My great aunt Brenda Ann used to visit our house every Christmas and return all the gifts we had given her the previous year. "I hated this," she would tell my mother as Mom unwrapped the Sleeping Beauty VHS cassette that she had fought over with an 8 year old at the Blockbuster bargain bin.
Matthew Bourne's dazzling and captivating interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty is magnificent in every respect -- not simply the choreography, costumes and scenic design, but also Bourne's innovative and intelligent narrative.
Let's give it up for two accomplished actors and pianists -- Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback -- who utilize all the conventions of a cozy malice domestic to make Murder For Two hugely farcical and fun.
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, now running at New York City Center, showcases the director's twist on yet another beloved story ballet. Overall, his recipe lightens the emphasis on ballet, but ultimately pleases by adding more of a story.
As the piece unfolds, dancers pair up and present themselves to the audience in a series of dances that give the impression of the day unfolding gradually. The mood is initially light, but begins to shift as the black box starts to take the focus -- and then the ritual begins.
We didn't really talk about that noisy controversy having to do with her role as Natalie Portman's dance double in the film, Black Swan. It's something that will probably follow her for the rest of her career but it isn't something that she thinks about. Lane is always looking ahead, never back.
During her dancing career Gelsey Kirkland was known for her particular ability to get to the heart of a character in the great classic story ballets. In her second career as a teacher she has combined forces with her husband and co-director, Michael "Misha" Chernov, and mime teacher Pilar Garcia.
It's every screenwriter's nightmare. To be in the office of one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, pitching all of your script ideas. Only to then have that mover-and-shaker repeatedly say "Nope. Not interested." But that's exactly what happened back in 2009 to poor Mitchell Kapner.
Sadly, many ballet schools and companies do not seem to be doing enough to preserve ballet's greatest asset -- its ability to transport an audience into their world. Ballet technique that explodes with meaning instead of fireworks is vastly lacking.
It was in the Major Cabaret Room at Don't Tell Mama that last week I stumbled into Disenchanted a.k.a. Bitches of the Kingdom, about peeved Disney princesses like Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and Sleeping Beauty.
I have envied friends in the hospital because they are getting more love and attention than I am. I have envied those who survive hardships like poverty or their parents' alcoholism. Those who triumph over adversity have no need to feel guilty. I envy them that! It is not pretty.