Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Mariinsky Ballet's "Cinderella"

The Mariinsky Ballet in Alexei Ratmansky's "Cinderella" at BAM. Photo by Jack Vartoogian. 

“Cinderella” is timeless. Thousands of years after its first incarnation, the tale of the persecuted heroine continues to touch hearts and capture imaginations. Found in places as far flung as Korea to Italy, the story celebrates a pure heart and the life-altering power of a new dress. While the details may change, the broad strokes remain the same: There’s a wicked stepfamily, a magical transformation, a lost slipper (or some other talisman), and a handsome prince who goes on the hunt for love. As for the ending, well, you know how these things go.

The Mariinsky Ballet, as part of their three-program engagement at BAM, present Alexei Ratmansky's 2002 version of “Cinderella,” which, according to the program notes, takes place in the 1930s. In reality, the production features a zesty pastiche of influences including folk dancing and old school jazz.
MC Hammer pants and the Running Man make notable appearances.

Ratmansky tries valiantly to transcend... 

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Impressions of Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc.

Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. at The Joyce Theater. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

There’s art, and then there’s entertainment. They can feel very far apart: art, a spirited transformation while entertainment, a gratifying transaction. Or something like that... Whatever distinction you draw between art and entertainment, the two frequently occupy separate spheres. Can they ever overlap? Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc. certainly thinks so.

Elkins' work is sometimes virtuosic, often witty, and always fun. Don’t be fooled, though, thinking his pieces are all surface pleasures. He brings an artistic rigor and exacting musicality to his works, which results in a multi-dimensional visual and sonic experience. With his double-bill program at The Joyce... 

To read the rest of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Meet Keo Motsepe of "Dancing With the Stars"

Ballroom dancer Keo Motsepe. Photo courtesy of Gorgeous Media. 

South Africa has a legacy of phenomenal male ballroom dancers who’ve made waves competing in the Latin division: Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, and Jive. Two South African natives, Bryan Watson and Michael Wentink, received worldwide acclaim when they won the prestigious British Open Championships. Affectionately known as Blackpool, this competition attracts the best dancers in the world with first rounds beginning with hundreds of couples that are then whittled down to a final six. The torch has since been passed to Keo Motsepe, who recently completed his first season as a professional on the ever-popular “Dancing With the Stars.”

As a child, Motsepe demonstrated a preternatural gift for soccer. He transitioned from the field to the dance floor when he dropped into some dance classes at a school near where he lived. At first, he was petrified...

To read the balance of my article, please visit The Dance Enthusiast