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Picasso


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#1 jsmu

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:52 PM

This mixed bill was inspired by a show of Picasso works at Duke University;
Robert Weiss choreographed three of the four ballets, with the fourth--
Guernica--by Attila Bongar, a principal dancer in the company.

Margaret Severin-Hansen seems to become more brilliant and scintillating
with the passage of time; her technique in Picasso's Harlequins, the most
'classical' ballet of the evening, was beyond exemplary and well into the
realm of 'how on earth does she make that difficult enchainement look
so nonchalantly perfect?' She has a captivating ease and unforced
charm in addition to the fastidious refinement of her dancing.

Lara O'Brien, the principal in Guernica (with five men), danced with
a rare passion, ardor, and abandon. Her hunger to be onstage
is palpable; she ate this part up, literally flinging herself into falls and dives
(including a kind of fish, off the shoulders of four of the men into the arms of
the fifth man ,which had the audience gasping) with complete authority.

Alicia Fabry showed beautiful epaulement in the trio from The Song of the Dead,
and Barbara Toth a remarkable openness and lift in her sternum and upper body
in the quartet from this ballet.

Gabor Kapin was hilarious and virtuosic in Picasso's Harlequins, (to Satie) which also
featured marvelous Twenties-style corps costumes by David Heuvel.

#2 Helene

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 04:38 PM

Many thanks, jsmu!

It's always wonderful to hear about a company not many of us have seen live.

#3 bart

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:02 PM

A lot of us have fond memories of Robert Weiss dancing with New York City Ballet.

Here's the Carolina Ballet website:
http://www.carolinaballet.com/

I notice that the "Picasso" program was presented in conjunction with a show devoted to Picasso at the Duke University Art Museum. I'd especially love to have seen the ballet based on Guernica. Jsmu, can you tell us what music was used for that?

#4 jsmu

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:15 PM

A lot of us have fond memories of Robert Weiss dancing with New York City Ballet.

Here's the Carolina Ballet website:
http://www.carolinaballet.com/

I notice that the "Picasso" program was presented in conjunction with a show devoted to Picasso at the Duke University Art Museum. I'd especially love to have seen the ballet based on Guernica. Jsmu, can you tell us what music was used for that?


Bart, it was a commissioned score, as was that for The Song of the Dead, by Mark Scearce,
who is the head of the music department at North Carolina State University. Guernica was
for piano solo; Song of the Dead for violin, clarinet, and piano. Salome was the Dance of the
Seven Veils, and Picasso's Harlequins used various Satie including Relache.
O'Brien was remarkable in Guernica.

#5 bart

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 04:23 AM

Thanks, jsmu. I ask because Guernica -- which has been described as the last great painting in the Western classical tradition -- is often perceived in terms of its huge emotional content to the exclusion of its beautifully controlled form.

Having the chance to learn from Balanchine AS WELL AS Guernica at the Museum of Modern Art was one of the great privileges of young adulthood in New York City at the time that Weiss danced with NYCB.

I would hate to see a dance work performed to music that expressed only on the emotional level to the exclusion of the formal and controlled, which make the feelings so much more powerful in Picasso's painting.

#6 jsmu

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:07 PM

Thanks, jsmu. I ask because Guernica -- which has been described as the last great painting in the Western classical tradition -- is often perceived in terms of its huge emotional content to the exclusion of its beautifully controlled form.

Having the chance to learn from Balanchine AS WELL AS Guernica at the Museum of Modern Art was one of the great privileges of young adulthood in New York City at the time that Weiss danced with NYCB.

I would hate to see a dance work performed to music that expressed only on the emotional level to the exclusion of the formal and controlled, which make the feelings so much more powerful in Picasso's painting.


Yes. I see you noticed the deliberate omission of any comment on the score. sigh.
it was lamentably predictable, cliche-ridden, and loud. Hardly the formal, controlled,
or complex expression called for. The choreographer did well under the circumstances...

#7 arts subscriber

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:25 PM

I attended Carolina Ballet's Picasso during Halloween weekend. Salome, Guernica, Picasso's Harlequins, and The Song of the Dead (Meditation on Morality) were presented during the program. I was delighted to see many of my favorite dancers perform. Margaret Severin Hansen, Laura Obrien, and Randi Ostetek all performed brilliantly.

One other female dancer caught my attention during the Saturday matinee performance. Jan Burkhard, featured as Columbine in Picasso’s Harlequins, performed a brief playful variation and a pas de deux with soloist Marcelo Martinez.

I also noticed that corps de ballet member, Rachel Sherak, is no longer listed on the company roster. Does anyone know if she is perforomg elsewhere?


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