WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Frampton and the Ballet: Dancing, Singing, Playing on the Edge

1 Comment · Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Few things good ever come easily, or without stepping outside one’s comfort zone. But persistence paid off in Cincinnati Ballet’s pursuit of Peter Frampton, the Grammy-winning guitar hero with a career spanning decades.  
by Jac Kern 04.19.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Events at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 4/19-4/21

“Mandy Patinkin, holla.” That was Claire Danes’ shout-out to her Homeland co-star when she won an Emmy in 2012 for her role on the show. Fans across Cincinnati will be able to holla at him too (not really, that’s rude) as he performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Friday-Sunday. Sure, many know him as Saul Berenson on Homeland or the iconic Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride, but he’s a man of the theater, too, and this weekend he joins the CSO onstage for the first time since 1991. Read our interview with Mandy Patinkin here. Krohn Conservatory’s annual International Butterfly Show opens Saturday, highlighting the butterflies of Morocco. The conservatory will fill with 16,000 colorful butterflies, floral displays and a hummingbird garden through June 30. Krohn is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day; Admission is $4-$7. Earth Day is technically April 22, but Cincinnati celebrates this Saturday at Sawyer Point. Enjoy live music, a fashion show of recycled materials and other family activities while learning how to get involved with green organizations and outdoor activities. The free event runs noon-5 p.m. Check out this week’s Green Issue for more information on native plant hikes, sustainable farms and outdoor classes, markets and events. The Cincinnati Ballet promises one of the hottest parties of the year as they present Club B Saturday. The Cincinnati Masonic Center downtown will transform into a hoppin’ nightclub complete with cocktails, light bites and — of course — lots of dancing. There will also be a raffle with tons of great prizes. Tickets are a bit steep — $150 all-inclusive 7 p.m. admission; $50 tickets get you in after 10 p.m. — but the money goes to support this important local arts organization. Plus, how often can you say you’ve danced with a ballerina? Saturday is Record Store Day and Greater Cincinnati is lucky to have four local stalwarts to choose from. Support our local music shops by picking up a new record as you enjoy live, in-store performances. Go here for details on how Everybody’s Records, Shake It Records, Mole’s Record Exchange and Phil’s Music & Memories are celebrating. For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
 
 

Cincinnati Ballet's 'Romeo & Juliet' Brings Perfect Partnerships

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Partnering gets taken to the next level in Cincinnati Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet this weekend. Not only has much of the choreography changed since the company premiered this production five years ago, but the people involved have also evolved.   

The Love List: Sirui Liu

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 6, 2013
 Currently in rehearsal for Romeo & Juliet, which opens on Valentine’s Day, Cincinnati Ballet Company corps member Sirui Liu spends most of her days — from about 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. — dancing.   

Playing the Holiday Soundtracks

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
‘Tis the season for an abundance of music that includes beloved traditions: Handel’s oratorio Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Both pieces are holiday staples performed year after year. After year.  
by Jac Kern 10.26.2012
Posted In: Music, Events, Eats, Drinking, Holidays at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Your Halloweekend To Do List: 10/26-10/28

Halloween is no longer a one-night event just for kids. Like many holidays, Halloween’s reach goes beyond Oct. 31 (I’m pretty sure I saw costumes descend into stores mid-August), giving us grownups a chance to dress up and act out. This (Hallo)weekend features events that celebrate all the weird, wonderful and freaky aspects of our favorite holiday. If staged dance performances weren’t what you had in mind, think again. While not necessarily Halloween-related, Cincinnati Ballet’s ALICE (in Wonderland) will take audiences on a whimsical journey down the rabbit hole Friday-Sunday. In addition to talented dancers and music by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the costume and set designs are truly freaky-fabulous. For a darker dance experience, check out Exhale Dance Tribe’s one-night engagement, Dead Can Dance. The troupe has transformed Emery Theatre into a haunted house, where dancers will lead spectators from room to room, creating an interactive, spooky show Saturday night. The performance begins at 7 p.m. After a month of bringing photography to the forefront of the Cincinnati art scene, FotoFocus will close with Saturday’s Carnevil. The event boasts a full bill of entertainment from live music and DJs to improv and burlesque to fortune-tellers. Guests are encouraged to explore the venue, Newport’s Thompson House — which is said to be haunted — and hunt for spirits from Southgate’s past. Find tickets and event details here. What’s creepier than three identical mute men, covered in paint? Blue Man Group wraps up its local run with performances at the Aronoff Center Friday-Sunday. The show is an energetic spectacle that theater critic Rick Pender describes as “a strange and wonderful communal experience.” Go here to read our full review. Judging by the number of Halloween bar and club events, alcohol is the “candy” of choice for many adult trick-or-treaters. So it looks like Arnold’s picked the perfect weekend for The Bourbon Ball. The bar will be stocked with more than 30 top shelf selections, offering specials on Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and other bourbon classics as well as bourbon-infused bites like Bourbon Bacon Strips and Bourbon Sauce Pork. The free event will also have swag bags and live music all night. Final Saturday means Night Owl Market is back, bringing food trucks and vendors together at the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. In addition to late night eats, NOMers can participate in a costume contest and a flash mob-style “Thriller” dance with Pones Inc. The free fun runs 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday. One thing that’s definitely scarier than any haunted house or paranormal activity hotspot is breed discrimination. Show some love to dogs that prove no breed is born “vicious” at Bark Bash: Celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day. From pit bulls to puggles, all are welcome to romp around Voice of America Park Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be raffles, vendors, kids activities and appearances from the Ben-Gals and Cincinnati Rollergirls. Few experiences are more picturesque than spending a fall afternoon perusing Findlay Market. This Sunday the market presents its annual Fall Food Festival, featuring a pie baking contest, cider mulling demo, live music, food tour and more. Come hungry between noon and 4 p.m. Find details here. Check out ScaryBeat for a full rundown of costume parties, bar events, haunted houses and more happening this weekend through Oct. 31.
 
 
by Julie Mullins 09.15.2012
Posted In: Dance at 03:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Ballet's 'New Works' Opens with Emotion

Contemporary new work's moments of stillness and quiet grab you and draw you in

The intense energy between Principal dancers Cervilio Amador and Janessa Touchet is so palpable you can feel it — even when their hands aren’t touching. Their expressive duet in Heather Britt’s world premier “Opus 5.5” provided an inviting opening to Cincinnati Ballet’s annual Kaplan New Works season opener last Thursday evening. The production offers a rare chance to see dance up close, as it takes place in the company’s home performance studio at the Cincinnati Ballet Center. There’s nothing like watching live performance, but there’s something even more exciting and visceral about seeing the dancers glowing and their muscles flexing. Full of emotion, Britt’s sweeping contemporary new work has the dancers really moving all over: across the stage in sculptural lifts, through the air in expansive leaps and extravagant extensions. But it’s really the rare moments of stillness and quiet that grab you and draw you in closer. New Works’ stock in trade has always been pushing stylistic boundaries. “It’s our R&D,” says Cincinnati Ballet CEO/Artistic Director Victoria Morgan. “We need to scare ourselves, to try things we’ve never done before.” But this year is noteworthy for another reason: For the first time, all of the choreographers featured are female. Dance-wise, the women also stand out in the spotlight this year more than usual. Though, as always, there are plenty of equally fine turns by the men as well. Paige Cunningham Caldarella’s “Without Consideration,” the program’s most offbeat piece, presents a topsy-turvy look at social media and its pleasures and pitfalls. Its five short sections comprise a modern dance piece cut with classical ballet. It’s by turns satirical, ominous and oddly compelling. Clad in a lime green tee-shirt and a short, ruffled floral skirt, Corps de Ballet dancer Courtney Hellebuyck shines in her solo. She attacks each movement with ferocious intensity. Her dramatic facial expressions and stage presence are spellbinding. She and the other four dancers appear equally comfortable switching between styles — instant, by instant — in this mash-up of ballet and modern. The women even manage to perform modern floor drops in pointe shoes. A physical wall (think social media) covered in paper provides the backdrop and set piece. The dancers write on it, hurl themselves against it, and press into it. They connect and disconnect, or nearly connect with each other. But at times, they just miss, undulating away from each other. Individual gestures are repeated, such as one’s own hand suddenly turning the head and face away in a slo-mo sideways “slap.” It seems to suggest the struggle to turn one’s attention away from staying online all day. Amy Seiwert, San Francisco-based Resident Choreographer for Smuin Ballet (where she was also a longtime dancer), has created a thoroughly delightful getaway world in her world premier modern ballet ,“Think of You Often.” The weather is balmy. The light-colored clothing, designed by the Cincinnati Ballet Wardrobe Department, is carefree and casual. The women collectively become an ocean tide, even in their pointe shoes. Its feel-good soundtrack, music by the Swedish group Koop, delivers effusive swing and a touch of Latin flair. Principal dancer Sarah Hairston warmly embraces her role, full of flirtation and feline sassiness. First two, then four men lift and sway her — and no doubt cater to her every need. But don’t let the piece’s escapist playfulness belie its underlying choreographic sophistication. The partnering throughout is highly complex, original, and technically demanding. In a most striking duet, Zach Grubbs and Jacqueline Damico make the most intricate sequences look as easy and natural as an ocean breeze. Jessica Lang’s contemporary neoclassical work “La Belle Danse” (2007) presents a slightly quirky court dance of sorts. Set to a score of the likes of Handel and Mozart, it’s the sole work here that the Ballet has presented previously, in 2009. It’s the most classical piece on the program — relatively speaking — yet unexpectedly it marks the only one where the women wear soft shoes. Displaying a very different, more sacred type of passion in this role’s solo, Hairston demonstrates her versatility as  dancer, and a performer. The large cast brims over with expressive dancing, filled with plenty of leaps, turns, waltzing… and conducting gestures. Amador and Touchet rapid-fire their way through pirouettes and petit allegro galore. Although their style here sharply contrasts their opening duet, this superb pairing brings this production — one of the best New Works in recent years — full circle.
 
 
by Jac Kern 09.13.2012
Posted In: Events, Performances at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

Whether you have a great relationship with your boss or you’re dealing with your own personal Michael Scott, we’ve all had a laugh or two at the expense of our employers. And while I’m still perfecting my bit on Danny Cross, there’s group of former senate staffers who turned office jokes into a touring comedy show. The Capitol Steps is a political satire troupe with a cast of 30 members, many of whom have worked on Capitol Hill at some point. It began as a small skit at a Christmas party, but was so well-received that staffers rounded up others and took the show on the road. The Capitol Steps have been at it for more than 30 years, and they’re bringing the show to town for one night only at Mayerson JCC. Reserved seats are sold out, but a limited amount of tickets will be sold at the door for $30 ($25 for J Members). The show begins at 7 p.m. so show up early if you’re looking for tickets. Check out our interview with two "Steps," original member Elaina Newport and Cincy native Bari Biern, here. Caracole provides safe, affordable housing and support services for Southwest Ohioans living with HIV and AIDS. The organization’s offices recently moved to Northside (4138 Hamilton Ave.) and tonight the crew hosts an open house celebration. Learn more about their services and check out the new digs while enjoying music, snacks, artwork and a photo booth from 4-9 p.m. Caracole is looking to stock up its donation pantry, so bring any toiletries and cleaning supplies you can contribute. The Cincinnati Ballet and ArtsWave present “Cocktails and Conversations,” as part of their Friends for the Arts program. Celebrate remarkable women in business and the arts at Cincinnati Ballet’s theater tonight at 7 p.m. Before the Kaplan New Works Series show is a cocktail reception where guests can mingle with influential women from the aforementioned organizations as well as area philanthropists and entrepreneurs. Afterwards, enjoy new dance performances all choreographed by women. Buy tickets here. The Cincinnati Film Festival continues tonight at Esquire Theatre with Man from Orlando, Party Crashers, Shining Night: A Portrait of Morten Lauridsen and Street Paper. The fest closes tomorrow.For more events, including concerts, art shows, theater performances and more, check out our full calendar.
 
 
by Jac Kern 09.12.2012
Posted In: Performances, Movies, Events at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

The Cincinnati Ballet opens each season with a fresh crop of modern performances, but this season’s Kaplan New Works Series stands out as being the first featuring all women choreographers. While ballet dancers are predominantly female, male choreographers significantly outnumber women. Choreographers Amy Seiwert, Paige Cunningham Caldarella, Heather Britt and Jessica Lang all present new programs through Sunday. Tickets are still available for tonight’s 8 p.m. performance here. Check out our recent story on the Kaplan New Works Series to learn more about these choreographers and the program. Ensemble Theater Cincinnati and Playhouse in the Park also have productions tonight. ETC’s Good People, a Critic’s Pick, is “a total package that feels good and real from start to finish.” The Three Musketeers, onstage at the Playhouse, promises lots of silly laughs and exciting swordplay. See Rick Pender’s full review here. The Cincinnati Film Festival continues today with screenings running through 9 p.m. at Esquire Theater. Single tickets are $10 or $25 for the full night. Read our interview with Executive Director Katharine Steele here. The Main Library downtown kicks off its series of experimental music nights with Electric Inertia and Her Weasels Wild Running at 7 p.m. in the Reading Garden Lounge. The night will feature stop-motion animation from 1930s film footage, free-form trumpet, piano and guitar. The series continues Sept. 26, Oct. 3,17 and 30.Columbus Day might be a month away, but locals can celebrate early by visiting replicas of The Nina and Pinta today. The ships will be at the Levee (conveniently docked by Hooter's) through Saturday. Tours are available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and run $6-$8 per person. Peep our full calendar for more concerts, art and theater shows, events and more stuff to do tonight.
 
 

Cincinnati Ballet Spotlights Female Choreographers

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 5, 2012
As its name suggests, Cincinnati Ballet’s Kaplan New Works Series prides itself on moving dance forward. You can count on the company’s annual season opener to be modern-slanted, edgy even. But for the first time, all of the choreographers on the New Works bill are women.  

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