Prodigal Son -- 6/21-- NY City Ballet
Posted 21 June 2001 - 10:23 PM
I'm so glad that Peter is performing this, after having not appeared in it for a few years, I think, and with Helene, this is a dream cast.
The orchestra, conducted by Hugo Fiorato, also played this better than I've heard them ever do it before and, with the performance given it tonight, I could see for the first time how beautifully Balanchine matched his choreography to the music, particularly in the evolutions of the gnomish bald troop of depraved creatures among whom the Prodigal experiences his fall. Previously I'd seen it as somewhat bufoonish, likening it in my own mind to the way Ben Stevenson treated Prokofiev in passages of his Cinderella. It's nothing like that actually, or rather, the difference is the Balanchine hit the mark. There is a inventive subtlety to the the movement palate here which is perfectly sensitive to the score (surely that is Balanchine's particular genius) and it required a fine performance to expose this.
The corps of City Ballet is looking very strog these past few weeks. It's a real peak for them.
I was less impressed with Wendy's Chaconne than others who have posted have been, but in that piece too I thought the corps now very much has the spirit of the ballet, in contrast to how it appeared at the end of last winter.
As for Harmonielehre, I was awake and riveted for a while for another fairly amazing performance by Janie Taylor (in the First Scene pdd -- if this pdd was made on her, as I think it was, it just reinforces my impression that Martins makes his most beautiful dances on her at the moment), then I pretty much dozed (for about half an hour unfortuntely) until the more or less beautiful part which Dale pointed out the other day where the white silk comes down from the ceiling, the barefoot girls come out, and Isabel Vondermuhl gets carried around by James Fayette. That's quite a beautiful scene. It's a pity you have to wade through so much monotony to get there.
[ 06-21-2001: Message edited by: Michael1 ]
Posted 22 June 2001 - 11:40 PM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 12:27 AM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 07:04 AM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 02:51 PM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 07:03 PM
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Posted 24 June 2001 - 07:55 AM
Posted 24 June 2001 - 07:00 PM
"The subject comes from the Bible, The Gospel According to Luke, XV: 20-24. The artist had already turned to the theme several times in his graphic works, but in the Hermitage painting, created not long before his death, the painter endowed it with the sense of great tragedy elevated to a symbol of universal significance. Complex emotions are expressed in the figure of the bent old man and his suffering, kneeling son: repentance and charity, boundless love and regret at the belated spiritual awakening. These images represent the summit of Rembrandt’s psychological mastery."
Wow, Hermitage's description of the painting fits splendidly to the ballet.
Posted 25 June 2001 - 10:05 PM
I greatly enjoyed Peter Boal's attention to the details of his role, his facial expressions and the way his entire performance held together. I think that it was because of that, that I was able finally to begin relating more to broader thematic content, such as the crawl home and the realtionship between the principals, which were always present.
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