Has anyone read this article in The Nation? I read it yesterday in one gulp. I think Harss is a wonderfully vivid writer, and although this is a complex piece -- weaving her observations at rehearsals of Ratmansky's Shostakovich trilogy, with its roots in Russian history, and lots of fascinating information about Shostakovich WITH some very interesting comments by Ratmansky and those he's worked with -- it flows.
Here's a quote:
Ratmansky is politely pushing the dancers, and ballet technique, to a new level. He tends to complicate the movement, speeding it up, taking it off-balance and introducing multiple shadings into each step. “His ballets are so hard; you do so many steps,” says Isabella Boylston, a soloist at American Ballet Theatre, where Ratmansky is the artist in residence. “But you can also have a sense of abandon, and I think he likes that.” Ratmansky likes the unexpected. Each day, he comes into the studio with a few ideas, which he has developed early in the morning before rehearsal, and a black notebook full of musical cues, but without a firm plan. His rehearsals are remarkably tension-free, even when the dancers look wan and spent and he asks them to repeat everything just one more time. They ask questions and make suggestions; he listens and takes their input. But he is also implacable in his desire for them to exhibit certain nuances, and he demands they use their imagination: “Run like you’re shadows, with no weight.” Though Ratmansky’s choreography is almost exclusively built out of the usual ballet vocabulary—steps developed in the French court, with names like coupé, passé and brisé—under his direction they look less formal, more free, almost newly minted.
Read more: Running Like Shadows | The Nation http://www.thenation...s#ixzz2ZyGyU6wK
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