Bejart's "The Firebird"will be danced by Alvin Ailey this fall
Posted 21 October 2007 - 03:11 PM
Posted 21 October 2007 - 06:18 PM
Ouch! The argument may be ad hominem, and unsupported either by description or analysis, but it hurts all the same.
People speak of Bejart as if he were a choreographer. He is, rather, a purveyor of sensation, like the movie directors Russell and Fellini, and ballet is just one of the glutting effects he uses. And yes, he uses dancers -- hollows them out and consumes them.
I just had another look at some YouTube clips of Firebird, Afternoon of a Faun, Rite of Spring, Nutcracker, and something called Bakti (Kirov: Vishneva/Kolb). Firebird -- although the clip is brief -- was my favorite, both for the way Bejart relates movement to music (not always his strength) and for the eerie quality of Ramon Flowers' performance. I wish I'd seen Paris do it. Thanks, Estelle, for your post on that.
Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:15 AM
Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:10 AM
Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:31 AM
Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:07 AM
Wow, you never know when and how one will come across a forgotten name. She was one of the young promises of Ballet Nacional de Cuba more than 10 years ago, and suddenly dissapeared. Also, one of our many black dancers. (Specially remember her Godmother Fairy in BNC/ Strauss's "Cinderella") Anyways, back to Bejart...
...there are a lot of magnificent solists like (...), Catherine Zuasnabar,(...)
Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:14 PM
Posted 24 October 2007 - 07:01 AM
I also like the option of having the Firebird danced by a man. Malakhov would be wonderful, I should think. The role (separate from the steps) seems to transcends gender . I've watched only two excerpts of the male version of Firebird -- in each case, the berceuse, which is essentially a solo. What I have not had the chance to see, is how Bejart handles the persuit of the Firebird by the Prince (or equivalent). How is this done? Or is it omitted? If it is part of Bejart's version, how are the pdd's handled?
Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:21 PM
Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:32 PM
I would hate that anyone's first experience with Bejart would be the Nutcracker. He is acclaimed in middle/southern Europe and consequently allowed a certain degree of self-indulgence in later life. But for someone who knows nothing about him the focus on his person in the Nut will seem annoying and plain weird (esp if one expects the standard children at Christmas, classical dancing affair).
The main barrier between the somewhat detached english/american audiences and Bejart is, I think, the lack of irony in Bejart's works. He takes on grand (or grandiose) themes and he is literal and earnest which can often translate as being naive, kitchy, lacking self awareness and/or intellectual rigor. In this respect he is a very non-postmodern artist (despite abundant references left and right to other works).
But whatever the english speaking world may think of his peculiar blend of ballet, theater and various dance styles, he is a capable choreographer. There are many memorable moments of dance in his work (of which as a kid in the 80s I saw tons on tv)
It is also unfortunate that much of his work reflects the climate of the 60s-70s so well (idealism, leftist tendencies, narcissism, experimentation etc) - naturally it now seems dated. But it was exactly that resonance that put people (esp young men) in the theater in the first place. I know a number of older men, now in their 40s-50s, whose first experience of dance as a vital art was Bejart.
edited to add that I was posting at the same time as Gina Ness - she describes it much more vividly. Gina you remember correctly there are about 10 dancers dressed in red in the end.
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