BOSTON BAKED BLUNDER

Last week, the Boston Ballet made serious waves when it dismissed a number of dancers from its ranks, apparently at the behest of newly appointed artistic director Maina Gielgud. Yesterday, Gielgud herself was severed, months before she was even scheduled to officially begin work. The move leaves the company more or less in a state of complete chaos. Boston Herald

DANCE WAS NO. 1

Dance may not be today’s dominant art form, but, says an Israeli archaeologist, it was 9,000 to 5,000 years ago. He “thinks he has pieced together a significant body of evidence for dancing, if not at its beginning, at least at a decisive and poorly understood transitional stage of human culture.” The New York Times 02/27/01 (one-time registration required for access)

DANCING AROUND THE LAW

Dance, as a specific art form, tends to be rather difficult to catalogue. How can anyone set down on paper the mere motions of a body, let alone the passion and theory behind the dance? This conundrum has always caused legal problems for dance companies wanting to put on productions of famously choreographed works, and dancers say U.S. intellectual property law is getting in the way of their art. Boston Globe

WHAT’S IT TAKE TO MAKE A BALLET COMPANY?

Professional ballet companies thrive in places like Atlanta, Houston, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. So why can’t places like Detroit and San Deigo support them? It’s a delicate balance of talent, funding, audience, and luck. “Starting a ballet company is a crazy thing to do. But these were people who couldn’t help starting a ballet company, people who decided to give their lives to dance. So they wouldn’t give up.” Detroit News

REMEMBERING HAMPTON

Dancer/choreographer Eric Hampton was never one to make headlines with controversial techniques or to follow what the dance world considered to be the latest trends. The quirky, independent Hampton, who died Tuesday at age 54 after a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), will be remembered as a brilliant teacher, and a tireless advocate of the joy of the dance. Washington Post

ALBERTA SETTLEMENT NEAR

The dancer who sued the Alberta Ballet last year over her dismissal from the company will likely announce a settlement with her old employer sometime today. Her lawsuit had contended that she was dismissed for having left the company for maternity leave, and gaining weight during the pregnancy that she never completely shed. The company denies that her pregnancy had anything to do with the nonrenewal. The Globe & Mail (Toronto)

BETTER THAN THE BOLSHOI?

Amid the turmoil of Russia re-inventing itself, and the bitter cold of St. Petersburg, ballet is thriving. “The Kirov (known in Russia now as the Mariinsky) is now widely recognized as Russia’s best ballet company, surpassing the more famous Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow. Its foreign tours have been commercial and critical triumphs. Its performances have dazzled the demanding audiences of London and New York.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

THE FUTURE OF DANCE

An international gala in New York celebrates the biggest international stars of today. “The 13 dancers from the United States and Europe delivered the promised international mix, and Spain, once a country with no classical ballet tradition, looks more and more like a fount of major talent. Somebody must be putting something in the paella.” The New York Times (one-time registration required for access)