Swan Lake by NYCB vs. ABT
Posted 06 December 2005 - 01:53 PM
Slightly OT, does anyone know specifically what the music is for the "reconciliation" in Act IV that both Martins and McKenzie use? It's a sort of slow, mounting wail that's wrenching to listen to. It's not in all productions; Dowell's Swan Lake uses a more decorous piece of music for the same event.
Posted 06 December 2005 - 03:30 PM
Of course, what I'd really like to say is ditch them both and see the Kirov--now, that is a corps de ballet!
Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:05 PM
So OK, with that rant as context, I think the NYCB production is just about the ugliest thing I have seen on the State Theater stage, and thatís saying a lot. The costumes look cheap and garish. The sets for the court scenes manage to reduce the stage to a tiny, airless space. I like the white act backdrops, but for a different ballet Ė they donít provide any context at all for this one. (Who are these creatures? Why, they are the enchanted Jackson Pollock Maidens doomed forever to haunt MoMA after hours unless the hero keeps his vow never to be beguiled by the charms of representational painting again!) I thought Martinsí Sleeping Beauty was pretty canny: it kept the traditional look (especially the tradition of looking expensive) but jettisoned some of the traditional apparatus that is frankly less than compelling theatre (I suspect I'm going to be flamed for that ...) without undermining the ballet's emotional and dramatic content. I think his Swan Lake fails because the look has been (very superficially) updated, but the basic apparatus really hasnít been -- just truncated -- and the whole just doesnít come together as coherent theatre. It certainly does nothing to teach one about the genre and its formal materials. And itís ugly Ė did I mention that? I'd buy tickets for After the Rain instead ...
Posted 06 December 2005 - 07:14 PM
Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:46 AM
If you tend to like NYCB better, you may prefer NYCB. If you prefer ABT, you'll probably prefer ABT's version. It depends on what you loathe most, but it's like discussing whether you like drowning or burning more.
To me, the question comes down to: Would you rather have a headache or an upset stomach? Neither version is...oh, there's a word, what is it, what is it? Ah, that's it, "good".
I think Mr. Witchel and Mr. Johnson have both summed it up nicely for us!
Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:29 AM
How is Martins' (NYCB) choreography as a modern ballet? Does it flow?
Is it creative? Are there jumps for Bouder? What about the corps?
Are there lots of dances for the corps de ballet? Is it creative? Does it
flow with the music?
Thanks for your thoughts.
Posted 09 December 2005 - 06:04 AM
Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:45 PM
Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:51 PM
Posted 09 December 2005 - 06:41 PM
Kyra Nichols, dancing what I think was her only performance ever in this production, was extremely moving as Odette and quite sinister as Odile, but I just thought: I never want to see this again.
But of course, I did see it again because Wendy, Miranda, Maria K and Jennie Somogyi are dancers I love and of course I had to see each of them in this huge & complex role. I learned to simply tune out the sets; after repeated viewings the Act I costumes became less jarring. The ballet is strengthened in my opinion by only have one intermission; I like having the Prince go right out on his hunting expedition after the party; and his rushing out of the ballroom scene directly to the lake to find Odette makes sense.
The production is dance, dance, dance. There is no boring old tutor and very little mime. The Jester is not annoying, as he can be in some productions, but lively and ironic with some complex combinations. The choreography for the swans is beautiful and in my opinion beautifully executed, as is the would-be-brides scene. And this production has what I think is the most powerful ending I have seen; there is no redemption and no apotheosis. Rotbart is defeated but Odette remains a swan because Siegfried betrayed his pledge to her. He is left alone and in mortal anguish at the end. Damian's portrayal at this point (on the video) is heart-wrenching.
Obviously it is not a SWAN LAKE for everyone, but I'm planning to see it 2 or 3 times this year, depending on who is dancing. Some may deem it a failure but from a practical point of view it is one of the few things at NYCB in recent years where I have seen a Sold Out sign. It was also one of the very few things I have seen there that received a full-house standing ovation (after a particularly memorable Wendy/Damian evening).
Posted 09 December 2005 - 08:15 PM
Re: Allegromezzo18's question "Are there jumps for Bouder?" I don't think Bouder is to perform this role. The dancers, as suggested in NYCB's current PlayBill, are to be Weese, Whelan, Kowroski, and Somogyi. These are very fine dancers, and they should all be interesting to watch. Not liking does not exclude loving.
Both ABT's and NYCB's versions were very ill-served by their telecasts. Nearly every live performance of each that I have seen has been far better than what TV viewers saw. Of course, that doesn't mean the productions are comparable in quality to prior ABT versions, Mr. Balanchine's version, nor to versions in the current rep of the Mariinsky and Paris Opera, nor to the prior Royal version.
Posted 10 December 2005 - 06:01 AM
One could assume that the four women who discussed the role in the Playbill will be doing it in the coming series though it isn't unrealistic to think that another one or two ballerinas might get a shot at it. I think if Ansanelli had stayed, she would have been cast this time around, and I would imagine Sylve might be doing it. No reason why Bouder shouldn't be given an opportunity, and I wouldn't mind seeing a Teresa Reichlen/Ask LaCour performance.
Posted 10 December 2005 - 07:22 AM
Posted 11 December 2005 - 09:28 PM
Posted 27 July 2007 - 02:06 PM
there too some breaks with tradition have been made, such as the swamp-thing Von Rothbart who appears in the prologue
Oh God, yes !...and specially when he grabs that stuffed swan by the neck.. I coudn't believe it when i first saw it , and i would say that this is certainly not "traditional Swan Lake".
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