Dance diary. October 2011

  • Texas Ballet Theater

It’s surprising whom one meets walking down a Dallas street on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Two somewhat frilly mice from Nutcracker for example—perhaps not dressed for combat despite the menacing gestures!
Or two young dancers dressed in tutus.

Texas Ballet Theater, currently directed by Ben Stevenson, was promoting its forthcoming Nutcracker season. The appearance of dancers on this occasion was part of the last day of ‘Art in October’, a celebration of the Dallas arts district with its top class museums and theatres.

  • it’s all good
It’s all good, QL2Dance, 2011

I was impressed by QL2’s annual performance for younger dancers, this year entitled it’s all good and being an examination through movement of the notions of language and truth. It was not so much the choreography that impressed me: it was fairly basic, perhaps a little of necessity, and somewhat unimaginative in my opinion. But I was impressed by the production values that were in play. The young cast (they ranged in age from 8 to 17) knew a fair bit about stage techniques and behaved largely in a very professional manner. For this their director, Ruth Osborne, deserves praise as does whoever designed the simple, easy to dance in costumes. One or two of the younger of the young performers looked as though they had the potential to go on to a professional career.

  • Ballets Russes publication

A number of visitors to this site have asked me to post a review of the recent Ballets Russes publication. This review was published last month by The Canberra Times. Here is the link.

Michelle Potter, 31 October 2011

2 thoughts on “Dance diary. October 2011

  1. Thank you Michelle for giving us access to your review of “The Ballets Russes in Australia and Beyond”. I certainly agree that Wakefield Press has done another fine job in regards to the physical production of this book. It seems now that books of this type will be made up of disparate essays written by specialists in their various fields. A lot of the material produced for the Diaghilev company centenary was composed in this way. And the latest Australian Ballet book published in celebration of their 50 year anniversary follows the same pattern. Although with that book, rather than scholarly specialists it is more of who was around during the various eras that seems to have been the guiding principle. However this approach can result in the kind of variable interest and quality that has occurred with the volume under review. Rather than being written by a single person whom one feels has a deep and abiding knowledge and love for the topic, it can sometimes seem that the focus becomes too narrow and limiting. For example, rather than using the visual information one can glean from various artist’s responses to the de Basil company’s productions to know more about the productions and the dancers, the focus turns on what the response can tell us about the artist. All well and good if you are interested in a monograph on the artist. But I am reading a book with this title in order to find either more information about the topic or have the various strands of the topic collated and interpreted by someone I feel has looked at the company with a ballet lovers eyes. That said, as you point out, there are some good essays, especially the one deaing with the orchestral issues during the tours.

    I felt the essay by Lynn Garafola bends a little too far backwards [and at the expense of a balanced view of Colonel de Basil] in trying to regain a place for Massine in history.

    I presume the remarks you refer to in regard to Colonel de Basil come from the Judith Chazin-Bennahum book on Rene Blum. In due course I would be interested in reading Michelle’s comments regarding this book. Perhaps I have a too romantic view of the Colonel but I found her attitude to him very unsatisfactory.

  2. Yes Adrian, I was refering to he Judith Chazin-Bennahum book, which I have not yet reviewed in depth. But my instant reaction was that it was an extremely dry and uninteresting read. I will offer a review in due course.

    Thank you for your considered words re the Ballets Russes book.

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