Bolshoi theater to perform its version of ‘Rite of Spring’

It was, perhaps, the last century’s most scandalous ballet – one modeled after a pagan ritual of human sacrifice and showcasing dancers in ancient Slavic costumes prancing to odd-metered, cacophonous music.

On Thursday, Moscow’s Bolshoi theater opens a new production of “The Rite of Spring.” It is the Bolshoi’s first new production since an acid attack in January severely burned its artistic director, Sergei Filin.

At the 1913 Paris premiere of “The Rite of Spring” – Igor Stravinsky’s ballet choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky – a polarized audience laughed, whistled, booed and started fistfights.

The new choreographed version by Tatyana Baganova centers on thirsty male and female dancers looking for water through symbolic submission to ideology and technology – and ultimately finding love.

The Joffrey Ballet in Chicago performed its re-creation of the original Nijinsky version last week at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, while on tour.


Neighbor’s claim of threats by Justin Bieber investigated

Deputies were investigating claims made Tuesday by a neighbor that Justin Bieber attacked and threatened him during an argument in suburban Los Angeles, authorities said.

No one was arrested and few details were immediately available.

A representative of Bieber, Melissa Victor, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Online schedules indicate the “Baby” singer is in the midst of a European tour and performed a show in Poland on Monday night.

Authorities were called to the Calabasas scene just after 9 a.m., said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“There have been allegations made against Mr. Bieber of battery and making threats,” Whitmore said.
It’s unclear who called authorities, and whether there might have been previous problems between the 19-year-old singer and neighbors, Whitmore said.

In recent years, the Canadian singer has been constantly chased by paparazzi while publicly morphing from an almost angelic mop-topped teen to an adult battling a bad-boy image.

Recently, Bieber lashed out at paparazzi and lunged at one photographer as members of the singer’s entourage held him back.


Follower accused of trying to pass cellphone to Manson

A follower of Charles Manson has been charged with trying to smuggle a cellphone inside a California prison where the mass murderer is housed, authorities said Tuesday.

Craig Carlisle Hammond, 63, was arrested Sunday for investigation of conspiracy, possession of an illegal communication device and attempting to bring a cellphone into a prison, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections.

Hammond was taken to jail and was released after posting bail. He is scheduled to be in court next month.

Hammond had a wristwatch cellphone that was found by a correctional officer at Corcoran State Prison in an area where the device is prohibited, authorities said. The phone never got into Manson’s hands.

However, the notorious cult leader, who is serving a life sentence for orchestrating a series of gruesome murders more than 40 years ago, has been caught with a smuggled cellphone twice in the past four years.

In 2009, Manson was found with a phone and he had been calling and texting people in California, Florida, New Jersey and British Columbia. Two years ago, he also was found with a phone.

Hammond goes by the name Gray Wolf, which was given to him by Manson, and regularly visits the 78-year-old, according to the Los Angeles Times.


FBI labels woman’s death on cruise ship ‘suspicious’

An FBI spokesman says a death aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been classified as suspicious.

The FBI is investigating the death of a 62-year-old Virginia woman who traveled on the Enchantment of the Seas. Royal Caribbean says the woman’s husband found her body Sunday inside her cabin.
FBI Baltimore field office spokesman Rich Wolf said agents boarded the ship Monday after it returned to Baltimore as scheduled.

He said an autopsy was being conducted to determine the cause and manner of death, and agents are interviewing the unidentified woman’s husband. Wolf declined to say whether the woman suffered any trauma.

The Enchantment of the Seas sailed to Florida and the Bahamas on a seven-night trip.