Greskovic on Pied Piper
Posted 12 June 2001 - 11:41 AM
Here's the first paragraph, from their extract:
PITY THE POOR, innocent child walking out of American Ballet Theatre's new production called "The Pied Piper." Besides being left
wondering what "pied" really means, given the barely pied quality of Ann Hould-Ward's bizarre and faded-looking costume for the central figure, the youngster might also ache to understand what on earth went on during the 55-minute display of confused and confusing activity, which I hesitate to call dancing.
Ostensibly put together for audiences of all ages, but with a special focus on boys and girls perhaps new to the experience of ballet theater, the one-act work, which had its premiere during the first half of ABT's annual spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, turned out to be a total turkey. As a theatrical production it wastes the dancer talent entangled in its stage business and proves yet again that David Parsons, the former modern-dancer-turned-choreographer chosen for the supposedly forward-looking project, is one of the most overrated and least adept dancemakers around today.
So, did you like it, Robert????
Posted 12 June 2001 - 09:46 PM
For some time I've read Greskovic's reviews of NYCB and Martins and have been simply amazed at his nastiness. I've chalked it up to just one more critic with an ax to grind against Martins. Now I see him in a new light -- obviously his venom is not limited to NYCB. Why do some critics believe that that they have to go over the top to make their point? For me, it always has the opposite effect. It discredits their point of view.
Posted 12 June 2001 - 10:02 PM
I know it's off-topic, but I was reminded by this article of how biased so many of his writings are. And, for the record, I don't think bias is bad, but there's a difference between saying you don't like something and using actual put-downs to get the point across.
Posted 13 June 2001 - 06:45 AM
He also addressed the claims of the company that the production would have cutting-edge stage craft, was good entertainment for children, dramatic choreography etc... And although he was critical of the production, he did not trash the dancers.
Later in the article, I think he also wrote fairly about ABT's modern program, giving positive notices to the Tharp and Taylor.
Although I don't think it is wrong for a critic to be the lone voice in a sea of differing views, Greskovic didn't say anything more harshly or biased than New York Magazine's Tobi Tobias or Clive Barnes of the NY Post in regards to ABT's Pied Piper (to name two critics). And Barnes is usually very generous with his praise.
[ 06-13-2001: Message edited by: Dale ]
Posted 13 June 2001 - 07:01 AM
I don't know how a writer can get this across, and maybe it's not possible. I think there's a difference between having a personal vendetta against someone (choreographer, artistic director, dancer) and having a strong view -- a way of seeing and thinking about an art form that's as integral to one's being as religious beliefs (for, to many of us, this is our religion).
I think the full review, as Dale said, is quite clear WHAT Greskovic doesn't like about the production and WHY.
For what it's worth, I've never noticed a particular stress on Kyra Nichols in his writing, certainly not at the expense of other dancers. But, like watching performances, reading is in the eyes of the beholder
Posted 13 June 2001 - 08:25 AM
The claimed "great new innovations in stagecraft" proved to be computer screen savers, graphics from super nintendo, and cliches from 70's rock light shows. I wondered whether these people really thought they'd just discovered all this?
When the claims made on behalf of a work are so extreme, they invite debunking to the same extent. Nothing invites satire like pretence -- indeed, it's the very subject matter of satire.
Posted 13 June 2001 - 08:45 AM
[ 06-13-2001: Message edited by: Dale ]
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