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Madame Lefevre's Programming Choices

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Poll: Madame Lefevre's Programming Choices (17 member(s) have cast votes)

Have Madame Lefevre's programming choices been a good thing?

  1. Yes! Her choices have pumped new blood into the company. (1 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  2. No! She's drowning the French style in a floodtide of modern dance. (10 votes [58.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.82%

  3. Neutral! The POB is like the Catholic Church -- it can withstand anything. (6 votes [35.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.29%

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#16 miliosr


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Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:30 AM

Can anyone translate the last sentence of the article for me? (The one that references Al Capone!!!)

It is something like "Half of the 150 dancers gives performances in Chicago, where the POB presently is on tour. With Brigitte
Lefèvre leading the group. Let's hope that it won't come to anybody's mind to settle their accounts with each other the same way as in Al Capone's time !" (Of course, it is not meant to be serious).

Thanks for the translation. I would say it was only meant to be partially unserious. Posted Image

And to reply to a previous post of yours:

The Chicago program states that the POB maintains modern works by Martha Graham and Jose Limon, and contemporary works by Alvin Ailey, Pina Bausch, Maurice Bejart, Carolyn Carlson, Merce Cunningham, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin and Alwin Nikolais. I don't care how great the schooling is -- no company could possibly maintain the very real technical (Cunningham, Graham, Limon) and stylistic differences that exist between these choreographers.

Actually, I don't think that such a list makes sense.
At the POB, the word "répertoire" includes everything that has been danced by the company at least once (even if it hasn't been performed for decades).

Here's the thing, though. In the program, POB management did not present the list above (which I quoted word-for-word) as a dusty historical survey. They presented it as a living, breathing thing. Their very clear implication was, "We could revive all of these works tomorrow . . . and we could revive them all equally well . . . and you couldn't." (It's sort of like the old joke that the implied sub-title for Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings should have been -- And You Don't.)

As far as I know, the only Limon works they danced were "The moor's pavane" (not performed since 1987 as far as I know), and maybe the solo "Chaconne" for some gala but I'm not sure....

Since the glorious news broke that ABT will revive The Moor's Pavane after 31 years and since I saw the POB in Chicago, I've been thinking about how I would cast The Moor's Pavane if the POB ever revived it. First cast would be Nicolas Le Riche, for sure, as the Moor and, based on his Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Vincent Chaillet as the Moor's Friend.


Second cast I would go completely against type by casting blond-haired blue-eyed Karl Paquette as The Moor (Hey! The founder of the Abbasid dynasty in al-Andalus had red hair and blue eyes!!) and Mathieu Ganio as The Moor's Friend. (Get Ganio out of the princely ghetto he's stuck in for one night.)

#17 Drew


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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:18 PM

A bunch of critics and long time fans were discussing the company all week -- was it this strong in the 90s? Why was this the best thing we'd seen (for those under 40) or the best thing we'd seen in 20, 30 years? I think it might be that 20 years ago (the last time they were in DC) there wasn't such a gap between POB and other companies. We've been complaining about slippage of values, technique, etc. for ages, but when you're confronted by the standards that so many companies, including major companies, have lost or tossed -- it's a shock.

Reading this was something of a stab to the heart...won't be able to see them at all.

Don't know about the 90's--saw them just once on tour--but I saw them in the early 80's several times at the Palais Garnier incl. Swan Lake and Giselle. A number of fine dancers, but no...nothing like a standard-setting company, at least not that I was able to see.

(I'll mention a rather quirky Stravinsky Violin Concerto I saw around that time--over dramatized but sort of worked.)

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