Ray

A hilariously bad review of Joffrey + Cleveland Orch

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This one is a real howler and a sad reminder of how shallow most people's knowledge of dance is--it's a shame that this particularly ignorant person was paid to write a review, of a recent Joffrey Rite of Spring performance of with "choreography after Vasliz Nijinsky." The "critic" calls it "a lavish, overblown and pompous dance recital with fancy costumes, fancy lighting and fancy stage settings"; and, if that description wasn't evocative enough for you, the writer takes a particularly ignorant jab at the Joffrey's remounting of the original Roerich design: "It was a costume mixture of what looked like Native Americans, Cossacks and Peruvians at war with one another with a group of six dancing bears thrown in for good measure." Oy.

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Thanks Ray, and yes, that's probably one of the most ignorant reviews I've ever read. I was born and raised in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where this performance took place and this reviewer demonstrates why professional ballet ceased to exist in Northeast Ohio years ago. Long gone are Ohio Ballet and Cleveland Ballet due to lack of support, vision and sophisticated tastes (granted Ohio Ballet was also mismanaged). This reviewer clearly couldn't be bothered to do any research on Rite of Spring (other than to learn its premiere was met with riots) or the Joffrey. Geez, he can't even spell pas de deux correctly! I'm embarrassed for my hometown.

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At least the audience was a near sell-out, that indicates at least that Clevelanders *crave* some culture.

Did the reviewer at least read the program notes? I doubt it.

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I've seen worse.

Articles on the internet are often poorly edited and proofed (and all writers need such help to some extent; F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't spell for beans).

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I've seen worse.

Articles on the internet are often poorly edited and proofed (and all writers need such help to some extent; F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't spell for beans).

The Examiner.com ‘About’ section has this to say about itself:

Examiner.com launched in April 2008, to provide freelancers across the United States with a platform to share their knowledge and expertise through informative and entertaining content. We have an in-house editorial team that provides guidance and mentorship to the contributors. [emphasis added]

If this site truly has editors and mentors, I'm as concerned about the state of editing and mentoring as I am about poor writing/lack of expertise.

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Thanks, Ray, for the link. (It's good to hear from you, even when you are a bearer of bad news. wink1.gif )

Has it occurred to anyone that this might be an elaborate joke? Mr. Horning might actually be parodying the "badness" of the Joffrey's program by intentionally outdoing them in incompetence. This relatively short review packs in so much philistinism, limited vocabulary, awkward style, cliche, and hamfisted sarcasm. Tht could only be intentional. Right?

My favorite touch is his complaint that Interplay, a Robbins jazz ballet, lacks "good synchronized dancing." Perhaps next year the Cleveland Orchestra will learn from this and hire the Rockettes. Their version of Rite of Spring should be sublime.

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A Rockettes of Spring Rite might spur ME to riot.... Pax de Duex notwithstanding.

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My favorite touch is his complaint that Interplay, a Robbins jazz ballet, lacks "good synchronized dancing."

This is the sentence that follows the sentence 'It was one of those cutesy “modern ballet pieces” that lacked one thing…good synchronized dancing.'

The entire cast seemed a half step off at different intervals lending a frenetic feel to what was not a frenetic work.

It seems clear that he's referring as much to the company and not necessarily the ballet itself, although I agree his sloppy phrasing doesn't help....

I also note that the Broadway World review by Roy Berko echoes some of the same points (orchestra fine, ballet not so much). Much better written, of course.

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This review was so awful I broke my vow of "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" silence and posted a reply. I wonder if the Examiner.com is embarrassed or proud that the review is drawing so many comments?

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