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Falling AngelsReports and reactions?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 dido

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 12:53 PM

I went last night and am going again tonight. I'd really like to hear impressions from more experienced ballet watchers, because I'm not really sure how valid my reactions are.

I loved in the middle somewhat elevated (as I expected, having seen clips and pictures and whatnot).

The Lucinda Childs premiere left me a bit cold. It was pretty, but boring, I thought. There was a moment when Lorna Feijoo (whose red hair positively glows! on stage--I kinda like it) was walking flat footed across the stage and then burst into a beautiful, very low split grand jete. That I loved, but on the whole I didn't see anything particularly innovative or interesting about it.

The Kylian (Sarabande and Falling Angels) I thought dreadful. So dreadful I may wait in the lobby tonight. When the men burst into laughter at the end of Sarabande I couldn't help but think they were laughing at the audience. Plus those dresses suspended above the stage gave me a nasty feeling. Falling Angels I thought just dull, dull, dull.

I would love to be proved wrong, but at the moment I see no humour, no technique, no complexity (especially in the relation between movement and music)and no interest in the Kyian works. They got the biggest round of applause, complete with spontaneous standing ovation. That, together with the fact that I have hear so many dancers in interviews say how much they love his work, makes me wonder what I am missing in it.

I doubt I'll ever learn to like it, but I want to know what I am missing.

#2 eland

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 04:12 PM

I went to the friday evening show ...
.I loved Falling Angels. I thought the women in the company gave it their all.
I was pleased to see April Ball back onstag in "In the Middle"She was always one of my favorite dancers and I was sad to see her go a few years ago, so I was really excited when I saw that she was going to be here.
She is such an expansive dancer and with a stage as large as the Wang, you want someone to make the stage seem small.
She is alot taller than most of the women there, but who says ballerinas have to be under five feet tall?
Saraband(E?) was well danced. It was neat to see the men and women in separate, but equal parts...
I don't know how I feel about the first piece...It was nice..., but didn't really go anywhere. The dancers looked nice, but I kept waiting for something exciting ot happen and it didn't...
I think it is a good ballet for the die hard classical fans who aren't keen on contemporary rep...It wasn't on pointe, so that made it "Modern".The music was lovely, so you couldn't really get mad at it..It just wasn't what I envisioned boston Ballet dancers doing on a rep program...
no biggy though

#3 Balletaime

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:04 PM

I went last night and am going again tonight. I'd really like to hear impressions from more experienced ballet watchers, because I'm not really sure how valid my reactions are.

I loved in the middle somewhat elevated (as I expected, having seen clips and pictures and whatnot).

The Lucinda Childs premiere left me a bit cold. It was pretty, but boring, I thought. There was a moment when Lorna Feijoo (whose red hair positively glows! on stage--I kinda like it) was walking flat footed across the stage and then burst into a beautiful, very low split grand jete. That I loved, but on the whole I didn't see anything particularly innovative or interesting about it.

The Kylian (Sarabande and Falling Angels) I thought dreadful. So dreadful I may wait in the lobby tonight. When the men burst into laughter at the end of Sarabande I couldn't help but think they were laughing at the audience. Plus those dresses suspended above the stage gave me a nasty feeling. Falling Angels I thought just dull, dull, dull.

I would love to be proved wrong, but at the moment I see no humour, no technique, no complexity (especially in the relation between movement and music)and no interest in the Kyian works.  They got the biggest round of applause, complete with spontaneous standing ovation. That, together with the fact that I have hear so many dancers in interviews say how much they love his work, makes me wonder what I am missing in it.

I doubt I'll ever learn to like it, but I want to know what I am missing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well Dido seems we see, like, different dances. Vive le difference! No explanation will change this but since you are asking with good will, perhaps this perspective will give you something to consider.
Sarabande is an emotional expression. The technique and movement unlike in classical dance, does not have any significance beyond expressing this emotion but it is called forth by an intellectual dilemma that of the horror of the 20th. century. For the first part the ‘dance’ is accompanied by unstructured noises and in contrast the second part has the music of John Sebastian Bach. We are given a brief respite into a spiritual realm and the dance becomes formal, recognizable movement from the classical vocabulary. But it does not last and the piece ends with mad laughter.
If you are familiar with Greek tragedy, where the plot is hopeless and the protagonist is doomed, as in Electra, the suffering had the effect of catharsis on the audience of the day. Bach’s music has the same effect in Sarabande.
This is my perspective, others will have a different reaction for liking or disliking the piece. There is no correct answer. I suspect that for the dancers the joy is in the experiment, in stepping into an unknown, something different.
You are not missing anything, on the contrary, you are very fortunate to be going again.

#4 bbfan

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:17 AM

Here’s another take on the “Falling Angels” program, which I saw twice.

Both nights, at first I found the Child’s piece surprisingly bland and boring. Both nights, partway through something clicked for me, and I enjoyed seeing the music in the form of dance. Then the dance stopped; both times I was startled that it just ended.

My reaction the first time through Sarabande/Falling Angels was that it reminded me of my exercise class, with much fitter people participating! I was impressed by the dancers’ flexibility, coordination with each other, seeing muscles I didn’t know existed, the play of the light on the dancers, etc. But I found myself thinking, I wouldn’t mind if I never saw this again; oops, I’m going again tomorrow. The second night I knew what was coming, and enjoyed it somewhat more, though I still don’t see it as dance, more as an impressive athletic feat, a theatrical experience. I guess I didn’t connect emotionally, though I appreciate Balletaime’s comments above. Perhaps if I’d read them before seeing the performance I would have been able to bring some of that perspective.

I like “In the middle….” and was glad to see it again. It left me wondering, why does this work for me when the others don’t?

While I can enjoy many of the classical works, I prefer a thought provoking program to a boring program. I much prefer an evening (or two!) like Falling Angels to some of the less exciting (to me) story ballets or short classical-style pieces that we’ve had over the years. (And, sorry to say, while I don’t have gray hair, I have entered the demographic depressingly labeled as “elderly” in another thread.)

I’m glad we go twice to each program for many reasons, and one is that sometimes it takes a second look to absorb and appreciate (or not) an unfamiliar work. I second Balletaime’s comment that there is no correct answer. Some works speak to us, some do not.

#5 dido

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 11:07 AM

I too am very glad I went twice; I am sorry to say that I thought the Childs' piece even more bland, but as for the Kylian I felt that I could at least appreciate some of the movement values. And of course I am always glad (like it or not) to see and learn something new. I also think I have a sense of why dancer's love Kylian so much, and, as you say Balletaime, thank goodness for different opinions!

:thanks: to all for sharing your opinions (I would love to read more though!)

#6 its the mom

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Posted 21 March 2005 - 05:17 PM

I guess I'll jump in here. Saw the program three times. I think we can all agree, different strokes for different folks. I disliked the Childs piece. I know that people said she likes to use repetition and create patterns with that repetition, and I kept trying to appreciate that, but the piece never appealed to me. Often times I will find that after seeing a piece the second or third times, my opinion changes. It never did for that one.

The rest of the night was, imo, awesome. Having never seen any Kylian danced live, I was fairly forewarned by my daughter as to what to expect. It also did help that I read some background info, so I wouldn't be too startled. After the first floor impact in Sarabande, the fear faded, and I was enthralled by the movement of the dancers. Falling Angels was no less spectacular for me. I could not believe that just a week ago I had seen these dancers dance La Sylphide.

In the Middle was probably my favorite of the night. Both casts were wonderful.

My daughter, who was lucky enough to dance in the Kylian and Forsythe piece said that, for her, both were very satisfying and rewarding because she had to dig deeper and really think while she was learning the pieces. She also shared that they are physically very difficult on the body.

The Boston audience seemed to love both Kylian's pieces and In the Middle. I wasn't sure how they would be received (especially Kylian). But I think the audience could see how well the dancers danced, and how very difficult the pieces are to dance. I was glad they could appreciate that.

#7 fendrock

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 09:14 AM

Personally, I really enjoyed the Lucinda Childs piece. I loved the music, and found the constant movement delightful. I like ensemble dancing, and found this a good one to watch. Certainly not too demanding -- more like watching a sparkling stream, perhaps.

I would say the Kylian pieces left me perplexed. I really wondered what the dancers thought about it. I had the sense that Sarabande contained lots of symbolism that I didn't understand.

Kylian also seemed to be experimenting with different elements of dance that we don't always consider -- costumes, for example. The men "danced" with their shirts pulled over their heads or their pants around their ankles. The women plucked at their leotards. Ball gowns were suspended over the male dancers heads.

The driving drum used in Falling Angels created a kind of primitive appeal. I liked the way Kylain played a bit with the expressions on the dancers' faces.

As for the exposure of the dancers' physiques in Sarabande/Falling Angels -- the man sitting next to me commented, "I have more body fat than all of the dancers on the stage put together!"

This was the second time I'd seen the Forsythe. It is enjoyable to watch. I was exhausted from concentrating on Sarabande/Falling Angels, however, so I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as the first time I saw it. The swaggering attitude makes a good combo with the steps.

By the way, can someone tell me who the featured woman dancer was in "In the middle" at the Saturday matinee? the one wearing the long-sleeved green leotard? (not April Ball)

#8 dido

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 09:30 AM

Was it Karine Seneca? She was the "long sleeved leo girl" both Saturday and Sunday night when I went. Fabulously muscular with reddish hair?

#9 fendrock

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 09:56 AM

No, Karine Seneca wasn't listed in the program.

By process of elimination, it seems it must have been either Melissa Hough or Dalay Parrondo.

#10 its the mom

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 12:37 PM

The girl with the long-sleeved leo at the matinee performances was Kathleen Breen-Combes. Karine did the evening performances. Melissa Hough was one of the "competition girls," along with Lia Cirio in the matinee performances.

#11 fendrock

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:45 PM

Thanks, its the mom.

I thought I would recognize Kathleen Breen Combes, but I guess I was wrong.


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