Eifman at Orange County
Posted 16 March 2007 - 09:20 PM
However, that final scene in which the corps is the train under which Anna hurls herself is great. The music hammers and I was totally involved; loved it.
The dancers are very athletic but not all that balletic. None the less they make a good impression.
There is no synopsis of the ballet in the program. If you don't know the book you can get lost very quickly. Tomorrow I see The Seagull and I'm frantically trying to find a synopsis of the play. I know it's about a writer, and in the ballet the writer is changed into a choreographer. (Who would have thunk it?)
Posted 17 March 2007 - 05:53 AM
Act II is the better act, and in contrast it belongs to Yuri Smelakov as Trigorin. In Act I Smelakov is overshadowed by Fisher, almost lost in Fisher's bravura. In Act II Smelakov is a marvel. He has 2 solos that are exquisite; he's a wonderful dancer. There is a dance for the corps to music that I can't explain ... exotic, throbbing; the segment raises you out of your seat and you're dancing with them. The 2nd act was so good that I forgot the first act!
Eifman dancers are rarely happy; they are forever portraying moments of agony. It was nice to see them actually smiling at times in The Seagull!
I'm sure there was a lot of symbolism in this ballet that completely eluded me. In Act I there was a "thing", a cover containing several dancers. It undulated, and dancers emerged from it at various times. I'm not too sure I want to delve into that.
As I said in my previous post, the dancers are very athletic. And I don't think any of them have a bone in their body; they're rubber!
Several of the dances were done to percussions. I love that.
There was a hip-hop dance, and one of the dancers (the one in orange pants) was so proficient and smooth that he seemed to float over the floor.
Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:20 AM
Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:37 AM
Here Eifman sort of tells his Seagull story, and there are numerous photos to click on. The top one is perhaps the "thing"?
Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:55 AM
drb, thanks for the link and photos. Yes, that's the "thing". Not a very good picture of it; it took various shapes and was in constant motion. The dancer in front of it emerged from it.
Posted 17 March 2007 - 12:18 PM
If I may be permitted to analyze "the thing" that produces dancers, here is my personal view, based on nothing other than just personal observation and a "feeling," of what "the thing" is. I believe that this is when the choreographer "dreams" his dances and choreography (perhaps in his dreams, literally; perhaps when he is listening to music for inspiration). As he dreams, dances, or movements (portrayed by dancers) emerge from his dreams.
Ok, now you can shoot me down, or come up with another interpretation. Anyone?
Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:04 PM
My interpretation of the "undulating thing": within the plot of the ballet, I think it was a ballet that the Treplev, the young choregrapher created. It's a weird, esoteric piece that other characters in the ballet don't understand. We see this the ballet being performed at a performance - this takes place behind a scrim, while Arkadina, the established ballerina that Treplev is in love with, and Treplev "watch" seated downstage but staring out to the audience. Arkadina falls asleep while watching Treplev's ballet being performed, making him furious and disappointed, especially when she wakes up and runs after him clapping in a fakely enthusiastic way. And he's disappointed because he wants her to like his ballets the way she likes the established choreographer's (Trigorin) ballets. In Chekhov's "Seagull", young Treplev wants people to like the new play he has written - especially Arkadina - but they get distracted when established playwright Trigorin comes along. The later appearances of the "thing" are visions of his ballet - he interacts with it later, too.
I think the undulating thing has a lot to do with how the hip-hop section comes into the ballet as well. Frustrated that no one understands his work, including the new dancer he has selected to star in his "thing" ballet, he runs out into the street - where the rest of the world is listening and dancing to hip hop, not classical. That gives him some sort of release. I love the moment afterwards, where the lights come up in the rehearsal room and all the female dancers are all listening to hip hop on earphones. When Trigorin comes in, they hurriedly toss the headphones aside as Trigorin glares... then he fires up the classical music and its back to classical ballet.
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