Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What does Katherine Jenkins and Little Ballerina have in common?

Katherine Jenkins makes classical music more acceptable and available to people, just like Little Ballerina's goal of making classical ballet available to everyone!
One night only with Katherine Jenkins in Kuala Lumpur
I just went to classical music heaven back to earth, still stunned by my all-time favourite classical singer Katherine Jenkins. This is the first time she ever performed in Malaysia.
Thanks to my wonderful husband had arranged for me to watch Katherine Jenkins perform live in my homeland.
Among the beautiful songs she sang were, L'Amore Sei Tu (I will always love you), O Mio Babbino Caro, O Sole Mio, Hallelujah, Prayer, Habanera (From Carmen)...etc...
Guess what? I even got to take a photo with Katherine Jenkins!! Meeting her and telling her I marched down the aisle during my wedding with her version of Canon D! It was a moment i will remember for the rest of my life!
Indeed, tonight is a magical and special night!
Learn more about Katherine Jenkins:- http://www.katherinejenkins.co.uk/ Listen in to her angelic voice:- http://streamos.warnermusic.com/flash/wmiuk/katherinejenkins/audio/GodfatherTheme.mp3

Darcey Bussell & Katherine Jenkins present VIVA La DIVA

The DVDs are getting more exciting, today i literally was move to tears by this fantastic DVD! I was having goosebumps after goosebumps... just amazing!

Two of my favourite artists', the legendary Ballerina Darcey Bussell and the beautiful Welsh Opera sensational classical singer Katherine Jenkins, join performance called 'VIVA La DIVA'!

Both great artists appeared in a stage song-and-dance production, entitled Viva la Diva, paying tribute to stars including Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Streisand, Scott Joplin, Edith Piaf, Cyd Charisse, Natalie Wood, Shirley Bassey, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Judy Garland. The show opened in Manchester in November 2007. Jenkins learned to tap dance, spending eight hours a week learning the choreography and running three miles a day to get fit.

It is worth every minute of watching!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ballet Review: Raymonda

LittleBallerina: Ballet Review
Raymonda (Documentary) By Paris Opera Ballet

This is the 1st time i watched a Documentory of Raymonda on DVD. I was fascinated to find out that Alexander Glazunov's music was just fantastic, I love very beat of the music! Do you know that Glazunov's music is being used in many RAD Graded syllabus? Familiar tunes reminded me of my ballet class. =)It is, quite simply, brilliant. It was one of the most varied, colorful, and interesting scores in the entire history of ballet. As interesting to hear as to dance to, including an innovative finale in which the prima ballerina dances to a solo piano with only occasional interjections from the winds and pizzicato strings. I find myself humming to the tunes while i watched the DVD.

This DVD is a documentary about Rudolf Nureyev, the ballet legend's version of Raymonda. He was appointed director of Paris Opera Ballet in 1983. In the film, it features Nureyev rehearsing as well as talking to the press about his work, but more important, the reactions and reminiscences of dancers who worked with the legend. Among the great stars who appear in the film are Fanny Gaida, Elisabeth Platel, Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Guérin, Laurent Hilaire, Charles Jude, Manuel Legris, Elisabeth Maurin, and Kader Belarbi.

Raymonda was wonderfully choreographed by Marius Petipa. I especially enjoyed the fantastic rehearsal scenes of dancers of Paris Opera Ballet. Sometimes, I almost prefer watching dancers in rehearsals in their simple leotards and tutu (simplified, pure line, clean work), than in elaborate costumes and head accessories (No doubt, they do add dramatic and stage effects)

Raymonda is such a technically challenging, extremely artistic ballet. As one ballerina put it, in most choreography you have a little “breathing room” between dances, but in Nureyev’s staging you went from whirling in one scene to a six-minute Adagio of extraordinary difficulty. “All you want to do is rest for a minute, and you have to control your body for what seems like an eternity!” she lamented.

In case you have no idea what Raymonda's story is about. Let me tell you briefly, it tells the story of Raymonda, a beautiful noblewoman who is engaged to marry the Crusader Jean de Brienne. During her lover's absence the wicked Saracen knight Abderakhman attempts to abduct her, but she is saved by the intervention of a protecting spirit, the White Lady, whereupon Brienne returns to slay his rival. The lovers' joyful marriage is celebrated by a lavish Hungarian divertissement. One of the highlight of Raymonda is the Waltz Fantastique.

Watching this DVD left me wanting to see a complete Paris performance of Nureyev’s Raymonda. Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ballet Review: Don Quixote

LittleBallerina: Ballet Review
Don Quixote- Ballet Nacional De Cuba

I enjoyed watching a wonderful DVD Ballet Performance tonight. Two exceptional young dancers, Romel Frometa and Viengsay Valdés of Ballet Nacional de Cuba led the exuberant version of "Don Quixote" choreographed by Alicia Alonso.

Alicia Alonso, now 82, was on hand for a standing ovation at the end of the performence, and it is worth remembering that the company is an outgrowth of the troupe she founded in 1948 in Havana with members of American Ballet Theater, where she was a star. It was amazing to see a 82 year old lady leading, teaching a whole troupe of young dancers! Counting, making sure the dancers kept up with her beat.

I like the passion, Latin movement in this idiosyncratic 1988 version of the 19th-century "Don Quixote." But most of all, I enjoyed watching the classical dancing. Alonso successfully revive the classical love story between Kitri and Basilio.

"Don Quixote" is a story about young Kitri, the vivacious heroine, and Basilio fell in love but her father plan to marry her to a pretentious, foppish rich suitor Gamache.

The feigned comic suicide of Basilio, her sweetheart, now takes on an edge of desperation, and when all is set right, with Kitri's father blessing her and Basilio , the festivities roll right into the celebrated grand pas de deux.

As Kitri, Ms. Valdés can bring the house down with her phenomenal balances on one leg, and she is very much a turner. Yet these are technical feats that are only part of the complete picture she gives. She relates to her partner and everyone onstage, fusing characterization with style and technique. Her Kitri is not a pouting poppet but a strong-minded heroine with a brain whose love for Basil radiates throughout the performance. Mr. Frometa, has preserved the pure line, beautifully pointed feet and physical resilience that he showed as a noble classical dancer a few years ago. His comic byplay with Ms. Valdés was apt, but he would, one suspects, do even better in a princely role.

This production, under Ms. Alonso's direction, keeps to the standard choreography in the set pieces that have come down from the 19th-century Russian "Don Quixote" of Marius Petipa and Aleksandr Gorsky. But much of the ensemble choreography is new and more classical, turning the vivid Spanish dances in character style into more academic pieces.

Don Quixote (Dayron Vera) and Sancho Panza (Javier Sánchez) are, as usual, secondary characters. But in the vision scene, the Don steps away from a sleeping double and becomes a classical partner to the three soloists: Sadaise Arencibia, a tall, exciting dancer with a high extension as the Queen of the Dryads; Idania La Villa, a strong dancer as Love, and Ms. Valdés, who is identified from the start with a Dulcinea double (Ivette González). Unusually, the vision scene is pictured as a 19th-century Romantic ballet in romantic tutus.

An extremely well-danced classical duet in Act III came from Jaime Diaz as the bullfighter Espada and Hayna Gutiérrez as Mercedes the street dancer. Romel Frómeta stood out in a brief solo as a Gypsy boy among the new young bullfighters and other folk. The music by Ludwig Minkus was on tape but nicely paced.