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
by 
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 ...

Sit down and clap! 4

Language & ideas
Is polite, even fervent, audience applause from a seated position a bygone social custom? This nicety has not completely disappeared; last month at the conclusion of  “Raymonda,” at Segerstrom Hall, it was a joy to regard the massive Mariinsky Ballet’s elegant bows in full view. The audience, perhaps still enthralled by the enormity of the ...

Raymonda “likes” Jean de Brienne’s profile picture

Dance · Language & ideas
In this image from Act I of the Mariinsky Ballet’s “Raymonda,” the heroine’s faraway beau, Jean de Brienne, sends his honey a Medieval version (a kind of tapestry that gets unfurled) of his Facebook profile picture. From her posture, don’t you think she seems to be giving it a “like”? I do.

Mariinsky’s massive, still relevant, “Raymonda” at Segerstrom

Dance
A whirlwind weekend included the privilege of watching the great dancers of the Mariinsky Theatre deliver a rarity: the full three-act version of Petipa’s Hungarian-themed, “Raymonda,” which the massive dance troupe exactingly performed, a tad jam-packed, on the Segerstrom Hall stage. It went beyond a complete balletic experience; it felt like a life experience to ...

Why “Raymonda”? Segerstrom’s Judy Morr shares love of this ballet

Dance
In advance of the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra’s upcoming presentation of the full-evening version of “Raymonda,” dating to the late 19th century, we spoke to Segerstrom Center for the Arts Executive Vice President Judy Morr, who is the longtime dance curator at the Orange County arts complex. Judy, why present this ballet now? “Raymonda” is ...

Mariinsky Ballet: Southern California viewing guide

Dance
That life can be difficult is no news. We all have to make tough decisions all the time. The latest? Where to see the great Mariinsky Ballet, also known as the Kirov Ballet, lately reverted to its Imperial Ballet nomenclature, in the ballet-and-orchestra conglomerate’s upcoming visits to Southern California. The Mariinsky ports some of the ...

Gone fishing

Dance
Natalia Alonso & Gary Jeter II
A lot of chatter, lately, amongst dance geeks on Facebook about the great classical ballet pose the “fishdive” which, according to pundits was not part of the original Petipa choreography (way too athletic and upside down for that era) but seems to have been introduced in the 1946 version of “The Sleeping Beauty.” This notwithstanding, ...