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Jérôme Bel and David HallbergCan't one like both ballet and Bel?


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#1 Ray

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:07 AM

Thought I'd open a line of discussion on Jérôme Bel and David Hallberg, as reported in the NY Times. I know there are many Bel opponenets in BT land, but I am a real fan, having just seen the latest version of his The Show Must Go On and Pichet Klunchun and Myself here in Philly (part of the ever-expanding Philadelphia Live Arts Festival). I know many people just don't think what he does is dancing, but clearly some in the ballet world, including Hallberg, are intrigued. I love virtuosity and technique and amazing bodies and complex abstract chorepgraphy as much as any balletomane, but Bel makes me think about so many things in re dance: the expectations audiences hold for dance performances, the nature of spectatorship, the place of "high" culture in a pop-infused world, the state of whatever's left of an avant-garde, the status of creativity, sentimentality and sentiment, the lives of performers, the state of dance as a cultural practice, etc., etc.!

Why can't one like both ballet and Bel? Interested in what others think...

(Admins: please move this topic if you think it belongs elsewhere.)

#2 Paul Parish

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 04:39 PM

I've only seen the headphones section of "The show must go on," on Youtube, but I think it's wonderful theater, kinda Bugs Bunny (but there's no harm in that -- so was "The Envelope," and it's hilarious). I'm not at all surprised that Hallberg should have thought it was smart -- baryshnikov thought David Gordon was brilliant, and he was right. If Bel can come up with something interesting that uses Hallberg, more power to them. And if it does not work, well, still, more power to them. But it was not an interesting article.



Thought I'd open a line of discussion on Jérôme Bel and David Hallberg, as reported in the NY Times. I know there are many Bel opponenets in BT land, but I am a real fan, having just seen the latest version of his The Show Must Go On and Pichet Klunchun and Myself here in Philly (part of the ever-expanding Philadelphia Live Arts Festival). I know many people just don't think what he does is dancing, but clearly some in the ballet world, including Hallberg, are intrigued. I love virtuosity and technique and amazing bodies and complex abstract chorepgraphy as much as any balletomane, but Bel makes me think about so many things in re dance: the expectations audiences hold for dance performances, the nature of spectatorship, the place of "high" culture in a pop-infused world, the state of whatever's left of an avant-garde, the status of creativity, sentimentality and sentiment, the lives of performers, the state of dance as a cultural practice, etc., etc.!

Why can't one like both ballet and Bel? Interested in what others think...

(Admins: please move this topic if you think it belongs elsewhere.)



#3 dirac

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 05:43 PM

I thought I would move and revive this topic from Everything Else Ballet. Thanks, Ray, for posting it (although I'm inclined to agree with Paul that the NYT article is not exactly gripping).

I don't think anyone on BT would say that it's either or between Bel and ballet - or that the two can't mix. It's just a question of knowing which is which, I'd say.

Nice to know there's so much interesting stuff going on in Philadelphia.


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