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Musical 'Casablanca' Receives High Box Return

The stage musical "Casablanca," adapted from the 1943 Oscar-winning film, has reached its expected goal for Chinese audience's enthusiasm coming with high box return, observers said after its world premiere in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Friday night.

                                                                         for Xinhua News Agency 



"Balanchine’s prize prodigy and choreographic wunderkind...”

Walter Terry, The Saturday Review



“Mr. Clifford is that rare breed in ballet, a real choreographer.  This talent, evident so early, was confirmed now...” “A truly creative company of dancers who move in totally clean, neo-classic, streamlined style...”  “’Fantasies’ has stood up fantastically well – a mature work, solidly constructed in every way, and more important, still able to evoke tension and drama.  It is fiendishly clever, a veritable tour de force.” “... of all the choreographers surrounding George Balanchine (and their names are legion), John Clifford strikes me as the boy most likely.”

Clive Barnes, The New York Times



“First, there was the Los Angeles Ballet, and now there is Ballet of Los Angeles.  John Clifford has begun anew.  Mr. Clifford’s ballets can explode with the brilliance of firecrackers.”

Jack Anderson, The New York Times



“The company is exuberantly neat and fluid, and his choreography has a wild and original inventiveness.  Clifford has created a fine company and a significant one in his own dance image – you can’t do more.”  “Clifford, with his energy and vitality, has always been a choreographer of specific originality... He gives to his Balanchinian background a special California zip!”  “Although almost all of Clifford’s choreography has the natural signature of his energy on it, it also has a contemplative side, and in general he has just the right versatility of a choreographer to make him unusually suitable for building a repertory.”  “’Fantasies’ is a beautifully conceived work.” “’Symphony’ uses the ensemble – particularly those sun-glinting California women – with great subtlety, and the soloists a particular joy in an absolutely joyous ballet.”

Clive Barnes, The New York Post



“... a chip off the old Master’s block.”

Frances Herridge, The New York Post



“The Beethoven ballet was typical of the impressive attack and style of the company.”

Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times



“’Charleston’ stirred the most applause – with its rhythms of American pop music early in the 20th Century and its flashy musical comedy high-stepping mode, it was a joyful experience. It mixed novelty with nostalgia so effectively that the work may will become standard for many other companies.”

Bill Mayer, Hollywood Daily Variety



“John Clifford’s choreography was light of foot and showed off the dancers both talented and attractive.”

Miami Herald



“The Ballet of Los Angeles carries the imprint of its Director, the true dancer choreographer, John Clifford.  And that says it all: energy, vitality, subtlety, exuberance, inventiveness, fluidity – all the factors that make it a genuinely brilliant company. Their dancing last evening proved an all around delight.”

Boris Nelson, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio



“Palmer Auditorium was sold out Friday night for the Ballet Los Angeles.  Clifford’s forte is faithful interpretations of Balanchine’s work. But he also has a flair of his own, and works such as ‘Tango Classico’ will doubtless turn many a Doubting Thomas into a Ballet Believer.”

Carol Brown, The Day, New London Connecticut



“Dance is at its most entrancing when it allows the audience to enter a magical world of the imagination. The Ballet of Los Angeles accomplished just that last night in an elegant program of classical works. The solid performances of the company’s dancers reminded one that it’s the choreographer’s artistry that creates illusion in dance. A delighted, sometimes enthralled, Grand Theatre audience was presented with four shining examples of the art, two by company director, John Clifford.”

Jennie Punter, The Whig-Standard, Kingston, Ontario



“The performance was a tribute to the superior, professional dancers that John Clifford, Artistic Director, has gathered for his new company. Carefully chosen, they are all beautiful, technically strong dancers. We were given a lovely performance.”

Kathleen Niebuhr, Orlean Times-Herald, New York



“John Clifford choreographs a full length ballet in six days? Call it a modern miracle, call it a spark of genius. I wonder what he could do with six weeks?”

Jari Poulin, The Chautauquan Daily



“John Clifford is also a highly gifted and prolific choreographer. On the program I saw, he presented a major work, ‘Les Amants,’ which is very exportable. It is the exploration of couples and how they relate... There is no pandering to effect, only honest emotion.”

Barton Wimble, New York Daily News


  “John Clifford gives his dancers a wellspring of neoclassical works and a nearly forged link with George Balanchine’s technique as well.” “In ‘Beethoven Variations’ the steps were fluid, moving rapidly from demi-toe to point work, from tiny bounces to soaring lifts.” “Clifford’s ‘Symphony’ involving the entire company in pure dance with rapid-fire footwork sent a message: ‘We’re a force to be reckoned with.’  It seems to be true.”  “’Fantasies,’ a gorgeous, totally approachable ballet, is worth a special trip tomorrow, the company’s final day in New York.”

Janice Berman Alexander, Newsday



“In seven years he has built a first-rate company... and he has endowed it with more than fifty of his own pallets... fifty, and he’s only 35!”  “Clifford has his own style, which is fluent and spicy, peppered with ingenious steps and tricky acrobatics.”

Hubert Saal, Newsweek



“Both as a dancer and choreographer, the ingenuous Clifford is a winner.” “To reflect the musical momentum with contrapuntal bursts of activity on the stage would seem a simple chore, but the fact is, few choreographers do it [as] successfully.”

Daniel Cariaga, The Los Angeles Times

“Further evidence that John Clifford is inventive, resourceful, prolific, impressionable and unabashed as a choreographer was put on record at the Wilshire Ebell Theater.”

Donna Perlmutter, Los Angeles Herald Examiner


“Company Director John Clifford promised a classical program, and that’s what he delivered. From the pas de deux from ‘Le Corsaire’ to Clifford’s own ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ to a neo-classic Balanchine masterpiece to even a non-traditional interpretation of the classic tango, the company gets to wear many faces, while drawing from its strong classical technique.” 

Nancy Pollina, The Buffalo News, New York 




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