The Unofficial Information Exchange (UIEX) picked up a street tip about a new Scarlett ballet for ABT's 2014 Fall Season. There are more tips swirling around but they're still too "iffy" even for the UIEX to let fly.
The Unofficial Information Exchange (UIEX) has received two tips that ABT will add two more guest artists to its spring season.
Denys Nedak of the National Ballet of Ukraine will arrive to dance we-don't-know-what-yet. The Honored Artist of the Ukraine has danced the role of Solor in Natalia Makarova's production of La Bayadere, and there is now a need to find a replacement for Cory Stearns. It is extremely doubtful that Mr. Nedak is a better choice than any one of a half dozen of ABT's outstanding dancers (particularly Jared Matthews), but Haglund didn't plan on seeing the Stearns/Semionova/Seo cast anyway; so he would pass this up regardless.
As a sidebar, there is a petition over at Whitehouse.gov to allow Ukranians to enter into the United States for 90 days without the requirement of Visas. If you want to sign that petition, go here.
Why doesn't ABT invite a bunch of the Ukranian corps dancers to come here so that our own dancers can move up into soloist and principal opportunities? Since there are oodles of corps dancers around the world who already know Makarova's staging of La Bayadere, why not hire them instead of importing principals? ABT should be hiring outsiders at the bottom ranks, not the top.
McKenzie would never hire these guys (Nedak, Jackson, Lendorf) as permanent soloists, let alone permanent principals, but he brings them in as guest artists and holds them over the heads of the company's hard working, starving-for-opportunities, enormously talented dancers. No wonder the dancers are so demoralized. When is ABT going to get an artistic director who can actually coach the company's dancers in principal roles instead of depending on the rest of the world's directors to do his work for him?
NYCB's Andrew Vyette will also make a guest appearance in we-don't-know-what-yet, but with Cory Stearns out, there is a need for someone to dance his two performances of Theme and Variations. Maybe Andy will bring along his orchestra, conductor, costume and a few corps members to help out, too. Hey, maybe he'll even bring along Bouder. No objections to that.
The Unofficial Information Exchange tickertape is whirling around again.
Will ABT follow the unprecedented generosity and guidance of the Royal Ballet and offer full or partial refunds when it fails to present Osipova and Vasiliev in the Don Quixote and Le Corsaire PdDs this week in Tokyo? When does ABT plan on telling the Tokyo buying public that they're not getting what they paid for – at curtain time?
It will be interesting to see how ABT frames this latest example of its foolish reliance on ballet's Gold Medalist in Unreliability. (Polunin took the Silver.) Let's look at some possibilities: (a) Natalia is still recovering from her concussion and she shouldn't fly around in Don Q or Le Corsaire - even though she was back on the stage in full force in London, or (b) Natalia and Ivan aren't getting along and don't care to dance with each other, or (c) Ivan is too tired from his super gala at the Mikhailovsky last week and doesn't want to make the trip, or (d) Sorry, no speaky Japanese.
More material for Flesh and Bone.
They chose version (c). Vasiliev is in poor health and can't make the trip. Osipova will bourree around in the solo from Manon Act II instead. lol. She's the victim again. Applause, applause. Report.
Well, folks, once again, the UIEX is the first ballet news source to get to the market with the official word.
TODAY, AOL announced at its 2013 Digital Content NewFront event that in conjunction with its mandate to conquer online video content through its ON Network, it will develop 15 original unscripted shows one of which will be Sarah Jessica Parker's City.Ballet - "covering the cut-throat world of the New York City Ballet."
Man oh man, this is exciting. Tonight at the first performance of NYCB's fabulous spring season, Haglund will keep both eyes peeled for any of that cut-throat business that we just know is going on. Anyone who thinks hanging around the water cooler will get you an earful hasn't hung around the rosin box. Cut-throat through and through.
We knew that the Royal New Zealand Ballet planned to take its new Stiefel/Kobborg production of Giselle to China next year, but now it seems that there is a trip to NYC planned also. In a filmed interview for TVNZ, AD Ethan Stiefel and the director of the new RNZB feature film, Toa Fraser, spoke about filming the production while the company tours New Zealand "before heading to China and New York next year."
The interview includes some brief footage of Gillian Murphy in Acts I & II (watch the huge lift by Qi Huan's Albrecht) and, of course, what would an interview with Stiefel be without footage from Center Stage - except this footage shows Radetsky!
Who could possibly be surprised that Stiefel is bringing RNZB and its Giselle starring Gillian Murphy to NYC? Well, possibly Kevin McKenzie who has never given her the chance to dance the title role in her 16 years with ABT. There's nothing like having your bad decisions shoved in your face in the center of Manhattan.
The tip received by the UIEX three weeks ago about a new film of Giselle by the Royal New Zealand Ballet appears to have been a good one.
An article dated tomorrow and appearing online tonight is the official announcement by The New Zealand Film Commission of a feature film of Giselle in collaboration with RNZB. The feature film, which is being produced by Matthew Metcalfe and stars Gillian Murphy, will "capture performances, rehearsals and much more." So we can expect Ethan Stiefel, Johan Kobborg, and the beautiful Amanda McKerrow to be featured prominently as they piece together this new production.
"Our film is an interpretation of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's
beautiful, moving production of Giselle," says [Director] Toa Fraser. "The film
will move in and out of the theatre, through time and space, to create a
truly cinematic, poetic retelling of the story".
Wow. Gillian has gone from having no chance to dance Giselle in 16 years at McKenzie's ABT to dancing the title role in a brand new production and starring in a ballet feature film that will surely rekindle the heat under scores ofCenter Stage fans who as of last summer were still streaming into the Met Opera House to scream their lungs out when Stiefel and Sascha Radetsky performed on the stage together.
Maybe Stiefel will grant McKenzie a complimentary private screening and a continuous update of how much money the commercial release is making for RNZB.
RNZB's Giselle premieres next Wednesday night in Wellington.
The NYT T-Magazine blog just uploaded a delightful little blurb about Olga Smirnova who will be performing this Thursday night with the Stars of the 21st Century at Lincoln Center. The UIEX got a 50%-plausible tip that she and Semyon Chudin will perform Grand Pas Classique and Thais PdD. This will come as something of disappointment to those who were hoping to see them dance the PdD from Balachine's Diamonds. Ah, well, they'll just have to watch it here –– so very, very pretty.
The Unofficial Information Exchange (UIEX) ticker is whirling around in the wee hours of the morning after getting a tip on an interview with playwright and filmmaker Toa Fraser in which he confirmed that he is "working with the Royal New Zealand Ballet to bring a version of its production of Giselle to the big screen."
Could this possibly mean that we all may eventually get to see Gillian Murphy's Giselle?
Thanks to the Haglund'eeler who directed our attention to the Italian news source which yesterday reported thatRoberto Bolle, Ralph Lauren, Beyonce, and Gwyneth Paltrow will attend the NYCB's Fall Gala Hommage à Valentino on September 20th.
Haglund's Sunday morning sleuthing for info on Sarah Jessica Parker's new TV program about NYCB turned up an unexpected but happy surprise: a July 2012 copyright registration by the awesome photographer Henry Leutwyler for visual material entitled "Backstage at New York City Ballet" which contains 584 photographs.
That's a lot of photographs! Haglund finds it difficult enough to keep his cool when the annual NYCB brochure comes out with Mr. Leutwyler's delicious images. A book of 584 photographs could send him right over the edge. Also in July, Mr. Leutwyler posted a picture on his website of a UPS package with this tiny note under it: "Ballet book in progress" - a confirming sign if ever there was one.
The big, big, really BIG question is, "How much will it cost?"
Update:PRE-ORDER HERE for $55.10. A quick check of Amazon shows that Mr. Leutwyler has a book due to be released on Oct 15 which right now is titled "Ballet" and includes the follow description:
After four years of collaboration with Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet, Henry Leutwyler was granted unprecedented backstage access to the Company during the winter of 2012. The resulting book, Ballet, reflects thirty years of his passion for the art form, realised in thirty days of photography. Leutwyler inhabited the shadows of the stage and became "invisible", recording images of the dancers using nothing more than his 35mm Leica. He was able to explore the performers' personal space, affording a more abstract portrait - a visual slice of their frenzied existence in an art form predicated on perfection. Ballet is an homage to the gritty universe from behind the curtain, and a complement to its ethereal beauty as viewed from the front row. With impresario Lincoln Kirstein, George Balanchine co-created the New York City Ballet in 1948. What followed is arguably one the most revolutionary periods in ballet history as he redefined the art form, introducing abstract works performed with a signature speed, musicality, and precision. Under the leadership of Peter Martins, these are the hallmarks of the Company to this day.