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YAGP Gala - Koch Theater, April 18, 2013


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#16 ABT Fan

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:27 PM

Oh my! I love love love Gomes as a dancer (and as a partner) - he's truly gifted and one of my all time favorites. But, as a choreographer, he stinks.

It's not enough to have beautiful dancers - himself, Finlay and Copeland. Not for me anyway. I couldn't even finish watching the tapes of Gomes and Copeland dancing - the choreography for them looks very similar, in the first few minutes anyway.

Did Finlay have to go to the bathroom? (Why did his hands keep covering up his "parts"?) And, what was wrong with his wrist that he had to keep grabbing it? (This is what was going through my mind. Was that Gomes' intention... for us to think Finlay needed to relieve himself and that his wrist hurt?)

Stupid, pretentious, trite, juvenile and appears nothing more than doing something different just for the sake of doing something different. Sorry folks, I cannot say anything nice about this choreography.

#17 abatt

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

it reminds me a little of the atmosphere of Dances at a Gathering, with dancers seeming to be in a rehearsal hall:


Interesting. I had never interpreted DAAG as taking place in a rehearsal hall.

#18 California

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:53 PM


it reminds me a little of the atmosphere of Dances at a Gathering, with dancers seeming to be in a rehearsal hall:


Interesting. I had never interpreted DAAG as taking place in a rehearsal hall.


In 1980, there was a TV show on PBS "Live from Studio 8H" with several works by Robbins, including sections of Dances at a Gathering. The set was like a backstage area, with scenery casually propped up, and dancers leaning on the piano watching other segments of DAAG. A voice-over said something about how this is how dancers dance for each other when they are rehearsing and don't have an audience. I don't see any mention of that in Repertory in Review or on the NYCB site, but whenever I see DAAG I think of that setting. (That set was only used for DAAG in the broadcast.)

In an interview with Tobi Tobias during the showing of Two Duets (Other Dances and Calcium Light Night), Robbins said he loved the way dancers dance when they are dancing for themselves and each other, without an audience, which linked to the 8H performance for me.

In any event, there were news reports after the 1980 8H show that Robbins hated the way his work looked on a small screen and he didn't want to do anything like that again. That show was never rebroadcast. (I remember, because in 1980 I had just bought my first VCR and lived in a city with no cable TV, so I watched for the longest time for a rebroadcast so I could get a better recording...never happened.) I am guessing it's in the NYPL collection, although I haven't checked.

I wonder if others remember that 1980 performance and that setting.

#19 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 02:24 PM

not the studio part though...



#20 California

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 02:30 PM


That was a different program, although also broadcast in 1980. Two Duets was first broadcast on February 20, 1980, and was rebroadcast several times. "Live from Studio 8H" included excerpts from Fancy Free, Afternoon of a Faun, The Cage, The Concert, and Dances at a Gathering and was broadcast July 2, 1980.

#21 California

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

I dug out my ancient tape of "Live from Studio 8H." The set for DAAG consists of two ladders, a large spotlight on a wheeled dolly, what seem to be the backs of several scenery flats, a practice barre pushed against the wall, a couple of bentwood chairs, and a post with numerous lights of the sort you might see in the wings. Across the entire back is a thin white floor-length curtain, of the sort you might see in a studio with big windows or perhaps on a stage, with part pulled up to reveal a pile of props that I can't make out. The dancers are wearing the same costumes you see in a theater performance and the grand piano is at the far left front, as you would see on stage. During each segment, the other dancers sit on the floor by the wall or lean against the piano, watching. Once you see it in this setting, it's hard to forget it, even when they perform on a bare stage.

#22 California

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:40 PM

This was Gomes' choreography for five men in Kings of the Dance, with an original score by Guillame Cote (better known as a principal dancer with National Ballet of Canada):



This is a solo he did several years ago:


I thought he did a pas de deux for soloists from NYCB last year, but I can't find it back on YouTube.

#23 Paul Parish

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for the Robbins, you all.

Balanchine's fabulous "Stories of the great ballets" -- written with Francis Mason [who did indeed write most of it] has a LONG LONG and wonderful section on Dances at a Gathering, and there's considerable mention of the studio setting and of "marking" the dance as a beautiful thing, dancing for each other. Also a wonderful interview with Robbins by Edwin Denby, and some discussion of how the boys all had beards when JR was making the dance, and how it had a hippie feeling to it in its making. I recommend it to anybody, though I'd never recommend Gomes's solos to anybody, sadly.

But some great performing artists are also creative artists, though weak at it. Arthur Schnabel, one of the great pianists of the early 20th century, was a composer, but his recordings of Beethoven and Schubert are still towering examples of how to play music that is more beautiful than it CAN be played.

It may also be good for a performer to dance Gomes's work -- even if the audience does not get anything out of it, it may nevertheless cause the performer to find new resources within himself that keep him/her in a place where a great response to great choreography can be more easily accessed.

#24 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:46 AM

I dug out my ancient tape of "Live from Studio 8H." The set for DAAG consists of two ladders, a large spotlight on a wheeled dolly, what seem to be the backs of several scenery flats, a practice barre pushed against the wall, a couple of bentwood chairs, and a post with numerous lights of the sort you might see in the wings. Across the entire back is a thin white floor-length curtain, of the sort you might see in a studio with big windows or perhaps on a stage, with part pulled up to reveal a pile of props that I can't make out. The dancers are wearing the same costumes you see in a theater performance and the grand piano is at the far left front, as you would see on stage. During each segment, the other dancers sit on the floor by the wall or lean against the piano, watching. Once you see it in this setting, it's hard to forget it, even when they perform on a bare stage.


um.....make sure to get someone to put it on a DVD before too long?

#25 California

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

This is the pas de deux "Toccare" Gomes choreographed for Hammmoudi and Abrera, but I can't find my video of it:

https://www.facebook...86028406&type=1


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