Is there such a thing as a perfect ballet?
Posted 05 September 2001 - 10:09 AM
I'm going to answer my own question. The ballet (Monotones II) is perfect; the performances need not be.
[ 09-05-2001: Message edited by: Giannina Mooney ]
Posted 05 September 2001 - 10:49 AM
Posted 05 September 2001 - 12:51 PM
Posted 06 September 2001 - 10:08 AM
Posted 06 September 2001 - 12:53 PM
Posted 06 September 2001 - 01:58 PM
If you're regarding perfection as a cohesiveness of design, style and execution, and a compelling internal consistency, along with a lack of material, of any sort, that's extraneous to or unnecessary for the work's central argument, then it's entirely possible to say that ballets of which one doesn't even approve are perfect.
Not to say I don't approve of Stars and Stripes -- it's one of my favorites.
Posted 06 September 2001 - 03:20 PM
Posted 06 September 2001 - 06:10 PM
Still, it is a perfect gem of a ballet and it thrills me every time I see it.
Posted 06 September 2001 - 09:27 PM
Posted 07 September 2001 - 08:48 AM
Posted 07 September 2001 - 12:28 PM
But to nominate my choices for perfect ballets, I'd definitley go for 'The Dream' and 'A Month in the Country'. I can't think of 2 ballets that have moved me so. They thoroughly delighted me on first and subsequent viewings.
And I know it's not a popular choice, but MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet ranks up high as well for me. I know the choreography isn't thought to be as great as other versions and here I admit my ignorance in such matters. But I think MacMillan used the music perfectly, and it's just one great piece of dancing after another. It's a ballet that I never tire of.
Posted 08 September 2001 - 03:48 PM
Some might argue that, to achieve perfection, a ballet has to employ a corps for the sake of completeness. Nevertheless, because it is such a wonderful marriage of music and choreography (with a fine score) I would put Apollo as near perfection as most. Also, with minimal resources on stage, I find that Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun is complete – I don’t need anything more. (Balanchine said something about putting a man and a woman on stage and there you have a story – Robbins does just that, without overstating the idea, using a perfectly formed score which is such an important work in music history). Serenade has great beauty, but I can’t get away from the fact that the music is played in the wrong order – Balanchine was clever enough to get away with it, and there were reasons for the ballet developing in this way, but for me that precludes the label of perfection.
I haven’t seen ‘Four Temperaments’ enough times to judge how near I feel it is to perfection – but I’ve loved it when I have; also, I have yet to see Symphonic Variations in the theatre. I also go for Petrushka and Agon, with Monotones not far behind (though that needs a re-vamp from the design dept). Interestingly, Rite of Spring might be unlikely to figure; the score is perfect, but has any choreographer perfectly realised it yet? I think that GB (who understood Stravinsky like no other) thought it was better left in the concert hall?
[ 09-08-2001: Message edited by: Richard Jones ]
[ 09-09-2001: Message edited by: Richard Jones ]
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