That was a wonderful review, nmdancer, full of descriptive detail of three works I've never seen. Please don't apologize for length, and feel free to write as much as you'd like.
Thanks, Helene! I wish I could post more frequently, but I live so far away from most performance venues
Yes, from someone else who was there your post was very descriptive, please keep posting! I think the dancer you admired was Anton Pimonov - he caught my eye, too! My identification is tentative - I've never seen him before but he also danced in Appx Sonata (3rd pdd with Selina), so that's his name if the program listings can be trusted!
Yes!! I think that's him!! I did some google image (re)searching (haha) and the images that appear agree with my memory.
Thanks for these insights. I especially appreciate reading about performances from the point of view of articulate dancers llike you.
I wonder whether this is because dancers empathize with the their colleagues on stage so much and can "feel" the dancing in ways the rest of us cannot. When you said you felt like getting up and "dancing in the theater," I experienced envy -- possibly because you actually COULD.
Doesn't it look like so much fun?? (I wish I could dance as well as the Kirov dancers!) Thom Willems' score for that piece is so compelling.
Forsythe's choreography is based in ballet technique but expands on basic vocabulary and extends the range of movements that can be generated using conventional ballet steps (and that well-known prosthetic device -- the pointe shoe!) If you listen to Forsythe explain how he creates movement (there are a few CD-ROMs out there with him demonstrating various principles of this philosophy; it seems to be more of an explanation of the more contemporary work he's created) it's based on creating a line or a shape, and then seeing how many permutations of that line or shape can be made -- either literally by the dancer's body or more figuratively by the movement itself -- and then combining those elements with movement generated by other shapes or lines...I think it's a lot of fun to do, though his work certainly fits some bodies better than others. I would argue that it works quite nicely with Kirov bodies.
However, one thing I noticed that the Kirov dancers really didn't do well (almost uniformly) was running on and off stage appropriately. It looked a bit odd to have a dancer run onstage as though she were wearing a tutu and tiara, stop, and then start a movement sequence with no seeming similarity to classical ballet steps. I think what was missing was the sense of "groundedness" (if you will) that you usually find in modern dance and very rarely in classical ballet -- perhaps this element was overlooked in the rehearsal process.
Bart, your point about how dancers may empathize with those on stage is very interesting (this is off-topic but I promise to keep it short!) I did a research project once about how dancers and "non-dancers" (though I think of everyone as a "dancer", the difference is in training!) watch performances differently, and there are definite differences in what is being looked at...though I would bet that even untrained dancers can empathize to a degree with those on stage, especially if someone looks particularly nervous or joyful. I was always told during my training that the audience can sense if you're not dancing with the music or are unsure of what you're doing, but that they probably won't know if you don't complete a triple pirouette perfectly...as long as you keep smiling, haha.
I hope I'll be able to post more in the future!