A Modest Proposal
Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:26 PM
Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:34 PM
Posted 29 April 2003 - 08:14 PM
I also read somewhere that the suicide was considered by nineteenth-century audiences to be a happy one, as Odette and Siegfried ended up together in heaven, and Odette did not have to be a swan forever, &c, but am uncertain as to how true that is, too. Maybe it's sort of like the ending of Bayadere--everyone dies, but Nikiya and Solor get to live forever in a castle in the sky. Of course, it implies that their love would not be possible in this world, which is not exactly a happy thought...besides, ABT does the suicide version, and it looked kind of comical to me. I expected to see Odette and Siegfried bounce up and down repeatedly on that trampoline, going higher and higher until they jumped right up into the afterlife. It didn't help that the path up to the "cliff" looked a bit like an obstacle course and I kept wondering if they would trip on the way up. Talk about anticlimactic.
Posted 29 April 2003 - 08:19 PM
Posted 29 April 2003 - 08:45 PM
Question: Why is it only inferior choreographers who make up their own versions of the classics?
Answer: If they were good choreographers, they'd choreograph their own ballets and wouldn't need to steal someone else's rightfully earned fame and prestige.
The classics are classics for a reason: they're good. They do not need to be updated any more than the Mona Lisa needs glittery eyeshadow and a tube top. If you want to say something about today's culture, do something original. No one remembers choreographers because they did some version of a classic--that just reminds everyone how good the original was. Choreographers are remembered for creating their own works.
Posted 29 April 2003 - 10:09 PM
Calling it classic would be an understatement. A near replica of the standard routines handed down from Petipa and Ivanov's 1895 version, it offers little that's new or innovative. What raises the balletic bar are the crispness of its execution and engrossing drama of its characterizations
Click for full review
Posted 29 April 2003 - 10:27 PM
(However, I don't think that someone going to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake should think they are seeing the classic Swan Lake. I agree with Mel's original post that to recognise a take-off, you have to be familiar with the original.)
BTW, is it really that difficult to see a fairly traditional SL in the USA? Don't all the touring CIS companies have traditional Swan Lakes?
Posted 30 April 2003 - 03:09 AM
GWTW, many CIS companies tour with a Swan around, but it's often a Gorskyized version, which is traditional in feeling, but again, I can hear Petipa calling from the Beyond, as he did when he watched Gorsky restage one of his (Petipa's) works, "Someone tell that young man I'm still alive!" In Gorsky versions, I can still hear the Petipa calling out for benediction. Also, the versions that tour tend to be light-duty in decor, which is another important aspect of a really successful Swan Lake. It's not that I'm ungrateful, but yes, a traditional Swan is getting that hard to find in the US.
Posted 30 April 2003 - 05:27 AM
Posted 30 April 2003 - 06:54 AM
In the theatre we have had to endure a generation of Boinkin' with the Bard...In the spirit of Misery Loves Company, I offer up the following memorable Shakespearean Follies:
A Midsummer's Night Dream done as a Star Trek episode, with Puck "transporting" the lovers to their assignations. Oberon as Kirk; the rude mechanicals as aliens. Gave "no sign of intelligent life" a whole new meaning.
A Julius Ceasar where Ceasar appeared festooned in balloons, each one to be pricked by a pin-pushing senator. Lend me your ears...and earplugs, please.
A schitzoid Macbeth in which the same actor played both Mr AND Mrs Macbeth. Director's notes implied Old Will had written the first inner war between the sexes. Most amusing.
I'll stop there. To dredge up any more of this drecht puts a sour edge on my morning...
Hopefully you will have taken some solace in the new found awareness that not only do you suffer for your art, but your art is suffering for you.
With a wink,
Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:05 AM
I wrote a Swan Lake piece once (several computers ago, so it no longer exists) in honor of a Kennedy Center season which boasted no less than SEVEN productions in one season. (The person who programmed the dance offerings then obviously believed in the "Swan Lake Sells" school of thought.) It seemed funny at the time, but everything I wrote has come true in the intervening 15 years, except that the Bring Back Benno! movement has stalled badly. (The piece was about a Swan Lake convention with Swans from all over the world as delegates. Several were "interviewed" and told about their very own home versions -- and how they got to the Kennedy Center.)
Posted 30 April 2003 - 07:24 AM
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