Mar 07

Life is But a Dream: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

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Presented by Bristol Old Vic
in association with Handspring Puppet Company
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tom Morris

March 6th – 15, 2014
ArtsEmerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
Handspring Puppet Company on Facebook
Bristol Old Vic on Facebook
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Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) As much as I love my Willy (and, trust me, there’s no girl in the world who loves Willy more than I do), Midsummer has always been a problematic play for me.

It’s not the language; this play is simply beautiful linguistically with enough famous speeches to keep a casual listener engaged but not so much that it begins to feel like Hamlet (bopping from one pop culture soliloquy to another with nary a breath in between). This play has more rhyming couplets than you can shake a stick at; and natural imagery that can lull even a colicky infant into the show’s titular pleasant reverie. Continue reading

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Mar 03

A Night with “Metáfora”

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Apologies to the cast and crew of Ballet Flamenco de Andulucia and World Music/CRASHarts! This review has been posted late to the compromised health of the Queen Geek. The work ethic of Mademoiselle Daniels is impeccable. 

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía performing the US premiere of Metáfora Friday, March 1, 7:30pm, Saturday, March 2, 8pm and Sunday, March 3, 3pm Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page 

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía’s Metáfora begins with a live band and several female dancers taking the stage. They drag skirts of frothing layers but with the elegance of peacock tails sighing along the floor.

When the music begins, the flurry with which they dance continues through the rest of the show. For two acts, whether the stage is sparse or full, the energy is potent and seems to fill the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

For the first half of Metáfora, the audience is treated to unfiltered flamenco. Soloists Patricia Guerrero and Eduardo Leal are briefly isolated from the rest of the company, each doing their best to enflame the crowd. They are accompanied by the voices of Juana Salazar and Cristian Guerrero. The combination brings life to a stage that feels often very isolated.

 In the second half, the “ballet” part of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía becomes more prominent. The dancers, when the curtain rises, move in closer formation. The clothing is also more economical, meaning no more frothing skirts. Instead, viewers are treated to the addition of castanets.

Some of the dances drag here, though, where the first half seemed tighter. The pacing is off even if the dance still remains largely hypnotic. It all ends on a high note, the entire company taking the stage as they send the audience off.

I left Metáfora feeling content, but something about the set up felt too sterile to achieve the mood the company seemed to be aiming for. While I enjoyed the performance, I couldn’t help but wonder about the staging. It felt like the entire show was made for a stage at the center of a room, surrounded by people cheering on the dancers, not a stage up front divorced from the audience. The effect feels alienating. When showcasing a dance that feeds off Spanish culture and style, I hoped to be as engaged as I was the first moment the dancers of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía revealed themselves. I liked the show deeply but the moment of falling in love with it never came.

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Jan 31

The US premiere of “Metáfora”: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía

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WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents Flamenco Festival 2013 featuring

the Boston debut of

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía
performing the US premiere of Metáfora

 BOSTON, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents the Boston debut of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía on Friday, March 1, 7:30pm, Saturday, March 2, 8pm and Sunday, March 3, 3pm at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston.

Flamenco Festival 2013 returns for a 12th glorious season of world-class flamenco dance and music with the massively popular Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, coming to Boston for the first time, direct from Spain. This renowned company of 17 dancers, singers and musicians, directed by award-wining flamenco star Rubén Olmo, presents the US premiere of Metáfora, a dazzling kaleidoscope of castanets, fans, traditional flamenco bata de cola dresses, powerful footwork, demanding technique and jaw-dropping athleticism. It is a program that will inspire the audience with the emotion, drama and passion of Andalucía, the cradle of flamenco. Continue reading

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Jan 27

Contemplative Sadness in “Family Happiness”

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Photo credit THEATRE-ATELIER PIOTR FOMENKO

Photo credit THEATRE-ATELIER PIOTR FOMENKO

Based on  the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Directed by Piotr Fomenko
Performances are in Russian with English subtitles

presented by Maestro Artist Management, in association with ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage

Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
January 26-27, 2013

Maestro Artist Management Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Premiering at the Theater-Atelier Piotr Fomenko in 2000 in Moscow, and only in Boston for the weekend, Family Happiness tells the story of the ill matched marriage between Masha (Ksenia Kutepova) and Sergey Mihailovich (Alexey Kolubkov). The plot is a simple one and the pace is quiet, thoughtful, and slow for audiences with short attention spans. For everyone else, Leo Tolstoy’s Family Happiness is a somber prize. Continue reading

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Oct 10

Amazing Acrobatics: “Sequence 8″

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Photo credit: Les 7 doigts de la main

 Les 7 doigts de la main Production
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116
September 27 – October 7, 2012

Les 7 doights de la main Facebook Page

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Boston) Sequence 8, playing at the Arts Emerson’s Cutler Majestic Theatre, is not a play. What it is is a fabulous, entertaining and interactive demonstration of exactly what the human body is capable of doing. The young men and woman of the Les 7 doigts de la main troupe contort their bodies in the most amazing and graceful ways. This group is so talented and strong, you can’t help but walk away feeling you’ve
neglected to make use of all but the smallest fraction of your body’s capabilities. So, consider yourself warned. That said, if you miss an opportunity to see this production, you had better have one heck of an excuse. Continue reading

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