Seen and not seen . . .Ballets better (so far) in the mind.
Posted 26 July 2004 - 09:36 AM
Each of the above is a ballet that I know is great - but I haven't (yet) seen a great performance; I keep fixing them in my head to what I know they could be.
Arlene Croce's examples from her writing were Sleeping Beauty and Divertimento No. 15 (of course, I've said this without checking. . .) Does anyone else have ballets that are better in their imaginations than on the stage?
Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:10 AM
Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:50 AM
Posted 26 July 2004 - 10:59 AM
Posted 26 July 2004 - 01:05 PM
Posted 27 July 2004 - 10:19 AM
Posted 27 July 2004 - 01:59 PM
They only live performances I've seen of Monotones I & II have been by ABT's studio company & the recent Joffrey performances. All were good enough, but none were as good as I think they could have been. My favorite so far was the last Joffrey performance I saw with Michael Levine, Samuel Pergande & Valerie Robin in Monotones II. Even though there was a jarring fall in the middle, this performance came closest to fully realizing the otherworldliness of the choreography.
I don't agree with putting Swan Lake into this category. I've seen not one but several performances that were transcendent - technically sound, visually beautiful & emotionally satisfying - as good as (I think) a performing arts experience can get. The Royal Ballet's production in the late 60's/early 70's with Fonteyn & Nureyev, any number of performances of ABT's old Blair production with Makarova & Nagy circa 1974-76. And just this past January - Pavlenko/Zelensky with the Kirov.
I can agree that none of the current productions of Swan Lake are as good as they could be. The Kirov's comes closest to my ideal, but I miss the mime, and of course - there's that happy ending.
Posted 27 July 2004 - 02:18 PM
Name a company nowadays that has a good production of Swan Lake in the rep. Name one. Not the dancing or dancers. The production.
And if anyone says the Bourne or the Murphy versions, I'm going to scream.
Posted 27 July 2004 - 03:01 PM
Leigh, you're right - personal preferences & past experiences definitely play a big part here.
I'd have to say that these categories are personal, and probably generational.
I'm not as bothered by the Kirov's dancing von Rothbart as you are, perhaps McKenzie's "Swamp Thing" has lowered my expectations. Although if I got nothing else from McKenzie's production, Nina A's performance last month reminded me how powerful the mime can be, and how much much I miss it when it isn't there. That's certainly a flaw in the Kirov's staging, and the ending is absurd, but despite it's flaws I still think the Sergeyev production is a good one. It's one of the few that really gets to the heart & soul of the story. Put that together with their stunning lakeside scenes and the conviction that each member of the corps brings to even the smallest role and I'm happy. Especially when you compare it to the other productions out there.
But you have a point. I think I remember a post by Alexandra saying that the most radical thing an A.D. could do these days is to stage a traditional production of Swan Lake. Don't I wish someone would!
Posted 27 July 2004 - 05:50 PM
I agree completely about Orpheus. I'm sure it's a great ballet, but I've never seen a really compelling performance. Why does Martins always cast Nilas Martins in this ballet??
I've also never seen a really great performance of Les Sylphides--especially not at ABT, where they must pass out Sominex to the cast and conductor before every performance. (Those of us in the audience don't need it.)
Posted 28 July 2004 - 10:01 AM
Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:17 PM
And I don't buy into this thing of Franz being an idiot because he falls in love with a doll. In the first place, he doesn't fall in love with her, he flirts with her. In the second, a doll placed at a proper distance can look very convincing. And after all, Dr. Coppelius is supposed to be a miraculous toymaker.
Talking about dolls, I was recently admiring a group of life size, remarkably realistic looking dolls in a shop window, until one of them blinked...
Posted 01 August 2004 - 02:17 PM
Posted 05 August 2004 - 02:36 PM
and the adagio of Bizet
atm, did you see Tallchief in Firebird or LeClercq in Bizet?
understand that Kent was beautiful in Bizet. the snippet of film of this is quite the thing, anyway--
Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:54 AM
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