Bugaku: questions and more questions...Input needed...!!
Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:45 PM
And thanks, bart; now we know a little bit more about why they dance on a "pool table" (sometimes, anyway).
I wonder if the set was elaborated when the company moved to the State Theatre? The undated picture in Reynolds of Kent and Villella is what I remember from my days there, and what I have seen since.
Haggin's description about Kent's dancing helped to bring back the remark of someone near me in the audience one evening, as she and Villella were taking their applause: "That woman has been filleted."
Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:52 PM
I know that these are not the choreography, but I'm still a diehard believer in the old dictum that said that ballet was a fusion of dance, costume, music**, and stage setting. Don't get me wrong! - these are still very good examples of "Bugaku" on the videos. They're just a little updated from what I recall. And that's a good thing! (Gee, I must have liked the thing better than I knew at the time!)
*like dog years, only worse.
**I can talk about this too at some length and with some passion. I had played some Mayuzumi chamber works by the time I first saw "Bugaku".
Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:16 PM
That is the "beauty of the missing" which is part of Zen. ...
Another feature, which seems now mellower...
They're just a little updated from what I recall. And that's a good thing!
I don't understand how this mellowing updating, which seems like a diminution of the beauty, in your account, is a good thing.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:29 PM
I did rather prefer the spikier tutus, but then that's a de gustibus matter, and can't be recaptured short of having a time machine. Karinska was more than just a designer. Her construction has not been matched, in my opinion.
Perhaps we have here another example of the Japanese spirit reserved in "Bugaku". I should retire to the beach of my koi pond, and contemplate these matters.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 03:47 PM
Like Kathleen, I much prefer the sleek, embroidered bikini which Kent wears for the pas de deux.
There is a definite architectural look to the set. Notice the angled and curved "wall" to the left of the photo. The photos in Haggin's book make it clear that this element is carried through on all three stage walls. Only the "invisible" wall separating dancers from audience lacks this barrier. There is a flight of stairs at the center of the backstage wall.
The undated picture in Reynolds of Kent and Villella is what I remember from my days there, and what I have seen since.
Mel, your memory of color (which I lack) is giving me a sense of what this must have looked like. The feeling is of a state room in an imperial palace (the simplicity and purity of Kyoto, not the vibrant decoration of Edo). The colors, as you describe them, would have an imperial richness that the Miami set does not attempt.
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