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By J. L. Conklin | October 25, 1990
Dance aficionados crowded the Kennedy Center Tuesday night to cheer Mark Morris, the choreographer once labeled "Peck's bad boy of dance."There is indeed a Puckish humor and warmth permeating the dances of Mr. Morris, whose Monnaie Dance Group from the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels opened a six-day engagement in Washington this week.The dances are filled with in-jokes, classical allusions and dance tricks. Yet they also tell of an intelligence not bound by style, form or technique.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
Binnie Ritchie Holum, a dancer, choreographer, playwright and actress who had been a co-founder of the Baltimore Women's Theatre Project , died Sept. 21 at her parents' home near Saranac Lake, N.Y., of a gioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor. She was 64. "Her talent was just endless and she had more energy than three people combined," said Harvey M. Doster, her collaborator, who is director of the International Baccalaureate Theater Program at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson.
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By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,Contributing Writer | April 9, 1992
Like corn flakes and cotton sheets, often it's the basics that satisfy the most. Last night the Martha Graham School Ensemble ably confirmed that sentiment in a one-time performance at the UMBC theater.This internationally flavored and talented company of young dancers under the artistic direction of Yuriko, a longtime principal dancer with Ms. Graham's company, performed a gratifying program of three of the late choreographer's dances with all the fundamentals of Ms. Graham's rigorous choreography intact.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
The last thing an orchestra musician expects to do is memorize music - that's for soloists. And even if orchestral members had reason to learn every note of a piece by heart, they wouldn't expect to dance around a stage while playing. Unless they happen to be in the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble very much open to trying cool new things. One of the coolest is a project that debuted in 2012, when the orchestra performed Claude Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" from memory while carrying out movements designed by celebrated Baltimore-based choreographer Liz Lerman.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | May 8, 1994
Sun Theater Critic Some people would have called it "hell week," but for choreographer Susan Stroman it was "probably the most exciting week I've ever spent in the theater."During that memorable week in December 1991, just before the musical "Crazy for You" began its Broadway tryout in Washington, Stroman pulled a couple of all-nighters.Her first took place in a New York hotel room with several other key members of the show's creative team, who had gathered to rewrite the second act. Then Stroman spent another all-nighter singing and dancing alone in her living room as she worked out routines to replace two discarded production numbers.
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By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,Evening Sun Staff | August 8, 1991
AFTER choreographer Marta Renzi auditioned a cluster of trained dancers and "non-dancers" in Baltimore last spring, a vision formed in her mind. It was dictated by the disparate talents and fortunes of those she chose to work with during this year's Diverse Works.Among her impromptu troupe, are an accomplished Irish step dancer, a man who is HIV positive, and a woman who suffers from diabetes. Seven other individuals, some svelte and polished, some ungainly and undisciplined, add to her eclectic mix."
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By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | January 31, 2001
Bobbi Smith, a choreographer who taught scores of children to dance, died Monday of pancreatic cancer at her Edgewater home. She was 60. Miss Smith founded the Talent Machine Company, an Annapolis youth troupe. She also taught dance to students at Stageworkz, a Millersville studio she operated with her sister, and at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. She was remembered for her exuberance and high professional standards. She often urged students to "Catch the energy."
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By J. Wynn Rousuck | January 19, 2003
Baltimore-born director / choreographer Martha Clarke's Vienna: Lusthaus (revisited) opens a one-week run at Washington's Kennedy Center on Tuesday. Winner of a 1986 Obie Award, the show is set in early 20th century Vienna and uses music (by Richard Peaslee), text (by Charles L. Mee), dance and imagery (suggested by the work of Viennese painters Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt) to depict a society on the verge of dissolution. Seen in its original incarnation at the Kennedy Center in 1986, the work was an eerie, dream-like intermingling of sexuality and war, Freud and Hitler.
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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2011
This summer, MacArthur Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman will leave the Takoma Park, Maryland troupe she founded in 1976 to pursue solo projects in dancing and writing. The company, now called the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, will revert to its original name — The Dance Exchange — on July 1. The new artistic director will be choreographer Cassie Meador, 31, who is in her 10 t h year with the troupe. "I have been so supported by the community in the Washington D.C. and Maryland area, and have been challenged to do my best work," Lerman said in a news release.
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By Abigail Tucker and Abigail Tucker,SUN STAFF | April 7, 2005
Despite its name, the "we" turn was one man's inspiration. Scott Grossman conceived of it alone last week in the hallways of River Hill High School in Clarksville, where he had quietly extracted himself from the company of 51 shimmying Miss USA 2005 contestants. The pageant choreographer was having "a breakdown moment," but not in the good, "break it down!" dancing kind of way. He was in crisis mode. Something was terribly awry with the swimsuit parade, but what? "I knew there needed to be a turn, but very soft," he said.
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By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2012
Carol Bartlett, a choreographer who had been the Peabody Preparatory dance department's artistic director for 25 years, died of cancer Dec. 15 at her Rodgers Forge home. She was 67. "She was the backbone and inspirational leader of the Peabody Preparatory's dance department," said Carolee Stewart, the preparatory school's dean. "She was a beloved teacher. She also planned and was chief choreographer for its productions. " Born Carol Trotman in Colchester, Essex, England, she was trained in the tradition of the Royal Academy of Ballet as a child.
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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2012
Jonathan Phillip "Sugarfoot" Moffett can practically hear the King of Pop's voice in his head as he practices his drum licks for the Cirque du Soleil show based on the music of Michael Jackson. "Make it bigger than life," Moffett hears the Gloved One telling him, as he bears down on the beat in "Billie Jean" or "Heartbreak Hotel. " "My fans know my music. That's what they want to hear. Add some color, but don't stray too far. " In putting together "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour," the creative team behind Cirque du Soleil drew upon the expertise of several musicians and dancers who worked closely with Jackson, including Moffett, Jackson's longtime drummer, and choreographer Travis Payne.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | December 5, 2011
When Peabody Institute professor Manuel Barrueco received an email alerting him that he had been nominated for a prestigious fellowship carrying a five-figure cash prize, he assumed it was spam, perhaps a variation of the Nigerian lottery scam, and deleted it. When Barrueco received several follow-up emails in the ensuing weeks, he also sent them unread to his computer's trash bin. It took a phone call and the blunt question, "What are you doing?"...
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By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 17, 2011
Although no longer revolutionary, Stephen Schwartz's dark 1972 episodic musical "Pippin" continues to surprise and intrigue. In a production by 2nd Star in Bowie, the spirit of the show's director/choreographer Bob Fosse again seduces us, the dancers' sharp moves synchronized to Schwartz's catchy folk-pop-rock score. "Pippin" is the story of a naïve young prince's search for meaning and fulfillment in life. Pippin's racy grandmother encourages him to savor a series of fleshly encounters, and the amoral Leading Player guides him to battlefield competitions, sensual pleasures and, ultimately, patricide — as Pippin briefly becomes king by killing his father, Charlemagne.
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By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2011
Annapolis Summer Garden's season opener, "Chicago," gets just about everything so right that it would please the ghost of choreographer Bob Fosse, to whose memory debuting director and choreographer Taavon Gamble dedicates this production. The production's success is largely attributable to Gamble's smart sense of style, evident in the stark black background set and simple black costumes that enhance his dynamic choreography. Also evident in every scene is the meticulous care Gamble gives all aspects of this Kander and Ebb musical that reveals the corruption of 1920s Chicago's criminal justice system through its heroines, who are based on actual women reported on in Chicago newspapers.
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By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2011
First Danielle Soibelman handed out green toy ears similar to those of the animated character Shrek, saying that she wanted each of the assembled students at the Glen Burnie Children's Guild looking "Shrekdafied. " Then the 11-year-old actress from Los Angeles, who plays young Fiona in "Shrek the Musical," offered a behind-the-scenes look at the production being performed at the Hippodrome through Sunday, April 3. She even showed the students a few choreographed moves from the musical about an ogre and his friends.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | September 21, 2000
Near the end of the slick, sophisticated, Tony Award-winning musical revue "Fosse," at the Mechanic Theatre, a dancer shuffles out in patched trousers. Already bent over, he bends down a little more, picks up a discarded cigar and lights it. As a singer on the sidelines begins a slow, gentle rendition of "Mr. Bojangles," the frail dancer is joined by a buff, robust young counterpart. Portraying the song's aged title character, Vincent Sandoval embodies the cliche "a shadow of his former self."
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | April 23, 2008
The Ballet Theatre of Maryland closed its 2007-2008 season last weekend with memorable performances from the entire company in a new major work honoring an Annapolis ballet teacher. Dancers were also at the top of their form in preceding selections that included Italian Symphonette, a work choreographed earlier by Dianna Cuatto, and her Tango Dramatico, requested by four principal dancers: Bryan Skates, his wife, Jamie Skates, and principal dancers Alexis Decker and Christi Bleakly. Wherever these dancers appeared, they set higher standards than before, giving cause to celebrate along with the bittersweet realization that we will no longer be able to see their magic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2011
Girl Talk has gone legit. Gregg Gillis — the Pittsburgh DJ's real name — is still raiding the catalogs of music's biggest stars as shamelessly as a Somali pirate, but a new album of his can now crash servers within 24 hours of being posted online. He's playing bigger venues than ever before, and selling them out faster than some of the people he samples. And the city of Pittsburgh even designated Dec. 7 "Gregg Gillis Day. " His shows have also changed, and when he performs at Rams Head Live on Monday, fans will see a less intimate and more domesticated — even professional — performance.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2011
This summer, MacArthur Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman will leave the Takoma Park, Maryland troupe she founded in 1976 to pursue solo projects in dancing and writing. The company, now called the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, will revert to its original name — The Dance Exchange — on July 1. The new artistic director will be choreographer Cassie Meador, 31, who is in her 10 t h year with the troupe. "I have been so supported by the community in the Washington D.C. and Maryland area, and have been challenged to do my best work," Lerman said in a news release.
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