I saw the new ballet, "Call Me Ben", tonight by Melissa Barak. The best thing that can be said about it is that the costumes were lovely, and the scenic designs were beautiful. The choreography was amateurish. The "script" was something that belonged in a high school drama workshop, not the stage of the Koch Theater. I can't really put any of the blame on the dancers, who did the best they could with the awful material they were given. There were some points when the dialogue could not be heard over the music, but that was no great loss. What a waste of time and money. This one is going on my NEVER SEE THIS AGAIN list, along with La Stravaganza and The Lady w. The Little Dog. During the ballet, I kept wishing I was over at ABT to kill time before Scotch Symphony.
This one is going on my NEVER SEE THIS AGAIN list, along with La Stravaganza and The Lady w. The Little Dog.
La Stravaganza and Lady w. Dog are entirely more professional than the new Barak piece, for which there is really no precedent or term of comparison that I can think.
Here's what baffles me: Why throw a (relatively) inexperienced young choroegrapher like Melissa Barak on to that big stage where she's almost certain to fail? I recognize the prestige associated with the main house but the down side to it is the immediate 'Pass/Fail' judgement that comes with it. Wouldn't it be better to find a smaller venue for budding choreographers to work in where they could develop an outlook/style and then
graduate to a larger stage? (I'm thinking of what the Royal does in London.) In a smaller venue, if a work flops -- it flops. There's not this huge importance associated to it as there is with the big stage.
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