BOWING OUT GRACEFULLY

It is never easy for a dancer to retire. Unlike performers in nearly every other discipline, dancers are forced to hang up their toe shoes when their bodies give out on them, usually sometime in their late 30s. For some, being told that it’s time to go is an unbearable insult, and the occasional ugly battle between dancer and dance company results. But one Canadian dance legend decided to take the quiet route to retirement this year, earning her even greater affection from colleagues and audiences alike. National Post (Canada) 07/31/01

END OF ERA

Anthony Dowell’s tenure as director of Lonond’s Royal Ballet has been a mixed affair. “What makes a good director? The question has never been more of a poser than during Dowell’s captaincy of the ballet, in the most turbulent years of the Royal Opera House’s history. The organisation has struggled with vast debts, the closure and rebuilding of the theatre, and a serious loss of public affection.” The Telegraph (UK) 07/29/01

OUT OF GAS

Is Anthony Dowell leaving just in time as director of London’s Royal Ballet? “The ideal director, if he or she is not a creator, should be a curator, ensuring that the Royal Ballet presents the classics in the purest form. By emphasising design over direction, Dowell has taken the company out of the premier league of classical troupes. It still dances well but its productions have become secondary ones, not the definitive statements Ninette de Valois required of the Royal Ballet.” The Observer (UK) 07/29/0

ELEVATOR ART

“Aerial dance is a new trend catching on in the dance world, especially in the western United States. ‘One of the most exciting performances we ever did was a vertical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet out of the 23rd story of a skyscraper in Houston. We were 350 feet in the air with the Houston Symphony below us and 40,000 people watching. It was magical, and it had quite an impact on people’.” USAToday 07/25/01