Sunday, December 28, 2008
I'm in Dallas, TX right now and will be line dancing at Billy Bobs, the world's largest honky tonk, this New Years Eve. I hope you all will be dancing into the new year as well.
Since I'm still on vacation, I thought a little holiday dance quiz could be fun. So see if you can answer the following questions and look for the answers at the bottom of the post.
1) Who do contemporary historians consider the first choreographer of "The Nutcracker"?
2) What other name is given to Clara in some Nutcracker performances?
3) "The Nutcracker" negatively was compared to which ballet score by Tchaikovsky?
4) When and where was "The Nutcracker" first performed?
5) What is considered the most popular alternative version of "The Nutcracker"?
Here you go:
1) Marius Petipa--a ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer of more than 50 ballets. However, it is debated whether Lev Ivanov choreographed "The Nutcracker" with Petipa's counsel.
2) Marie. The author of "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" (a morbid story never intended for children), E.T.A. Hoffmann, named the leading lady of his story Marie, while the name of one of her dolls was Clara.
3) Sleeping Beauty--he called "The Nutcracker's" music "infinitely poorer" than this ballet he composed in 1890.
4) December 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia
5) Mark Morris' "The Hard Nut," which sets the story based on horror-comic artist Charles Burns and premiered in January 1991.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Happy Holidays Everyone!
I've been away lately, moving back home to DC after finishing graduate school in Boston. But, I'm back and want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season.
Today, I came across a interview with three Mark Morris male dancers who describe their experiences of growing up and choosing a career in dance. All dancers feel emotional and physical pain and pressure, but male dancers have the added layer of physiological complexity of choosing a career that is considered feminine.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
You have a busy month of decorating, buying gifts and planning party schedules ahead of you. When you're finished do you plan to unwind at a performance of The Nutcracker? Thousands of families across the country will spend an evening with the Clara and her prince this December. Originally choreograph by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Theatres in 1891 and with music by Tchaikovsky, this family favorite is an easy way to introduce children to the art because of its fairy-tale characters and simplistic story. It also is readily accessible, with the Boston Ballet, among hundreds of other companies across the country, performing it until January. But there are alternatives to this holiday favorite, which can help you unwind just as easily, while introducing children to alternative styles of dance.
Here in Boston you can choose styles ranging from Middle Eastern to contemporary dance. Here are some performances to consider:
Honey Blonder presents 12 Dancers Dancing...A Christmas in Cambridge at Dance Complex from Dec. 12 to 13. This holiday-themed repertoire features several local dance companies and choreogrpahers including Rainbow Tribe, Mavi Dance, Derrick Davis, Disco Brats, Kira Seamon, LaRossa Dance, Brookline Academy Dance Ensemble, Mass Motion, Jim Banta and Kimberly Stegmaier.
Contrapose Dance and Green Street Studios present a Christmas Toy Story at Green Street Studios from Dec. 12-20. This piece featuring local contemporary dance artists is a fable of elves, broken toys, a gust of wind and resourceful friends.
Vadalna Tribal Dance Co. presents Menagerie at The Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center on Dec. 5 and 6. With a theatrical base, this company merges traditional Middle Eastern dance with contemporary styles and hip-hop.
Local artist Lucy Stack and Seattle's Dead Bird Movement presents Unfolding Spaces at the Mass. College of Art Pozen Center on Dec. 7. These seven young artists will perform an evening-length collaborative piece mixing dance, music, video and sculpture.
For more information on any of these performances, visit the Boston Dance Alliance.