Dance, Dance Related

Prince Obituary



Anna Karenina (Sony Centre, Toronto, April 2015) based on Tolstoy’s novel.

Premiere March 31, 2005

Choreography: Boris Eifman

Music: Tchaikovsky

Sets: Zinovy Margolin

Lighting: Gleb Filshtinsky

A very compelling ballet to us with a great sense of theatre.  The raw emotions ride out through Boris Eifman’s choreography.  His lifts in all the pas-de-deux are powerful and dramatic.  Highly recommended. 

The Eleventh International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize at the Four Seasons, Toronto, Canada:

(Denmark’s) Royal Ballet: 

Dancers: Stephanie Chen Gundorph Moller and Sebastian Haynes    Grand Pas Classic: choreography, Victor Gsovsky, music Daniel Auber

The Hamburg Ballet:

Dancers: Futaba Ishizaki and Christopher Evans Pas de deux from Act II of Giselle: choreography, after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa, music Adolphe Adam

Boston Ballet: 

Dancers: Ji Young Chae and Junxiong Zhao Pas de deux from Act II of the Nutcracker, choreographer after  Lev Ivanov, music Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The National Ballet of Canada: 

Dancers: Hannah Fischer (winner), Ethan Watts Pas de deux from Act III of the Sleeping Beauty, choreography, Rudolph Nureyev after Marius Petipa, music Pyotr Tchaikovsky

San Francisco Ballet:

Dancers: Wan Tin Zhao and Carlo di Lanno (winner)Pas de deux from Act III of the Sleeping Beauty, choreography, Helgi Tomasson after Marius Petipa, music Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Contemporary repertoire:

(Denmark’s) Royal Ballet: Iguazu Falls, choreography Alban Lendorf

The Hamburg Ballet:

Memories of the Future, choreography, Helias Tur-Dorvault

Boston Ballet:

Disrict, choreography, Yuri Yanowsky (winner)

The National Ballet of Canada

The Wild Space between Two Hearts, choreography, Robert Binet

San Francisco Ballet: 

Frayed, choreography, Myles Thatcher

 In memory of Erik Bruhn, the celebrated Danish dancer who was originally associated with (Denmark's) Royal Ballet, (Britain's) Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and The  National Ballet of Canada during his career.  We have been attending this competition practically since the beginning, early nineties, and have always found it to be of a very high standard, appreciating the quality in the dancing often overlooked by the ever rising technical standard. Unlike most competitions, the candidates are young professionals, "on the way" and already showing maturity.We also found the contemporary section inspiring this time round.  A clip was shown of Bruhn during rehearsals and performances, expressing what dance had  brought to him over the years as an artist and a human being.  We vividly remember the magic he created in Swan Lake, opposite Nadia Nerina, while guesting with The Royal Ballet in the sixties - we haven't forgotten it -  He was a true gift to the profession.

Video Presentation: excerpts from Lennart Pasborg's documentary about Eric Bruhn, "I'm The Same But More".

MANON   London UK, and Toronto, Canada,  October 2014  


Casting Manon - Des Grieux (RB)

 Nunez/Bonelli -  Lamb (debut)/ Muntagirov (debut)  -  Osipova (debut) /Acosta - Lamb/Pennefather (debut) - 

Morera (debut)/Kish (debut) -  Hamilton (debut on main stage)/Golding (debut on main stage) -  Marquez/McRae

Casting: Manon - Des Grieux (NBC)

Rodriguez/Cote -  Hodgkinson/Gomes

 The Lescauts:

Royal Ballet : Cervera, Soares, Campbell, Zucchetti, Gartside

National Ballet: Frola, Maddox

The Mistresses:

Royal Ballet : Calvert, Crawford, Morera, Choe

National Ballet:  Lunkina, Daumac

 The Brutal Gaolers:

Royal Ballet : Avis, Whitehead, Underwood, Gartside

National Ballet: Renna, Maddox


One or two thoughts on our London UK visit, and at the Four Seasons in Toronto.

We have seen Manon many times in the 80’s in London, and in the 90’s in North America, (Toronto and New York), so we were very happy to see it again after quite a while.  Manon is Kenneth MacMillan’s hot blooded full length ballet, set in decadent Paris during the Regency period (1715 - 23), with lavish costumes by Georgiades; a time socially torn between corrupt affluent life and extreme squalor. Based on a French novel by Abbe Prevost, suggesting the story is somehow a reflection of his own life. The musical score is by J. Massenet.  The main character is about a young girl, Manon, who in our view, has a tendency to be too carefree for her own good and who does not foresee consequences. She is ardently pursued by a young wealthy student, Des Grieux, whose love for her is unconditional, while her brother Lescaut, a gambler and a drunk, is looking to sell her off to the highest bidder, probably to support his habit.  This is Mon. Guillot de Morfontaine, a wealthy man who showers Manon with gifts, and she falls for his wealth.

We always watch for the dancer’s  interpretive qualities in the Ballroom second act, where Manon is “in a bind” between wealth, comfort, and her true love for Des Grieux.  Here lies the acting challenge of this very dilemma she is put through. Some dancers we saw emphasized Manon’s relishing Mon. GM’s fortune; while others showed more guilt in their choice between wealth and their love for Des Grieux. Others think she knows exactly what she is doing and call her scheming.

For us, MacMillan’s spectacular free lifts in “the double work”, apparently reminiscent of skaters’ lifts,is a high spot in the two bedroom duets  and in the last act (New Orleans swamp) where both Manon and Des Grieux escape from punishment for their trickery and gambling. Massenet’s touching score and the long held poses express all the passion and tragedy in the narrative.  Some Des Grieuxs were openly devastated about the plight of Manon, while others were more subdued and just as believable. Equally, some Manons were delirious before death and others completely drained from illness and exhaustion.

 Our observation from this programme, (apart from all the last minute cast changes, an added challenge), was that all first timers have the makings of becoming excellent lead characters; there are a lot of young hopefuls right now. Overall we drew something positive from all dancers, the first timers, the more seasoned and the soon to retire, in London and Toronto.  We saw so many performances, it was hard to digest it all. Our appreciation to all the dancers, staff and to both orchestras at the “Royal” and the “National”  ending it all on a high note. 

Thanks everybody.

Toronto  Cineplex, Dec7th 2014 - La Bayadere, Bolshoi Ballet. New production 2013 - Artistic Director, Sergei Filin.

As we have previously stated, for a lot of us, this is an excellent substitute if one cannot get to see the real thing. All the company was  looking good, partiularly in the second act, with Maria Alexandrova as Gamzatti. Her flair was so refreshing; she is such a feisty dancer, and we were fortunate to catch her in this performance as we missed her in the same ballet last year in London when she suffered an onstage injury.The Shades Act, always a highlight for us, definitely met our expectations. The main drawback when watching on screen is that the camera determines how one watches the ballet while we think  it should resemble a live performance. An added bonus were the insightful backstage interviews during the intervals with directors and dancers; an added dimension. We would also like to hear less applause during the performance as it makes it harder to follow the story, but all theatres vary on this score. At any rate, we are most greatful we can see these top class companies at home.

Manhattan, June 2014:

Boston Ballet June 2014 at the Lincoln Center brought a variety of works by the following:

 V. Nijinsky:  Afternoon of a Faun, music C. Debussy                      

 Balanchine: Symphony in three movements, music I. Stravinsky

 Kylian: Bella Figura, music Foss, Pergolesi, Marcello, Vivaldi & Torelli

 Forsyth: The second detail, music T. Willems

 Elo: Plan to B., music H.Ignaz, F. von Biber

 Martinez: Resonance music F. Liszt

 Ekman: Cacti,  music J.Hayden,Beethoven,Schubert, Stein & Mahler

The last time we saw Boston Ballet was at the London Coliseum in the early '80s, then, of course, a different company; today it's fresh, healthy and vibrant. The program states the dancers represent 18 countries. Taking into account all the thought processes that go into touring and trying to show the dancers in the best possible light, we would still like to see them at home in a full length for their full potential. A nice taster, nonetheless.

The ballet,” Afternoon of a Faun”, is one of the first modern ballets, moving right away from the classical idiom, first performed in Paris in 1912 with choreography by V. Nijinsky (born in Kiev to Polish parents - R. Buckle) of the Ballets Russes.  The exotic music is by. C. Debussy and the sets and costumes by L. Bakst.   The work was inspired by a poem by French poet Mallarme.  Nijinsky’s work is set in a woodland glade during Greek mythological times about a faun, half boy half beast, who meets several nymphs and starts to chase them.

Nijinsky’s choreographic style suggests human and animal profiles of Greco-Roman art in antiquity, giving a flat background and looking like a frieze, or as seen on paintings of ancient Greek vases. We therefore see the chain of nymphs in profile shuffling past the faun. The ballet closes with the most desirable nymph dropping her scarf while breaking away from the faun, who then picks it up, climbs back to his hill to lie-down on it, and as Ballets Russes ballerina, Lydia Sokolova, described in her own words, performed “his final amorous descent” upon the veil. This caused a huge uproar at the time, due to its sexual content.

We liked both the faun and principal nymph; sound performances from both, capturing Nijinsky’s style and enhancing the soothing mood created by Debussy’s music.

American Ballet Theatre performed at the Met. Shakespear’s popular classic romantic comedy, Midsummer Night’s Dream; “The Dream”, choreography by Ashton, music by Mendelssohn. Romantic and magical; we have always had a soft spot for the final “pas de deux”; for us, one of his most emotional. Saw both casts, who were very skilled, and able at interpreting his challenging and articulate choreography.

Swan Lake; must acknowledge H. Seo who “held the fort” with M. Gomes (Siegfried), stepping in as “Odile” in the Black Swan act, replacing an unfortunately injured G. Murphy. On another night, she was partnered by R.Bolle; as always, a charming and confident Siegfried.

Also, caught the last Giselle with A.Cojocaru and D.Hallberg; a revelation for us; their intellectual understanding was memorable, and S. Abrera was a very assertive Myrtha.

A fine summer dance season in Manhattan. Thanks to all dancers and the orchestras in both companies.

London visit, end of January till early February 2014:  

 These are some of the highlights from some of the performances we saw.

Our visit to the Linbury Studio Theatre (a more intimate venue than the Royal Opera House for more experimental work), we saw Hansel and Gretel, a well known fairy tale of German origin by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, but in this production, Liam Scarlett has set it in the McCarthy era, with all it's social obstacles. A chilly, spooky tale about a destructive step-parent taking complete control of the whole family unit - all too common. Paradoxically, family life in those days seemed very stable from the outside. The two neglected siblings are left to wonder in the forest until they reach a cottage where they fall into the hands of a wicked witch.The entire cast in their own context were very persuasive and we liked the witch who had an unerring character of cynicism, mystery and terror.

 We also caught the mixed bill at the Royal Opera comprising of Rhapsody, a string of visual poetry with music by Rachmaninov and choreography by F. Ashton. This challenging piece is packed with fleeting steps interwoven with upper-body flow, reminiscent of Ashton.The whole cast, we thought was up to the task, and we remember the opening cast two years ago, (more mature), who were then well versed in this style. It was hard for us to believe that the two younger casts were new to this work.

Central to the triple bill came Tetractys/The Art of Fugue - From the Greek "tetrad" signifies literally the number 4.  Choreography by W. McGregor, the music by J.S.Bach, the esteemed fugue composer, set and costumes by T. Auerbach. McGregor uses computer technology and bio-science. This intellectual piece with a full strong cast, vibrant lighting and costumes was hard for us to absorb and therefore needs more viewing.  The last performance unfortunately was cancelled due to injury and illness.  I would have liked to have watched the collaborative process, in the studio, leading up to the end product. On balance, this piece worked well with the other two "heritage” ballets,  the last being Gloria, another ballet we have recently seen with the same casts. Sorrowful music by the French composer, Poulenc,  for solo and chorus, choreography by K. MacMillan about war and death; a very relevant subject today.  Here MacMillan reflects upon his father's suffering during the Great War. Very dramatic lighting and both casts responded with dedication and sensitivity.  Adding to this, "Men in Motion", at the Coliseum, was a taste of Russian miniatures with samples of relatively recent works by choreographers and dancers whom we have only read about but finally got to see.

Giselle, a Romantic ballet in two acts; choreography, Petipa after Coralli and Perrot, music by Adam.
Gautier wrote the story which was loosely based on Hugo’s poem “Fantomes” in “Les Orientales”. During that time, ballet
directors and designers broke away from the Greek and Roman mythology loved by the aristocracy, and moved
towards the Gothic supernatural. 

This ballet was performed in Paris , the most significant arts centre at the time, the title role danced by the Swedish-Italian Marie Taglioni in 1841. A story full of emotions; love, betrayal, forgiveness, reconciliation and resignation, this London performance was beautifully staged and revived by Sir Peter Wright. 

Giselle has never been our favourite, as we find the score is too sentimental; Cyril Beaumont, the author, dance critic and
bookseller-publisher, said in his “The Ballet Called Giselle” ( publ. 1944 p.56): “By no stretch of imagination can the score of Giselle be called great music, but it cannot be denied that it is admirably suited to its purpose.  It is danceable and it has colour and mood attuned to the various dramatic situations”.

The first performance we saw which was transmitted live, cast Osipova, a former Bolshoi Principal now with the Royal Ballet, with Acosta.  They really lived up to our expectations.  Here, we felt both Osipova’s portrayals,“earthbound and ethereal”, were well accomplished, but especially in the “white act”; here, she is one of the few who 
has the capability of displaying such an airborne quality due to her breathtaking jump.  Meanwhile,  Acosta proved a
sure and very receptive Albrecht.  He came across to us more reckless than caddish.  By contrast, in another cast with Nunez and Soares,  her perspective in the “white act”  was, to us, more traditional and refined, not as theatrically bold, but equally as  dramatic and intense. What left an impression was her musicality and phrasing, and the way she
filled out the music.  Other memorable parts were:  a strong peasant ‘pas de six’ in the first act, and first night Hilarion, who, we felt, acted with despair rather than anger trying to save Giselle from Albrecht’s deception.  Last but not least, the ‘corps de ballet’, the backbone in our view, meticulously coached, and were all supported by a first class orchestra.

A great evening for us.

Lincoln Center visit, ABT fall season, Oct/Nov 2013:

It was good to visit in the fall season after such a long time.  Our favourite choices were the two Shakesperean themes; we think Ratmansky is a resourceful choreographer: "The Tempest", a "fragmented narrative", was to us intelligently and concisely put together.  The Sibelius score was so suitable to the story with imagination and exotic subtleties. In particular we loved Ariel the Spirit, and the central pas-de-deux of the young lovers showed great sensitivity and affection.  The costumes were enchanting, and the props were very effective and not overdone. 

Limon's "The Moor's Pavane, Variations on a Theme of Othello", for us is a powerful piece of theatre, pure lighting effects with music by Purcell.  The choreography looks deceivingly undemanding in contrast with the strenuous psychological component, and all the cast carried the ballet convincingly.

Revisited "A Month in the Country"; here Ashton sets the mood (in the household) of which he is a master.  We would need to see this ballet many times more as the choreography is so intricate. 

"Theme and Variations": a favourite of ours; Balanchine-born into a musical family-brilliantly visualizes Tchaikovsky's music.  The Conclusion is especially exhilarating when both music and nimble dancing at the end culminate in the beautiful Polonaise.  A real treat! 

As we have already seen ethnic Indonesian dancing, we really liked Mark Morris' take on this theme (Gong) with imagination and playfulness.  Charming shadows, and colourful costumes.

For us the music is paramount and as always ABT's orchestra well bolstered these performances. 




Despite the malicious acid attack on Artistic Director  Sergei Filin, we felt the company performed well and were very happy to see them again.  

What stayed with us was the compelling casts.  We found Obraztsova's Nikiya sincere and touching, and liked her warmth of personality especially in Act I. Zakharova, who is physically very gifted, gave a graceful performance as Odette.  Her Aurora had a delicate quality, beautifully poised with pure line, partnered by a noble Hallberg.  

To mention a few others: Smirnova (a beautiful Lilac Fairy), Chudin who was an affable Solor, and Lantratov's dynamic Evil Genius. 

The Corps, as always, was solid particularly in the Shades Act; the young soloists, appealing with a very watchable quality - and hats off to all who stepped in to salvage the rest of the ballet (Bayadere first night).

We would really like to see a change in their choreography.  It was very disappointing not to see the original endings.  

We have such fond memories of the Bolshoi; we visited the Bolshoi Theatre in November 1982, the same month Leonid Brezhnev passed away.

Finally, we wish Sergei and his family all the best, and above all a swift recovery back to work. 


22nd October 2013 - Toronto Cineplex, Bolshoi Ballet's Spartacus on screen:  

Thank goodness for today's technology; we were all very fortunate to see the Bolshoi's heroic Spartacus.  This technology is doing wonders for people everywhere to view major dance companies from home.     

This was a magnificent performance, displaying the Bolshoi's bold and sweeping style, with a commanding cast.  Our heartfelt thanks to all who made this possible….. 

Wayne Sleep to mentor "plus-size" amateur ballet dancers for Channel 4

A mixed bag for us at the ROH.

Enjoyed the Ashton bill; the dancing was exquisite.  Happy to see Monotones after a very long time.  Liked 24 Preludes, fluid and lyrical, so suited to the RB style, in contrast with Aeternum which was more austere.  Orchestra, costumes and designs every bit as commendable.

Glad  we caught  " Eugene Onegin" alongside the ballet as we were interested to hear the original music.

Once more, an invaluable visit to the ROH.  Our thanks to everyone involved.

See you next time.

Danes sweep Erik Bruhn prize 2012…….

An impressive standard throughout


In French; general arts multimedia.

Georgian men dancing right on their toes in soft shoes with no support (ethnic dance); Balanchine was Georgian

Monica Mason retires; we thank Dame Monica for her genuine dedication towards the art and wish her the very best:

Sadler's Wells:

New theatre and dance:

Save the Children's Fund: 

New English Ballet Theatre:

Laura Alonso - Canton Ballet:

Laura Alonso - Ecured

The Missing Link to Being a Cuban Dancer

Carlos Acosta - International Dance Foundation: - The Social Network | Innovation in Motion... - Dance Events, Directory, Reviews, Services and More at

Reinstate Wayne Eagling as Artistic Director of English National Ballet and instruct the Arts Council to conduct a review of the ENB Board - e-petitions

Edward Villella's dismissal from Miami City Ballet:

China's disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe:


Shown on Good Morning America:

Incredible Dance Performed By Man On Crutches

DanceTabs | A sharp eyed look at Dance & Ballet Across the World

Support the Arts - How the Arts Contribute to the Economy

Save the Arts

Magazine Danser

Erik Aschengreen | Gyldendal - Den Store Danske

Elizabeth Souritz Soviet dance writer

Elizabeth Souritz

Elizabeth Souritz

Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

More2screen Presents the World's First 3D Ballet: Mariinsky's Giselle

Ballet - Bel Air Media

Dance Films Association |


Jobs, careers & news for the arts and creative industry - | The UK Arts Portal

Lincoln Kirstein Bibliography

From Dancing Times - News

ICE HOT - Nordic Dance Platform - Program - PublicTemplates

The Bay Area Reporter Online | Profound spirit of Gidon Kremer

From Ballet2000 - la revue internationale de la danse

Archivio La Scala - Archivio La Scala

Save the Children Fund:

`Everybody in Cuba has access to culture' | Cuba News Headlines. Cuban Daily News

Robert Lepage's Eonnagata Toronto - Robert Lepage's Eonnagata at Sony Centre For The Performing Arts | Eventful


The Arts Desk

Shaw Festival the best of Ontario Theatre Passion to Dance: The National Ballet of Canada eBook: James Neufeld: Kindle Store

The Lowry

The Lowry - Dance - The First Art Newspaper on the Net

The Metropolitan Opera

Aga Khan in Toronto to launch $300M Islamic centre | Posted Toronto | National Post

CBC Video: The National: Aga Khan in Toronto « Ismailimail

Info on Panamanian coup attempt in the 1950’s:

fonteyn & castro - Google Search

Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Some info on arts venues in Toronto:



Luminato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Case Of The Missing Russian Crime Novel - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2010

kultiversum - Theater, Oper, Tanz, Literatur, Musik

Persian Dance And Its Forgotten History, By Nima Kiann

Les Ballets Persans de Nima Kiann

Royal Opera House on iTunes

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Pointe Magazine

Do The Math Dance -- Mathematicians And Choreographers Use Dance To Teach Mathematics

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The Met: Live in HD

all other countries

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The Stage / News / Manchester's Palace Theatre set to become northern base for the Royal Opera House

The Stage / The website for the entertainment industry / Theatre, performing arts, TV and radio

Moonwalk (dance) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gidon Kremer and "Kremerata Baltica" dedicate concert to Garden of Destinies :: The Baltic Course | Baltic States news & analytics

Gidon Kremer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

De Profundis | Nonesuch Records

Welcome - Royal Opera House

Pointe Shoe Appeal 2011 - Royal Opera House

ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News

A Piece of Monologue: Literature, Philosophy & Critical Theory

World of Art - Russian Art Movement and Magazine Mir iskusstva - The Art History Archive

Schedule for all theatres (all stages) in St. Petersburg City, Russia -

Erté - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Largest Selection of Erte - 718-531-7830

Стиль Арт Деко (Art Deco), скульптура, графика

J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC : Antiquarian Music Dealers specializing in Rare Printed Music, Musical Autographs and Manuscripts

BALLET BOOKSTORE - Dance books and videos

Writers on Dance: Don McDonagh: Books Chazin-Bennahum, Judith: Books Kathrine Sorley Walker: Books Cyril Beaumont: Books

Leslie Getz


The Ballet Bag

Ballet Arizona

Ib Andersen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

YouTube - balletarizona's Channel

Ballet - Det Kongelige Teater video Harald Lander - His Life and Ballets (9781852731298): Erik Aschengreen, Patricia N McAndrew: Books

Erik Aschengreen - Danish Dance Critic (mostly in Danish)

Monaco Dance Forum

Dance Across Europe:

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AZ Dance Coalition

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Arts Homepage : Theatre & Performance

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Travel for the Arts for lovers of opera, dance and Classical music

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The Drummond Fund -

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Arts, Classical Music, Opera, Theatre, Photography | Archive for Dance

International Music Festival of Cyclades -

In Copenhagen, Denmark:

Thorvaldsens Museum

Sweden :

Drottningholms Slottsteater

Ballet in Russia magazine

Ballet magazine - About the magazine

Sruti:A Monthly Magazine on Indian Performing Arts.



One of our favo(u)rite architects:

Antoni Gaudí - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gaudi Designer :: Home ::

ballettanz - Home

Information on one of the greatest of choreographers:

Christian Johansson - Petipa's Great Associate

Christian Johansson (Swedish-Russian dancer) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

Nicolai Legat: in the great tradition - Russian ballet master, 1869-1937 | Dance Magazine | Find Articles at BNET

A Society For the Advancement of the Advancement of the Ideas of Auguste Vestris 

Carlo Blasis

The Cecchetti Society Trust Fundraising - Online Fundraising -

Erlund Hudson - Telegraph

Cecchetti International Classical Ballet | Official CICB Site

Cecchetti Ballet Australia

The Cecchetti Society of Canada

Main - Welcome to Cecchetti Council of America

Cecchetti USA

Cecchetti Society of Southern Africa

Danzare Cecchetti

Home - Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing


Master Teacher Laura Alonso | Facebook

Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami

International Ballet Festival of Havana

Foundation for Community Dance - Home

Canadian Paralympic Committee

Om Kolthoum, venerated Egyptian singer: 

Luay K. Nakhleh

Umm Kulthum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Another singer with an extraordinary voice, Yma Sumac: - Yma Sumac Homepage
A large collection of Yma Sumac's work available here:
GEMM: The World's Largest Marketplace

Yma Sumac - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Information on Jenny Lind, 19th century Swedish singer:

Jenny Lind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jenny Lind (1820-1887)


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