Alastair Macaulay

Alastair Macaulay is a writer and dance critic. He was the chief dance critic for the New York Times from 2007 until he retired in 2018.[1][2] He was previously chief dance critic at The Times and Literary Supplement and chief theater critic of the Financial Times, both of London. He founded the British quarterly Dance Theater Journal in 1983. He writes that his first morning in New York City was before September 1981.[3] In addition to his roles as critic, Macaulay has written for The New Yorker[4] and also published a biography on Margot Fonteyn.[5] In 2000, he wrote Matthew Bourne and His Adventures in Dance: Conversations with Alastair Macaulay with Matthew Bourne.[6] Macaulay was named one of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Jerome Robbins Dance Division Fellows in 2017.[7] As of 2019, Macaulay was an instructor at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.[8]

Macaulay started a controversy in 2010 when he disparagingly commented on the weight of ballet dancer Jenifer Ringer. In a review of a performance of The Nutcracker, he wrote that Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."[9] Macaulay published a response to the controversy explaining his perspective and writing, "The body in ballet becomes a subject of the keenest observation and the most intense discussion. I am severe — but ballet, as dancers know, is more so."[10]


  1. ^ Staff (February 22, 2007) "The Times Appoints a Chief Dance Critic" The New York Times
  2. ^ Staff (September 21, 2018). "Alastair Macaulay, Chief Dance Critic, Is Retiring". The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (September 14, 2011). "A Bold and Ferocious Swirl". The New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  4. ^ "Alastair Macaulay". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  5. ^ "Margot Fonteyn : Alastair Macaulay : 9780750915793". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  6. ^ "Alastair Macaulay | Authors | Faber & Faber". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  7. ^ "The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Announces New Class of Jerome Robbins Dance Division Fellows". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  8. ^ "Ashton, Balanchine, and Classicism in Ballet with Alastair Macaulay".
  9. ^
  10. ^ Macaulay, Alastair (2010-12-03). "Alastair Macaulay on When Ballet Steps Grow Heavier". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-18.

External links

Albert Evans (dancer)

Albert Pierce Evans (December 29, 1968 – June 22, 2015) was an American ballet dancer. He began his ballet training at Terpsichore Expressions in his native Atlanta and was awarded a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet in 1986.

He joined New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in 1988 and was immediately given leading roles in William Forsythe's Behind The China Dogs, and Eliot Feld's The Unanswered Question at City Ballet's American Music Festival. Evans was promoted to soloist in 1991 and to principal in 1995.

Ballo della Regina

Ballo della Regina is a one-act neoclassical ballet choreographed by George Balanchine to music by Giuseppe Verdi. It is a set of variations set to ballet music (titled La Peregrina) that Verdi cut from Act 3 of the original 1867 version of his opera Don Carlos. Its premiere performance was on 12 January 1978, by the New York City Ballet at New York State Theater in Lincoln Center.The work is noted for the high degree of technical difficulties it presents for the female lead. Ballo della Regina was featured in an Emmy-winning PBS performance entitled Balanchine: Dance in America - Ballo della Regina - Steadfast Tin Soldier - Elegie - Tschaikovsky.

Circus Polka

Circus Polka: For a Young Elephant was written by Igor Stravinsky in 1942. He composed it for a ballet production that the choreographer George Balanchine did for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The ballet was performed by fifty elephants and fifty ballerinas. In 1944, Stravinsky published an orchestration of the piece, which is now part of the repertoire of many orchestras.

Dances at a Gathering

Dances at a Gathering is a ballet made by New York City Ballet ballet master Jerome Robbins to the music of Frédéric Chopin:

The premiere took place on Thursday, 22 May 1969 at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, with costumes by Joe Eula and lighting by Thomas Skelton. Robbins made three other ballets to Chopin's music:

The Concert, 1956; In the Night, 1970; and Other Dances, 1976, made for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova.

Emil de Cou

Emil de Cou is an American conductor who became associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) in September 2003. He has led the orchestra on residency tours in five states, in subscription concerts at the Kennedy Center and on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol Building. In 2005 de Cou was named NSO at Wolf Trap Festival Conductor and will start his 15th season with that organization in the summer of 2019. He was appointed the music director of the Pacific Northwest Ballet starting with the 2011-2012 season. In 2013, he was described by New York Times critic Alastair Macaulay to be "probably...America’s finest ballet conductor."Emil de Cou also acts as musical advisor to NASA. In June, 2018 de Cou led performances at the Kennedy Center to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the space agency called "Space, the Next Frontier." This was the 12th collaboration between the National Symphony Orchestra and NASA.

De Cou is a resident of San Francisco where he was Principal Pops Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and acting music director of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

De Cou has recorded extensively including world premiere recordings of Claude Debussy's original version of Printemps Suite Symphonique, the orchestral version of Suite Bergamasque, Charles Griffes's The Kairn of Koridwen, and Elliot Goldenthal's Othello (ballet).

Fall for Dance Festival

Fall for Dance is an annual dance festival presented by New York City Center in New York City. Established in 2004 as a means to introduce new audiences to dance, and loosely based on the Delacorte Dance Festival model of the 1960s and 1970s, Fall For Dance showcases as many as five different dance companies on each of the festival's six nights. In response to the Festival's popularity, in 2006 the number of performances was expanded to ten, with four of the six programs being repeated; in 2009 the number of performances remained ten, with five programs, each repeating.

Fanfare (ballet)

Fanfare is a one-act ballet made by New York City Ballet ballet master Jerome Robbins to Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op.34 (1945), in celebration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The premiere took place on the night of the coronation, Tuesday, June 2, 1953 at City Center of Music and Drama, New York.

The Young Person's Guide begins with variations and ends with a fugue on a theme by Henry Purcell. The dancers portray the individual instruments of the symphony orchestra, introduced by a "majordomo" on stage reading Britten's explanatory text from the score.

Four Bagatelles

Four Bagatelles is New York City Ballet ballet master Jerome Robbins' only ballet made to the music of Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 33, Nos. 4, 5, and 2 (in order of performance) and Bagatelles, Op. 126, No. 4. The premiere took place on Thursday, 10 January 1974 at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. The ballet was revived for the 2008 Spring Jerome Robbins celebration.


Ivesiana is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and ballet master George Balanchine to Charles Ives' Central Park in the Dark (1906), The Unanswered Question (1906), In the Inn (1904-06?), and In the Night (1906) shortly after the composer's death. The premiere took place September 14, 1954, at the City Center of Music and Drama. Other works to the music of Ives in the City Ballet repertory include Peter Martins' Calcium Light Night, Jerome Robbins' Ives, Songs and Eliot Feld's The Unanswered Question.

Moves (ballet)

Moves (A Ballet in Silence) is a ballet without music created by Jerome Robbins for his company Ballets: USA for the Spoleto (Italy) Festival of Two Worlds, where it received its premiere 3 July 1959; the New York City Ballet première took place on Wednesday, 2 May 1984, by which time Robbins was City Ballet's ballet master, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center.

Outlier (ballet)

Outlier is a ballet made by Wayne McGregor for New York City Ballet to Thomas Adès' Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths), Op. 24 (2005). The premiere was Saturday, 14 May 2010 at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York.

Concentric Paths, subtitle of the concerto for violin and chamber orchestra, refers to outliers who remain peripheral to actors having a common center. There is harmonious dance within the circle until an outlier intrudes, creating conflict among the men with regard to the women. The lighting is coded for mood: red for strong emotions, yellow for tranquil, grey for somber. The grouping of dancers in three movements reflects the triadic nature of the score.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) is a ballet company based in Seattle, Washington, in the United States. It is said to have the highest per capita attendance in the United States, with 11,000 subscribers in 2004. The company consists of 49 dancers; there are over 100 performances throughout the year.

PNB performs in McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. It is especially known for its performance of the Stowell/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker, which it had presented from 1983 through 2014, as well as made into a feature film. In 2006, the company was chosen to perform in the Fall for Dance Festival at New York's City Center Theatre and at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Square Dance (ballet)

Square Dance is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and balletmaster

George Balanchine to Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in B minor and the first movement of his Concerto Grosso in E major, Op. 3, nos. 10 and 12, respectively; in 1976 he added Arcangelo Corelli's Sarabanda, Badinerie e Giga, second and third movements. The premiere took place on November 21, 1957, at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with lighting by Mark Stanley. The original version placed the musicians on stage with a square dance caller calling the steps; from its 1976 revival the caller was eliminated, the orchestra placed in the pit, and a solo added for the premier danseur to the Corelli Sarabanda. The Pacific Northwest Ballet restored the caller for one performance at the 2007 Vail International Dance Festival.

Stars and Stripes (ballet)

Stars and Stripes is a ballet in five "campaigns," choreographed by George Balanchine in 1958 to original music by John Philip Sousa, arranged by Hershy Kay. It lasts an average of 28 minutes.

The ballet, which evokes Fourth of July parades, is one of several of Balanchine salutes to his adoptive country. It is a full-company ballet complete with baton twirling, military marching and a regiment of rifle-bearing ballerinas. The fourth campaign is a challenging pas de deux with a coda set to the Liberty Bell and El Capitan marches which shows the virtuosity of the dancers.

The original cast included four New York City Ballet stars of their time: Canadian ballerina Melissa Hayden and Americans Jacques d'Amboise, Allegra Kent and Diana Adams. It premiered January 17, 1958 at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, with costumes by Barbara Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley. When Balanchine was asked for his reason to choreograph a ballet to Sousa's marches, he famously replied: "Because I like his music. Melissa Hayden later coached Gillian Murphy for this ballet while Murphy was still a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.This ballet was performed for many memorable occasions, including Nelson Rockefeller's inauguration as governor of New York, tributes to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and the opening ceremonies for the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The ballet is dedicated to the memory of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, mayor of New York City and founder of the City Center of Music and Drama, City Ballet's first home. It is still traditionally performed by NYCB on or around the 4th of July during their residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.

State Ballet of Georgia

The State Ballet of Georgia is the ballet company of the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvilil Opera and Ballet State Theatre. Nina Ananiashvili has been artistic director since 2004. Its repertory includes works by Ashton, Balanchine, Bournonville, Kylián, Ratmansky, Possokhov, McIntyre and Welch. They company has toured to New York City in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, to Jacob's Pillow and to Edinburgh.

Tarantella (ballet)

Tarantella is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and balletmaster George Balanchine to Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Grande Tarantelle, Op. 67 (ca. 1858–64), reconstructed and orchestrated for piano and orchestra by Hershy Kay in July 1954. The premiere took place January 7, 1964, at the City Center of Music and Drama, New York.

Walpurgisnacht Ballet

Walpurgisnacht Ballet is a ballet made by New York City Ballet's co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine for a 1975 production of Gounod's 1859 Faust at the Théâtre National de l'Opéra, including the additional ballet music from 1869. The New York City Ballet premiere was its first presentation as an independent work and took place on Thursday, 15 May 1980 at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. Balanchine had previously made dances for a production of Faust at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, danced by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, as well as in 1935 for the Metropolitan Opera and 1945 for the Opera Nacional, Mexico City.

Walpurgisnacht is found at the beginning of the last act of Faust. Mephistopheles shows Faust the folk celebration before May Day, when the souls of the dead are released briefly to wander as they will. The ballet does not directly depict the Walpurgis Night but builds on a sense of joyful revelry.

Western Symphony

Western Symphony is a ballet made by New York City Ballet co-founder and founding choreographer George Balanchine to American folk tunes arranged by Hershy Kay. The premiere, Tuesday, September 7, 1954, at City Center of Music and Drama, New York, was conducted by Leon Barzin and presented in practice clothes without scenery. Scenery by John Boyd and costumes by Karinska were added in 1955. Lighting was originally by Jean Rosenthal and subsequently Mark Stanley. Set in the Western United States, the ballet features cowboys and dance hall girls (or saloon girls).

Why am I not where you are

Why am I not where you are is a ballet commissioned by New York City Ballet and made by principal dancer Benjamin Millepied to a likewise commissioned score by French composer Thierry Escaich, The Lost Dancer.

It was the choreographer's second ballet for City Ballet; the premiere took place on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center. The costumes were designed by Marc Happel and the set by Santiago Calatrava as part of the company's Architecture of Dance Festival.

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