Ballet Eleolle, Klein Auditorium, Bridgeport, CT - Oct 9, 2011Lessons in charm...
Posted 10 October 2011 - 07:08 PM
As familiar as these artists may be on the flat screen, to see them live has it's own enchantment...(after all, in such a case Wei Bling Bling might indeed be batting her prodigious eyelashes directly at you!)
Some of the gags amusing to the casual balletomane ring as inside jokes for dancers familiar with the demands of the choreography the Ballerinas are so aptly referencing. No novice has ever attempted cygnets without knowing just what these birds are getting at.
In Swan Lake, they all wear Tiaras, but none can quite compete with Odette's for sheer magnitude. Nina Naananananaananiashvili may have bowed off the stage previously, but never with more charm. Would that every aspiring ballerina would come study the stars of Les Ballets Eloelle, for their charm is transcendent...before long one has suspended disbelief and these are not men in tights but cameos of great personalities of the stage and studio... And where exactly was the limen passed where they ceased to be men and instead enthralled the audience as divas?... . The ballerinas of Ballet Eloelle have located the well... Perhaps to the point of being tipsy... But as a lesson in charm, they are not to be missed.
Where comedians of the non dance world's lame attempts at parody fall flat, Ballet Eloelle's goofs crack theirs with the aplomb of the connoisseur.
Nina Naanananaananiashvili (Victor Trevino); Wendy Raven (Ari' Mayzick); Cookie Crum (Oswaldo Muniz); Sylvie Gruyere (Jace Coronado); Alina Coakvilvilduju (Jonathan Mendez); Wei Bling Bling (Wilson Li); Marianella Mororlas (Walter Battistini) and Tamara Chilirojo (Alexis O'Farrill) brought new life to the classics... (if one takes the program credits as word).
Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:12 AM
I saw a lot of the Trocks back when Peter Anastos was making work for them, and they were excellent at walking the line between parody and exaggeration. Like Tharp, the comedy was on several levels, so that you might be laughing at a reference to a particular choreographic quirk and the person sitting next to you was just as amused at the sight of men in tutus. Their satires on existing rep (I particularly loved the Petipa and Fokine parodies) were dead on, making references to both the choreographers foibles (the ballerina stalking to dead center stage for a vertiginous series of turns, and the eternally wandering sylphs) and to the performance conventions of the ballet tradition. And his versions of Balanchine and Robbins (I'm thinking of Go for Barocco and Yes Virginia) showed us something essential and valuable about those two bodies of work. Anastos understood something really powerful about humor -- in order to make a really successful parody, you not only have to understand the work you're skewing, you really do need to love it.
But one of my favorite experiences with the Trocks, and I think probably the most essential, was watching their version of (I think it was) Raymonda -- I cannot remember who was dancing the lead ballerina role, but as he/she walked out of the wings to start the variation I thought "that's Eleanor d'Antuono." It wasn't a humorous moment -- it was more like the Japanese onnagata -- a man playing a woman's part and paring it down to the essential 'female-ness' of the role.
We don't have too many people making actual comedy about ballet -- Myra Kinch (I think -- I don't have time to look this up) used to do a parlor-sized piece called Giselle's Revenge. She made it at Jacob's Pillow, I think, and it toured around, but didn't last past her career.
Posted 15 October 2011 - 04:19 PM
Posted 18 October 2011 - 10:30 AM
Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:02 PM
Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:55 AM
I was wishing I had subcaptioned this thread "Ballet: Elle! Oh, Elle!"
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