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glebb

Kermesse in Bruges Pas de Deux

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After seeing the "Kermesse in Bruges Pas de Deux" staged by Thomas Lund and Eva Kloborg several times at NYIBC I came home and found my video of NYCB featuring Heather Watts and Helgi Tomasson, staged by Stanely Williams.

I think Heather Watts is wonderful in the pas. I would like to hear opinions of her peformance, but mostly I was wondering why there are so many differences in the stagings. Many differences are small, but some passages are quite different.

I know a ballet lives and changes over the years but I wonder if anyone has some good information about it.

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I do know, secondhand, but I got the same story from at least a half-dozen Danes of different generations, that the Williams' stagings in general are not accurate. I have to say I don't like Watts' dancing at all in Kermesse. It's too athletic -- in Danish Bournonville, you don't show the steps, as in Show The Steps. They're hidden, private. Jeppesen, who was the first person I saw do this, was a cloud -- you never knew she had legs. I've seen other videos of dancers from prior generations who were more concrete, but like champagne, very light and quick.

It's the same for "La Ventana" -- which I had liked very much when I first saw NYCB do it. But when I saw it for the first time in Copenhagen in 1992, I was really stunned at how different it was. I couldn't compare choreography from such slight acquaintance, but the phrasing and scale of the dancing were completely different. (And, of course, film of earlier generations were different still, though in the same key. NYCB is dancing in a different key.) Their Balanchine looked quite different from NYCB's too; it goes both ways. Sorry, Glebb -- you're welcome to love it, of course :crying:

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Thanks for the information Alexandra. I know nothing about the proper way Bournonville should be performed. I'm just glad I have the NYCB video as opposed to nothing. Your insight helps a lot. :crying:

I have a foggy memory of a Bournonville pas de trois I saw performed by Cynthia Gregory, Erik Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev at an ABT gala in 1975. Do you know what that would have been?

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Alas, yes. That was La Ventana, which Bournonville set for one man and two women. Needless to say, what Nureyev (who set the new improved version) did was quite different. Sigh.

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