Feb 282012

Balanchine fish dinner Bodies Never Lie introduces the Ballet Cookbook Dinner Series, starting with Mr B.

Bod­ies Never Lie, “A blog about dance in New York”, has star­ted an intriguing new series of posts, kick­ing off with Eat­ing George Bal­anchine: The First Install­ment of the Bal­let Cook­book Din­ner Series.

Here is how blog­ger Ryan Wen­zel intro­duces his superb idea:

As both a bal­letomane and a bib­li­o­phile, I had little choice but to pur­chase The Bal­let Cook Book, by former baller­ina Tana­quil Le Clercq. Although out of print for dec­ades, the book has become legendary in dance circles. Cop­ies are like gold dust, but after a pro­longed online search I suc­ceeded in find­ing one for the rel­at­ively low price of $80.

Paging through it for the first time, it was clear the book was worth every cent.

[con­tinue reading]

Feb 252012

Priscilla Milan 1 Priscilla the Musical gives the Milan catwalks an added dash of kitsch

Today is car­ni­val day in Milan: Sabato Grasso. It comes later than all the other car­ni­val cel­eb­ra­tions, and this year Milan was blessed with a 20°C sunny day which gave the tour­ists a good excuse to get out their shorts and sandals.

Priscilla Milan 2 Priscilla the Musical gives the Milan catwalks an added dash of kitsch

As car­ni­val week also coin­cides this year with a fash­ion week, Mil­ano Moda Donna, the streets were crowded, espe­cially out­side one of the strangest cat­walk shows Milan has seen this week. The pro­du­cers of the musical Priscilla cap­it­al­ised on the big crowds to give Oscar-winning designer Lizzy Gardiner’s cos­tumes an air­ing out­side the walls of the theatre. The crowds loved it…

Priscilla Milan 4 Priscilla the Musical gives the Milan catwalks an added dash of kitsch

Priscilla, La Regina del Deserto: Priscilla Palace –Teatro Ciak, Milan[con­tinue reading]

Feb 252012

Bullets over Broadway Woody Allen adapts Bullets Over Broadway for a new Broadway musicalWoody Allen’s 1994 film “Bul­lets Over Broad­way” explored the trav­ails of an aspir­ing play­wright strug­gling to bring his cre­ation to the Great White Way. And now, in a pos­sible case of art imit­at­ing, um, art, Allen is work­ing on a musical adapt­a­tion of the film, with a Broad­way première tent­at­ively slated for 2013, repor­ted Reu­ters.

Allen will write the book for the musical, which will fea­ture exist­ing music from 1920s, in which “Bul­lets Over Broad­way” is set, said pro­du­cers Julian Schlossberg and Letty Aronson.

The ori­ginal film, which starred John Cus­ack, Dianne Wiest, Chazz Pal­min­teri and Jen­nifer Tilly, was nom­in­ated for seven Academy Awards, and won one — in the Best Sup­port­ing Act­ress cat­egory, for Wiest’s por­trayal of alco­holic act­ress Helen Sin­clair.… [con­tinue reading]

Feb 232012

Streisand Barbra Streisands 50 years with Columbia Records continues with 12 DVD setBar­bra Streis­and and Columbia Records have announced that Streisand’s record­ing con­tract with the label has been extended.

Begin­ning with “The Bar­bra Streis­and Album” in 1963 through the most recent, her 2012 Grammy nom­in­ated “What Mat­ters Most”, Bar­bra Streis­and sings the lyr­ics of Alan and Mar­ilyn Berg­man.” Columbia and Streis­and have enjoyed argu­ably the most suc­cess­ful con­sec­ut­ive col­lab­or­a­tion in the his­tory of recor­ded music, which includes num­ber one albums in five con­sec­ut­ive dec­ades; a feat unequaled by any other record­ing artist.

From the day God­dard Lieber­son signed me almost 50 years ago, Columbia Records has been my record­ing home, and I am thrilled to con­tinue that part­ner­ship for many years to come,”

Streis­and said in a statement.

She has released 62 albums with the music label, includ­ing num­ber one albums: “People,” “The Way We Were,” “A Star Is Born,” “Bar­bra Streisand’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2,” “Guilty,” “The Broad­way Album,” “Back To Broad­way,” “Higher Ground,” and “Love Is The Answer.” Streisand’s music in film has also garnered mul­tiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes.… [con­tinue reading]

Feb 222012

Syvlie Guillem Massimo Murru Manon 2011 New YouTube video: Manon, Act 1, the bedroom pas de deux with Sylvie Guillem and Massimo MurruAt the begin­ning of 2011 an extraordin­ary hap­pen­ing occurred in the bal­let world…

Sylvie Guillem, who had almost given up her pointe shoes and had been focus­ing on con­tem­por­ary dance, returned to one of her most cel­eb­rated roles, Manon.

Ken­neth MacMillan’s bal­let had won her praise all over the world, so the 46 year-old was cer­tainly tak­ing a gamble, but one which paid off mag­ni­fi­cently. The three per­form­ances at Milan’s La Scala were a triumph.

Here she dances with Massimo Murru the first act pas de deux, set in the bed­room of Des Grieux’s lodgings in Paris.


[con­tinue reading]

Feb 212012

In 1978, with Carla Fracci at the height of her fame, a book was pro­duced with a col­lec­tion of phở­to­graphs by Dino Jarach. Fracci in the piazza, Fracci on stage, Fracci in the stu­dio, Fracci on the beach… that sort of thing. In these phở­tos she is in fact over forty though, like now, she looks much younger.

In these phở­tos — Fracci at home with friend — there is a singer, ten years younger than Fracci, who had become a house­hold name in Italy dur­ing the six­ties: Cater­ina Case­lli. At this point of her life she was mov­ing behind the micro­phone and becom­ing a tal­ent scout. She helped to build the career of Paolo Conti among oth­ers, and her agency blos­somed when she dis­covered the young Andrea Bocelli.… [con­tinue reading]

Feb 202012

wayne eagling Wayne Eagling will leave the English National Ballet this summerWayne Eagling will step down artistic dir­ector of Eng­lish National Bal­let, with no clues as to his replace­ment, said The Times.

Eng­lish National Bal­let has announced that Wayne Eagling, who has been artistic dir­ector of the com­pany since 2005, will step down at the end of this sea­son in August. He will be the third artistic dir­ector of a Brit­ish bal­let com­pany to leave their job this sum­mer. Mon­ica Mason, dir­ector of the Royal Bal­let, is depart­ing after ten years at the top, while Ash­ley Page is leav­ing Scot­tish Bal­let after a dec­ade as artistic director.

The ENB state­ment, which came as a sur­prise, didn’t make any men­tion of a pos­sible suc­cessor to Eagling. John Tal­bot, the company’s chair­man, said,

I would like to thank Wayne Eagling for his out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the com­pany over the last seven years, a time of tre­mend­ous achievement.

[con­tinue reading]

Feb 202012

ELIZABETH CONNELL COL CCLIVE BARDA South African soprano Elizabeth Connell dies at 65Eliza­beth Con­nell, who died of can­cer on Feb­ru­ary 18 at the age of 65, was “a ded­ic­ated artist with a pop­u­lar fol­low­ing who paced her career to per­fec­tion”, said The Guard­ian. Born in Port Eliza­beth, South Africa, she stud­ied in Bri­tain at the Lon­don Opera Centre and made her debut as a mezzo-soprano at Wex­ford as Var­vara in Kát’a Kaban­ová in 1972.

Con­nell was acclaimed for her per­form­ances of the great Strauss, Verdi and Wag­ner heroines. Fol­low­ing her debut at Wex­ford Opera Fest­ival in 1972, she sang at the open­ing of the Sydney Opera House in Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 1973, and con­tin­ued to have a spe­cial rela­tion­ship with Opera Aus­tralia.  Fol­low­ing a five-year asso­ci­ation with Eng­lish National Opera, she was a freel­ance artist with the major opera houses.[con­tinue reading]