The few comments that we've been able to find so far on social media after last night's Iowa City preview premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's new Nutcracker for the Joffrey Ballet are pretty ecstatic. Here's a shot from inside the brand new Hancher Auditorium on the U of I campus courtesy of the alumni association Twitter feed. Haglund is proud to be a U of I alumnus:
This new theater, a replacement for the Hancher Auditorium that was destroyed in floods several years ago, looks stunning. The old one was pretty spectacular also. When Rudolf Nureyev came to Iowa City to perform in Sleeping Beauty, he had the gall to complain that the wings were too big and too drafty for him.
So far, it sounds like the only major glitch in the new Nut has been our choreographer breaking his ankle last week after a backward step into the pit – apparently not while excoriating a dancer as happened with Jerome Robbins.
This video about Basil Twist's contribution was just uploaded yesterday. The rats, omg ...
Current forecast for the December 10th world premiere in Chicago includes 23 degree temps, mild winds, and a 20% chance of snow. That doesn't look so bad – on paper.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet is searching for another new artistic director to replace Francesco Ventriglia who has decided not to renew his contract when it expires in the coming year. There have been dancer complaints of mistreatment by the AD, and several artists and staff have left or are about to leave the company, including Lucy Green who blossomed so dramatically under the direction of Ethan Stiefel. She has announced that she has accepted a soloist position with the Queensland Ballet which is led by the legendary Li Cunxin.
It's very exciting to hear that the Lincoln Center Festival will once again present some fantastic ballet next summer. With the NYC Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and Bolshoi Ballet sharing the stage for five performances of Balanchine's Jewels, you can bet that the demand for tickets will out of the universe. Hopefully, the Bolshoi will seize the opportunity to get some NYCB advice for their Diamonds team which has kind of gone off the deep end lately, although we have some of the same problems here, too. Where, oh, where did the idea come from that Diamonds is about the pain of giving childbirth?