Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:45 AM
Tough question,easy answer:Modern/contemporary dance is boring and sad.
If you go and see a classical ballet you see a story,a scenery,somebody doing precise steps,an enjoyable ensemble(choreographical and not),you see technique,you see perfect bodies doing nice movements.
If you go and see something contemporary you see: no story or a too abstract and conceptual/intellectual one,you often don't see much scenery and often dancers are wearing rags and instead of being made beautiful and nice,they are made uglier;you don't see technique but "strange" steps,often made to go against the academical technique,so they look bad made or "crooked".Then you maybe hear very boring musics by Mozart,lasting half an hour,repetitive and there's often too much pathos and sufference.The whole thing becomes oppressive and dislikeable.
An example: Guillem doing Grand Pas Classique and Wet Woman.In the first piece you see her in all of her beauty,you have Aesthetics,you have great technique,beautiful combinations of steps...You have something nice for the eye on a happy music.In the second piece you have her,dressed in rags(more or less),with the hair up like a crazy,a mad expression on her face,a bad music and a bad ensemble of classical technique with monstruos movements of contortion and pain.The recipe to make a wonderful ballerina become horrible!Which one would you like to watch tonight?The top is "Sagre du Printemps"....top of boredom and oppressiveness.
The point is that everything boring and non academical is nowadays called contemporary.There's not a precise definition.Physical theatre is considered contemporary dance.How would you consider dancers running around the stage,throwing bricks in the air and doing kind of soldiers excercises?I'd consider them runners or athletes,not dancers.Who knows...
The problem coming out is also that there's too much phylosophy behind this type of dance.People do not even like talk shows on tv if they treat too serious topics.Imagine if a person going to the theatre wants to waste time doing phylosophy watching a dance piece!
I have to add that dancing a contemporary piece is more enjoyable than watching it.Then not every choreographer is the same: i like something by Bejart,Mats Ek and Kylian very much.But if i had to choose between watching a ballet of repertoire and a contemporary gala,I'd doubtless choose the first one.