English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2016

A social commentary on ENB’s Emerging dance program… So I am watching ENB’s Emerging Dance LIVE… and I am not trying to say I told you so again, but I am totally saying I told you so again… Rina and Cesar killed that sh!t…

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Okay, so the live streaming worked great for me, no problems, but I know whenever I am going to live stream I plug in my ethernet able and don’t rely on wifi… Mmmm so six talented dancers selected by their colleagues competed this year: Isabelle Brouwers, Cesar Corrales, Rina Kanehara, Jeanette Kakareka, Daniele Silingardi, and Erik Woolhouse.
Three grand pas de deuxs were selected: Talisman, Black Swan and Diane and Acteon. Then it began…

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Isabelle Brouwers and Erik Whoolhouse took on Talisman…
It is hard going first in a competition, no one wants to but someone has to do it. Unfortunately for these young two dancers, nerves got the best of them in the pas, and caused the variations to be safe and complacent. And by the end of the coda, he was tired and couldn’t do the full press lift… Which I totally get… It is exhausting, and you probably didn’t sleep well the night before… Nerves. Pacing yourself… it all plays into a factor.

Then Jeanette Kakareka and Daniele Silingardi took on Black Swan…
The pas de deux was gorgeous. Jeanette’s body makes some of the most beautiful lines I have ever seen. Her body makes lines that rival Svetlana Zakarhova’s. No joke. The pas de deux was enticing, and sensual. Then I think nerves got to Mr. Silingardi in his variation causing his turns to be off, and a lot of falling out. Her variation was gorgeous, and luscious but lacked a lot of audience connection. The coda, he became more unstable, but she rocked it out. I don’t know how she turns with those feet, that hyperextension and hypermobility… she must do some serious pilates or something.

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Finally, Rina Kanehara and Cesar Corrales performed Diane and Acteon…
And they freakin slayed. From her opening emboîtés… to his extremely sound partnering skills… She was 10 times better than at the prix (2015), and 1000 times more than at the YAGP… Like no joke, stunning. She is also the youngest member at ENB. HE freaking nailed the variation to a point that was insane. His turns are super powerful, and clean… It was insane. His performance quality, and bravura really did outshow the other to male competitors…
She became a little off in the turns but covered it so well, and was so precise with EVERYTHING! Like she no joke had the best audience connection and playfulness, her dynamic is just so incredible. LIKE everything….. Her fouettés on the diagonal… with that crazy arm change… fierce. His turns and jumps… baby daddy status… okay he is also extremely handsome. His variation was insane with the series of jumps he did, but his coda was EVERYTHING.

Then the contemporary solos started for the night:
Mr. Whoolhouse performed Eros Redux by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa- danced so much better… soooooo nice and relaxed, his body is really interesting when moving contemporary… his arms and legs are so long and fluid. I’ve noticed a lot of the men of ENB have these extremely elongated bodies that are really interesting to watch.
Isabelle Brouwers took on a new work by Charlotte Edmonds- did not like this piece what so ever… and the unitard was … yucky
Daniele Silingardi took on Spring and Fall by John Neumeier, he danced so lovely… so pleasant and carefree it was nice. A really nice redeeming moment.
Jeanette Kakareka took on Requiem for a Rose by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.This is a very hard variation/solo for anyone, so I don’t know how smart it was for a young dancer to take it on… She did a great job though… really interesting take on it.
Cesar Corrales took on Congrabajo para Hombre by Julio Lopez with music by Astor Piazzolla (one of my favorite composers) danced gorgeously, manly, body for days, and I think he connected to it well.
Rina Kanehara took on Les Ballet’s de Monte-Carlo’s Black Swan by Jean-Christophe Maillot. It is to the black swan music but contemporary… it was definitely cute and dynamic buuuuut she could have taken on something with more depth like the others…

It is now intermission while the judges decide… and now I am going to talk about what happened in the chat room, that corresponded with it… SanFranBallet made a comment about it being a sporting event and that we shouldn’t critique dancers blow by blow and enjoy them… Which is totally fair…. but this is a competition streamed worldwide, and everyone is looking at these dancers for principal potential, dynamic dancing and a source of inspiration… So, when it comes to competitions, if there are technical flaws…. yes, they are easy to point out and spectators, myself included, come down hard on the dancer… Ironically, being inconsistent as a performer causes a company to not renew a contract… so… I dunno…  Other power players showed up to online chat, USC’s new Kaufman dance program showed up. — Daria Klimentova, former principal at ENB showed up, which she retired to the same Romeo and Juliet PDD performed below. Sara Murawski from Slovak National Ballet showed up online among others.

Then the program concluded with Laurretta Summerscales* and Max Westwell , people’s favorite* from last year who is now a Principal… They danced Romeo and Juliet PDD which was gorgeous, and refreshing because they don’t do the MacMillan version they do Nureyev’s… And I am just gunna say, that she didn’t win the competition but is now a Principal dancer… It isn’t always about winning, but experience and consistency and it showed here tonight… how much a dancer grows… changes… and can accomplish in a year. Her performance tonight was stunning and breathtaking and her dancing has changed drastically. A good Juliet dances as if she is in love, reckless and all consumed at the same time…
Then Jinhao Zhang** performed Corsaire’s Pas D’esclave who won last year’s emerging artist** with Shiori Kase. The partnering was gorgeous, and he has grown a lot as a dancer and a partner as well…. and he’s a freakin tall Asian…. 🙂 Ummm the costuming was kind of ugly but the choreo was great, and they danced so beautifully together… it was just distracting to see that ugliness… but the dancing is sooo stunning, I guess it doesn’t matter.

The Corps de Ballet Award went to: Jennie Harrington
People’s Choice Award: Cesar Corrales
And the Emerging Dancer Award 2016 went to Cesar Corrales
So, the super fierce Cesar won, which means he will be either promoted very soon, or he will change companies… Who knows… Just another star to follow in the universe of ballet… We shall see…

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5 reasons we fell in love with ballet

5 Reasons why we fell in love with ballet

Everything is beautiful at the ballet… Edward Kleban said it all in his lyrics for A Chorus Line… When we were younger something resonated with us and sparked the passion for dancing. I remember when I was younger I was obsessed with the Nutcracker. I would watch the VHS versions of Nutcracker (PNB & the Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland version then I added the Balanchine Version) back to back, every day. It was magical… As I am doodling on Instagram, this week’s theme is “My first Ballet Class” so it has brought back a lot of childhood memories… And so, I haven’t done one of these in a while, so tonight, as I neglect to clean my house, I give you 5 reasons why we fell in love with ballet…

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1. The Spectacle that is the Nutcracker… For a lot of us, Nutcracker was our first live ballet… Usually, it was a result of being in class and it was finally time for your first real ballet. It was the music and the costumes: Tutus bouncing up and down, skirts twirling, men’s jackets twinkling in the light, ribbons flowing in the air… and pointe shoes. It was the lights and the glamor: getting dressed up, the opera house lights dimming, the velvet curtain rising… It was everything that ballet is… enchanting.

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2. The Music. For some, it was the music. It is this epic music, full symphonic sounds and more than that… inspiring. Music for some dancers becomes the driving force of their careers, the ability to interpret music on the body— it’s inspiring.
3. The stories… for others it is the epic love stories, the tragedies that can’t be unwritten… the ability to become a princess, a swan and an enchantress, all in the same the night. It is the ability to forget who you are in reality, and be someone different. Who doesn’t want to escape and be a fabled princess, and get to live out your childhood heroines?
4. The Movement… it is the elegance, the posturing, the bravura of turns and jumps. The power of choreography says a lot. It is what makes a repertory live forever. The steps are just steps, but the movement itself can be inspired and brought to another level through artistry. I mean we have all seen really bad bourrés…. like really bad ones…

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5. And then there is the reason why I fell in love with ballet… a good ballet, meaning when the steps, the choreography, the dancers, the costumes the lighting all come together perfectly… it builds this adrenaline and once it is over it leaves you wanting more; much more. When a dancer is so generous with their soul, their artistry, their passion you become addicted to that dancer… It makes you want everything and then some… For me, it was Gelsey Kirkland in the first pas de deux (the music for snow PDD), it was Maia Rosal as the peacock, Lucinda Hughey as Dew Drop, Darci Kistler and Damian Woetzel as Sugar Plum & Cavailer, and Kyra Nichols as Dew Drop. These women to me were goddesses. They were gorgeous… They were everything that I admired in ballet… and probably the reason I am so obsessed with ballet…

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No matter what it was that made us start ballet… we started… and here we are as adults… either professional dancers, ballet go-ers, ballet lovers, and just in general ballet fans. When you start a love affair with ballet, it doesn’t really ever end. Even if your career ends because of injury, and you end up hating ballet… it is only for a while… But you always find a way back to ballet… you see a youtube video, or a performance, or something… no matter what it is… everytime you hear the music for Nutcracker, or you see a great performance on social media… you fall in love all over again…

Don’t forget … English National Ballet streams their emerging dancer performance live today!!! All six are super stunning but I am in love Rina Kanehara and Cesar Corrales… (11:25AM PDT)  http://emerging-dancer.ballet.org.uk

The Ballet Feuds…

ballet wars

There will always be ballet feuds… Going back to the Original Ballets Russes and The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Here are some of the current match ups….

ironically none of these principals are british...
ironically none of these principals are british…

Royal Ballet vs. English National Ballet The Tea and Crumpets War

Ummm I love Kathryn Morgan period. I loved her as Juliet, but hated the Peter Martins version... how that happens I have no clue... Hee Seo is one of my favorite dancers, I wish she could join city ballet and I could see her in serenade, emeralds and tchai pas.
Ummm I love Kathryn Morgan period. I loved her as Juliet, but hated the Peter Martins version… how that happens I have no clue… Hee Seo is one of my favorite dancers, I wish she could join city ballet and I could see her in serenade, emeralds and tchai pas.

New York City Ballet vs. American Ballet Theatre (old rivalry but a goodie)

The Australian Ballet vs. Queensland Ballet… the fight down under

Houston Ballet vs. Ballet Austin vs. Texas Ballet TheatreThe Texas Threesome 

Miami City Ballet vs. Orlando Ballet, younger ballet companies hashing it out. 

Stuttgart vs. Hamburg, the German showdown 

Bolshoi vs Mariinsky (old rivalry but a goodie)

National Ballet of Canada vs Royal Winnipeg… Canadian Syrup Fight

In bold I have decided who I like more… haha (insert your comments below)

There are many more but these are some that I enjoy watching as they promote people, change up their repertory, and start the social media wars. What is great is that we have all these options, that each company brings something new, and has created numerous jobs for their areas.