Review: Misty, Calvin & ABT’s ‘Harlequinade’

“Les millions d’Arléquin” was a fluff-ball of a ballet, popular with audiences from its debut in 1900 until its last performance in 1929. It had a goofy comedic story, a lovely score by Italian composer Riccardo Drigo and unvarnished yet gracious choreography from the French-Russian ballet master, Marius Petipa. Now, American Ballet Theatre has staged …

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Review: ‘The Nutcracker’

It’s the day before Christmas and so, no surprise, the question has come up, “Laura, how many times have you seen the ‘Nutcracker’?” I haven’t keep count. More than 200? Could be. But I continue to go—and not just because I have to. I guess it must be something like love. That’s the case with …

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Review: Backhausdance New Works

The Orange County contemporary dance company Backhausdance celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and artistic director Jenny Backhaus is taking a bit of a break from creating the bulk of the group’s repertory. This strikes me more as an evolutionary development than a major sea change. I’ve been watching the company’s development almost from its …

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Review: SF Ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’

I have been a San Francisco Ballet fan since the early 1980s, when Michael Smuin ran the company. I was living in the city and had a ballet subscription. They have only gotten better since then, growing into one of this country’s most distinguished classical companies. Sadly, they infrequently come south to perform here. We’re …

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Not a review: Thoughts on Miami City Ballet & George Balanchine’s ‘Nutcracker’

The Music Center last week presented “The Nutcracker” for the first time in five years. The two-act ballet premiered in Russia in 1892, but, as we all know, it ended up becoming a holiday obsession here in the U.S. instead. (Read Jennifer Fisher’s excellent book “Nutcracker Nation” to find out how that happened.) Rachel Moore, …

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