Review: ‘Pepperland’ & Raymonda, etc.

Mark Morris — that most-musical choreographer and sometimes-conductor, who was the 2013 director of the Ojai Music Festival — has shown little interest in setting his dances to rock ’n’ roll or other popular music. So “Pepperland,” seen this weekend at the Segerstrom Center, is an outlier. The piece was a commission, made for the …

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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: 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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