New York, New York. Blowing horns on Bleeker Street on New Year’s Day. January 1943.
New York, New York. Blowing horns on Bleeker Street on New Year’s Day. January 1943.
Uhm… okay, last day of twothousandnine and I’m rummaging through the cache of goodies that I’ve collected throughout the year and thought this would be a good time to share another one:
This painting of Chantal by Sean Cheetham stole my breath the first time I saw it. I’m certain it must be 10-times more powerful in person but even in this medium, it is truly stunning. I found more by Cheetham here.
An enthusiast has just started a brand new Podcast and blog called Ballet for Men. It is still pretty new so there isn’t a lot of content yet but I’m betting it will be a great resource in the near future.
I myself started my journey with ballet at 16, and was told it is tougher for men to be starting so late. It is, without a doubt but I’m thinking that not everyone who has a desire or passion to dance is aspiring to become Barishnikov or Martins. Men love to dance. Period.
Subscribe via iTunes: Ballet for Men Podcast
non-iTunes feed: feed://www.balletformen.com/podcast.xml
And just for good measure – Mikhail from the early 70s:
Mémoires d’Oubliettes Jirí Kylián Nederlands Dans Theater I
Nederlands Dans Theater is touring with this piece by Kylián throughout Holland. See www.nederlandsdanstheater.nl
1909 – 2009
You must check out this site – Russian Ballet History! It is so rich in background on the founding of the itinerant ballet company by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev in 1909. The website is a rich treasure trove of memorabilia and information that hums with passion and respect.
From their front-page:
“Diaghilev had already enjoyed success in Paris in 1908 when he presented a season of Russian art, music, and opera. He was invited back the following year to give a programme of Russian opera and ballet. The company was initially in resident at the Théâtre Mogador and Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris years later moving to Monte Carlo. The company returned in 1910; in 1911 it was presented under Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and made its debut in London. Its’ original members were from the Tsar’s Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia where all its dancers were associated and trained. The company consisted of 13 members, all attaining a very high standard of dance. The company featured and premiered now-famous works by the great choreographers Marius Petipa, Michel Fokine, Bronislava Nijinska, Leonide Massine, Vaslav Nijinsky, and a young George Balanchine at the start of his career. It created a sensation in Western Europe because of the great vitality of Russian ballet compared to French dance. Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes became one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century, in part because of its ground-breaking artistic collaboration among contemporary choreographers, composers, artists, and dancers. Its works were part of the avant-garde culture in Paris and France.”
After Diaghilev’s death in 1929 the company of dancers scattered and fractured to become two companies: the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo headed by René Blum and Colonel Vassily de Basil in 1933; and the Original Ballet Russe was founded by de Basil in 1939 after a falling out.
It was the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo that traveled extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Australia to became the most influential ballet company that inspired so many and revolutionized the dance world.
If you’re a lover of vintage dance photographs, check out the collection of fantastic digital collection over at the National Library of Australia. Amazing!
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This is over 26 minutes long but extremely worth it.
“Experimental dance film ‘Lodela’ (1996) by Canadian documentary and experimental film maker Philippe Baylaucq is certainly one of the most successful dance films Canadian cinematography has brought to light…”
“Inspired by the myths of the afterlife, this allegorical dance piece illuminates the soul’s quest by exploring movement and the human body in new and astonishing ways. An evocation of the origins of the world. A hymn to the beauty of the human form. A celebration of movement. A metaphor for life and death. A film without words.”
The dancers are: Jose Navas and Chi Long. I’m having a bit of difficulty finding info on the choreographer Philippe Baylaucq that isn’t French – I’m not proficient – but when I do, I’ll update…
This film debuted on the Sundance Channel in the Summer of 2007, but it just seems so right for this time of year – like listening to Erik Satie… Sigh.
It’s the documentary by award winning director/producers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine of the remarkable and transformative collective known as the Ballets Russes.
“Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine have fashioned a dazzlingly entrancing ode to the revolutionary twentieth-century dance troupe known as the Ballets Russes. What began as a group of Russian refugees who never danced in Russia became not one but two rival dance troupes who fought the infamous “ballet battles” that consumed London society before World War II.
BALLETS RUSSES maps the company’s Diaghilev-era beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris–when artists such as Nijinsky, Balanchine, Picasso, Miró, Matisse, and Stravinsky united in an unparalleled collaboration–to its halcyon days of the 1930s and ’40s, when the Ballets Russes toured America, astonishing audiences schooled in vaudeville with artistry never before seen, to its demise in the 1950s and ’60s when rising costs, rocketing egos, outside competition, and internal mismanagement ultimately brought this revered company to its knees.”
Loved the Then & Now shots from their theatrical page:
It always gets a bit quiet around here about this time for understandable reasons, family, friends, and Seasonal festivities. My hope is that you and all of your loved ones are safe, healthy and happy. Take your vitamins and drive safe, and don’t forget your daily drills…
Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you joyous shimmy blessings! Cherish the moments with your heart’s loves.
… And cheers that now the days are inching longer.
“ First of all, I am happy to announce that we are going to be having a Hafla (belly dance party) on the evening on the 16th from 7-10pm. There will be local vendors selling belly dance costumes and accessories, as well as performances by myself, and many other local dancers and troupes. We are even going to have some surprise special guests from out of the area. It is going to be a really fun time. Even if you can’t make the workshop, the Hafla is FREE, and I would strongly encourage you to attend and invite all your friends. If you are interested in performing, message me to register.
(Solo performances are limited to 6 minutes, and group performances are limited to 12 minutes.)
There have been some questions about the costume making workshop. If you are only interested in attending the workshop on the 17th, I will offer an early registration discount for $50, if signed up before Jan. 4th.
If you are planning on attending the zils workshop on the 16th, and would like me to provide zils for you, you MUST register no later than the 4th of January, so that I may order them.
You can also purchase your own zils at the Melting Pot. If you do, be sure to get the kind that have two slits in the top for the elastic, instead of a single hole. If anybody needs me to clarify this further, do not hesitate to contact me.
Finally, remember to take advantage of the early holiday discount of $85 before Dec. 22nd. You can make this payment in two installments, paying $45 before Dec. 22nd, and the remainder on the day the workshop starts.
You can contact me via Facebook, to register.
I’m really excited to be offering this workshop. It’s going to be an amazing weekend. Looking forward to dancing with you all.
Allison Prater “
Did you see the email from Yasmine and Tribal Bazaar’s project “All The Pretty Snakes… (& Belly Dancers)” 2010 Calendar? It looks wonderful!
Lee & Yasmine also have a few backstage videos up on Vimeo that are very entertaining:
I’ve just paid my final installment & secured my place in the Weekend Immersion with the “Supreme Dance Goddess”, Donna Mejia!! Sponsored and hosted by Blue Damsel. Click on the image below for the immersion details:
“Captivate your mind and senses with enthralling lecture and movement instruction. Break through to the next layer of your dance within the fascinating structure and knowledge of Donna Mejia. This full immersion weekend intensive will provide you with a full physical training experience, combined with mindful instruction and thoughtful lecture and discussion, totaling 12 hours (see below for schedule). As part of the intensive, you’ll be treated to a special Saturday evening performance by Donna Mejia, featuring live music and guest performances.”
Click on this image for the video of Donna’s Improv at the Tribalcon Gathering:
A few weeks ago I ran across a new site that offers up daily dance drills and strengthening exercises. The site was started by a youngster – one of the privileges of age is that you get to call everyone a youngster – named Jen, sometime in the middle of November. It’s great! She also links to relevant YouTube videos that focus on the body isolations and topics of the day.
FYI – I’m gonna assume the “Daily” part as merely a suggestion…
P.S. and she’s Tweet
Karim Nagi workshop in LV
Save these dates!
January, 30th and 31st.
2 days, 4 different WORKSHOPS and Hafla
DETAILS at Amira’s site : http://www.amirasbelly.com/karim09.php
or Flyer here:
The New York Times ran a story a few weeks ago that I can’t seem to get out of my head about a 31 year old young man, Gregg Mozgala, an actor afflicted with cerebral palsy, and choreographer Tamar Rogoff. Neil Genzlinger’s story, Learning His Body, Learning to Dance” coupled with the accompanying video, really moved, and inspired me about the transformational aspects of the body and dance.
Through one-on-one sessions with Mozgala, the two embarked on a small project that flourished into a full dance piece “Diagnosis of a Faun” that premiered in New York just last week and will move on in June to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC.
“This is not a cure,” Mozgala says, but it has given the young man a new understanding of his body and transforming communication pathways from his brain. The writer of the piece concludes “But now he doesn’t feel enslaved by it.”
I think what kept drawing me back to the story was a feeling of dissonance: that although it was a piece written for the Dance section of the Times, its focus seemed primarily on the therapeutic science and less on the dance. I would have preferred to hear more from the principals themselves which is why I kept replaying the video… Mozgala moves beautifully, and I would have gotten so much more had the story focused on their collaborative processes. In the rehearsal video, after recounting Mr. Mozgala’s physical limitations, Ms Rogoff says, “we’re able to work around what used to happen to him – and so we just proceed.”
I am thinking that this collaboration has been transformative for both of their work; though the writer suggests, “she has changed his view of himself and of his possibilities” I would have preferred more insight into their art and creation together.
Update: Seek & learn, just found exactly what I was hoping to find: Tamar Rogoff Performance Project. Now to find reactions to the performance…
Another Update: Via the above noted Performance Blog I learned that CBS News ran a piece “Step by Step” on Gregg, Tamar, and the project and that Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine says “Together Rogoff and Mozgala have created a true and powerful Faun.”
Update: We are so very Excited! Tomorrow is the day! and all the preps are coming together. Can’t wait to announce the news that we’ve found a studio, and are now ready to begin the process of building our student outreach.
And we have some great dancers coming out to party with us. See you there!
Mark your calendars! We’re holding a very special hafla in February – Valentine’s Day weekend to be exact, and you are all invited. Dancers, musicians, spectators are all welcome to join in. Please email me if you are interested in a performance slot, but this is not a requirement to attend.
We plan to use this opportunity to announce the launch of our very own local SEEDs Program (Self-Esteem and Education through Dance). Some specifics are still pending but we’re looking forward to having a lot more information to share with you by then.
Please join us for the launch of this exciting program, shimmy & swivel your hips, or just break bread with us.
Loida and Ed of Gimikan [Map] have been gracious in opening their Restaurant Lounge to us, and this is a family friendly event.
Come one, come all!!
UPDATE: Our website is now live www.dadimaseeds.org