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The Return of UlyssesA new full-length ballet


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#1 dave23

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:16 AM

Royal ballet of Flanders is performing The Return of Ulysses 24th-26th november.

"A new full-length ballet created for the Royal Ballet of Flanders
Choreography: Christian Spuck"

And with an orchestra! Since when do they have one?

Anyone familiar with this ballet or the choreographer?
I wonder what style it is?

Link: http://www.koninklij...te/seasonru.htm

And if there's any belgians here, can you make the train back to Brussels after the show?
It's a long walk from Antwerp...

Found this about his first ballet, from Financial Times (well, actually from here...)

Lulu, Christian Spuck's first full-length ballet, starts out so strong, it's almost too good to be true. The Stuttgart Ballet's young resident choreographer successfully mixes elements of Tanztheater , a striking modern ballet vocabulary, and enough narrative (freely adapted from the Wedekind play on which Alban Berg based his opera) to appease traditionalists.Spuck's fascinating combinations are dazzlingly fast, combining classical fireworks and some of the most original choreography since William Forsythe stepped out of the Stuttgart corps. There is nothing extraneous in Spuck's movement: it is non-stop and speaks volumes.


EDIT:
To clarify, I found this:
"Christian Spuck geeft met veel groteske humor in deze schitterende balletvoorstelling uitdrukking aan het moderne (absurde) leven."

Now I don't speak flemish, but to me that looks like :
Christian Spuck gives with very grotesque humour, in this brilliant ballet, expression to the modern (absurd) life.

How does one interpret that?

#2 leonid17

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 05:18 AM

"A new full-length ballet created for the Royal Ballet of Flanders
Choreography: Christian Spuck"

Anyone familiar with this ballet or the choreographer?
I wonder what style it is?


You can find information about Christian Spuck at http://www.christianspuck.com/ and http://www.artkroell...hechildren.html and http://www.ny-ci.com...ll00_spuck.html and http://www.ny-ci.com...i_spuckbio.html and http://www.goethe.de...spu/enindex.htm .

Reinhard and Ina posted reviews of Spuck’s ballet ‘Lulu’ on Ballet talk in December 2003 see “Lulu premiere’.

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:11 AM

Dave - from what has been written on the website my guess is it will be modern in outlook - the commentary in English mentions the choroegrapher wanting to add the music of Nono into the Purcell and the conductor vetoing it.

The company is doing a rather daring mix of repertory during the season; it will be interesting to see whether the coaching, training and dancers are strong enough to do justice to all of it. (Often if a company emphasizes contemporary work, the classical ballets suffer in comparison and vice versa.) One ballet they're doing that I love is Divertimento No. 15 - it will be quite a contrast to Forsythe's "The New Sleep".

Whatever you go to, please report. I've been to Antwerp; I know the bus station is very close to Opera House - I'm trying to recall if the train station is as well. The logical thing to do would be to see the matinee on either the 25th or 26th - I'm sure there's a train to Brussels afterwards.

#4 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:31 PM

Dave - from what has been written on the website my guess is it will be modern in outlook - the commentary in English mentions the choroegrapher wanting to add the music of Nono into the Purcell and the conductor vetoing it.

The company is doing a rather daring mix of repertory during the season; it will be interesting to see whether the coaching, training and dancers are strong enough to do justice to all of it. (Often if a company emphasizes contemporary work, the classical ballets suffer in comparison and vice versa.) One ballet they're doing that I love is Divertimento No. 15 - it will be quite a contrast to Forsythe's "The New Sleep".

Whatever you go to, please report. I've been to Antwerp; I know the bus station is very close to Opera House - I'm trying to recall if the train station is as well. The logical thing to do would be to see the matinee on either the 25th or 26th - I'm sure there's a train to Brussels afterwards.


It's not at the Opera House, but at another venue downtown, the Stadsschouwburg, about twenty minutes walk from the train station. Check out the train schedules on www.nmbs.be. I'm sure there is still a train back to Brussels, late after the performance, unless this Ulysses takes too many hours to return, of course.

#5 dave23

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 03:04 AM

Thanks for the replies!
Sorry about the late answer, got swamped at work.

leonid: Thanks for the links, can't believe I missed the link to his homepage!
Anyway, I think Spucks homepage is quite telling, in both style and content.

Leigh: Modern in outlook? That sounds like an understatement, it's even supposed to be a multimedia experience!

Mark: Thanks for pointing that out, I might have missed it. I checked the maps and it's only a few blocks from the station, though I get different adresses when I search for Theaterplein or Stadsschouwburg...

Anywho, not exactly the ballet blanc I was looking for but sounds interesting, I'll consider it a contemporary dance-piece and go.
Besides, sundays Zlatan vs palermo so that weekend can't go wrong.

#6 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 01:30 AM

Dave, did you finally go to see "The Return of Ulysses"? If so how did you find it?

I can be brief here, a review is up at : Danceviewtimes.

#7 bart

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 06:42 AM

A really intereseting and vivid review, marc. Thank you.

You use the term "movement theater," which seems to me to be a great phrase. :) Much more effective than "danztheater" in suggesting the goals and the limitations of this type of work.

I was wondering whether this is a phrase in common use among dance critics -- or whether you created it especially for this performance.

#8 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 07:10 AM

So it sucked rocks, Marc?

I'm really interested to see how the company fares when the have to do classical ballet again. They've got to do Divertimento No 15 in January and Sleeping Beauty in May. I'm also interested to see what happens when the audience sees Divert on the same program with New Sleep. It'll give all partisans of either traditional or modern dance something to dislike!

#9 dave23

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:26 AM

Yes, I did go. I went to the Saturday matinee.

And I enjoyed it. A lot actually.

EDIT: Ok, taken a sick-day, fevers gone, I think I can be more articulate than that!

To sum up: Me go, me like. Not great but a good way to spend a saturday.

#10 dave23

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:39 AM

Oh, and also, if you'd like to see the totally unbiased reviews posted on, uhm, The Royal Ballet of Flanders homepage, it's rigt here (PDF):
reviews

WARNING: It's all in flemish.

But it says stuff like:
"Bruid met ruggengraat" (Bride with a spine?)

and

Triomf van de ingetogenheid

Peter Haex | Gazet van Antwerpen 27-11-06

De Duitse choreograaf Christian Spuck heeft de reputatie één van de interessantste nieuwe choreografen te zijn. Die reputatie heeft hij meer dan waargemaakt met The Return of Ulysses voor het Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen.

Wat kan ballet toch prachtig zijn. In een op een onbestemde wachtruimte lijkende scène staan enkele schaalmodellen van zeilboten en een bandrecorder. Veel meer is er niet nodig om het verhaal van Penelope, de echtgenote van de Griekse held Odysseus te vertellen...


Basically, Spuck has earned his reputation as one of the most interesting new choreographers with this piece.
And, ballet can be wonderful.

And as for me not calling it ballet, remember, I've never been to a ballet. This one skirts the edges, but I'll keep that position until I've seen 12 girls in white tutus doing pointe-work in perfect unison!


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