bart

Evaluating (re-evaluating?) Dances at a Gathering

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I've always found Dances at a Gathering beautiful, mesmerizing, and moving, but -- sometimes -- a bit too restrained. Despite that, I can't wait to see it in multiple performances, and hopefully with multiple casting, when Miami revives it next month.

Now Claudia La Rocco, in a NY Times review of a recent NYCB program, raises some questions about both ballet and the way it is performed.

[T]here was ... a muted quality to the hourlong work’s slow pacing and quiet drama, so that a wearying sameness crept in as the ballet progressed in a series of interludes set to Chopin.

Some of this had to do with a less-than-convincing chemistry between the couples, despite generally strong performances from the women. [ ... ]

“Dances” itself sometimes strains after a poetic sensibility, staying within too limited an emotional range. (Joe Eula’s color-coded costumes, complete with matching ribbons and boots, don’t help.) Still, the many little narratives hinted at by Robbins form a dreamy world, a more innocent, old-fashioned vision of human relationships than what we now find, for example, in the plotless ballets that Alexei Ratmansky created for City Ballet in recent years.

This has always been my favorite among Robbins "serious" works. I know that a number of others on Ballet Talk share this view. Are we wrong?

IS there too much of a sameness in "emotional range" in performance or choreography? Has the way this is performed changed since its premiere in 1969, possibly becoming too reverential? Do the costumes, the subtle color-coding of which have become so important to the way people see and talk about the ballet, possibly detract from the effect of the piece? Does the ballet have to be re-thought? Revitalized? Cast more carefully? Possibly even -- :) -- given a rest?

What do you think?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/arts/dan....html?ref=dance

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Oh this is going to be fun! I have to run (family stuff) but will think alot and come back soon.

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.....so that a wearying sameness crept in as the ballet progressed....

I can't accept this. Seems to me something similar could be said about such works as Bach's "Art of the Fugue". There are what, 20 fugues?.....all with the same theme. I could say "a sameness crept in", but I'd be missing the point. Dances is a subtle work, and that subtlety also contributes to making it profound (possible in a work of genius....which Dances is, IMO).

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I'm not a particular fan of Dances At a Gathering. There. I said it. I find it pretentious, often hearing Robbins saying, "Look what I did!", thumbs pointing towards this chest. (Ditto on Goldberg Variations.) Can't stand when any choreographer does that, but especially when it comes from someone with as much craft and raw talent as Robbins, who is not, IMHO, quite a genius.

Which is not to say that DaaG doesn't have sections that I like every (or almost every) time -- the big "Throw Sally Into the Pit" waltz, Chatterbox, the finger duet with Apricot (now Yellow) and Brick.

Over the years, I have seen performances, and don't forget that LaRocco is talking about that particular performance, where the dances tend to blend together, the ballet as a whole turns to mush. Sometimes, it seems it's mostly the fault of the pianist for letting tempi drag just a bit too much. Sometimes the dancers are tired. Sometimes it's just some missing X factor. :wink:

I may end up seeing a performance or two of this before City Ballet's current run of it ends. If so, sooner or later, I'll post my reactions.

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.....particular performance, where the dances tend to blend together, the ballet as a whole turns to mush.

This I can understand. A poor performance of Dances could surely look like mush.

As far as Robbins being less than a genius, and that he may have been less than "in the zone" when he creates whatever he created, I guess I just don't give a flying leap. Jerome Robbins created some of the most memorable, fresh, and beautiful combinations of music and movement EVER......that's enough for me.

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'Dances' has always been one of my favorites--and I wallow in it---it could go on for two hours for all I care. HOWEVER---the last performance of it I saw at NYCB was in June of '08. (Borree, Bouder, Mearns, Rutherford, Stafford) and it was one big yawn. After praising it to the skies to the person I was with, it was embarassing to be nudged by asking---when does it end? I had to agree, it was one long bore.

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There are things in Dances that are a bit too cutesy-wootsy for my taste but all in all it is a beautiful ballet. I saw San Francisco Ballet do it a couple of times and didn’t think they quite had it yet. I seem to remember that during his lifetime that Robbins was very careful about who got to dance this particular ballet.

La Rocco lost me with this:

'Robbins is often more interesting when he isn’t trying to be so serious; such is the case with “West Side Story Suite.” '

As far as Robbins being less than a genius, and that he may have been less than "in the zone" when he creates whatever he created, I guess I just don't give a flying leap.

His work for ballet may not be on the level of Balanchine's, but we have enough testimony on his unending ingenuity and multifarious theatrical gifts from his colleagues to merit the term 'genius,' even if his classical ballets don't quite reach the true heights. But much of that genius was expressed in his work for Broadway which unavoidably is not as well preserved as his legacy in ballet. (You can preserve bits of it, as in West Side Story Suite, but it won't work as well outside its theatrical context.)

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I keep thinking about this notion that Robbins was somehow "less than". Although I can't think if anyone who isn't "less than" when compared to Mr B, I still don't know how to doubt Robbin's genius when I think of the overall pantheon of choreographers. Robbins is the near equal of anyone IMHO. True, his stuff may be "softer" or even whimsical perhaps, but what sticks in my mind is me attempting to imagine the world of ballet without Robbins in it. What a loss! No one could fill that particular hole. He added a humanity to ballet that warms my heart (in spite of his well known failings in the realm of inter-personal skills).

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Although I can't think if anyone who isn't "less than" when compared to Mr B

I have to say I think Ashton is easily Balanchine's equal if not superior.

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What struck me when I saw the recent revival for the Royal Ballet was that some quite strange steps and lifts which I remember very distinctly from the original Royal Ballet cast, and a couple of viewings of a (largely original) City Ballet cast, had been smoothed out or effectively eliminated, making it a much more bland, "sweet", affair. I think also that it needs to be cast from dancers with strong and differing personalities.

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La Rocco lost me with this:

'Robbins is often more interesting when he isn’t trying to be so serious; such is the case with “West Side Story Suite.” '

This sentence surprised me as well, because I have tended to think of Gathering as one of Robbins most profound "serious" pieces and one which is given variety by elements of the lighthearted and the softly nostalgic.

I looked through the a couple of Arlene Croce books and found that there were indeed some perceived problems of pacing, etc., in the first version of Gatherings. In a January 1970 article, Croce writes:

This long, ambitious ballet used to hit its peak of excitement when it was only half over, and the struggle to recover from that climax made the ballet seem even long then it is.

But Allegra Kent's absence forced recastings and revisions, and the experience this season is altogether a new one. Limiting Violette Verdy to just one solo was eccentric and ingenious but perhaps to whimsical of Robbins. Now he has her come back immediately following the show-stopper (the waltz pas de six) and do the flirtation-walk number with the boys formerly done by Kent; then she vanishes as before.

Not only does the number fit the Verdy "Character," it's exactly what's needed to refresh the interest and set the ballet moving again, so that the major accent now falls where it should -- in the scherzo, on the pas de deux of McBride and Anthony Blum. The dramatic concentration of these two dancers is miraculous; because of them, Robbins is able to effect the trnsition from a gayk mood to a tragic one that makes people cmopare the ballet to Liebeslieder Walzer.

(Parenthetically, this story reinforces the idea that CASTING makes a more than usually big difference in this ballet.)

Some thing that confuses me is that Croce goes immediately to the following, which suggests she was ambivalent about the results:

The extension into tragedy gives Dances, to my mind, a rather bogus "stature," as if Robbins felt he could no longer impress audiences by being his sunny, funny, old self; and I can't help suspecting the ballet of a misty-eyed view of human relations. But there's no question now that this former whiz kid has the authority to go for the big things in life, or that Dances is as amazing a demonstration of his ingenuity in the sixties as Fancy Free was in the forties and Afternoon of a Faun in the fifties.
Maybe Lo Rocca picked up some of her negativaty from here?

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Although I can't think if anyone who isn't "less than" when compared to Mr B

I have to say I think Ashton is easily Balanchine's equal if not superior.

That is perfectly balanced. I agree with it without agreeing with it (since I don't know enough Ashton.) But there has been talk of genius being 'one among many', and that I just don't buy--unless ballet is different from literally all of the other Arts by having only 'one genius at a time'. In that case, it might be the nature of the Art, I don't know, but it has never been the case with music, not in a single period..

But you've said it better, because I would have to expand 'genius', were it to mean anything to me, fo 'all important 20th century dance', and I do not think Balanchine is greater than Martha Graham. I don't care which one is greater, frankly, they are my favourites (to echo Jean Brodie on Giotto.) I might be able (although I don't know) to say the same of Ashton if I knew enough, but I just don't. But this is the balanced thing, because he is specifically the 'other competitor' within 20th century ballet per se. For me, Balanchine is the great 20th century ballet choreographer, but that's only because I know his work fairly well, and I do not know but a few works of Ashton. And yet that also does explain why miliosr, in particular, wants to champion the works of many other choreographers, because even people like me have not been so easily exposed to the other great specifically ballet choreographers (unless one thinks Robbins is on that level, and I probably don't). As it is, I'm a huge Balanchine fan, but part of that may be because I've seen so much of his work so that I can at least make some sort of judgment. I don't think I know more than 3 Ashton works, and it's not entirely my fault, you know.

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La Rocco lost me with this:

'Robbins is often more interesting when he isn’t trying to be so serious; such is the case with “West Side Story Suite.” '

This sentence surprised me as well, because I have tended to think of Gathering as one of Robbins most profound "serious" pieces and one which is given variety by elements of the lighthearted and the softly nostalgic.

I looked through the a couple of Arlene Croce books and found that there were indeed some perceived problems of pacing, etc., in the first version of Gatherings. In a January 1970 article, Croce writes:

This long, ambitious ballet used to hit its peak of excitement when it was only half over, and the struggle to recover from that climax made the ballet seem even long then it is.

But Allegra Kent's absence forced recastings and revisions, and the experience this season is altogether a new one. Limiting Violette Verdy to just one solo was eccentric and ingenious but perhaps to whimsical of Robbins. Now he has her come back immediately following the show-stopper (the waltz pas de six) and do the flirtation-walk number with the boys formerly done by Kent; then she vanishes as before.

Not only does the number fit the Verdy "Character," it's exactly what's needed to refresh the interest and set the ballet moving again, so that the major accent now falls where it should -- in the scherzo, on the pas de deux of McBride and Anthony Blum. The dramatic concentration of these two dancers is miraculous; because of them, Robbins is able to effect the trnsition from a gayk mood to a tragic one that makes people cmopare the ballet to Liebeslieder Walzer.

(Parenthetically, this story reinforces the idea that CASTING makes a more than usually big difference in this ballet.)

Some thing that confuses me is that Croce goes immediately to the following, which suggests she was ambivalent about the results:

The extension into tragedy gives Dances, to my mind, a rather bogus "stature," as if Robbins felt he could no longer impress audiences by being his sunny, funny, old self; and I can't help suspecting the ballet of a misty-eyed view of human relations. But there's no question now that this former whiz kid has the authority to go for the big things in life, or that Dances is as amazing a demonstration of his ingenuity in the sixties as Fancy Free was in the forties and Afternoon of a Faun in the fifties.
Maybe Lo Rocca picked up some of her negativaty from here?

People like Garis and Haggin had reservations, too, although you are right, La Rocco's objections are remarkably close to Croce's quote. And Alymer mentions changes that have crept in since the early NYCB and Royal Ballet performances.

What struck me when I saw the recent revival for the Royal Ballet was that some quite strange steps and lifts which I remember very distinctly from the original Royal Ballet cast, and a couple of viewings of a (largely original) City Ballet cast, had been smoothed out or effectively eliminated, making it a much more bland, "sweet", affair
.

And both the early NYCB productions and the original Royal Ballet production had powerhouse casts. (There's a well known group photo of the Royal Ballet dancers, with Dowell, Sibley, Seymour, Nureyev, et al., in costume for the ballet, and I remember looking at it for the first time and thinking, "Wow.")

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And both the early NYCB productions and the original Royal Ballet production had powerhouse casts. (There's a well known group photo of the Royal Ballet dancers, with Dowell, Sibley, Seymour, Nureyev, et al., in costume for the ballet, and I remember looking at it for the first time and thinking, "Wow.")

Even though I was then, as now, NYC area (read NJ) based, I first saw DaaG with this Royal Ballet cast and loved the piece. Shortly afterward I did see it at NYCB with mostly the original cast except for a replacement (don't remember who it was) for John Prinz who had left NYCB at that point and was with ABT.

I did think at the time and still do that the dancer's personalities are key to sustaining interest in the work. Otherwise it can get a bit "mushy"

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I did think at the time and still do that the dancer's personalities are key to sustaining interest in the work. Otherwise it can get a bit "mushy"

I saw this a couple of times early on at NYCB, and I would tend to agree with Richard's remark, because it's all lovely, but can get a bit boring unless the performance is really inspired. I was just thinking of 'Les Sylphides', which definitely is a Chopin-based ballet of genius, but it has a drive through it that is considerably stronger than DaaG, if I'm recalling the latter correctly (quite long ago, I haven't seen it in recent years.) Some sort of stronger sense of 'narrative' in the Fokine, is that it?

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What struck me when I saw the recent revival for the Royal Ballet was that some quite strange steps and lifts which I remember very distinctly from the original Royal Ballet cast, and a couple of viewings of a (largely original) City Ballet cast, had been smoothed out or effectively eliminated, making it a much more bland, "sweet", affair. I think also that it needs to be cast from dancers with strong and differing personalities.

I have always thought that, “Dances at a Gathering” should be treated as a piece d'occasion not a repertory work as it needs great personalities involved to make it work. From October 1970 when Mr Robbins first staged the work, I can remember the atmosphere of anticipation before the curtain rose at the Royal Opera House and the tumultuous applause at the end of its performance. The interplay between the dancers was a joy.

The sheer physicality, the romantic subtleties, the comedy all brought together with the absolute commitment achieving a quality of performance in a single act work from the RB that I had only associated with performances of Ashton ballets.

Laura Connor, Ann Jenner, Monica Mason, Lynn Seymour, Antoinette Sibley, Michael Coleman, Johnathan Kelly, Rudolf Nureyev, David Wall was not the complete cast as Anthony Twiner’s subtle and powerful pianistics was a significant part of the ballet’s tremendous London success.

This cast of course met the criteria, “I think also that it needs to be cast from dancers with strong and differing personalities. “, that Aylmer expressed

The RB’s last two revivals of this ballet despite some stellar casting, never really got off the ground for me but then who could reproduce the appoggiatura or acciaccatura in the choreography that Lynn Seymour, Rusolf Nureyev and the rest of the cast brought to it early performances.

As Aylmer quite correctly states the choreography with the RB has been adjusted since its original staging. Did Robbins stage subtly different versions? Are The RB’s revivals of 2008 and 2009 meant to be a revival of the 1970 RB production or a reproduction of the NYC production?

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I very much agree with Aylmer and Leonid concerning the RB's recent performances of this work. On both the nights I went the work was so devalued that one section was actually omitted. I now understand why during his lifetime Robbins was so picky over the casting of this ballet and I doubt if he would have sanctioned that RB revival in such an underpowered state.

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As Aylmer quite correctly states the choreography with the RB has been adjusted since its original staging. Did Robbins stage subtly different versions? Are The RB's revivals of 2008 and 2009 meant to be a revival of the 1970 RB production or a reproduction of the NYC production?
The choreography itself, not that I've noticed, but with cast changes over the years, some of the dances have been moved from one character to another. Stephanie Saland, for example, first danced Mauve. When she later danced Green, she continued to do the first pas de deux that I had always known as Mauve's, giving Green three entrances (other than the final full-cast). Judith Fugate, both Apricot/Yellow and Pink, sometimes added a Pink pas to the Apricot role. I never saw an early cast of DaaG -- by the time I saw it, Verdy, Villella, Kent, Mazzo (at least in Blue), Blum, Clifford (was he original?) had been, uh, well "replaced" is clearly the wrong word. The roles they originated had been reassigned, and who knows what choreography may have gone with them?

Oh, and just a note about "genius" for clarification's sake. I'm of the school that believes it's the rarest of titles. I rarely got from Robbins the sense that his works burst forth fluently (think the death scene of Amadeus*). Too much craft shows through. It may be true of other choreographers who have been dubbed geniuses that their work doesn't burst forth fluently, but even in most of their second-rate ballets, the effort of making them doesn't show. That's how I make the distinction.

Now, if we want to discuss Robbins' theater works, that may be something else.

_____________

*I once had the thrill to see a page of a Mozart manuscript in his own hand. It looked like he wrote it in a near-frenzy, and there were no corrections. Looks like Schaffer got it right, whether or not he had ever seen a similar page.

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.... Anthony Twiner’s subtle and powerful pianistics was a significant part of the ballet’s tremendous London success.
leonid, I agree that the pianist is a cast member in a real sense. Flat musical expression often sucks the life out of the dancing, especially in a work like this.
Oh, and just a note about "genius" for clarification's sake. I'm of the school that believes it's the rarest of titles. I rarely got from Robbins the sense that his works burst forth fluently (think the death scene of Amadeus*). Too much craft shows through. It may be true of other choreographers who have been dubbed geniuses that their work doesn't burst forth fluently, but even in most of their second-rate ballets, the effort of making them doesn't show. That's how I make the distinction.

carbro, I'd love to see you develop this point about Robbins, especially as regards Dances.

I've read that Robbins was in awe of -- and somewhat intimidated by -- the fluidity and speed of Balanchine's work in the studio. The story about Dances, however, is that he really felt a strong creative urge to do this material (to this music) and that he worked as quickly as the NYCB's schedules permitted.

His original cast was moving because they danced as though this WERE a "theater work," to use your term. I cannot express how powerful the emotional impact of Dances was when it was premiered.

Maybe Robbins himself opened the door to problems of presentation when he started announcing to the world later on that there are "NO STORIES" in Dances -- that it's all about dancers dancing to music, etc. etc. That was Balanchine's skill, but probably not Robbins'. He worked most naturally with individualized characters. That is what he had with the original cast. "Mauve," "Pink" and "Brown" are short-hand for something more human and complex.

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Scahffer right about Mozart's genius, but made up stuff about Salieri, not a genius, but not that character either. Peter Gay much better and not into villainizing. No real point comparing Mozart to Salieri in any case, insofar as genius goes, but rather Haydn and Beethoven. They're not considered to be lesser (except in certain forms, as Mozart's operas are far greater than 'Fidelio' or Haydn's operas, but then Beethoven's Piano Sonatas are definitely more important than Mozart's). So that's the perfect period in music to prove that there can be several obvious geniuses.

Would agree that 'the craft shouldn't show', and that 'burst forth fluently' is impressive, but not indiciative of genius in itself. I don't know Robbins well enough to say that he 'craft shows'. Would, hiowever, be interested to know what you or others think about Ashton in that regard. That's the other competitor: Simon said he thinks he's the equal or superior to Balanchine, but I'm in no position to know or even guess. I like the phrase 'burst forth fluently' though, especially if it is in the hands of a genius, because that means it was even enjoyable to take it down, you were already hearing the whole piece. I don't know if Balanchine's choreography came out 'fully polished' like this seems to indicate, but other geniuses were very painstaking, as Debussy and Tchaikovsky, and certainly Beethoven struggled. I doubt that all of Mozart was quite so spontaneous as some of it was, though, and might have to do with complexity of form--in working out his music drama, Wagner could not have managed to get it all out in a first draft; too many aspects, considerations. INteresting question though. And it's also true that hacks 'burst forth fluently', albeit with something not very luminous and often even just trash I'd also like to know about Petipa's process, and other of the long-ago choreographers like Bournonville. Some painters and sculptors had to struggle much more than others to 'get it out'. But definitely agree that, for the most part, the 'craft shouldn't show', unless, as in much modern art, that becomes part of what the piece is, as with some 20th century painting and architecture. And this that I just picked up from bart's above post would be a modern attitude already like those in painting, etc,.

Maybe Robbins himself opened the door to problems of presentation when he started announcing to the world later on ththere are "NO STORIES" in Dances -- that it's all about dancers dancing to music, etc. etc. That was Balanchine's skill, but probably not Robbins'.

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Maybe Robbins himself opened the door to problems of presentation when he started announcing to the world later on that there are "NO STORIES" in Dances -- that it's all about dancers dancing to music, etc. etc.

I don’t think that’s a flaw in the work, though, or that Robbins’ explanation complicated matters. It is central to his conception that the ballet take place in the present tense – those dancers dancing to that music in that space, as he said. But I think that's a feature, not a bug.

On both the nights I went the work was so devalued that one section was actually omitted.

It's certainly hard to imagine Robbins' countenancing that!

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I rarely got from Robbins the sense that his works burst forth fluently (think the death scene of Amadeus*). Too much craft shows through. It may be true of other choreographers who have been dubbed geniuses that their work doesn't burst forth fluently, but even in most of their second-rate ballets, the effort of making them doesn't show. That's how I make the distinction.

carbro, I'd love to see you develop this point about Robbins, especially as regards Dances.

Give me a video of the ballet and a laser pointer, and maybe I could. :wink:

Maybe Robbins himself opened the door to problems of presentation when he started announcing to the world later on that there are "NO STORIES" in Dances -- that it's all
about
dancers dancing to music, etc. etc.
Pardon my anglais,Mr. Robbins, but that's BS. Of course there are stories in Dances! There are flirtations and romances, a little competition between two guys. When the ten dancers (not to be confused with people in the ordinary sense) hit their marks more or less en face together, eyes raised high into the distance, are they scanning the back rows of the Fourth Ring for their friends? No. The music says "stormy" and they are watching some weather-related event. Are there parts of it that are simply dancers dancing to music? Yes, but the dance for the Woman in Green with the various gents who come and go is not one of them. It's a story as much as Giselle is, albeit briefer.

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I rarely got from Robbins the sense that his works burst forth fluently (think the death scene of Amadeus*). Too much craft shows through. It may be true of other choreographers who have been dubbed geniuses that their work doesn't burst forth fluently, but even in most of their second-rate ballets, the effort of making them doesn't show. That's how I make the distinction.

carbro, I'd love to see you develop this point about Robbins, especially as regards Dances.

Give me a video of the ballet and a laser pointer, and maybe I could. :)

Great response! :D We would all benefit from such a video. I couldn't find a commercial dvd of this, although In the Night was available via YouTube. (there are about 5 minutes devoted to Dances on the Robbins/biography dvd.) Dances really needs a marvelously crafted commercial video, a la those produced in Paris.

Pardon my anglais,Mr. Robbins, but that's BS. Of course there are stories in Dances! There are flirtations and romances, a little competition between two guys. When the ten dancers (not to be confused with people in the ordinary sense) hit their marks more or less en face together, eyes raised high into the distance, are they scanning the back rows of the Fourth Ring for their friends? No. The music says "stormy" and they are watching some weather-related event. Are there parts of it that are simply dancers dancing to music? Yes, but the dance for the Woman in Green with the various gents who come and go is not one of them. It's a story as much as Giselle is, albeit briefer.
I agree 100%. You illustrate the point perfectly. :wink: Is it possible that the dull performances some have complained in is because the dancers have lost touch with (or never been helped to GAIN touch with) the story-telling tradition out of which this choreographer has so clearly developed?

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Pardon my anglais,Mr. Robbins, but that's BS. Of course there are stories in Dances! There are flirtations and romances, a little competition between two guys. When the ten dancers (not to be confused with people in the ordinary sense) hit their marks more or less en face together, eyes raised high into the distance, are they scanning the back rows of the Fourth Ring for their friends? No. The music says "stormy" and they are watching some weather-related event. Are there parts of it that are simply dancers dancing to music? Yes, but the dance for the Woman in Green with the various gents who come and go is not one of them. It's a story as much as Giselle is, albeit briefer.
I agree 100%. You illustrate the point perfectly. :wink: Is it possible that the dull performances some have complained in is because the dancers have lost touch with (or never been helped to GAIN touch with) the story-telling tradition out of which this choreographer has so clearly developed?

Yes, I think Carbro has really described this well.

Her point also illustrates once again how we have to take a lot of the statements from a Robbins or a Balanchine with a grain of salt. They may say something

relatively straightforward, such as "no stories" but the comment may actually be designed to make a certain type of point within a larger context. I'm just coining a possibility here but let say perhaps Robbins had an issue with some comments he had heard about the "plot" associated with certain numbers and it irritated him. So he quotes "no stories" to cut off this kind of discussion.

Just one kind of example that comes to mind....

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Yes, I think Carbro has really described this well.

Her point also illustrates once again how we have to take a lot of the statements from a Robbins or a Balanchine with a grain of salt. They may say something

relatively straightforward, such as "no stories" but the comment may actually be designed to make a certain type of point within a larger context. I'm just coining a possibility here but let say perhaps Robbins had an issue with some comments he had heard about the "plot" associated with certain numbers and it irritated him. So he quotes "no stories" to cut off this kind of discussion.

Just one kind of example that comes to mind....

I often wonder if choreographers go the "no story" route so that we can invent our own?

Balanchine said it, when you have two people on stage (a man and a woman I believe) you already have a story.

:huh:

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