San Francisco Ballet in Costa Mesa, California
Posted 16 November 2008 - 07:06 PM
Andre and others: More on the Morris piece would be wonderful. Somehow, as a big Morris fan, I find it hard to imagine one of his works as being "pointless," and I wonder how this impression was created. Could you elaborate?
The thoughts and prayers of many of us here in Hurricane Country are with you in southern California.
Posted 16 November 2008 - 10:55 PM
Thanks for your kind wishes for the victims of the fires here in California. It's kind of unbelievable how quickly those houses were all destroyed. Thank goodness there haven't been very many injuries or deaths.
About SFB, I admit that I am not Mark Morris's biggest fan, and have yet to see a piece of his that I actually like. My problem is the apparent musical slavishness of his choreography where the movement apes the gross surface details of the music, and doesn't seem to say anything deeper than that. Compare his abstract dances to Balanchine's abstract pieces, and Balanchine either brings something new to the music, or has such density of inventiveness in his movement that the music ends up illustrating the dance. Either way, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Joyride was more of the same. There were intermittently clever bits, especially how he moved groups around and how they changed formations in surprising ways, but in the end, he didn't really tell me anything about the music or anything else.
Posted 17 November 2008 - 07:44 AM
I delight in most Morris but have to agree that he tends to sail across the "surface" of the music and moe often than note reflects the rhythms a little too directly. Balanchine, as you says, does force the attentive viewer/listener to respond to the music on a deeper level. After multiple back-to-back performances of his Swan Lake and 4T's this weekend, I feel I've "seen" aspects of familiar scores I've never seen/heard before.
Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:33 AM
Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:37 AM
Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:11 AM
But Morris CAN make ballets that are deeply mysterious -- I wish the rest of the world could see his "Maelstrom," and have more than one chance to see it, for it's really wonderful, casts a powerful spell, and continues to reveal secrets every time you see it. It would be a MAJOR addition to the rep of ABT Kirov, Bolshoi. Tomasson brings it back periodically, not often enough for me. I could see it again and again and not get tired.
I also wish some ballet companies would take on soft-shoe pieces of his like "The Office," the "folk-dance" piece he made to Dvorak with a Tontine format -- it's really great, deceptively simple but made to last for all time.
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