Sandi Kurtz reviews Doug Fullington and Manard Stewart's staging of the original choreography for Petipa's "Jardin Animee" for the Pacific Northwest Ballet School for DanceView Times:
Before There Was After
In its original version, Jardin is a much more subtle work. At first, it seems that this comes from a kind of simplified technique, but that turns out to be a false assumption. Instead of the body reaching out through every limb in the neo-classical style we're accustomed to, with elbows fully extended and hips swiveled open, the outline of the dancer is more curved. The arm is slightly foreshortened by softening the elbow and relaxing the hand, and the focus seems to shift to middle-distance rather than far, bringing our attention back to the person and away from the horizons they usually reach for. The dancers often step directly onto a flat foot, rather than rolling down from pointe, so that the length of their stride is shorter as well. Compared to the style these students are trained in today, in this ballet they inhabit a more intimate world.
Sandi's article covered a lot of interesting issues, I thought, including style, and authenticity (what exactly IS the choreography? How much does style count in the definition?) and I thought it would be good to discuss them.