Yes, ABT, we like sugar plums. But also ‘Nutcracker’ cookies!

Dance
Where cookies are concerned, we discreetly morph from ‘fussy critic’ to the more relaxed mode of ‘indiscriminate gobbler.’ Gosh, these ballet-themed cookies (photos mixed with those of our favorite ABT dancers) make our mouths water. They are the charming creation of Blackmarket Bakery whose award-winning chef Rachel Klemek celebrates American Ballet Theatre’s production of “The ...

REVIEW: Kimin Kim brings action-hero explosiveness to Mariinsky Schéhérazade

Dance · Reviews
I admit that prior to Sunday night I had never seen a full-length, fully produced staging of Michel Fokine’s Schéhérazade — including lengthy orchestral prelude, sets, costumes, the works. The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra delivered their version this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts as part of an all-Fokine program. At Sunday’s performance, the ...

Ballet magic. Misty Copeland, Roberto Bolle open for La Scala @ Segerstrom

Dance
Our friends at Segerstrom Center for the Arts have a rare selling-out situation in their beautiful Costa Mesa arts campus this weekend. Tonight, and continuing through the weekend, the La Scala Ballet opens a weekend run of “Giselle.” Dancing the leading roles of Giselle and Albrecht are the hot hot hot pairing of Misty Copeland ...

Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
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Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Who was Olga Spessivtseva?

Dance
Olga Spessivtseva (1895 – 1991) was the quintessence of a Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet romantic ballerina whom George Balanchine famously called “a beautiful diamond, cool, distant, and perfect.” The legendary Russian ballerina, who died in the United States, is the subject of choreographer Boris Eifman’s full-evening work, Red Giselle, coming soon to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. ...

Ratmansky’s frothy ‘Whipped Cream’ casts @ Segerstrom

Dance
There are all kinds of considerations to weigh — and this is great fun for balletomanes — in selecting a ballet performance. The focus of this tough decision is the big world premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County of Alexei Ratmansky’s new full-evening ballet, “Whipped Cream.” The superb Pacific Symphony will ...

Review: Natalia Osipova rules the boy’s club of “Tour de Force III” 2

Dance · Reviews
The latest edition of packaged ballet entertainment wrangled by impresario Sergei Danilian, the force behind “Tour de Force III” presented Saturday night at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, brandished a sorry statistic. That each of the evening’s four repertory items was the creation of a male choreographer unfortunately goes without saying. The marginalization, no, ...

Sergei Polunin’s glowing moment in Southern California

Dance · Film
We all seek our place in the sun don’t we? Sergei Polunin, the balletic wunderkind who has been much viewed on youtube, will soon seize his in southern California’s extended summer. A true exemplar of a glorious classical technique, Polunin will be among us, on screen and on stage, stretching into September. First, the movie. ...

Royal Swedish Ballet’s stunning, unconventional ‘Juliet and Romeo’ soon @ Segerstrom

Dance
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With a history that stretches back to 1773, you’d expect the esteemed Royal Swedish Ballet to offer a “Romeo and Juliet” full of swordplay and courtly gowns.  But no — not when master choreographer Mats Ek is in charge. He reimagined the tragic love story in 2013 with the same urban, gritty edge that he’s ...

Pick your Sugar Plum Fairy NOW!

Dance · Music
Hey, you Sugar Plums and Snowflakes! Stop dancing in our heads, and start whirling ’round the Segerstrom Hall stage. This will occur sooner than you can shake a candy cane. In a real first, Segerstrom Center of the Arts is presenting a big-city-style, lengthy run of American Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” at the esteemed Orange ...