Ballet in Film: Breaking Legs

BreakingLegsFor each dancer who trains at a major dance academies, there are hundreds at humble local schools or living in towns where even basic dance classes are actually not available. Released April 25th on VOD and DVDBreaking Legs is a story for all the young dancers out there who are just trying to keep their dream alive, in the face of lacking culture, education, understanding of many around them.

Liv Southard stars as Bloom, and dancer/choreographer Mark Marchillo wrote, directed, and stars as her uncle. Southard’s natural facility leaves you wanting to see what more she can do, as her choreography seems limited to reflect the lack of training available according to the story. A dance highlight of the Breaking Legs is a completely iconic and incredibly difficult Kelly-esque classic dance sequence performed by Marchillo himself.

Both starring and supporting characters have complicated issues to address, and each have their own motivations, demons, and insecurities. Breaking Legs is a comedy, but actually addresses some dark human issues as well like addiction, child abuse, and infidelity. It offers no reassurances or solutions to those complexities, but somehow manages to walk a fine line to keep its comedic lightness throughout.

Presented with a vintage feel and nods to many of the decades of dance and film that have built to present day, this is a special cast and a quirky story with a ton of heart. Breaking Legs is a must-see for dance fans and students.

YAGP is Upon Us!

It’s that time of year again when young dance talent from around the globe converge on New York City to compete in the largest international student dance competition in the world, the Youth America Grand Prix.

With hundreds of thousands of scholarship dollars on the line, these more than 1,000 dancers and their coaches have been working all year, often multiple years, to showcase their best work. Chosen from among many thousands who auditioned in the United States, Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China, these remaining dancers hope to earn their place in one of the many top schools and companies that will be scouting throughout the event.

Featuring Gala events at Lincoln Center and 30 countries represented in the 2017 Finals, the schedule for this week’s culmination includes:

  • April 12 – YAGP Final Round
  • April 13 – ‘Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow’ Gala
  • April 14 – ‘Julie Bocca: Tribute to a Dance Legend’ Birthday Celebration with International Stars

To call the series star-studded is a vast understatement, as dozens upon dozens of legendary ballerinas and danseurs will be in attendance with many performing in the Galas. And you can be sure to truly see the stars of tomorrow, considering that over 300 YAGP alumni are now dancing with companies around the world like ABT, NYCB, Ailey, Paris Opera, Royal, Stuttgart, Dutch National, and the list goes on. It’s not hard to see why:

A few tickets to these events remain available to the YAGP festivities and can be purchased at https://davidhkochtheater.com. Can’t make it to NY? Subscribe and watch events unfold on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/vamproductions.

 

*WIN TICKETS!* Ballet in Film: A Hero of Our Time

Fathom Events is hosting special screenings of the Bolshoi Ballet Series! In A Hero of Our Time, Pechorin, a young officer, embarks on a journey across the majestic mountains of the Caucasus, on a path set by his passionate encounters. Disillusioned and careless, he inflicts pain upon himself and the women around him. Drama!

If that’s not enough to entice you to click that link, I promise you the gorgeous photography on the Bolshoi Ballet Series site is thoroughly worth clicking through.

Tickets are available to purchase here – and for a limited time you can WIN tickets to this Fathom Event!

Free Show 3/24 & 3/25 by HarttWorks

2017-harttworksBalletScoop readers have been offered free tickets to HarttWorks

On Friday March 24 and Saturday March 25 at 7:30pm at the Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford, HarttWorks will present a special collaboration between the HCD dance and music departments. Scroll down for a special code good for free tickets.

Honors music composition student Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind, a sophomore at Conard High School in West Hartford, has composed original music that will be performed live during the modern segment at both performances. Hartt School alumna Rebecca DeNies (BFA, ‘14) choreographed the piece. Dancers will be accompanied by an advanced chamber music trio, Fibonacci Trio, comprised of Northwest Catholic High School senior Kate Jessen on clarinet, South Windsor High School sophomore Gabe Galley on viola, and Glastonbury High School senior Karlee Cummings on piano. The evening will also include a classical ballet staged by HCD Dance Chair Carol Roderick, a ballet premiere choreographed by Ballet Master Susannah Marchese, a musical theatre jazz and tap piece choreographed by Dance Faculty/Assistant Director of Dance Administration Melissa Chasse, and a modern piece choreographed by Hartt Professor of Dance Stephen Pier.

Passcode: HSHarttWorks17

ONLINE: www.hartford.edu/tickets and click on the Arts and Events Box Office link. Enter the above passcode where is asks if you have a code.

OVER THE PHONE: 860-768-4228 University of Hartford Box Office Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 5 pm. Mention the above passcode when you are asked for payment information.

IN PERSON: Lincoln Theater, 200 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117University of Hartford Box Office Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 5 pm. Bring this pass with you.

This passcode does not guarantee tickets. Tickets are subject to availability. There are no refunds or exchanges once you redeem for tickets, all sales are final. This is not valid on previously purchased tickets. Everyone, regardless of age, entering the theater must have a ticket.

Ballet in Film: Prix de Lausanne Finals

Prix de Lausanne finals were posted on Youtube yesterday, complete with beautiful classical and contemporary classwork, performance montages, and coaching excerpts. Former prize recipient, former Royal Opera House creative director and current board member Deborah Bull is host and the faculty is equally world-class.

The footage quality is better every year and this is some of the best yet, with about 2.5 hours. See some of today’s best-trained and naturally promising young dance talent in the world at the Prix finals, and find out who rose to the top to receive prizes this year.

Ballet in Print: With Ballet in My Soul

with-ballet-in-my-soul-768x838Eva Maze has lived a more exotic and unrelentingly exciting life than most dream of. With Ballet in My Soul: Adventures of a Globetropping Impresario is a stunning adventure into a ardent young person’s pursuit of art and passion for sharing it. Her memoir is as much a gift to the world as was her contribution in bringing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Germany, braving international conflict in producing a folklore festival for the Munich Olympics, or touring stars of London Festival Ballet to India, where ballet had not been seen since Pavolva’s tour 30 years earlier.

Eva Maze became a bold and astute art and business professional in a time when most married ladies did not work, in one of the most difficult industries in which to attempt success. She gives due credit to her late husband’s steadfast support, both emotionally and financially, without sugarcoating the realities of living often apart. Its clear, however, that it was her intellectual gifts and commitment to education and knowledge that formed the foundation of her success and helped her take advantage of the opportunities that came her way through social connections.

A lovely dancer herself, Ms. Maze began her path in classical ballet, studying and eventually performing professionally in small roles. Gorgeous personal photos of her dancing days and performances are throughout the book, along with old family photos of her family going back to the early 1920s. There are also plenty of illustrations of the dance and theatre companies she presented during her her lengthy impresario career.

As the subtitle suggests, she traveled the globe from Bucharest to America, then back to Europe and across Asia. Each chapter is dedicated to a different city of residence and includes fascinating contexts of the political atmosphere of each country during that time, without overwhelming the reader with history lessons. They are a reminder of how complicated politics worldwide are, and how they continue to evolve in response to their interlaced histories. Ms. Maze ran in the circles of some of the highest societal classes during her travels – including royalty in India and Greece – and their stories were often as dramatic and tragic as any in history. Yet they have been folded into history, forgotten if ever even known by the average American.

With Ballet in My Soul portrays a life more fully lived than most of us can ever imagine. I hope it will give, especially young female dancers, a sense of the many possibilities for an artist that extend beyond traditional professional company ballet – that is possible to create for yourself a unique path of your own creation that honors your special gifts and passions in a way no other life could.