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Le Parc - the film


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#1 Naoko S

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 02:29 PM

Recently there was a rerun on a Japanese satelite TV channel for POB's "Le Parc", filmed in 1999. Someone gave me a copy and since then I've been watching it over and over again; the more I see it the more I get convinced this is a masterpiece by Preljocaj - actually I feel like calling it a genuinely "romantic ballet" of our times.

I suspect it's not yet published as commercial video/dvd - in France was it only televised as in Japan? Is the ballet popular among French balletomane?

(Incidentally I saw two performances of Giselle last week, with Hilare & Zakharova in the leads. As a huge Hilaire fan I was rather dissappointed - so I am conforting myself seeing this precious film of Le Parc!)

#2 Estelle

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 04:40 PM

Naoko, I don't think that in France it is available as a DVD, it probably has been only televised (well, I haven't seen it, but I haven't had a TV for years so am often not very aware of what has been shown or not...)

Well, I'm not a fan of Preljocaj's choreographic style, and while "Le Parc" is, among the few works by him that I saw, the one I disliked the least, I can't say I loved it (even though the cast I saw- Maurin and Legris- did quite a magnificent job). In general it seems to be quite popular for the audience, it is one of the few recent works created by the POB by modern dance choreographers (I wouldn't call Preljocaj a ballet choreographer) which hasn't been forgotten after one season (and also they often perform in on tour). I guess its beautiful music and costumes have some role in this success.

I guess the cast in the video is the original one (Hilaire and Guérin)? Please feel free to tell us a bit more about that video (and the ballet itself), which parts you liked most, whether you noticed some other dancers, etc.

Also, about Giselle, you're welcome to post your impressions about it (a "Giselle" thread was created last month) and what you found disappointing in Laurent Hilaire's performance.

By the way, I realize that unfortunately there are not many available videos of him (the only ones I remember are Nureyev's "Nutcracker" filmed in the 1980s with Elisabeth Maurin and "La Bayadère" with Isabelle Guérin and Elisabeth Platel in the early 1990s).

#3 cygneblanc

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 01:16 PM

Well, Estelle and Naoko, it was broadcasted on french tv in 2000 at 1am, I think !

It was with thee the original cast, Isabelle Guerin and Laurent Hilaire. I think they did an amazing job. I like that ballet a lot, besides the parts of the gardeners (the ones with the strange costumes !) and I was quite atonished when I saw it because I usually dislike contemporary dance ! And no, it has never been released as a commecial video or dvd :angry: !

#4 Juliette

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 05:43 AM

In fact, it had been broadcast many times these last years (4 times in 4 years on different channels); but no matter because it's such a wonderful ballet!
And, about the cast, to be honest Hilaire was by far better with Dupont two years ago and it was the same concerning Guérin who danced with Bridard.

#5 Naoko S

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 02:45 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback!

Estelle,

>>I guess its beautiful music and costumes have some role in this success.

Yes, yes - I totally agree with you on this. As a matter of fact, when I saw a live performance of Le Parc back in February 2002, I wasn't too impressed with the choreography or whatever movements displayed on the stage; some peculiar aspects such as "musical chair" or "invader game" like movements by gardeners mostly caught my eyes, and I was far from being carried away..... even some meaty choreography seemed to be marred by much-too-acrobatic movements (as seen in the last PdD). Looking back, the only positive impressions I got from the performance were heavenly beautiful music (and on the day I attended the orchestra and the pianist did a magnificent job), no less ravish and stylish costumes, and the extraordinary passions and excitements Laurent Hilaire brought to the stage.

So I didn't have much to look forward to before watching the filmed version. But repeated viewings made me a convert - now I'm almost addicted to the world POB troupe created in this work. As you said, yes, Preljocaj certainly was not a ballet choreographer - let me just say that I love this as a dance work and would like to regard the philosophy and poetry behind the choreography are not million-miles-away from some of the best ballet works. It's not always a case for modern choreography that music doesn't clash with movements - but here Preljocaj takes advantage of some of the most charming and beautiful music by Mozart and adapts his choreography brilliantly. His movements are unpretentious and looked as if they come very naturally from dancers, who not only master his dance vocabulary but add their own distinguished flavour to the work. (My particular favourites are "Observation" scene and a sentimental "Rencontre" PdD in Act I, as well as a sensuous "Resistance" PdD and an angelic tableau of the ladies in Act II - what a charming coquetry!) But most of all I admire Preljocaj's originality - I think he succeeded in putting together the idea of presenting "a course of emotinal & physical state one has to go through when in love", which he took an inspiration from 17th century French literatures, with artistic temperaments and characteristics of POB troupe. In fact it's almost impossible for me to imagine other companies take on this work - it's SO french and so unmistakably made for POB.....

Cygneblanc,
Why have they not released this in commercial DVD/video - not much interests for contemporary dance in general? I wonder if you saw many performances of Le Parc since its premier in 1994 - if you did, please tell us about how you thought!

Juliette,
Thanks for a precision! It's interesting to hear that you were much more convinced by later performances of the two dancers. I did see a live performance once in 2002 with Hilaire and Dupont in the leads but couldn't see much rapport between the two - energetic and passionate Hilaire looked far younger than his partner, who, to my eyes, failed to abondon herself to passions.... (but I know if she did this now, she would be able to tell quite another story!) In this film Hilaire is absolutely irresistible although he often seems to be shadowed by somewhat monstrous Guérin - surely her artistry must have been at a prime when this was shot......

#6 Estelle

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 02:57 AM

Cygneblanc,
Why have they not released this in commercial DVD/video - not much interests for contemporary dance in general?  I wonder if you saw many performances of Le Parc since its premier in 1994 - if you did, please tell us about how you thought!

Actually I fail to understand the POB's policy in terms of videos... Perhaps it's a matter of costs and coyprights?

And Naoko, thanks for your comments about "Le Parc". It is indeed an advantage of video that one can see a work again and again, and learn to appreciate it, while often one view at the theater is not enough (and seeing several performances isn't always possible). It makes a while I saw "Le Parc", and perhaps if I saw it again I'd appreciate it more.


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