenu au polonais Marcin Krajewski, ex danseur du JBF, actuellement au Ballet de Wiesbaden, pour son éblouissante illustration des Bourgeois de Brel dans l’admirable chorégraphie de Ben Van Cauwenbergh, un succès assuré qui a déjà valu de notables succès à Marcin Krajewski lors de précédents galas cette année dans ce même Théâtre des Champs Elysées. Enfin le Prix classique de la Fondation Rudolf Noureev est allé à la Chinoise Zhongjing Fang, autre interprète gracieuse et infaillible de Raymonda.
Les finales classiques avaient révélés d’autres jeunes talents non négligeables, comme l’Espagnol Eymar Benedicto chez les Juniors, la Luxembourgeoise Laura Hidalgo, les Françaises Sarah Kora Dayanova et Dorothé Gilbert et la Russe Anastasya Meskova, toujours chez les juniors, l’espagnol Carlos Pinillos Castro chez les senior et surtout un magnifique artiste, Federico Bonelli, qui se présentait en duo avec la japonaise Hiraku Kobayashi dans Tchaikovki pas de deux.




Le gala de clôture présidé par Mme Jacques Chirac, dimanche soir au Théâtre des Champs Elysées n’a fait que renforcer le choix des jurés, les lauréats de ce 9 ème Concours international de danse de Paris se montrant dignes de leurs récompenses : des lauréats enfin libérés de la terreur d’affronter un jury, et accompagnés par un orchestre dans la fosse, l’Orchestre Colonne placé sous la direction de Yannis Pouspourikas.
Ce gala avait pourtant mal commencé, avec la prestation des deux Médailles d’ Or du Concours International de Varna 2.000, Xiaofeng Fang et Shunyi Sun, très honorables dans le Grand Pas Classique d’Auber….s’ils ne s’étaient étalés à terre l’un après l’autre, se rattrapant de justesse, la main au sol ! Les deux seuls faux pas de la soirée , qui prouvaient peut-être la supériorité du concours français.
Le public a réservé ses plus ferventes ovations à Marcin Krajewski, toujours ......la suite sur Imagidanse.com (SITE D'INTERET)



Sunday, December 3rd, 2000
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11:07 pm - Español
Dentro del Festival de Otoño se está presentando, hasta mañana domingo, en el Teatro de Madrid la compañía francesa de Philippe Decouflé (París, 1961) con su pieza Shazam! en la que reafirma sus orígenes de artista cirquero y posterior desarrollo dentro de la danza abstracta norteamericana. Es siempre un poco Peter Pan y posee sentido del espectáculo y la diversión.
Decouflé, a pesar, no ha madurado nada. No lo necesita, es parte de su estilo de vida expresarse atropelladamente, en viñetas sueltas que a veces enternecen y a veces hacen reír.

Monday, November 6th, 2000
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8:49 pm - ENGLISH
NOV. 6


In one of the most varied programs of American Ballet Theatre's season at City Center, the company last Thursday showed that it is just plain game for anything. Beginning with an explosion of light and muscle in Natalie Weir's "Jabula" and ending with the utterly classical lines and forms of Harald Lander's "Etudes" -- and in between, exploring some of the richest, most demanding fare available to dancers in Balanchine's "Prodigal Son" -- the ABT dancers seemed to want to wring the juice out of all the possibilities available to them.

"Jabula," a world premiere this season, got a raucous response -- not just because of the marvelous choreography and the heart-pounding music of Hans Zimmer (on tape, from the score of "The Power of One"), but because of the amazing investment of the dancers. They all put their hearts into this piece. Weir comes to us from the Australian Ballet; this work was created for the Queensland Ballet Company, the program note says, "to showcase the dancers and their individuality. Jabula means joy, and is the choreographer's response to the power of the music, and the inspiration of the dancers." Weir obviously loves her dancers, whether Aussies or Yanks, and through her fine work they love her back.

The piece begins with a burst of light from the back of the stage, illuminating eight men in long, full pants who start the piece off on a note of strong, earthy, full-to-bursting passion. These men were like young warriors, though there were really only suggestions of tribal ritual in Weir's choreography. Mostly we saw pumped-up modern movement, with deep plies and leaps in all directions -- a gorgeous expanse of bare backs and fabric. Among these men Sean Stewart stood out; he continues to be one of the most rewarding young dancers around, indisputably present every moment he's on stage, with a magnetic style that looks like nobody else's.

It was great to see the stage full of Weir's gorgeous steps (to which the lighting, originally designed by David Whitworth and designed here by Brad Fields, was a sensational complement). But the strongest parts of "Jabula" were not the full-ensemble pieces (which, despite some dramatic moments, looked awkward in too much of the partnering) but the smaller groupings and solos. Sandra Brown burst onto the stage in ecstasy, energy shooting out from every part of her body; her solo and her later duet with Carlos Molina were masterpieces of balance between abandon and control. If she ran out of steam a bit in the middle of her solo, she more than made up for it with the elation she showed at the end -- you could almost hear her laughing with ... well, with jabula! She gave a hugely generous performance. A duet between Eric Otto and Sascha Radetsky was full of power, and an extraordinary solo for Herman Cornejo gave that excellent dancer a chance to put it all out there in taut turns and explosive floor work. In all, this was a confident and exciting piece with choreography that challenged the eye, made very successful indeed by the intensity and dedication of these dancers. They reminded me of photographs of those giant rocks way out in Australia's wilderness, standing peaceful and strong in all their glory, bathed in light.

A week ago, when Angel Corella danced his highly dramatic, highly athletic "Prodigal Son," it was impossible not to think, "What's Ethan Stiefel going to do?" The two of them have lately been engaged in a game of "dueling virtuosi": they have upped and upped the ante for each other, revealing new dimensions of their roles in the process. This match-up, like the others, did not disappoint (though I worried when one critic covered Stiefel's debut in "Prodigal" with two cutting words: "good enough"). Corella's Prodigal was a spitfire, a kid who couldn't not run away; when he pounded on his legs in the opening scene, it was with a giddy glee that signaled that he just couldn't keep from having an adventure. Stiefel's Prodigal could not have been more different. He was almost a prince at his entrance, well-mannered and gentle with his friends, a young man formed by the ordered love of his family -- so that, far from sensing it at the outset, we began to see him having the idea to run away. He was trying it on for size in his leg-pounding solo (not as technically potent as Corella's, but three times as complex), getting a feel for it when he broke out of his family's circle on the ground, still convincing himself that it's what he really wanted when he's all the way out in the boonies with creatures of whom he, with his gentle upbringing, is instinctively afraid. (His scene of introduction to the Drinking Companions was painfully nuanced; you could see in every thought and every notch that he was falling, forcing himself to join in and learn how to have fun with that scary "protoplasm.") This is a Prodigal who knows exactly what he's doing, exactly what he's giving up, and who goes ahead with it. His open-mouthed, splayed-fingered pose looks like a pose, and like he likes it.

Julie Kent's Siren took Stiefel's Prodigal at his word: if this is the game you think you want to play, she seemed to say, then I'll play it with you. I didn't think it was possible for the Siren to be a cause of laughter, but Kent's Siren was playing the game so obviously, and so well, that she became a knowing caricature -- and when she knelt in the front corner beating her breast, everyone laughed, because we were in on the agreement: she comes to him with an offer to seduce, he realizes that he is looking to be seduced, and she agrees -- and seduces him with more skill than he could ever have imagined. It's a terrifying gamble, but Stiefel had us prepared for it. Kent lacks some of the sheer physical strength this part requires (she couldn't hold on in the famous shin-busting episode, among other things), but she invented here a Siren of monstrous proportions -- with her chalk-pale skin and sharp-edged cheekbones, she was more snake than woman.

Stiefel's Prodigal finally realizes that he is in a world of evil, where things that you know are creepy but shake hands with anyway not only suck you in but turn you inside out. But the power seemed to go out of Stiefel's performance once the chance for fine nuance was over -- once he was left near-naked in the dark, the best he could come up with (in contrast to Corella's crumpled, out-of-the-blue, utter devastation) was "damn it all, it didn't work." Maybe his Prodigal was too knowing all along. Corella's return was total emotion; it seemed to take forever, and he looked like the Christ in a Spanish procession, crushed and abandoned, a little boy who's seen the pit. Stiefel looked, at the end, like he'd just crashed his Harley. He was in pain, he was hungover, he was ashamed of himself -- but when he pulled himself into his father's arms, it was less as repentant son than failed young buck. It was a coherent performance, but that very coherence was the problem: Stiefel's relentless pursuit of complexity in the Prodigal's first two worlds led toward an ending, in the third world of his father's embrace, that could not be deeply, simply true.

After the richness of "Prodigal Son," Harald Lander's "Etudes" was light and yummy as a bit of marzipan. The same small problems Susan Yung observed a few days back were there again last night -- with such a nonstop display of pure technique, there are bound to be a few things mussed up -- but in general the ensemble held its own. Amanda McKerrow looked not terribly strong and even a little worried in the ballerina role, but she made it through gracefully and, at the end, seemed very happy to have done so. Maxim Belotserkovsky of the elegant legs and wicked mane was a smooth, delicious partner. As for Joaquin de Luz, filling in in the Tasmanian Devil role for Jose Manual Carreno, he was predictably sensational -- I say predictably because he often is sensational, but also because after the first series of seven pirouettes or however many it was, he just set himself to "high" and barreled through. He seemed to be having a good time up there, though. It would just be nice to see him show it in more ways than the two (namely, fast turns and more fast turns) he showed Thursday night.

It has been noted that relying on sheer technique is a big temptation for this company. But as they work with Sandra Brown and Ethan Stiefel and others on the roster whose depth is their great strength (and, most important, as they get some serious coaching), those who at the moment have only speed will learn deliberation too.

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