Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This Week in Dance History

Sept 18, 1905- The Tony Award winning dancer and choreographer Agnes De Mille was born. (Pictured left) In 1939, she was invited to join the American Ballet Theatre's opening season. Here, she created her first ballet, Black Ritual, in 1940. This ballet became the first ever to use Black dancers. But it was her 1942 Americana ballet Rodeo that truly put her on the dance map. She choreographed the musicals "Oklahoma, “in 1943, and "Brigadoon," in 1947.

September 19, 1927- Isadora Duncan passed away in a tragic auto accident in Nice, France. Her life story was made into a movie in 1968. Read more about her on the web page for the Isadora Duncan Foundation for Contemporary Dance.

September 20, 1967-The ballet Astarte created and choreographed by Robert Joffrey was first presented by the City Center Joffrey Ballet at the City Center, New York with Trinette Singleton and Maximiliano Zomosa. Described as "choreo-cinema." Astarte featured acid-rock music, film segments and disco-style lighting.

September 21, 1998- Russian deputy prosecutor general Aleksandr Zviyaguintsev announced that Rudolf Nureyev was posthumously rehabilitated. The dancer had been sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison when he defected to France in 1961.

September 22, 1996- The Canadian ballerina and founder of Les Ballets Chiriaeff and the Academy of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and L'Ecole Supérieure des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ludmilla Chiriaeff, passed away at age 72. In October of 1993 she had received the Governor General's Award for performing arts in recognition for her exceptional contribution to culture in Canada. (Pictured below)

September 23, 1996
- Alberto O. Herrera, father and lawyer of ballerina Paloma Herrera of the American Ballet Theater, filed suit against designers Paloma Picasso and Carolina Herrera for the right to register his daughter’s name as a trademark. Paloma Picasso launched a perfume bearing her name in 1984. Carolina Herrera introduced a perfume called "Herrera" in 1988. Both opposed the trademark.

Ballet Headlines

Beijing's controversial China National Grand Theatre will open its doors on September 25 with a performance of The Red Detachment of Women ballet, one of eight stage shows allowed during China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, was chosen to coincide with the October 15 Communist Party Congress. The new opera house was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. The "tear drop" design has three theatres encased in a gigantic titanium frame and covered by glass. It was selected by the Chinese government from among several international and domestic designs in 1998. It has been dogged by controversy with construction postponed for 18 months in the early stages as opponents sought to derail the project. Source: AFP Google News.

Also from China:

A typhoon thrashing the eastern coast of China has stranded members of the Alberta Ballet and forced the touring group to cancel one show. On September 19, CBC news reported that more than 30 members of the ballet are waiting in Ningbo, about 150 kilometres south of Shanghai. The group, which has been touring China for the past two weeks, expects to resume the tour soon. Source: CBC News.