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Performing Arts News Roundup: Gerald Arpino, Martha Graham Dance Company, David Mamet, Sarah Kane and Neil LaBute

Joffrey’s Arpino dies at 85: GERALD ARPINO, co-founder of the JOFFREY BALLET, died last night at the age of 85. Arpino established the ballet company with ROBERT JOFFREY in 1956 and took the reins after Joffrey’s death in 1988, moving it from New York to Chicago. Arpino choreographed more than one-third of the world-famous company’s ballets, including ROPES and BILLBOARD. [BBC]

Graham goes East: The MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY is set to perform in China for the first time in its 82 years of existence. The company will present 10 different repertoires at the BEIJING NATIONAL CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS November 27th through 30th. They will dance on the themes of “Mythology and Fable” and “American Chronicle.” [China View]

Mamet on for Kurosawa remake: DAVID MAMET is writing again, but this time for a movie. Working with director MIKE NICHOLS (THE GRADUATE, CATCH-22), he’s remaking AKIRA KUROSAWA’s HIGH AND LOW, a noir flick that examines a kidnapping first from the perspective of the victim, and then shifts to that of the kidnapper. MARTIN SCORSESE is also rumored to be on board as executive producer. [Paste]

Blasted to make unprecedented run: Off-Broadway company SOHO REP is extending its production of BLASTED for a second time. Written by SARAH KANE and directed by SARAH BENSON, the highly-acclaimed play will run for an unprecedented additional six weeks, through December 21. Blasted was initially scheduled to close this week, but the extensions seemed necessary after the play garnered stellar reviews. [Broadway World]

LaBute play will break later than expected: The January premiere of NEIL LABUTE’s play THE BREAK OF NOON has been postponed to September 2009, MCC THEATER officials announced this week. Since 2002, LaBute has written a new play each season for the theater. The delay was introduced so as not to draw attention from LaBute’s Broadway debut of REASONS TO BE PRETTY. [NYT]

- Iza Wojciechowska

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