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By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 7, 1996
Washington Ballet opened its 20th anniversary program last week. To celebrate, the company put together a program of three dances that venerated its heritage (Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco" and the late Choo-San Goh's "Birds of Paradise") and looked to the future with the world premiere by the company's new artistic associate, Simon Dow, "Illuminata."Dow teamed up with the company's new resident composer, Jerzy Sapieyevski to create an abstract work that was brimming with symbolism. 'Illuminata" forges the mysticism of St. Catherine with the secular transformation of Pygmalion into a surreal soup of images and strong theatrical elements.
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By Carolyn Kelemen | September 4, 2012
Dust off the tuxedos, pull out the pearls and get ready to celebrate a new dance season with anniversaries, reunions, holiday performances and a masked ball here in Howard County. Around this time of year, Kathi Ferguson puts on a seasonal dance show for children and their parents. In the past we have watched dancing ghosts and goblins and a wicked witch who jumped high on her broom. This season, the director of the Howard County Ballet has planned a "Masquerade Ball," complete with waltzes set to Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, and a vampire scene a la "Phantom of the Opera.
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By J.L. Conklin and J.L. Conklin,Special to The Sun | November 4, 1994
Even Amanda McKerrow's performance in the "Dying Swan" couldn't bolster Washington Ballet's unfortunate program of dances being presented at the Eisenhower Theater this weekend.Ms. McKerrow, listed as a permanent guest artist, from American Ballet Theatre, is just one of the stars scheduled to be on hand tomorrow to celebrate the Washington Ballet School's 50th anniversary. Her "Dying Swan" demonstrated her considerable skills as both an actress and dancer.The "Dying Swan" has been parodied so much it takes someone xTC with above average ability to pull it out of our cliched consciousness.
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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2012
At a recent screening of the ballet competion documentary "First Position," the audience gasped audibly when, about a third of the way through the movie, Rebecca Houseknecht's hometown — Odenton, Maryland — flashed across the screen. The film chronicles the real-life stories of six aspiring dancers from around the world aged 11 to 17 who in 2009 competed in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition. The film tells the dramatic life stories of a desperately poor Columbian teen who hopes to use dance to raise the quality of life for his entire family, and of a 14-year-old orphan who chose a life in ballet as an antidote to the murders she witnessed in her native Sierra Leone.
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By J. L. Conklin | March 2, 1991
Ray Barra's brand-new work, "Prelude to Autumn," featured on this weekend's Washington Ballet program at Goucher College, has beautiful dancing, pretty costumes, a lovely set and Dvorak's "Dumky Trio."But the work is also a bore.Like an attractive person who has nothing between the ears, the work -- while lovely to look at -- is vapid and full of choreographic fluff.With its hazy nod to romanticism, see-saw of mood-shifting duets, trios and quartets and somewhere-Slavic stance, "Prelude" makes its point long before the dancing stops.
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By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 30, 1995
"Momentum," by the late choreographer Choo San Goh, was a fitting way for the Washington Ballet Company to open its run at the Kennedy Center this week. Under the artistic direction of Mary Day, the troupe revved up with one of its favorites, set to the lush score of a Prokofiev piano concerto. Then the troupe expertly soared through works by resident choreographer Lynn Cote, South African artist Ntsikelelo Cekwana and renowned choreographer Graham Lustig.Ms. Cote's world premiere of "Nexus, n: connection, link" was bolstered by the live performance of original music by Maritri Garrett and Shana Tucker, and a dynamic set of diagonal hangings contrasted by a rope-wrapped bar that paralleled the floor.
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By J. L. Conklin | May 4, 1991
The Washington Ballet is closing its Baltimore season this weekend at Goucher College with a program of four dances that highlight the choreography of Choo-San Goh, Ray Barra, Niles Christe and Rex Bickmore.Opening the program was Choo-San Goh's "Double Contrasts," a study in polarities for 12 dancers to Francis Poulenc's "Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra.""Double Contrasts" is also filled with double entendres. The movement boldly oscillates from classical to gestural motifs.
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By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,Special to The Sun | May 13, 1994
The Washington Ballet, performing at the Kennedy Center, is offering an inspired program of choreography and dancing, even though Graham Lustig's new ballet, "Hearts of Light," needs some adjustments.The abstract, lyrical ballet, which is set to Sir Michael Tippet's music, "Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli," has a theatrical, almost Shakespearean sheen. At the start, the dancers step forward and take bows with a flourish; they form tableaux that spring to life, create small dramas with one another and give sparkling solos.
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By J. L. Conklin | October 11, 1990
The Washington Ballet opened its Baltimore season last night at Goucher College with a program that exemplifies founder-artistic director Mary Day's quest for excellence.Not only are her dancers first-rate, but the dances Ms. Day and her engaging company present are equally top-notch. With a lineup of works choreographed by George Balanchine, John Cranko and the company's late great choreographer, Choo-San Goh, the program couldn't miss.This company can capture the imagination of the most jaded dance fan.Opening the evening was Mr. Balanchine's "Donizetti Variations" music from the composer's opera, "Don Sebastian."
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By J. L. Conklin and J. L. Conklin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 10, 1996
Mary Day, artistic director and founder of the Washington Ballet, is a woman of courage and optimism. In the ballet world, premieres are risky business, and her company's program of three world premieres proves her daring.Opening the program was resident choreographer Lynn Cote's "Interlacing," a dance that displayed Cote's lighter side and distinct choreographic growth. The highlight was a sunny, cleanly danced quartet featuring company members Tristi McMaster, Heather Perry, Chip Coleman and Jani Talo.
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By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | March 15, 2012
Even as they turn 100, Washington's cherry trees in full bloom remain as wondrously beautiful as ever — which explains why more than a million people are expected to come gaze at them over the next five weeks. D.C.'s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, perhaps the most welcome harbinger of spring anywhere in the U.S., begins Tuesday (the first day of spring) and runs through April 27 (Arbor Day). Expanded from its customary 19 days in celebration of the trees' 100th anniversary, the schedule includes fireworks, a parade, live music, visits from Japanese dignitaries and entertainers, and even a commemorative stamp from the U.S. Postal Service.
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By Carolyn Kelemen | November 30, 2011
The Sugarplum Fairy remains the most challenging role in "The Nutcracker" ballet. A ballerina must be secure in her classical technique and mature in her dramatic skills to excel in this role. She also must be a smart leader on stage as she endeavors to keep all those tiny sugar plum darlings from tripping over one another in the Land of the Sweets. For young dancers, being chosen for Clara also elicits "oohs" and "ahs" of envy, for it is she who gets the spotlight as she wins the heart of her Nutcracker Prince.
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By Carolyn Kelemen | June 27, 2011
For Columbia's Alex Ketley , the dance road leading to this week's national TV exposure on "So You Think You Can Dance" began under the tutelage of the late Anne Allen as a member of her Columbia Multi-Media Dance Theater Company. That training opened doors for this Wilde Lake High School graduate, and earned him credits with the Washington Ballet. The road led eventually to California as a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, where Ketley performed from 1994 to 1998 in a wide-ranging ballet repertory that included the works of master choreographerGeorge Balanchine.
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | December 22, 2010
Happy holidays? Not always. Not when you're forced to spend a few days cooped up inside with family members you may not get along with all that well, getting presents you don't need and giving away presents you spent too much money on. Maybe, you start thinking to yourself, Ebenezer Scrooge had the right idea. "People who seldom or never see one another during the year are thrown together in close proximity at family reunions during the winter holidays," says Johns Hopkins University Professor P.M. Forni, author of "The Civility Solution: What to Do When People are Rude," who teaches the history and theory of good manners.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2010
SATURDAY BALTIMORE BALLET: The Baltimore Ballet celebrates its 10-year anniversary with guest performances by members from American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, Merce Cunningham and Alvin Ailey. Three one-act ballets will also be performed at the gala. The event takes place at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 to $72. Go to ticketmaster.com. CURIOUS GEORGE: LET'S GET CURIOUS: This exhibit takes kids inside the world of Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat with adventures in math, science and engineering at Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, through June 6. Admission is $12.95.
NEWS
By JEAN MARBELLA | February 26, 2009
Ballet dancers can seem like visitors from another, not-quite-real world - sprites maybe, alighting in our midst for the most fleeting of moments. They skim across the floor on the tips of their toes or sail through the air on invisible wings and then, because ballet is ephemeral, they're gone. Mary Saludares, 20, a dancer with the Washington Ballet's junior company, was killed last week, struck by a car as she tried to cross a street shortly after performing at Harford Community College - now, sadly, the last venue to be visited by this particular sprite.
NEWS
February 23, 2009
Washington Ballet cancels tour after dancer is killed The Washington Ballet Company is canceling the rest of its Studio Company tour after a 20-year-old dancer was fatally injured when she was struck by a car Friday while on tour in Harford County. Mary Saludares was crossing Route 24 at Edgewood Road about 10 p.m. when she was hit, police said. She died early Saturday. Saludares began dancing at the age of 6 while living in the Philippines, according to a statement from the Washington Ballet Company.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Brooke Nevils and Brooke Nevils,SUN REPORTER | December 14, 2006
Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, with its dancing Sugar Plum Fairy, waltzing flowers and toy soldiers, has long been a beloved holiday tradition. This season, Baltimoreans can see Russian dancers perform the ballet, composed by Tchaikovsky for the Alexandre Dumas adaptation of the E.T.A. Hoffman short story. The Lyric Opera House is offering four performances of The Great Russian Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet. "It features an all-star Russian cast, including two stars from the Kirov Ballet, the No. 1 ballet company in the world," says Akiva Talmi, the show's producer.
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