innopac

Vulgar

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:innocent: Back to the subject of Vulgar. Not relating to a said Dancer or their behavyor, but to a ballet production, then I feel Roland Petit's Clavigo would certainly fit into this catergory.

It is extremely explicit, a work one would only possibly see in Paris. All the same taken in the sense of artistry, whether you consider it is appropriate or not, it is certainly a ballet to be appreciated despite it's theme. The music is brilliant, and Petit's use of steps and unique choreography the scenery and costumes, plus of course Nicholas Le Riche, Claire Marie Osta and the other performers

make it well worth watching the DVD if you can forgive the suggestive element.

Thanks, Nanarina. Have others seen the production?

I've seen it from the front row at the Opera Garnier and loved every second. I saw Osta and Le Riche, the original cast, and they were superb; in fact I enjoyed the ballet so much I believe I nominated 'the kiss' pas de deux as one of my favourites in a recent thread about favourite pas de deux. It is fairly sexually explicit but not in the sense that it leaves a bad taste in the mouth in the way some of MacMillan's works do.

I seem to remember that Clement Crisp, not especially renowned for his broad-mindedness, adored this ballet and originally gave it an absolute rave review. Personally I don't consider sexual themes in ballet to be implicitly "vulgar" at all; it all depends on the context and the treatment.

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I seem to remember that Clement Crisp, not especially renowned for his broad-mindedness, adored this ballet and originally gave it an absolute rave review. Personally I don't consider sexual themes in ballet to be implicitly "vulgar" at all; it all depends on the context and the treatment.

Indeed they are not. And there's the Petit 'Carmen', isn't there? There's a film of it with Zizi Jeanmaire and Baryshnikov, is that correct? At one point it's quite explicit, and wow, does it ever work, Baryshnikov is amazing for moment with Zizi on top of him. I liked them both a great deal, she the ever youthful too, and Denys Ganio was not hard on the eyes either. I don't remember if he was being 'vulgar', but I doubt I would have been too obstreperous if he had exuded some slight sense of the racy.

a work one would only possibly see in Paris.

With all due respect, I don't think that has quite applied since the turn of the century--that is the 20th--but even if you just took the 60s as the period to prove it, the idea of Paris as the 'naughty city' has long been outmoded, even if they taught us how to do it. You can see anything in New York, of course, not to mention a number of other cities, and one long has done.

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'technically bland'--could you explain a bit more?

An Odile who struggles and finishes her 25/27 fouettes with her working leg at a 30 degrees angle...a Kitri that can't touch her leg with her head during her sissonnes, an Aurora that shakes and keeps falling off center between hands during the Rose Adage, a Giselle that can't raise on full pointe on her supporting leg to finish the last pirouettes at the initiation...etc...

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Well yes, a dancer ought to be able to do the steps required by a role. I don't think I'd like a Kitri who contorts so far that her foot touches her head during a sissonne (I'd rather see a powerful jump) but to each his own. :P

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Right...and the failing examples of all of the above are just about everywhere to be seen. The opposite would be the exception nowadays, IMO... :P

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That is interesting--I've had the opposite experience! Dancers who can fouetté for days, kick themselves in the head, &c, but they forget about the drama, or even personality.

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I've seen "Clavigo" on video and I too thought it wasn't "vulgar" at all. It's certainly mature, intense, and somewhat sinister in its themes, but at the same time I thought it was inventive, compelling, and great entertainment. I have only seen the video cast so I don't know if other dancers have been able to replicate the doe-eyed innocence of Clairemarie Osta, the sinister debauchery of Nicholas LeRiche, or the flamboyant sultriness of Marie Agnes Gillot.

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Another vote for Clavigo here. Much preferable, in my book, to a couple of other full-length works that rely on juiced up plots and a showy central pas de deux, MacMillan's Manon being just one that comes to mind.

Re: "vulgar." On other threads, I've always had questions about the use of this term, and not only because it is so subjective. It's an shorthand insult, not a descriptive or analytical term. When I see it, I feel I've learned more about the writer than about the work he or she is evaluating.

Many substantial works of art have been called "vulgar," or "common," or "trashy," by someone, especially at times of transition in style and content. I'm sure that a VERY long book could be compiled consisting solely of wrong-headed accusations of vulgarity over the centuries.

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Thanks for the reports on 'Clavigo,' everyone. I'll have to check it out on video.

That is interesting--I've had the opposite experience! Dancers who can fouetté for days, kick themselves in the head, &c, but they forget about the drama, or even personality.

Yes. Dancers who turn and turn and turn and grin and grin and grin.

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