Le Rossignol at the MET
Posted 05 October 2003 - 02:20 AM
Well, the ballet "parts" (for lack of a better word) were solos and pas de deux with Damian and Julie -- a truly well-matched pair. The movements had all the signature choreography of Ashton's work: beautifuly flowing movement, seemless transitions from one pose to another, lunging arabesques for the nightingale, long-held poses for the fisherman (think Anthony Dowell's elegance), tatseful overhead lifts, the fisherman holding the nightingale in exquisite horozintal holds, etc. Both Damian and Julie gave their whole artistry to this work, and it was just glorious. At the same time as they were dancing, the singers (Olga Trifonova for the nightingale) and Barry Banks (for the fisherman) were singing. Glorious. For me it was a real delight to have my twin obsessions (ballet and opera) coming together at once. I think it worked for the MET audience too because there was not the usual coughing; people were totally engaged.
For those of you out there who are opera fans, the Oedipus Rex was also given the deluxe treatment. It was a very stylized version with the actor Philip Boxco as the speaker with top-notch singing by Stephanie Blythe (as Jocasta), Robert Gambill as Oedipus, and Barry Banks back as the Shephard. The world's first recorded dysfunction family would have been proud that their story was so well told!
The less said the better about the Rite of Spring, which opened the afternoon. Over thirty-five years of ballet going, I've never seen this done without being vulgar. My feeling is that it should just be done in concert version so each audience member can use his imagination as to what is primitive. Even closing my eyes didn't help because I heard the grunting the dancers and the heavy feet crossing the stage (which really interfered with the music).
Dance lovers: Go for the Le Rossignol. Opera lovers: go for the Le Rossignol and the Oedipus Rex.
Posted 05 October 2003 - 10:47 AM
Wives: Mmmffff, snort, kickle, kackle, hee, hee.
Grigoriev: What's going on? Stop that!
Wives: Hee, hoo, ha, ha, ssSSssSSss.
Grigoriev: Stop it, I tell you! I'll fine you; I'll fire you; I'll KILL you!
Nightingale: Does arabesque over Grigoriev putting "her" face directly opposite his. Grigoriev sees that Balanchine has painted an eye in the middle of his forehead with makeup.
Grigoriev: YAAA! HOO HOO HOO (falls off deathbed, and lies on floor convulsing)
The Grimaldis pronounced the performance "Very interesting!"
Posted 06 October 2003 - 02:21 AM
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