Les Noces, Parade, and Le Sacre du Printemps, Feb. 26 - Mar. 2, 2003
Posted 01 March 2003 - 08:47 PM
"Les Noces" is followed on the program by Massine's "Parade", to Satie's music with sirens and gunshots in it, and there's too litle dancing in it for me, and what there is isn't satisfying. Part of the problem is that some of the dancers have to carry around some Picasso constructions, so that only their legs are free, but even the others who are freer are too tightly constrained by the needs of characterisation. (Some of the audience has a good time with the antics of a horse-character called "The Manager on Horseback".) I suppose to some extent it evokes its time and place. What "Noces" does is to transcend those.
Closing the program is the Hodgson reconstruction of Nijinsky's "The Rite of Spring", using a movement vocabulary much like Nijinska's to much less effect, IMO. In places it even seems to go blank.
Cyril Beaumont says the color scheme in "Noces" was entirely black and white, while Robert Greskovic says in "Ballet 101" that the POB production was chocolate brown and cream costumes, with brown pointe shoes (or slippers, one supposes), and a set in earthen gold, blue gray, and black. In the Joffrey production, the cream has become white, and the set for the First and Third Tableaux, both in the Bride's home, is blue-gray; in the Second and Fourth Tableaux, it's earthen gold. (I suppose this is what Greskovic meant.) And there is a representation of the conjugal bed on the backdrop, visible for a time when the doors in front of it are open.
Beaumont reports that the British press reaction was generally hostile when "Noces" was shown in London in 1926, but that H. G. Wells championed it, saying, "I do not know of any other ballet so interesting, so amusing, so fresh or nearly so exciting as 'Les Noces.' I want to see it again and again." Exactly. I saw it four times myself.
Posted 03 March 2003 - 10:44 AM
Thank you so much..... I hadn't re-read the Denby, but he's hte non-pareil, motor-logic. yep, that's it.....
Posted 08 June 2003 - 11:26 PM
Posted 09 June 2003 - 04:36 AM
Posted 22 June 2003 - 10:58 PM
I am so glad I went. The Diaghilev Dynasty was definitely interesting like nothing I have seen before. Here are my thoughts: (I am quite a novice, so remember that these are only the opinions of one, and please do correct me where needed.)
I found "Les Noces" to be wonderfully haunting and the music something fierce, even though the ballet was danced to recording. I don't think the dancers did so well when it came to timing and percision (the corps' "tuck jumps" - I don't know if there is a proper term for them - were out of sync.) But I suppose it was danced pretty well considering the difficulty of Stravinsky's music. The gesture of pulling an imaginary bell as well as resting their heads on top of one another really had an effect on me. And overall what struck me the most was the raw emotion contained within it -- very powerful and very disturbing.
It turns out that the program I saw included "Afternoon of a Faun" instead of "Parade" as the second ballet. I must say that I enjoyed "Afternoon of a Faun" the least of the three. Conceptually, I liked it. (It seemed almost sexual to me, but this is probably way out of the loop. ) What bothered me was that the ballet contained so little dancing. Visually, the most interesting part for me was the pretty backdrop and lighting.
I liked "The Rite of Spring" about as much as "Les Noces," and found similarity between them. This was the only ballet in which a single dancer stuck out to me; I thought The Chosen One did an excellent job. I also thought some of the formations were ingenius! It achieved such an errie effect... I probably didn't breathe out once the entire time!
As a whole, I would call it a night of compelling choreography, where ballet seemed to play a minimal part. With the exception of certain parts of "Les Noces," I am wondering what distinguishes these ballets from modern dance?
The most dissapointing thing about the night was that the audience was so small. We were receptive and appreciative, but even the orchestra seemed little more than half full.
Posted 23 June 2003 - 12:01 AM
You should trust your instincts on Afternoon of a Faun. Sexuality is definitely the subtext. I think it says something good about the performance though that you didn't feel hammered over the head with it.
Ah and how to distinguish them from modern dance? Excellent question! I'm going to say the real distinction is parentage. Nijinsky and Nijinska were both trained at the Maryinsky theater, and their native vocabulary was ballet. What they did with all three dances was a reaction to ballet from the point of view of someone trained in ballet. They turned in their feet to contrast, and for an expressive purpose, and Nijinsky in Rite consulted with Marie Rambert, who until that point had been trained primarily in Dalcrozean Eurythmy.
But in the way that ballet companies can't claim a dance like Night Journey as part of our heritage, modern dance companies can't claim Faun, Rite or Les Noces. They may not look like ballets, but you have to know ballet to be able to do them, just like you need Graham training to give full value to Night Journey.
Posted 23 June 2003 - 04:51 AM
Do you remember who danced The Chosen One?
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