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Unattractive costumes and/or clashing colors?


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#1 BW

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 07:34 AM

Last night I had the pleasure of attending NYCB's performance. Rather than attempt a review, as I know others are quite prolific, instead I ask this question:

Why is it that too often, from my point of view, the NYCB chooses clashing color combinations for their dancers? Specifically why last night in Jerome Robbins' wonderful "I'm Old Fashioned" - which is really the height of sophistication a la Fred Astaire - do they distract from the dance by having the brown pants on their male dancers with off white shirts - I can't even remember whether Maria Kowroski was wearing yellow in that scene or not?!

There were numerous other examples that were more jarring - I realize some people besides Ronald Reagan like brown smile.gif but the ensuing production was filled with weird, and "tired" color combinations, except at the end where we were blessed with classical black and white with the backdrop of Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth dancing "cheek to cheek"!

I wish I'd written down the "offending" color combos so I could be more specific - but I'm sure any of you who have attended various performances know what I mean. I find it distracting to be looking at the color of Philip Neal's pants and thinking how it doesn't look good with his cummerbund...which looks really bad with the color of his partner's dress... Maybe I'm too picky - rolleyes.gif - however, I did hear others discussing this afterwards...though EVERYONE loved the performance especially the last scene!

[ February 03, 2002: Message edited by: BW ]



#2 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 03 February 2002 - 09:15 AM

It's hard enough for the men in "I'm Old Fashioned" to hold the stage after the Fred Astaire clip, and their costumes, alas, do nothing to help. Whenever City Ballet attempts to put its men into a facsimile of modern formal attire, they end up looking like waiters. This is especially true for the finale of "I'm Old Fashioned," when the men come out in short black jackets that look for all the world like they were lifted from the waitstaff at the Waldorf.

Philip Neal wore maroon trousers; I think Marcovici and Ritter did as well (or maybe they were more in the plum family). Kowroski wore a red dress. Van Kipnis, Rutherford, and the demi-soloists (Hanson and McBrearty) were in different shades of blue. The rest of the women were in sepia gowns (including Hanson and McBrearty after a costume change); I think the rest of the men wore brown trousers. (So they could look like doormen instead of waiters?) Then everyone came out in black. In my opinion, this ballet has more costume changes than it deserves. It's not one of my favorites, but last night it did at least present a few Natanya, Bouder, and Fowler viewing opportunities. I've often wondered what "I'm Old Fahioned" would be like if it were performed stripped of the Astaire clip (and yes, with better costumes)-- could it successfully stand on it's own?

#3 Juliet

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Posted 05 February 2002 - 09:08 AM

There is a good costumes/bad costumes thread which we've just begun on the Pro Shop forum.....
I think it would be very interesting to weigh in with some more opinions there....


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