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Ballet 422: Justin Peck NYCB Ballet Documentary


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#61 dirac

dirac

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 09:36 PM

I saw it last weekend and found it exceedingly boring. It was nice to see bits of Tiler, Sterling and Amar's dancing on film but there was hardly enough sustained performance footage of PAZ DE LA JOLLA to warrant a second look (or purchase the DVD). Zzzzzzz.....

I *do* love the Martinu music and wonder how Justin Peck choreographed to this score, compared to Wheeldon's fantastic work to the same music, RUSH. Alas, one cannot compare based on the bits of dancing shown in this film. However, I *can*tell that the costumes for the Wheeldon are more beautiful and unified (styles and colors).

 

I just saw it on DVD. It didn't last long enough to be truly boring for me, but I certainly wasn't gripped. There's a fair amount of familiar ballet documentary footage of dancers in class, warming up, doing things to their feet and shoes, etc. and way too many shots for a movie that lasts a little over an hour of Peck trudging up and down hallways, stairs, and walking down the street. The Wiseman method may well have been the model, but it doesn't always work for Wiseman and it doesn't work particularly well here.  (I think both of Wiseman's ballet documentaries would have been improved if he had departed from his customary approach and let us know more about who and what we were seeing.)  I think it would have helped to hear  from Peck and the dancers directly. Apart from the few bits of difficulty in rehearsal that others have mentioned, there isn't much in the way of drama. I'm not suggesting Lipes should have manufactured it, but if this is all he had and if for whatever reason he couldn't show us a meaningful amount of the ballet we're watching these people work on -- well, it gets harder to see the point, in all honesty. 

 

It is a nice memento of Albert Evans, who is most engaging, and I would have loved to hear him talk about his work on Peck's ballets.

 

 Also, the main costume designer, Reid Bartelme (the blond guy with glasses) was a dancer and only recently retired.

 

 

I liked him a lot.




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