Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Othello on PBS


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#16 Victoria Leigh

Victoria Leigh

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 05:24 AM

I'm afraid that my opinion differs quite a bit, Fred :P I had a hard time staying with it, and only survived because of the dancing by the principals, who I agree were wonderful. Desmond Richardson, Parrish Maynard, and of course Yuan Yuan Tan, were exceptional. However, I found the score horrible, and most of the choreography, with the exeption of the first pas for Desdemona and Othello, and a couple of other way too brief moments, quite ghastly. IMO these dancers deserved far better choroegraphy and this is not something I will ever watch again, even though I taped it.

#17 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,343 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 06:40 AM

Who wants my tape? (Anyone have any rare Balanchine?)

#18 Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 596 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 06:43 AM

I agree with Ms. Leigh. The score sounded like it came out of a horror movie (I know Goldenthal composes movie scores, but I didn't know if this one actually came from one), and the choreography had that infusion of modern into it, which I simply don't like. There was hardly a connection between the music and the dancing. However, the dancers were impeccable and distracted me enough to watch the whole way through.

#19 scoop

scoop

    Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPip
  • 88 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 06:57 AM

I loved the drama of this piece, more so than the choreography. The principal dancers were dazzling, I thought, but I wish they'd had more to do. This was my first look at Yuan Yuan Tan, and WOW! I'd like to see her in something that does more with her amazing liquidity. I thought too many of the times she was lifted, for example, the choreography called for her to strike these splayed, stiff-legged positions. The times she got to really dance, like the final scenes with her lady-in-waiting and with Othello, were just breathtaking, like watching a feather caught in a breeze.

I did like the piece as a whole -- the mood and the set and the way the Othello story was distilled into a dance piece. I'm glad to have finally seen it -- in typical Baltimore public TV fashion, it came on later than advertised. Luckily I watched it live rather than taping it, since the times I've done that I've ended up with tapes featuring the end of a Yanni show and the beginning of an Antiques Roadshow!:confused:

#20 Garyecht

Garyecht

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 07:14 AM

I admit I donít care much for story ballets and especially story ballets where the story is well known. I also donít care for dance productions that are specifically for film or television. Having said that I did enjoy Othello. Richardson made a great Othello though there were times, whether due to the choreography or the dancing, I thought he could have been stronger. Tan and Maynard were both excellent I thought. Sets were very good. The score didnít bother me. I kinda liked it in fact. And contrary to Victoria, I thought the first Desdemona-Othello pas was one of the lesser moments. I remained awake and alert throughout despite having a physically challenging day, which for a story ballet is good for me. Not my favorite, but very entertaining.

#21 Steve Keeley

Steve Keeley

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 78 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:35 AM

My reaction is pretty much the same as Victoria's. It was a fairly painless hour and a half of television, but I'm glad I didn't go to the bother and expense of seeing this at a theater.

The choregraphy was modern with just a few flourishes of ballet tacked on. At some points, such as when Iago is expressing his angst, it was so cliche'd it verged on parody. The music was portentious but largely empty of content and was forgotten as soon as it ended.

The dancers were wonderful, giving the choreography far better than it deserved. Yuan Yuan Tan alone made this worth watching.

~Steve

#22 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,713 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:36 AM

I am sleep-deprived this week and passed out somewhere in the second act. I saw this particular performance live and it was interesting to compare and contrast. Tan was indeed lovely, and the camera puts a little meat on her bones, a plus IMO. Maynard also benefited from the close up treatment, but Richardson comes off better live; he looked great but bland in the first act, and I don't recall thinking that during the performance. I'm sorry you all didn't get to see Possokhov, although I have nothing against Richardson.


I agree with Victoria about the first pas de deux, although I still think it odd that Othello and Desdemona dance in such an intimate mood in front of the entire court; but the choreography has a nice flow and Goldenthal's music less grating than elsewhere.


Drew, did you happen to see this? Curious to read your thoughts.

Now, now, kfw...... :)

#23 Cabriole

Cabriole

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 12:11 PM

I have very little to add other than an echo of Ms. Leigh's comments, though I probably will watch the tape I made again (sans audio ;) )just to watch the principals. The score is a horror and the choreography too literal (8 bars of this followed by 16 of that...)

#24 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 01:06 PM

We only saw about 10 minutes but I do have it on tape. My reaction was that Richardson was one of the most powerful looking ballet dancers I've ever seen and that Ms. Tan was lovely...but it didn't strike me as being a ballet. :)

I didn't especially like what I saw, sad to say...and that was quite disappointing. I may give it another try but I have a feeling it will be taped over, eventually.

#25 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,713 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 02:23 PM

BW, although Richardson was ABT's first African-American principal, I don't know that you would call him a ballet dancer, strictly speaking. Although he's studied ballet since his mid-teens, I think we have to classify him as a modern, not classical, dancer. He was with the Ailey company for, I think, eight years(and then the Frankfurt Ballet for several years after that).

#26 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 19 June 2003 - 02:47 PM

Off-topic, but. . .

Steve! You came by for a visit! Hey Steve!

#27 Mike Gunther

Mike Gunther

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 20 June 2003 - 06:13 PM

I caught part of this on PBS Wed. (competing with Cunningham and Juilliard, at the same time but different PBS channels - is Wed. Culture Night on PBS?) It is a very effective theatrical piece, but - and I've been waiting a long time for the opportunity to say this - Othello, and Lar's story ballets in general, seem "all story and no ballet" to me. His mad gesticulations drive me mad, too.

#28 Cabriole

Cabriole

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts

Posted 21 June 2003 - 03:21 AM

I did watch the tape again. As compelling as the principals are to watch, with the exception of Maynard Parrish, I always felt I was watching them play the role. I never forgot I was watching Mr. Richardson the dancer or Ms. Tan the dancer, play the role. Did these people ever love each other? I understand that this flaw my not reflect the dancers' abilities (rehearsal time, direction, choreography, etc. all play a part...), however, the result is almost a caricature. I believe that Mr. Parrish also managed another small, but crucial detail... his character showed some age ! Time passes and the other principals are still as athletic and supple in movement. There is no more 'weight' to their steps. Yes, it is hard to ask dancers, so beautifully in their prime to relinquish those qualities for the sake of the storyline, but isn't that the point?

#29 atm711

atm711

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,430 posts

Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:05 AM

I am with the 'negatives', I saw it live with ABT a couple of years ago. It is because of my experience with this ballet, and later 'Pied Piper' that I did not rush into seeing "Herfeafter" this season. (Once bitten, twice shy?) A wise decision, from what I have r ead on this Board. I was happy for the opportunity to see Yuan Tan, a much different interpretation from Sandra(?) Brown of ABT. Tan was very 'Juliet-like girlish', whereas Brown had a more mature interpretation. I liked them both---but the ballet was not worthy of their talents.

#30 socalgal

socalgal

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 286 posts

Posted 21 June 2003 - 06:26 AM

I too watched this "Othello" on PBS and have also seen this ballet live with the same cast (althought, Yuri played the lead role in the stage viewing). I agree with much of Leigh's review. However, when I remember this ballet, I see Parish Maynard. His characterization is so amazing and his dancing is brilliant as Iago. Parish is a brilliant artist and will be deeply missed. He retired this year and I am glad that there will be a lasting record of his amazing artistry. I have never seen Desmond Richardson before and thought his performances was 'lighter' in character than Yuri's but notheless, a beautiful dancer in his own right.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):