Celebrate Forsythe | Meet the Companies

As part of Celebrate Forsythe, three major U.S. ballet companies –  San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet – will all perform on The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. This distinctive program is devoted entirely to the work of acclaimed American choreographer, William Forsythe, who hand-picked the three companies.

Find out more about each of them and the piece they will be performing at The Music Center October 21-23, 2016 below.

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#Cinderella DTLA

If you follow The Music Center on Instagram, you’ve probably seen our #CinderellaDTLA photos…

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We’ve been following our little Cinderella as she dances around Downtown Los Angeles on her way to The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to see The Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra in Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella.  

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner

Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner Cinderella DTLA - Photo by Heather Toner

Since the shows are next week, little Cindy has finally made it to The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and is waiting patiently for opening night next Thursday!

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The dancer, Matisse Love, is one of our former Spotlight Awards semi-finalists in ballet, as well as the current model for our friends at The Pointe Shop.  If you’re coming to one of the performances, you may just spot her hanging out in our lobby.  Feel free to snap a selfie with her and be sure to post it with the hashtag #CinderellaDTLA to add your photo to our campaign story!

And if you still need tickets, be sure to snag them soon – seats are going fast!

Photos by Heather Toner for The Music Center

Another Cinderella Story…

The story of Cinderella has been around for centuries and the interpretations are vast… too vast to go into detail here.  But one element always remains the same – Cinderella is an underdog who triumphs over her oppressors, be it by the help of fairy godmothers, mice, or just her own wit and kindness…. And she has excellent taste in shoes.

In anticipation of our upcoming engagement with The Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra and their performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight the many different “Cinderella-stories” of stage and screen….

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Ratmansky’s Cinderella

In Alexei Ratmansky’s 2002 version of the ballet – being performed next month here at The Music Center by the magnificent Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra – he sets the classic story amidst the glamour and grit of 1930’s.  The ballroom scene is more Gatsby than gallantry, and you won’t find any mice or pumpkins in this version.  Rather, Ratmansky reinvigorates this classic story-ballet with vibrant choreography, feisty humor, and a glamorous twist!

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Ashton’s Cinderella

Perhaps one of the best-known and widely performed versions of the ballet set to Sergei Prokofiev’s luscious score, is Sir Frederick Ashton’s 1948 version.  The choreography is something of an homage to the Petipa classics, and the full-length story ballet is brimming with panto-like humor (mainly in the form of stepsisters, traditionally performed by men in drag.)  It followers the classic story line and is pure fairy-tale sweetness with gorgeous fluidity of movement.

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Disney’s Cinderella (the animated version)

Disney’s 1950 animated classic perhaps is one of the most beloved and well-known versions of the story.  And while Cinderella is lovely and the stepsisters have their comedic moments, I feel it’s really the mice who steal the picture.  I mean who  doesn’t love Gus Gus?

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Sondheim’s Into The Woods 

Sondheim’s take on Cinderella steers closer to the Brother’s Grimm version, with the Fairy Godmother being within a tree on Cinderella’s mother’s grave, and the gruesome efforts her stepsisters go through to fit into her glass slipper (hint: they cut off bits of their feet!)  But as Sondheim weaves Cinderella’s story with a myriad of other classics, and shines harsh lights of reality on each, we see a completely new side to our heroine.

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Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

The made-for-television special originally starred a young Julie Andrews, before being remade in 1965 with Leslie Ann Warren, and again in 1997 with Brandy. This version is as classic and magical as it gets!  The recent update to this Broadway musical staple was part of Center Theatre Group’s 2014/15 season in our Ahmanson Theatre and gave new depth to both the prince and Cinderella.  Her agenda to be princess was more about social justice than wanting to move out of her old digs, which was a pretty cool addition to the story.  #GirlPower

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Ever After

The 1998 Drew Barrymore film also brought a modern sophistication to the story, while keeping it set in rural France during the renaissance.  Leonardo DaVinci was thrown in to serve as fairy godmother (cause why not) and fellow human house servants were a nice change from talking mice!  Drew’s Cinderella, didn’t need the prince to save her (again #GirlPower.)  Plus that glitter face-makeup she wore to the ball was so spot on nineties!

That’s just a few of many Cinderella stories floating around out there.  Leave a comment and tell us your favorite!

Make Way for Mariinsky!

The Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – The time when all the new seasons for dance, theater, music and opera kick off and there’s a sudden slew of amazing shows to see!  Round these parts, we are particularly pumped about the start of our new season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, which gets going on October 8th with The Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra.

Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Mariinsky Theater, The Mariinsky Ballet (formerly known as the Kirov Ballet, and before that, the Imperial Russian Ballet) is world-renowned for their technique, artistry and lustrous history in the ballet world.  The company was founded in the 1740’s, following the formation of the first Russian dance school in 1738.  That school would become the predecessor of today’s Vaganova Ballet Academyfrom which some of the greatest and well known dancers would emerge, including Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, and Natalia Makarova (just to name a few.)

Students at Vaganova School

Students at the Vaganova Ballet Academy

The historical importance of this ballet company is hard to pack into a single blog post, but to add some additional perspective on just how cool this company is,  factor in that for a number of years, Marius Petipa was their ballet master.   You may recognize that name as the choreographer of  such classics as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Raymonda, and The Nutcracker.  In other words, he’s like the Godfather of classical story ballets.  Iconic to the artform.

With just five shows this October, The Mariinsky Ballet brings Alexei Ratmansky’s Cinderella to our Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage.  Set to Prokofiev’s haunting score and performed by Mariinsky’s own orchestra, Ratmansky reinvigorates this classic story-ballet with vibrant choreography, feisty humor, and a glamorous 1930’s twist!

Diana Vishneva Mariinsky Ballet Cinderella

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The cast list alone (which you can peruse on our website) is reason enough to snag seats to this show.  But throw in this company’s legacy, the orchestra, the enchanting music, the charming story and Ratmansky’s brilliant choreography, and well, this show is sure to be  one you’ll never forget!

Get your tickets and more information on our website, at our box office, or by calling us at 213.972.0711.

BalletNow™ is Near!

The final dance engagement of our 2014/15 Season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center is fast approaching, with the opening night this coming Friday, July 10th…. And we are certainly finishing things off with a bang!

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The world premiere of BalletNow™ will bring together the brightest stars from Europe and Latin America for a no-holds-barred show of ballet at its very best!  Curated by co-artistic directors and American Ballet Theatre stars Herman Cornejo & Roberto Bolle, the BalletNow™ program will include traditional excerpts from classical favorites like Don Quixote and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as newer contemporary ballet work from choreographers Wayne McGregor, Hans Van Manen, Itzik Galili and Cornejo himself.

Each of the three performances (yes there are only three) will be different – Friday will showcase all European dancers, Saturday will showcase all Latin American dancers and Sunday will be a mixture of the two.  With many of the cast currently holding principal positions in several of America’s top ballet companies,  BalletNow™ promises to be a refreshing look at all the world-wide talent we’re lucky enough to see and experience here in the US.

If that weren’t enough, the show will also feature the US premiere of Passage , the west-coast premieres of Prototype, & Tango y Yo, as well as the world premiere of dancer and fellow BalletNow™ star Carlos Molina’s own Carmen pas de deux.  Additionally, it will feature recently retired ABT principal, Paloma Herrera and give our LA audiences a chance to see her perform one more time!

So obviously, BalletNow™ is a Ballet-Must.  We still have a few tickets available for each show….  Visit our website for more details and to snag your seats!

 Finally, here’s a playlist of videos we’ve gathered from all over YouTube with many of the works being performed, as well as highlights on several of the amazing ballet stars who are about to light up our stage.  Just a little something to whet your appetite…. Enjoy!

CDA Salon with Paloma Herrera

At the start of this month, our Center Dance Arts members were treated to another salon with one of ballet’s greatest artists – American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, Paloma Herrera.

In a conversation with acclaimed author and dance historian Elizabeth Kaye, Herrera shared insights into her artistic process throughout her stunning career – from the time she first started taking class as a young girl in Argentina to now, just months away from her retirement.  It was an inspiring discussion in which members also got the scoop on Herrera’s favorite roles, partners, and plans for the future.

Here’s a brief look at the events of the evening…

Learn more about Center Dance Arts and how you can join by visiting our website.

And don’t fret because you can still see this beautiful ballerina perform at our upcoming show – Ballet Now!