Five Dances – a film in development

Five Dances - a film in development
Small town boy comes to big city.  Discovers his talents, discovers himself.  Has difficult phone calls back home.  It’s a familiar but sturdy set-up for a film. Yet rather than being a boxer, the young man is a dancer. The film is “Five Dances” by Alan Brown, whose previous efforts include “Private Romeo,” a gay retelling of “Romeo & Juliet.”  The star is Ryan Steele and...
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Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in “On the Town”

Cris Alexander (1920-2012), the original Chip in "On the Town"
Alexander in 2009 (Luanne M. Ferris / Times Union) Cris Alexander, a Broadway actor and portrait photographer, died on March 7 in Saratoga Springs, where he lived full-time since 1991.  His death at age 92 came just two weeks after that of Shaun O’Brien, the New York City Ballet character dancer and Alexander’s companion of 61 years. Alexander starred in the 1944 premiere of “On the Town,” creating...
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City Ballet’s Shaun O’Brien (1925-2012)

City Ballet's Shaun O'Brien (1925-2012)
Shaun O’Brien made his name on the stage as a New York City Ballet dancer and adopted the troupe’s summer home as his own until his death last week. O’Brien, a member of New York City Ballet for about 40 years, died in Saratoga Springs on Feb. 23 at age 86. He will be remembered for his unusually long career portraying character roles, especially Drosselmeier in “The Nutcracker” and Dr. Coppelius in “Coppelia.” O’Brien...
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“The Eleanor Hovda Collection” on Innova

"The Eleanor Hovda Collection" on Innova
Two years ago I interviewed conductor Jeannine Wager and subsequently wrote on this site what seems to still be the only complete account of the last years of composer Eleanor Hovda (1940-2009).  During our conversation Wager, her companion of 20 years, was forthcoming but obviously still grieving. She told me that she would soon be leaving their Arkansas home and was planning to begin archiving Hovda’s studio in New...
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A “weekend out” at Jacobs Pillow

A "weekend out" at Jacobs Pillow
Jacob’s Pillow, the dance colony in Becket, Mass., is hosting a gay-themed weekend of performances, exhibitions and free events.  The second annual “Weekend Out” is a nice follow up to “The Untold Story of Jacob’s Pillow,” an article for the Gay & Lesbian Review by the Pillow’s archivist Norton Owen. JACOB’S PILLOW ANNOUNCES
SECOND ANNUAL LGBT “WEEKEND OUT”
AUGUST 5–7 FULL...
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CD review: Nico Muhly’s “A Good Understanding” and “I Drink the Air Before Me”

CD review: Nico Muhly’s “A Good Understanding” and “I Drink the Air Before Me”
Nico Muhly “A Good Understanding,” Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon conductor (Decca) “I Drink The Air Before Me” (Decca/Bedroom Community) New music’s Boy Wonder Nico Muhly. It’s not enough that he landed a commission from the Metropolitan Opera while still in his 20s (Two Boys, premieres in London in June at the English National Opera and shows up in New York in the 2013-14 season), but now he’s...
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Strings of texts, DNA in Sean Griffin’s “Cold Spring” (preview and review)

Strings of texts, DNA in Sean Griffin's "Cold Spring" (preview and review)
Eugenics — the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase desirable characteristics — is a central theme in “Cold Spring,” which plays Friday and Saturday nights (12/3-4/10) in the EMPAC theater in Troy. Creator Sean Griffin chose the title as a reference to the studies in human potential conducted in Cold Spring Harbor, Suffolk County, during the early part of the...
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Dance reviews: More of City Ballet at Saratoga

Dance reviews: More of City Ballet at Saratoga
NEW YORK CITY BALLET SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER WEDNESDAY JULY 14, 2010 The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Balanchine/Bizet) Walpurgisnacht BAllet (Balanchine/Gounod) Namouna (Ratmansky/Lalo) “Ballet’s hip,” said one busy staffer of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That remark was less a hope than an observation, since healthy sized crowds are turning out for the second week of the New York City Ballet’s Saratoga...
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Dance reviews: New York City Ballet in Saratoga

Dance reviews: New York City Ballet in Saratoga
NEW YORK CITY BALLET SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER TUESDAY JULY 6, 2010 “All American” Fancy Free (Robbins/Bernstein) Red Angels (Dove/Einhorn) Barber Violin Concerto (Martins/Barber) Who Cares (Balanchine/Gershwin) With a roll of the snare drum and a cartwheel by a dancer, the New York City Ballet’s summer season got off to a fast start.  Tuesday night’s program at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center opened...
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Christopher Wheeldon: Back in the saddle at New York City Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon: Back in the saddle at New York City Ballet
Get ready for more horses in Saratoga Springs. This time on the ballet stage. In his latest piece, “Estancia,” choreographer Christopher Wheeldon directs members of the New York City Ballet to buck and bray like wild colts. The piece opens Saturday’s annual gala at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “It’s a cowboy ballet, set on a ranch in Argentina,” says Wheeldon, who will be on hand for the performance. ...
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