My first reaction to Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer's insensitive remarks about young Prince George taking ballet lessons was primal outrage. Ballet is one of my "things" - despite the entitlement and snobbery I still encounter because, well, someone from a suburban working class home doesn't belong. That she and her GMA audience think ballet is laughable is something else. Mocking a six-year-old's participation in an activity combining physical fitness and aesthetics or anything else is alarming. Is it okay for girls to rightly emulate the world champion U.S. Women's Soccer team but boys can't aspire performing The Nutcracker Prince?
As the Romanovs's bewilderingly indifference to the political and socioeconomic upheavals leading to the Russian Revolution worsened, ballet at home and abroad flourished. French-born Marius Petipa (1818–1910) was Chief Choreographer of Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater where he set the premieres of Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker among others. Artists dissatisfied with his autocratic yet groundbreaking vision joined impresario Serge Diaghilev in his Paris-based Ballets Russes. The two aesthetics share a legacy of brilliant choreographers (Ballets Russes had Michael Fokine, Nijinsky, his sister Bronislava, Leonid Massine and George Balanchine) and enduring influence. New York had pleasing reminders of this lofty dance heritage when American Ballet Theatre opened their
There is simply nothing that can compare to the circus -- the dazzle, danger and derring-do, the shrieks of joy and gasps of amazement at the sheer feats of human accomplishment, both bizarre and beautiful at the same time. The “under-the-big-top” traveling, tented circuses have been around for hundreds of years and the origins of the acts, from juggling to contortion, for thousands of years, utilized to entertain both royal courts and street corners. But like all art forms, circus has fallen in and out of fashion over the eras as increasingly sophisticated audiences demanded much more than the mere
The evening begins with an invocation to Egyptian goddess Hathor, praising her as “mistress of dance,” and “lady of jubilation.” But the woman who takes the stage is more evocative of Egyptian goddess Bastet with feline features and a catlike stride. Her stature barely surpasses 5 feet and yet she commands the entire space of the Theater at the 14th Street Y with her stately presence. This is Magda Saleh, the woman of honor and inspiration for this week long series of events and performances celebrating Egyptian dance, “in all its forms and traditions.” Ms. Saleh sets the tone with an