Ballerinas danced on the crisp green grass, wearing elegant white dresses. They traded in their pointe shoes, ineffective without a smooth, hard stage underfoot, for plain ballet slippers. Hip-hop dancers, too, joined the show, popping and dime-stepping to the music. Two ballerinas wearing red tutus showed off their pirouettes.
In the stands, most fans did not seem overly impressed with the ballerinas, seeming to treat them as just another sideshow to keep them amused in between innings. They were far more excited and loud when quesadillas were tossed into the stands from the field.
Tuesday, July 24
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:11 AM
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:16 AM
Strangely, “DGV” recalls the ocean more than railroads. The women wear unflattering strapless swimsuits by Jean-Marc Puissant, whose undulating architectural set looks as if Frank Gehry constructed a beached whale. Some attractive, sweeping gestures for the corps resemble waves.
But the principals, who also include Ashley Bouder and Gonzalo Garcia, labor with ugly choreography in this wearying ballet
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:17 AM
It is probably appropriate at this stage in its three-year-old life that Robert Dekkers’ Post:Ballet experiences growing pains. Having seen Diablo Ballet perform Dekkers’ piece Happy Ending earlier this year, I brought great and somewhat proprietary-expectations to Post:Ballet’s program Triads on July 20 at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater, and I was not alone. Dekkers, through the medium or reputation of his past work, and a network of dancers and friends, succeeded in filling the Herbst with an audience feeling as welcome and excited to be there as we did. In addition to the impressive size of the audience was the unusual aspect that it consisted of mostly men.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:25 AM
In most productions of Swan Lake, Odile's seduction of Siegfried climaxes with her iconic 32 fouetté turns: black sparks glinting from her tutu and her mocking eyes as she bamboozles the Prince into submission. In Peter Schaufuss's new version of the ballet, Odile's method of seduction is to drop to her knees and slowly pull down the Prince's trousers: fellatio as the contemporary equivalent of fouettés.
A few weeks ago, in the run-up to the UK premiere of Peter Schaufuss Ballet’s 1997 Tchaikovsky Trilogy, I had charming exchanges with Schaufuss himself, the mighty Royal Ballet alumnus Irek Mukhamedov (semi-retired from performance, but returning to London after eight years away) and young star Alban Lendorf (on loan from the Royal Danish Ballet). As a result, I was particularly hoping to like this production – but, with the best will in the world, the opening piece, Swan Lake, turns out to be just frightful.
The Evening Standard
Lendorf, a principal with the Royal Danish Ballet, is a very good dancer, by the way, but this show is not a great use of his talents. On the casting front, much has been made of the guest appearance by the great Irek Mukhamedov but he and his leather trousers are on stage for about five minutes. While we’re on costumes, a dishonourable mention for the swans as imagined by Pan’s People and Lendorf’s belly button-revealing cropped woolly jacket. Those things wouldn’t matter if the movement sang, or if there was a hint of dynamic, chemistry or insight.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:27 AM
The Financial Times
As to details: there is a serious, albeit heavily-trimmed, recording of the score. The affair lasts, with one interval, some 105 minutes. The setting proposes a partially mirrored back to the stage, and an illuminated dance-area on which the action takes its unlikely place. There is costuming of blazing unlikelihood: swans (both male and female) in white trouser-ettes, white bonnets, vestigial feathered bodices; Siegfried in black trousers and a manic cardigan; Von Rothbart wearing a fetishistic black leather tail-coat; Siegfried’s mother in flowing black, a bad temper and dreariest dance. Assorted corps de ballet dancers (and none too many of them) rush eagerly about, notable – in a production determinedly under-lit - for willingness rather than coherent style. There are two Jesters whose behaviour is singularly depressing in manner and matter.
Schaufuss’ shortcoming is not his dancers, who are committed, nor Tchaikovsky himself - sadly played from a pre-recording - but his staying too close to the original story without adding anything new psychologically or choreographically. His style is best described as pop-ballet, a combination of athletic classicism and quirky gestures, but it is not used to reveal character or motive. Another shortcoming is the lighting, which is muddy and makes it difficult to see the dancers who are dressed in flowing dresses and ballet flats rather than tutus and pointe shoes.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:51 AM
By the time she was 14, Barton's gift and enthusiasm for all things dance took her to the National Ballet School in Toronto, where she received encouragement in her choreographic ambitions from such passing luminaries of the Canadian dance establishment as choreographer/performers Peggy Baker and John Alleyne, around the time the latter became artistic director of Ballet BC.
After serving as apprentice with the National Ballet itself for about a year and a half, Barton says she soon realized that as a ballet dancer she was likely to remain in the corps of the company indefinitely.
So she decided to head in a choreographic direction, instead.
Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:58 AM
Ending POB’s first visit to New York since 1996, the performance underscored the company’s range and rendered temporarily moot the ongoing debate about whether, under Lefèvre, POB has become too interested in modern dance and trashy contemporary ballet commissions. Bausch’s production, clinging tightly to its 18th century original, is very contemporary but is far removed from conscious modernism and its search for novelty. Its artistic air is rather that of the Comédie Française in its post World War II settings of Racine. (POB dances Ohad Naharin and Wayne McGregor, by way of contrast, all more or less dedicated, at least some of the time, to novelty for its own sake). Using its immense resources to obtain the right singers and choir, to fabricate the costumes and mount the sets, the company then trained its dancers in Bausch’s style and delivered an artistic knockout blow. How many other ballet companies would have risked this, or could have accomplished it? The answer is exactly none. Thank you POB, don’t be so long in coming back.
Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:09 AM
Sklute said he is generally pleased with the final results, although he lamented that more dancing and background information about the ballets the company was preparing – including Balanchine’s “Emeralds” and Jiri Kylian’s “Petit Mort” – and performing wasn’t provided. He considered it a small victory that he persuaded the producers to allow him 48 hours notice to review each episode so he could correct factual mistakes about the choreographers and works. Other compromises, he said, were a result of budget restrictions such as the minimal use of the actual music while the dancers danced because of the cost of obtaining music rights. And, he added, the producers also had to be mindful of their target audience in putting the show together.
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