iwatchthecorps

MCB films PBS Great Performances special

67 posts in this topic

Re: Delgado's grin

The grin really works if there is a Caller.

Share this post


Link to post

"Solid gold dancers" -- that encapsulates the image perfectly, and makes me feel old, too.

"Real women" -- maybe I watch too many tapes of Svetlana and the Vaganova classes?

Share this post


Link to post

Bingo. I was afraid to burst the bubble of her admirers...but that's what I was trying to get at, above, when I wrote "the smile that never ends." The constant camera-cuts to show Jeannette's toothy grin, up-close-and-personal, almost ruined the entire experience for me.

It was a strange effect, no doubt, and if it hadn't been so distracting I'd not have mentioned it. As Merrill Ashley has said, the "Square Dance" ballerina must convey an I-love-to-dance effect, but Delgado's fixed beam didn't convey a carefree quality to this viewer so much as tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Delgado's fixed beam didn't convey a carefree quality to this viewer so much as tension.

It is precisely her LACK of tension what I really see stands out in all her performances...

re: her entrechats. My mom-(who's quite far from being a ballet connosseur)-made exactly the same observation.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know what to tell you, cubanmiamiboy. As I said, I admired her dancing, but the big fixed smile weirded me out.

I also wondered why the dancers weren't identified. Generally a title would run with the name of the ballet, the choreographer, and a "Danced By" naming the principals.

Share this post


Link to post

The constant smile in Square Dance didn't bother me a bit. I didn't think that the male solo was performed at the highest level in Square Dance. The corps was excellent. Seeing the Golden Section reminded me of why I dislike most Twyla ballets. I enjoyed seeing the third movement of Western. I wish NYCB would perform it. Congratulation to Villella and all of his fantastic dancers. Miami is a lucky city to have such high caliber dancers. Let's hope that Villella's successor, whoever that may be, takes care of the Balanchine ballets with the same sort of love.

Share this post


Link to post

Seeing the Golden Section reminded me of why I dislike most Twyla ballets.

Ditto.

Share this post


Link to post

I was surprise by the direction and editing. Matthew Diamond in general is excellent when it comes to directing dance on film and Girish Bhargava is by now a legend when it comes to editing dance on film. So it was disappointing. But then I started thinking that perhaps Diamond and Bhargava was overcompensating over the fact that the ballets was being filmed on such a small set. I mean the studio appeared to have been pretty tiny. When looking on the studio recordings of Balanchine back in the 70's, the studio was much bigger, making it possible perhaps to film those ballets with greater flexible and finesse - and of course Balanchine was there making sure they were filiming his ballets correctly - LOL. With this recording everything looked so claustrophobic, and I grant you, the extreme close-ups didn't help matters. It looked so cramped and I think that crampness may have stole some of Diamond's and Bhargava's abilities at recording those dances as well as they should have been.

That said, I still highly enjoyed the program. Square Dance I thought was danced wonderfully. You got the sense the dancers were truly enjoying themselves which in trun made me enjoy watching them. The choreography looked flesh, spirited and exciting. If I have one negative is that Renan Cerdeiro didn't perform the male solo as well as I would have hoped. Not that he wasn't fine - he was - but there was no sense of melancholy meditation to his movement in the choreography. Of course I've been spoiled by Manuel Legris's interpretation of the role thanks to the Balanchine Celebration video so comparing Cerdeiro to Legris is probably an injustice to Cerdeiro.

Despite it not being among my favorites, Western Symphony was nice and well danced. But the music sounded as if it was being performed way off in the distance in the beginning. The volume recording appeared to be on the low button instead of high.

As for Tharp...the less said about that "ballet" the better. A Robbins ballet would have been better or perhaps something by Christopher Wheeldon. Doesn't MCB perform Wheeldon? That would have been great.

I enjoyed the show and was glad to have taped it. MCB did themselves proud!!

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't seen the program yet... Did Mr. Diamond's directing resemble his work on the Paul Taylor Wrecker's Ball of several years ago?

Share this post


Link to post

. If I have one negative is that Renan Cerdeiro didn't perform the male solo as well as I would have hoped. Not that he wasn't fine - he was - but there was no sense of melancholy meditation to his movement in the choreography. Of course I've been spoiled by Manuel Legris's interpretation of the role thanks to the Balanchine Celebration video so comparing Cerdeiro to Legris is probably an injustice to Cerdeiro.

Complete agreement from me. I recently showed a large group of friends excerpts from Balanchine ballets, including the Legris clip and afterwards most of the questions were about him.

That said, I do believe Cerdeiro is on the right track and time will deepen his performance.

Share this post


Link to post

Cerdeiro, in my humble opinion, is a dancer that has been pushed a little too fast to Soloist. He can take the light Balanchine roles fine, no doubt, but for the heavy sets, even those of Balanchine, I don't think he's still prepared. He was casted last season in the Balanchine/Villella staging of Diane&Actaeon, and even being this staging somehow watered down technically from the original, he wasn't up to the challenge. Kleber Rebello is also a Soloist, and he's definitely superior in his dancing. Also, from the past I remember "The Lifter" of the company, soloist Daniel Baker-(now sadly gone)-who wasn't offered many solos during his tenure in Miami and still was also superior than Cerdero.

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, the truth is I found the editing of Square Dance extremely choppy, with several 'holes' in continuity that actually made my stomach turn at one point. I couldn't decide what I didn't like about the diagonal views except that the height was different from how I shot, and maybe that's why it didn't work for me. But I love the music and choreography and the dancers were okay--but agree about the male solo, and Delgado's grin (which I noticed, and wished I didn't.)

Solid Gold dancers indeed. I (unfortunately) still remember that show and can see the similarity, but as I said, still wondered why her choreography of this has been copied so often in more recent contemporary work by others?

I must admit I fell asleep at one point in the middle of WS. The diagonals in that only worked once or twice, and I don't think the editing improved at all. So overall, I too was surprised and disappointed that Diamond and Bhargava did what they did. I also noticed the 'cramped studio' which may have affected a lot of things.

Whew! I feel so much better getting that off my chest!

PS. I was v. glad this was broadcast on Oct.28th here because I was not able to tape it, or see any repeats because I have been without heat or power since the Oct. 29th blizzard knocked down a tree into my drive taking down all wiring. (I am getting very tired of eating pbj's!) I heard a policeman say that after Springfield, MA has now experienced a tornado, microburst, earthquake, flood, and now iver 700,000 without power, the only thing left is for them to discover a volcano in my back yard. Happy Halloween!

Share this post


Link to post

4mrdncr, I remember those early- and late-season heavy snows and what they can do to power lines. I hope everything is returned to normal for your and for all the others, soon.

Cristian, I also remember the Diana and Acteon pdd and agree with you that Cerdeiro is being pushed possibly too quickly. I also agree, with atm711, that he has exceptional promise. He reminds me of one of those adolescents who have growth spurts leaving them with exceptionally long arms and legs, but not (yet) the central core strength to control them perfectly. Right now, Rebello is indeed the more satisfying stage performer, though in a more limited and appropriate rep. In the future, who knows?

Just watched all three ballets a second time. I found myself delighting in Square Dance even more. I've also been grateful for the ability of modern cameras to capture even the tiniest detail precisely. All those beats! We have just have threads linking to two televised performances from the 1950s: Tallchief's Pas de Dix and Fonteyn's Sleeping Beauty. These are remarkable performances. But the feet become blurred in batterie, a very great loss..

I seem to be in a small minority here in actually liking the Tharp. I recall what a powerhouse of non-stop motion it was on stage, an effect lost for the most part on the television screen. The dancers were literally throwing themselves around in controlled abandon. And with attitude. Baker, Penteado, Albertson, and Esty really got it right this time around.

I don't get the criticisms to the effect that this is a "dated" work. It is, of course, of its time. But what more recent contemporary choreography has superseded it? It's not deep and doesn't pretend to be. But what contemporary choreography is? It continues to thrill audiences. And, speaking as one who has seen it on various subscription programs about 8 times over the past few years, there's always something new to look at.

Share this post


Link to post

Just to throw another 2 cents in the pot........

1. Overall, I loved the way MCB dances: quality, joy, technical skills, spirit, interpretation of Mr B........(I guess with a company like this, I could live in Miami after all wink1.gif ).

2. I more or less hated the camera work. Maybe this isn't so much a problem of the director and the other camera influencing folks, but rather that it is just impossible to capture dance properly on video. But having said that, frankly, I still think the direction could have been better. You can't cut it up so much; you can't restrict us, the viewers, from so much of the action so much of the time. (P.S. I remember when I first saw the MET-HD operas in their first season and into the second, I didn't like the camera work. I kept saying myself...."STOP moving the camera.....just sit there.") Well, I got used to it, and I think the directors got MUCH better at it. Now I love how it works at the Met. But you can effectively go in close in opera since the action is so often in just one spot.....dance is a whole other ball game.)

Share this post


Link to post

In the style of the above...:)

1. The recording of Western Symphony was oddly mixed and sounded like the orchestra was playing at the deep end of a cave.

2. The music for Square Dance fared much better. I really enjoyed the tautness of the Badinerie...most CD recordings of it tend to go for lot of echo to make it sound more heavenly (or something). Jeanette Delgado danced divinely - her dancing reminds me of the little that I've seen of Verdy: the same sense of 'chicness' in the phrasing (also the way she holds herself) and the sheer joy to be dancing. Unfortunately my attention occasionally wandered away to count "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-AND new camera angle!" to myself.

3. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch The Golden Section.

Share this post


Link to post

1. The recording of Western Symphony was oddly mixed and sounded like the orchestra was playing at the deep end of a cave.

Distracting camera work and hard to hear music - it's hard to believe this was really PBS in 2011, and sad to think how much better a record we might have been given.

Solid Gold dancers

What an apt description, except that they never had a soundtrack by David Byrne.

Share this post


Link to post

I seem to be in a small minority here in actually liking the Tharp. I recall what a powerhouse of non-stop motion it was on stage, an effect lost for the most part on the television screen. The dancers were literally throwing themselves around in controlled abandon. And with attitude. Baker, Penteado, Albertson, and Esty really got it right this time around.

I don't get the criticisms to the effect that this is a "dated" work. It is, of course, of its time. But what more recent contemporary choreography has superseded it? It's not deep and doesn't pretend to be. But what contemporary choreography is? It continues to thrill audiences. And, speaking as one who has seen it on various subscription programs about 8 times over the past few years, there's always something new to look at.

I too am a little surprised by the lack of love for "The Golden Section." I didn't much care for it here as a bit of television, but it was no fault of Tharp or the dancers (or Byrne's score, a very effective piece of rock for a theatrical setting).

Share this post


Link to post