Tours en l'air organizes ballet-themed escorted holidays to see the best companies perform great ballets in beautiful places. You can join a trip from anywhere. A highly knowledgeable balletomane who has enjoyed 100s of performances in over 20 cities around the world,I speak English, French, and German, and am a Travel Industry Council of Ontario certified Travel Counsellor. I also teach ballet appreciation courses. Twitter: @thewordlady Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherine.barber.37
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, 101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5, 416-736-6010, TICO # 1892647

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Mariinsky Cinderella (Ratmansky) Reviews

Ratmansky's Cinderella  opened last night at the Edinburgh Festival. Here are links to reviews:

Kelly Apter, The Scotsman:
Sarah Crompton, The Daily Telegraph
Josie Balfour, Scotsman (http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/performing-arts/review-mariinsky-ballet-cinderella-festival-theatre-1-2499802)
Roslyn Sulcas, NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/01/arts/dance/cinderella-at-edinburgh-international-festival.html?_r=1&ref=dance)  

Vivien Devlin, Edinburgh Guide.

Luke Jennings, The Guardian

Thom Dibdin, The Stage 

Gerald Dowler, Financial Times

More reviews will be posted as they appear.

For Cinderella casting at the Kennedy Center, please click here.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

20% off San Francisco Ballet Sadler's Wells London

Sadler's Wells Theatre in London is offering a 20% discount on San Francisco Ballet tickets if you book at least two different performances. Here's the link: http://www.sadlerswells.com/page/whats-on-multibuy

Programme A features George Balanchine’s iconic large-scale work, Divertimento No. 15, set to Mozart’s chamber piece; choreographer Edwaard Liang’s abstract ballet Symphonic Dances, set to Rachmaninov’s intensely spiritual composition of the same name; and Christopher Wheeldon’s uplifting Number Nine, hailed as a “delectable paintbox of a dance” by The San Francisco Chronicle.

 Programme B brings together Wheeldon’s atmospheric 2010 ballet Ghosts; Ashley Page’s highly physical Guide to Strange Places set to pulsating music by John Adams; and Trio, choreographed by Tomasson and set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious Souvenir de Florence. A visually stunning triptych of a ballet, Trio boasts set and costumes as lush as the choreography.


Programme C is comprised of four works: Mark Morris’ Beaux, a playful colourful work for nine men featuring costumes by Isaac Mizrahi; San Francisco Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov’s interpretation of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony; Possokhov’s multimedia dance theatre work RAkU, based on the story of the burning of Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion in 1950; and Christopher Wheeldon’s ethereal Within the Golden Hour, set to music by Italian composer Ezio Bosso and Vivaldi.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Between the cats? History of the word "entrechat"

Illustration courtesy of Ian Mitchell**

 An "entrechat" seems, to anyone who knows French, to mean "between the cats". This is intriguing, because I've never seen my cats jump straight upward and beat their little paws in the air. But then I've never seen them point their toes at their knees (if cats have knees) in a pas de chat either.

In fact, "entrechat" is a French corruption of the Italian phrase capriola intrecciata, literally a "complicated caper". Intrecciata comes from the word treccia (braid), which logically comes from the word tre (three) , since braids are made from three tresses (a word which has the same origin). "Braid" is  a clearer image of what the legs look like in an entrechat.

We'll come back to the word "caper" and capriola when we talk about cabrioles in the upcoming weeks.



** Ian Mitchell is a Leicester-based artist whose whimsical illustrations appear in my book Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs. He kindly provided his charming and quirky drawing of an  "entrechat" from the book for this post. Please visit his website at http://www.ianmitchellillustrator.com/index.html
and if you're in the Leicester area, drop by and visit his stall at one of the events listed at http://www.ianmitchellillustrator.com/portfolio/index.php/news and buy a picture or two!

Here are Roberto Bolle and Carla Fracci doing a bunch of entrechats in Giselle



For the history of the word "adage", click here.
For "fouetté", click here.
For "bourrée", click here.  
For "cabriole", click here
For "ballotté" , click here.
For "pirouette", click here, and to find out what dancing has to do with falling over, click here.


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Houston Ballet Madame Butterfly casting

 
September
Cio-Cio San (Butterfly)
Pinkerton
6 Thursday
Amy Fote
James Gotesky
8 Saturday
Melody Mennite
Connor Walsh
9 Sunday
Nao Kusuzaki
Simon Ball
14 Friday
Mireille Hassenboehler
Linnar Looris
15 Saturday
Sara Webb
Ian Casady
16 Sunday
Amy Fote
James Gotesky
 
 
If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Paris Opera Ballet Live Broadcasts

The Paris Opera Ballet has just announced a new undertaking of live ballet broadcasts in  26 UGC cinemas in France and Belgium, in about 100 "partner cinemas" in France and several hundred cinemas elsewhere (not specified). Brigitte Lefevre will introduce the broadcasts.

Don Quixote (Nureyev version)  - Tuesday 18 December 2012

Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (Neumeier)  - Thursday 18 April 2013

La Sylphide (Lacotte after Taglioni) - Thursday 27 June 2013 (retransmission)

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Don Quichotte  - Mardi 18 Décembre 2012

Troisième Symphonie de Gustav Mahler  - Jeudi 18 Avril 2013

La Sylphide  - Jeudi 27 juin 2013 (en différé)

Les oeuvres choisies seront diffusées dans 26 salles du réseau UGC en France et en Belgique. Ces oeuvres seront également diffusées dans une centaine de salles partenaires en France, et plusieurs centaines dans le reste du monde, la distribution de ces programmes dans ces salles de cinéma ayant été confiée à la société Fra CINEMA, également signataire de cet accord. Brigitte Lefèvre, Directrice de la Danse de l’Opéra national de Paris,  présentera les ballets aux spectateurs des salles de cinéma, avant le début de la représentation.

Three New York City Dance Archives

An interesting article:
"Dig into dance history by seeing correspondance by George Balanchine or photos of ballerinas at New York City Ballet. Look at a Labanotation of Serenade at the Dance Notation Bureau. Or listen to an interview with Martha Graham at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Oral History Archive and Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts."

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/dance/explore-dance-history-at-three-nyc-archives

I have visited the Performing Arts Library (conveniently located at Lincoln Center); they have a wonderful search function where you can type in the name of your favourite dancer and see a list of all the videos that they're on in the library's holdings, and then go and watch the videos. Some of these are recordings that are not pubicly available; for instance I saw a video of Robert Tewsley and the Stuttgart Ballet in Glen Tetley's Rite of Spring. You will need a NY Public Library library card, but visitors from outside NY can easily get a temporary one (good for three days) at the front desk.

Another good source for dance in NY is the
The Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television & Radio), where as I recall you can watch videos of dance performances that have been broadcast (e.g. Dance in America).

25 West 52 Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 621-6600

Hours

Wed-Sun noon-6pm
Thurs noon-8pm
Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

Contribution

General $10
Student/Senior $8
Children under 14 $5

Monday, August 27, 2012

Royal Danish Ballet dancers strut their stuff

In this video,  RDB principal Alban Lendorf and soloist Tim Matiakis show off their fancy footwork in Johan Kobborg's Les Lutins.



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Mariinsky Swan Lake casting Berkeley

Casting for performances at Zellerbach Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Wednesday October 10- Sunday October 15, 2012 Evening performances at 8 pm, Saturday matinee at 2, Sunday matinee at 3.
Update as of September 10: It has been announced that Tereshkina and Somova will not be dancing as both are pregnant. Revised casting posted as of September 18.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Oct 10 eve Oct 11 eve Oct 12 eve Oct 13 mat Oct 13eve Oct 14 mat
Odette/ Odile Yekaterina Kondaurova Anastasia Kolegova Oksana Skoryk Yekaterina Kondaurova Oksana Skoryk Anastasia Kolegova
Siegfried Danila Korsuntsev Yevgeny Ivanchenko Vladimir Schklyarov Danila Korsuntsev Alexander Sergeev Maxim Zuzin
Jester Vasily Tkachenko Ilya Petrov Alexey Nedviga Ilya Petrov Vasily Tkachenko Alexey Nedviga
Rothbart Konstantin Zverev Andrey Solovyov Alexander Romanchikov Konstantin Zverev Andrey Solovyov Alexander Romanchikov
Cygnets Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova, Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina
Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina
Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina
Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina
Irina Golub, Svetlana Ivanova,
Elena Chmil, Maria Shirinkina
Swans Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich
Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich
Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich
Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Keenan Kampa, Yuliana Cheresh-kevich
Victoria Brileva,
Yulia Stepanova
Two Swans Maria Shirinkina, Anastasia Nikitina Maria Shirinkina, Anastasia Nikitina Maria Shirinkina, Nadezhda Gonchar Nadezhda Gonchar, Anastasia Nikitina Irina Golub, Nadezhda Gonchar Nadezhda Gonchar, Anastasia Nikitina
Spanish Dance Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova, Kamil Yangurazov, Karen Ionessian Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova, Kamil Yangurazov, Karen Ionessian Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova, Kamil Yangurazov, Karen Ionessian Anastasia Petushkova
Yulia Stepanova Kamil
Yangurazov Karen Ionessian
Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova, Kamil Yangurazov, Karen Ionessian Anastasia Petushkova, Yulia Stepanova, Kamil Yangurazov, Karen Ionessian
Neapolitan Anna Lavrinenko
Ilya Petrov
Anna Lavrinenko, Alexey Nedviga Anna Lavrinenko, Vasily Tkachenko Anna Lavrinenko, Alexey Nedviga Anna Lavrinenko, Ilya Petrov Anna Lavrinenko, Vasily Tkachenko
Hungarian Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov Olga Belik, Boris Zhurilov

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Greta Hodgkinson and other "Dancing Mums & Dads" at NBOC

A couple of charming articles from the National Ballet of Canada's latest donor newsletter that deal with juggling family life and work as a dancer. The NBOC currently boasts a "roster" of 14 children of dancers. Also, an interview with Greta Hodgkinson, herself a "dancing mum".
(If you have received this post by email and cannot see the article, please click in the title of the post in your email, which will take you to the website where you can see it).

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Video of Paris Opera Ballet dancers on a Paris rooftop

Interlude from Bacchus on Vimeo.
dir : Charlotte Lurot, choreography : Samuel Murez (for more about Samuel Murez, please visit this post.
  With Lydie Vareilhes, Laura Hecquet, Takeru Coste
Interlude from Bacchus on Vimeo.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Behind the scenes at the ballet: wardrobe

An interview with Marjorie Fielding, wardrobe supervisor at the National Ballet of Canada:
http://national.ballet.ca/thecompany/artisticstaff/Marjory_Fielding,_Wardrobe_Supervisor/

and a video from Australian Ballet:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

For a laugh: Dawn French & Darcey Bussell Dancing

Dawn French shows Darcey Bussell how to dance (with Anthony Dowell looking on) in this very funny sketch:



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

History of the word "fouetté"

 The word "fouetté" can be traced ultimately back to the Latin name for the beech tree, fagus, which in Old French became fou (not to be confused with the modern French word fou meaning "crazy", though one might think that a more appropriate description of the movement!). Add a diminutive -et ending to fou, and a fouet was a young or small beech tree and then a stick of beech wood used for beating, before finally settling down to its modern meaning, "whip", which describes the action of the working leg in a fouetté.

Viengsay Valdes of Cuban National Ballet performs the Black Swan fouettés stunningly:



And here's the unusual sight of a man doing 32 fouettés, Paris Opera Ballet's Jose Martinez in Harald Lander's Etudes (starting at about 4:10):



For the history of the word "adage", click here.
For "entrechat", click here
For "bourrée", click here
For "pirouette", click here, and to find out what dancing has to do with falling over, click here.


If you love ballet, check out my season of outstanding ballet trips in 2012-13 by clicking here.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Assis Carreiro new artistic director for Flanders

Assis Carreiro has been named new artistic director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, after Kathryn Bennetts was forced out by a hostile Flanders government wishing to combine the ballet company with the opera company.
She will explain plans for the  2012-2013 season at a press conference in early September.Assis Carreiro: "I am honored and excited to be artistic director of this fantastic company. With the help of guest choreographers, new productions and ballet classics, I want to lead this company to new heights and further develop it as a national treasure. I look forward to getting to know Antwerp and Flanders and to giving the Royal Ballet of Flanders a unique profile in the artistic landscape of this country. "

Assis Carreiro
Assis Carreiro was born in the Azores and grew up in Canada. She moved to the UK in 1994, having been Director of Education, Community Outreach and Publications for the National Ballet of Canada for 12 years where she led the first education unit in a Canadian dance company. She is now one of the most influential figures in dance in the UK. From 1994 to 1996, she was Founding Director of DanceXchange in Birmingham and went on to work for Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and as a Fundraising Executive at The Place. During 1998/99 Assis was dance programmer at DasTAT in Germany for William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt before joining DanceEast in January, 2000.

Assis Carreiro has taught and lectured internationally and is on the board of Akram Khan Company and in the past has served on the boards of Dance UK, Dance 4, Canada’s Dancemakers, the Jonathan Burrows Group, the National Dance Network, and is a member of Les Repérages dance platform in Lille, France. She has been an advisor and assessor to the Arts Council of England’s Arts for Everyone Lottery Grants, London Arts Board, Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council, Scottish Government, and served on Sir Brian McMaster’s Sounding Board Review for Supporting Excellence in the Arts: From Measurement to Judgement. In 2003, the International Theatre Council nominated Assis for the International Dance Award. She holds an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of East Anglia and was made a Visiting Senior Fellow in Dance in the School of Arts and Humanities of University Campus Suffolk in 2011. In 2009, Assis was a runner up for the East of England Business Woman of the Year.

Meanwhile, Canada's National Ballet School has announced that one of its faculty members, Shaun Amyot, will join Ms Carreiro as "Artistic Associate" in the 2013-14 season. For more info, click here.

If you love ballet, check out my season of outstanding ballet trips in 2012-13 by clicking here.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Updated North American Ballet Performance Master Calendar 12/13

I have just updated my master calendar for ballet performances in Canada and the US 2012-13. Please click here (wait a couple of seconds for it to load).

In-depth interview with Sergei Polunin

Julie Kavanagh interviews the rebellious star for The Economist

http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/arts/dancers-demons?page=full

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Observe or try a free dance class at Canada's National Ballet School

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.
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Culture Days

September 29-30, 2012
Culture Days

For the last two years, NBS was proud to participate in Culture Days, a nationwide celebration of participatory arts. This year Culture Days weekend is happening from September 29 to 30, 2012.

Observation Classes

Observation of professional ballet classes will be available in the Betty Oliphant Theatre on Saturday, September 29. Class times will be posted shortly.

Free Dance Classes 

To register click here

Class Schedule
11:00am-12:00pm Ballet Class, 6-8 years of age
11:00am-12:00pm Ballet Class, 9-11 years of age
11:00am-12:00pm Ballet Class, 12-17 years of age
11:00am-12:00pm Adult Ballet Class, 18+ years of age
12:15pm-1:15pm Adult Ballet Class, 18+ years of age
12:15pm-1:15pm Ballet Master Class, experienced teens 13+ years of age
(must have at least 4 years of ballet training)
12:15pm-1:15pm Urban Dance Class, all ages
1:15pm-2:15pm Bollywood Class, all ages

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NBOC Tutu Project tutus to be auctioned


The Design Exchange and The National Ballet of Canada present The Tutu Project Auction featuring a discussion with Karen Kain and Caroline O'Brien

You and a guest are invited to join us for an exclusive opportunity to own a piece of The National Ballet of Canada's history. Fifty-six one of a kind pieces made by some of Canada's top artists and designers, including VAWK, Julie Moon, David Dixon, Shay Lowe Jewellery, Juma and Corps de Ballet member Krista Dowson, will be auctioned as part of a fundraiser for the National Ballet.

Includes a special discussion with Karen Kain, Artistic Director of the National Ballet, and Caroline O'Brien, curator of 60 Years of Designing the Ballet.

Tuesday, Aug 28th
6:00 pm
Doors open, silent auction begins
6:30 – 7:00 pm
Discussion with Karen Kain and Caroline O'Brien
7:00 pm
Live auction (silent auction to continue until 8:00 pm)

$20 / $15 for DX Members
Includes 2 complimentary beverages and light fare
Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street

RSVP at dx.org/auction

Silent auction will take place for the duration of the evening.
All auction proceeds will support The National Ballet of Canada. Ticket proceeds will support DX Youth Education Programming. The Tutu Project is sponsored by The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada. This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

Photo: Karen Kain in Swan Lake,1976. Photo by Andrew Oxenham

History of the word "adage"

In the few minutes of the day when I'm not thinking about ballet, I'm known as the "Word Lady" because of my interest in all things wordy. You can check out my English language blog, which deals with word history and usage, by clicking here.
But for the next five weeks I am going to combine my two passions here: tune in every Wednesday as we look at the etymologies of some ballet terms.
For "pirouette", click here, and to find out what "dance" has to do with falling over, click here.
For "fouetté", click here.
For "bourrée", click here
For the history of the word "entrechat", click here.

First up: adage.

Any dancer will probably snort with derision when told that the word "adage" or "adagio" means "at ease". Of course, those slow-flowing movements are supposed to look easy, but as anyone knows who has tried one, the dancer is probably thinking, as one of my ballet teachers put it, "God, I hate adage! It's so hard!! My hips hurt!". But indeed the word comes to us via French from the Italian ad agio, meaning "at ease" or "at leisure".

Agio is a squished-down form of the Latin adjacens , meaning "next to", which is obviously the source of our English word "adjacent". But less obviously, it is also the source of  French aise and English "ease" (which we borrowed from French). How did a word meaning "nearby" end up looking and meaning something quite different? Both the Italians and the French had a tendency to squish down Latin words, but the French tended to do it by dropping out the middle, so while adjacens became agio in Italian, it became aise in Old French. But the word still had a trace of its original Latin meaning: it was used to mean "an empty space next to someone", elbow room, if you like. Since it's a lot easier to move if there's empty space next to you, the word gradually came to mean facility of movement and then lack of difficulty generally.

Just as in English "easy does it!" means "go slowly", in music, the Italian adagio was being used to mean "slowly" by the end of the 1600s, just about the same time ballet was being codified in the French court of Louis XIV.

Carlo Blasis, in his seminal work on ballet training, The Code of Terpsichore (published in English in 1828), had this to say about adagio: "Can any thing be more ludicrous than to see a thick-set dancer..gravely figure off in a slow and mournful adagio?" An early example of ballet "sizeism"?!

One of the most notoriously difficult challenges in the ballerina's repertoire is the Rose Adagio or Rose Adage from The Sleeping Beauty. No ease or leisure there!

Here's the regal Aurélie Dupont of the Paris Opera Ballet:



and Cynthia Gregory:



For an interesting discussion of the Rose Adagio, click here.


If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pointe shoe cookie recipe & how-to



How to make pointe shoe cookies for your favourite bunheads

Pointe shoe cookies (or pointe shoe biscuits if you're British or Australian) make great gifts for ballet students, ballet teachers, pianists, ballet recitals, and ballet-loving friends.

Here's how I make mine.This cookie recipe is excellent for all rolled cookies as they hold their shape really well since there is no baking powder in the recipe to make them spread and puff up. It includes my hot tip on how to make rolled cookies generally with a lot less cleanup.






7 oz (200g) soft butter (NOT margarine!)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 cups flour (400 g) not self-raising

Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla together for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat for another 30 seconds. Beat in flour on slow speed until dough clings together, finish with hands to make a smooth ball of dough. Divide in two and put each smaller ball into a large plastic zipper-closure freezer bag. Chill for about 1/2 hour to an hour.
With dough still in bag, roll out (ie you will be rolling your rolling pin on top of the plastic) till it is a square of even thickness (about 1/4 inch) completely filling the bag (you may have to turn the bag over, and open the "zipper" occasionally to remove creases and air bubbles). Open the zipper closure, run a knife down the side edges of the bag and peel the top side of the bag off the cookie dough (it won't stick).
[If you are making ballerina-shaped cookies and want to decorate the "tutu" with coloured sugar, sprinkle it over the cookie dough, fold the plastic back over it and run the rolling pin lightly over the whole surface just so the decorations cling to the dough before you cut out the shapes. This is much faster than trying to decorate each cookie individually. I flavour my ballerina cookies with rosewater rather than vanilla and sprinkle them with pink sugar and call them "Rose Adagio cookies". In Canada, I found a ballerina-shaped cookie cutter at the Bulk Barn, and a "prince"-shaped cookie cutter as part of a "fairytale cookie cutters" set at a dollar store. Tiara-shaped cookie cutters are also available.]
Cut out pointe shoe shapes. For my "shoe" cookie cutter, I use a large sardine can (6" x 2 1/2") with the top part removed (use the type of can opener that takes the whole lid off, rim and all so that you end up with a clean sharp edge). These are large cookies.
Place cookies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until top of cookie is no longer soft (varies from 5 to 12 minutes depending on size of cookie).
Gather any trimmings and reroll. The advantage of using the freezer bag is that you don't need to flour your board or rolling pin, which means that the cookies don't get tougher as more flour is added to them, and you also have a lot less cleanup.

Recipe can be doubled if you need many many cookies (and who doesn't?)
When cookies are cool, mix 3 cups of icing sugar with enough rosewater to make a slightly runny (but not too runny to pipe) icing . (If you cannot find rosewater, use vanilla, but rosewater has a delicious taste). Tint it with a few drops of red food colouring to make it the right shade of pink. Pipe a thin line of icing around the outer edge of each cookie, and then pipe another oval inside that tapers to a v at the bottom (this forms the outline of the "uppers" of the shoe). Thin the pink icing with water so that it is easier to spread. Pipe enough pink icing between the two piped ovals to fill in the space and spread it to the edges with the tip of the handle of a teaspoon (an espresso spoon is best). Allow to dry. Mix some icing sugar with enough water to make it spreading consistency and fill in the "inside" of the shoe. Allow iced cookies to dry on a rack (this will take a couple of days). You can use royal icing instead of this glacé icing if you like, but I dislike royal icing's rock-hard consistency.
Cut 27" (for cookie size described here, more or less depending on the size of your cookies) of thin pink satin ribbon (if cost is an issue, you can also use curling gift ribbon as in the picture, but satin looks nicer) and tie the ribbon around the cookie as you would tie pointe shoe ribbons. Trim the edges of the ribbon. If you're in Toronto, check out Mokuba ribbon shop at 575 Queen St W a couple of blocks east of Bathurst.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Ballet lecture demo series at NY Guggenheim Museum


NEWS RELEASE
Works & Process, the Performing Arts Series at the Guggenheim,
Announces 2012 Fall Season


 
Each intimate, 80-minute performance uniquely combines artistic creation and stimulating conversation and takes place in the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed, 285-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. A reception for the audience and artists follows most programs. Past performance highlights can be viewed at youtube.com/worksandprocess.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET
New York Season Preview
Sun, Sept 9, 7:30 pm; Mon, Sept 10, 3 and 7:30 pm

For 3 pm matinee, enter via ramp at Fifth Ave and 88th St; no reception
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Maria Chapman, Carla Körbes, Seth Orza, and Lesley Rausch, and company dancers will perform excerpts from PNB’s upcoming City Center season and other works, including George Balanchine’s Apollo, Agon, The Four Temperaments, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Artistic Director Peter Boal will share his perspective on dancing, being coached in, and staging Apollo.

3 pm matinee performance (no reception): $25, $20 members

A live broadcast of this performance will be streamed on Sun, Sept 9, at ustream.tv/worksandprocess.

NEW YORK CITY BALLET
Choreography by Justin Peck with music by Sufjan Stevens
Sun and Mon, Sept 23 and 24, 7:30 pm

New York City Ballet principals Ashley Bouder, Joaquin De Luz, Robert Fairchild, Craig Hall, Teresa Reichlen, and Janie Taylor will perform excerpts from the October 5 world premiere of choreographer Justin Peck’s new work, featuring music by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. Commissioned by NYCB, corps de ballet member Peck will discuss his creative process, including his collaboration with Stevens on a new orchestration for the production.

AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky
Sun and Mon, Sept 30 and Oct 1, 7:30 pm

Enter via ramp at Fifth Ave and 88th St
Heralded by the New York Times as the choreographer who “has arrived to revitalize ballet,” Alexei Ratmansky was named American Ballet Theatre’s Artist in Residence in 2009. Since then, he has created six works for the company, including ABT’s latest production of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. ABT’s renowned dancers will perform a survey of Ratmansky’s work, and Ratmansky will join members of ABT’s artistic team to discuss his career and creative process.

A live broadcast of this performance will be streamed on Sun, Sept 30, at ustream.tv/worksandprocess.

ROYAL DANISH BALLET
La Bayadère
Sun, Oct 21, 7:30 pm; Mon, Oct 22, 3 and 7:30 pm

Enter via ramp at Fifth Ave and 88th St
The Royal Danish Ballet celebrates the 135th anniversary of La Bayadère, long a treasure of Russian repertoire, with a new production by Artistic Director Nikolaj Hübbe, debuting this November in Copenhagen. Prior to the premiere, Hübbe will share his staging ideas, Royal Danish Ballet dancers will perform excerpts, and members of the creative team, including stage designer Richard Hudson, will discuss their creative process. This program is made possible with assistance from Arlene C. Cooper.

7:30 pm performances: $50, $45 members
3 pm matinee performance (no reception): $40, $35 members

A live broadcast of this performance will be streamed on Sun, Oct 21, at

THE RODIN PROJECT
Choreography by Russell Maliphant
Mon, Dec 3, 7:30 pm

Enter via ramp at Fifth Ave and 88th St
For one night only and prior to its Joyce Theater premiere, choreographer Russell Maliphant will share insights, film extracts, and excerpts from The Rodin Project, a Sadler’s Wells/Russell Maliphant Production, his latest commission inspired by the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. For this project, Maliphant draws on the high-energy talents of extraordinary performers and a commissioned score by Russian composer Alexander Zekke to create a movement vocabulary influenced by popping, breaking, and contemporary dance, which he integrates with his own language of flow, form, and dynamics.

$50. Ticket package includes the Works & Process Dec 3 performance and a Joyce Theater Section B ticket to a performance among the following dates: Wed, Dec 5, 7:30 pm; Thurs–Sat, Dec 6–8, 8 pm; Sun, Dec 9, 2 pm.

A live broadcast of this performance will be streamed at ustream.tv/worksandprocess.
ustream.tv/worksandprocess .


Location: Peter B. Lewis Theater, unless otherwise noted
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street
Subway: 4, 5, 6 train to 86th Street
Bus: M1, M2, M3, or M4 bus on Madison or Fifth Avenue

Tickets: $35, $30 Members, unless otherwise noted
$10 Student Rush tickets available one hour prior to each performance if space allows (for students under 25 with valid ID)

Season tickets on sale August 13.
212 423 3587, Mon–Fri, 1–5 pm or visit worksandprocess.org.

Follow Works & Process online:
twitter.com/worksandprocess
facebook.com/worksandprocess
youtube.com/worksandprocess
flickr.com/worksandprocess
ustream.tv/worksandprocess


Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Lesley Rausch, soloist Benjamin Griffiths, and principal dancer Maria Chapman in Agon, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Angela Sterling
 
 If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here. GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Darcey Bussell in Wheeldon ballet at Olympics Closing Ceremony

At Sunday’s closing ceremony, Darcey and four male dancers will perform to Spirit Of The Flame at the end of the show. Exact details are still under wraps, but some reports say the showcase, which is being choreographed by the Royal Ballet’s Christopher Wheeldon, will feature some 300 ballet dancers in all.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2186272/Darcey-Bussell-Why-I-normal-mother.html#ixzz23GCVDHYZ

Darcey Bussell with  Edward Watson, Nehemiah Kish, Jonathan Cope,  and Gary Avis.

More pics here, but unfortunately the BBC link will not work outside the UK: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/balletic-climax-to-london-2012-closing-ceremony

I hear that NBC in the States cut this from their broadcast! Shame on them.

Video clip of  the last part here, but not the dramatic entrance:
http://deadspin.com/5934166/nbc-cut-nearly-an-hour-from-its-closing-ceremony-telecast-heres-everything-they-didnt-show-you-including-the-kinks-ray-davies 

Here's the whole piece:


Contrary to media reports that there were hundreds of "Royal Ballet" dancers,
In the ballet section approx 10% were paid pros who were also dancing in other segments, the rest approx 200 were volunteers aged 16 and up who auditioned and 16 royal ballet school students with about the same number of dancers from English National Ballet Company.  This info and more from a really interesting insider view of the piece at  http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/1649-olympics-closing-ceremony/#entry20013

Backstage rehearsal video:



If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips in 2012-13 by clicking here.

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR

Scottish Ballet exercise video


Tone up with Scottish Ballet’s Core De Ballet, a specialised introduction to core-based ballet exercises. Join Gyrotonics Instructor Kate Menzies and dancers Luciana Ravizzi and Luke Ahmet for a 15-minute exercise routine designed to stretch and tone.

Scottish Ballet: Core de Ballet Exercise Series 1 from Scottish Ballet on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Another cool ballet video

REHEARSAL 101
is an impression of a ballerina rehearsing. In the intimacy of the studio she strives for perfection but gradually her focus is directed to the sound of her pointe shoes. The image of airiness and timeless ethereal dance beauty is attacked by the rawness of images, editing and music.
If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips in 2012-13 by clicking here.

GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR