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Ballet

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A Free-Born Woman of the USA.

Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie called her, ‘a joy…for every minute of 20 years! She is gifted and smart, willing to absorb from her peers and be an example at the same time. We have watched her grow organically into her potential – blossoming into a truly unique American ballerina with an astonishing command and range of repertoire.'”

As she celebrates her 20th season with ABT, Gill makes the cover of Irish America, and is named one of their inaugural “Top 50 Power Women”. Brava!

Wounded Giselle.

“[T]he fundamental key to embodying Giselle is to radiate purity and sensitivity. In the first act, she glows with an inner joy and with her love for dance and for Albrecht. She is so honest, and her feelings for Albrecht so wholehearted, that she cannot reconcile his betrayal with her soulful belief in the goodness of the world.”

In Pointe Magazine, my sister Gill explains her process for embodying (and mastering) the psychology of Giselle. (Hint: Dancing well helps too.) “[E]ven death pales in the face of her eternal compassion…Her inner joy is now a quiet sadness, but more than ever she exudes love.”

Let’s Put On a Show!


Cause your friends don’t dance, and if they don’t dance, well they’re no friends of mine. Mental health break: An intricate supercut of famous dance scenes from the movies. But no Center Stage? C’mon now.

Fearless Freddie.

“In his book ‘Looking at the Dance’ (1949), the critic Edwin Denby wrote that Mr. Franklin’s dancing ‘always makes perfect sense; like a true artist, he is completely at the service of the role he takes, and his straight delight in dancing, his forthright presence and openhearted nature give his version of the great classic roles a lyric grace that is fresh and sweet.’ In her book ‘Dance to the Piper’ (1952), Agnes de Mille described him as ‘strong as a mustang, as sudden, as direct and as inexhaustible.'”

He passed in May but I found out this week via my sister’s new Twitter feed: Frederic Franklin, 1914-2013. Up until very recently, you could still Franklin on the ABT stage, as the priest in Romeo and Juliet and similar roles. For Gill as for many other contemporary dancers who got to know him, he was a living link to an earlier generation of ballet. And, if you’ve seen the splendid documentary Ballets Russes, he was a lively and engaging wit as well, with a long life of stories to tell. RIP.

Gill v. Wilis.


Also in the trailer bin of late, Qi Huan and my sister fall in love — and flee the undead — in Toa Fraser’s upcoming film adaptation of RZNB’s Giselle. Obviously, I’m in — and I’m very curious to see how the non-ballet footage is worked into the movie.

Twisting Sister GIFstered.

As found here while checking to see if the WaPo had reviewed last Saturday’s Le Corsaire at the Kennedy Center — they seem to have caught up with ABT earlier in the week — a fan-made GIF of Gill rocking her fouettes, again and again and again…

International Ballet Machines.


Ballet pointe shoes are not typically thought of as technological artifacts, but they certainly are…Dancers on this pointe regimen developed characteristically long, lean leg muscles. Balanchine also encouraged dancers to let the shoes remake their bodies, including developing bunions that gave the foot just the right line.Speaking of shoes and from the Atlantic, a new paper examines pointe shoes within the history of technology. “[I]n 1980 dancers threatened to strike — not over hours or pay, but for better pointe shoes, and better management of them.

Act I: Farewell. Act II: Arrival.


We decided to walk around and for a moment we were like, ‘Are we in Toronto?’ We covered most of downtown in an hour. But as the days went on, we realized that there is great food, it’s very eclectic, and the vibe is quite funky.

Picking up the baton from the NYT, who covered their imminent departure back in August, New Zealand’s Dominion Post checks in with Gill and Ethan on their new (zealand) digs. “Murphy’s family visited New Zealand a few years ago and were charmed by it another factor in the couple choosing to come. They had serious talks about it, though ‘and thought’, says Murphy, ‘about how we felt, individually and together, professionally and personally. A big driver is that it’s a naturally beautiful country, and then coming here and seeing the potential of dance.‘”

An Engaging Spectacle.


From Bridesmaids to a bride-to-be, a hearty congratulations and best wishes to my sister Gillian and her longtime boyfriend Ethan on their recent engagement. Ethan popped the question at ABT’s opening gala last week and, as you can see, he caught little sis by surprise. Much love to you both.

Omsbudsdog Emeritus

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