Ballet Austin's Taming of the Shrew
Posted 05 January 2004 - 08:33 AM
The two low lights, of many, that stand out are:
One. Petruchio to the (completely uncharacterized and undifferentiated) suitors of Bianca, who have just described the object of their affections by much heart pounding and "drawing" the female form in the air, a la soldiers in WW2 movies: "So! Does she have a sister?" (repeat, says that. Not in mime, not in surtitles, but as in mouth open, words coming out)
Three suitors, after much consultation and evil cackling: "Yeah! She has a sister!"
Two. The red exercise ball. (symbolizing anger? a red exercise ball?) You haven't lived until you've seen a woman in a tutuesque costume take an arabesque with a red exercise ball between her thighs.
I'd be curious to hear other opinions, especially from those who enjoyed the performance. I'd seen Ballet Austin's "Midummer Night's Dream" (also choreographed by Stephen Mills) two years ago and it was derivative, but not unpleasant.
Posted 05 January 2004 - 09:50 AM
I did _not_ like the spoken lines (utter lack of creativity) and the "taming" which was really coercion and abuse (forced marriage, deprivation of food and sleep), which was at odds with the plot summary given in the program (program stated that Kate is "tamed" by seeing her husband outdo her in bad behavior) and was _terrible_ for children. Yuck.
It's a shame, because in general I think these one-hour productions are a great way to introduce kids to ballet, and I was glad I didn't bring my 4-year-old niece to this one.
Posted 05 January 2004 - 09:56 AM
I think the taming was also .... Let's just say that Kate was suddenly docile the morning after. As in all that B----- needed was a good, um, wedding night. That's what I meant by writing "the story was reduced to locker room one-liners."
I think one-hour programs are a great way to introduce kids to ballet, too. And there are companies that have good children's programming. I don't know how this one got here -- if this had been called "Kate and Pete," it wouldn't have gotten in the door.
Posted 05 January 2004 - 10:33 AM
Of course, I am hopeless at following plots, so it's fortunate that following the plot is often not an essential part of enjoying a ballet performance.
Posted 05 January 2004 - 10:46 AM
I'm sure the kids didn't pick up on the "morning after" change of mood, and I didn't mean that I thought it was inappropriate for children; more that it was an inappropriate reduction of something more complicated.
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