But Gaultier and ballet? Not even the designer himself thought that was a good fit.
“It’s not exactly my cup of tea,” said the Frenchman in a recent phone interview. “I prefer the choreography of Michael Jackson, actually — it’s more in tune with the life on the street.”
Friday, March 23
Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:57 AM
Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:59 AM
The second set of shows is two weeks later on April 6-7.
Olivier Wevers, artistic director of the contemporary dance ensemble Whim W'Him and a widely acclaimed choreographer, is serving as artist-in-residence for the two separate programs.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:00 AM
A review of San Francisco Ballet by Mary Ellen Hunt in The San Francisco Chronicle.
But for all that, "Symphonic Dances" feels less abstract than simply lacking a core sense of purpose, an essential concept to tie the pretty dances together.
For this first large-scale work for the Ballet, Liang chose six dancers from among the principal ranks who boast some of the longest lines in the company, and with those bodies in your arsenal, it's hard to go wrong. But although there were flashes of poignancy - Sofiane Sylve's longing glance back at Tiit Helimets or Vitor Luiz's gentle head butt into the air around Maria Kochetkova's diaphragm - there was the underlying suspicion that the performers were making more of the choreography than was actually there to begin with.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:37 AM
It hasn’t been a good time for English National Ballet. Following a year of touring with the dreary Strictly Gershwin, savage funding cuts and the departure of MD Craig Hassall and the imminent exit of artistic director Wayne Eagling, the company faces an uncertain future.
How pleasing it is then to discover that its spirit of challenging innovation and is undiminished. In the first of two programmes celebrating the legendary Ballets Russes, ENB proves that while it may be bloodied it is certainly unbowed.
The Arts Desk
George Williamson is undoubtedly a talent to watch. What we saw was a very young man’s viewpoint on ballet - more about physical glitter and styling, more about, yes, swagger than about magic and strange encounters between worlds. But boy, what confidence as he moved his lithe, rather reptilian Firebird with her flamboyant gold crest around the stage between two opposed couples and some rather Goth muses in shredded purple.
For this revival, Kenneth MacMillan’s Rite of Spring has been given a new look by fashion designer Kinder Aggugini. His designs suggest a dance tribe rather than a community: black unitards, with bands of sheer and solid fabric, and very dark red embroidery to add texture. Bands round the lower calf suggest legwarmers. The bodies stand out against a bare stage, where previous productions made them part of a coloured landscape.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:42 AM
Sinuous strings at 2:52 announce a change of mood. A solo dancer (Sarah Lamb) is joined by two others (Steven McRae and Tamara Rojo), their rippling articulations contrasting with the stillness of their waiting colleagues. The duet that follows is combative, with Rojo darting her head at McRae like a predatory bird, as if affronted by his proprietorial manipulation of her. At 3:54, held aloft with both legs extended, Rojo appears momentarily triumphant, but what is signalled by the radical geometry of her position at 4:12? Is Chroma a narrative about human relationships, a purely abstract response to the score – or something in between?
Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:44 AM
The perfect illustration of this character representation through movement is Lopez Ochoa’s decision to have the character of Blanche be the only dancer en pointe, reflecting her studied and affected stance of setting herself apart from the other characters, as a means of clinging to her pretensions of refinement and using her poise as an illusion that only thinly veils her torment and alcoholism from both herself and others.
Lopez Ochoa said: “For the other characters in New Orleans the style is very jazz, very rough and grounded. Blanche’s being en pointe makes the difference between her and her surroundings very clear. Her movements are also very different when she is around people, when it’s all very elegant and precise, to when she is alone.
Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:09 PM
The Chicago Tribune
Some argue it's too regular. Its choice as the first work for the company's return to the Auditorium Theatre after a long absence could be considered less than exciting just before this summer's visit by the Paris Opera Ballet in the same work.
Still, any engagement by ABT is a welcome chance to see some of the finest practitioners of ballet working in the U.S., and Thursday's opening offered just that via Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes in the leads.
The Chicago Sun-Times
Kent, now well into her forties, is a willowy wonder. Not only has she maintained the most sublime, unfaltering, yet impossibly feathery technique, but she captures Giselle’s utter guilelessness with the unforced naturalness of a girl led wholly by her heart. She owns this role. And her chemistry with Gomes — a gorgeously muscled dancer who finesses soundless landings after the most extraordinary jumps and leaps — is ideal. His two sustained overhead lifts of Kent — in which she appears to float — were nothing short of unforgettable.
Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:22 PM
Ending March 24, the run of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s (PNB) New Works is mercifully short. The performance of three different choreographers is the worst I have seen cross PNB’s stage. The night started off boring and went downhill from there.
A Million Kisses to my Skin kicked off the night. And while well performed the choreography was uninspired and nothing new. Outside of a couple good lifts, there was nothing worth noting and quickly got boring. This would have been a good piece to showcase beginning students, but when you have PNB’s best on the stage, you have to bring your “A” game.
Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:21 PM
Set to music by Rachmaninov, "Symphonic Dances" is an introspective piece, and deserves to be seen several times to absorb all it has to offer. The placement on the program, though, doesn't help. One suggestion for the future: make it the evening's opener. After seeing Helgi Tomasson's stark and exacting "The Fifth Season," the dreamy wistfulness of "Symphonic Dances" may be overlooked. Place it at the top of the program to stand on its own.
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