Joffrey Ballet (Kennedy Center) Nijinsky Program
Posted 27 February 2002 - 01:51 PM
Did anyone go? I'd rather you all go first smile.gif This program will be repeated tonight and Thursday. The weekend program is, IMO, an excellent program for people who are new to ballet; it's a good mix, with not only something for everyone, but two little-seen ballet classics (Tudor's "Lilac Garden" and de Mille's "Rodeo") in addition to Gerald Arpino's "Kettentanz.")
Posted 27 February 2002 - 03:32 PM
Joffrey's Venturesome Night of Nijinsky
Joffrey Ballet of Chicago opened its week of performances at the Kennedy Center Opera House last night with a program it calls "The Nijinsky Mystique." It's an apt title, for not much more than mystique remains of the great Vaslav Nijinsky, the legendary dancer and, for just a brief, exciting moment, experimental choreographer whose career rose and fell in the space of a few years at the start of the 20th century.
Posted 27 February 2002 - 09:38 PM
I did like Deborah Dawn in the Karsavina role in Jeux; she brought an earthy, sophisticated quality to her part that contrasted well with Maia Wilkins's bright little ingenue. But I had a hard time seeing this trio as "a cipher for the population ratio that would result from World War I," as Millicent Hodson's program note says. How would Nijinsky have known this in 1913, and even if he could have, would he have cared?
It was also interesting to see Faun lifted out of the old photos and brought into motion, if not exactly life. This production had a textbook feel to it, unlike Jeux which really seemed like a living ballet.
As for Sacre du Printemps (all the titles were in the original French), this was the only disappointment. The lighting was kept so low that it was hard to see all the activity on stage (there was lots) and the colors of the costumes were muted. Worst of all, the orchestra slept through the glorious score, making one wonder what the riot was all about.
These three ballets made for a very short evening. Maybe the company could have retitled the program "Diaghilev Evening" and added one of their other Ballets Russes ballets.
Posted 28 February 2002 - 04:11 PM
two center orchestra seats for
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago
at The Kennedy Center
March 2, 2002
$27.00 each (that's half the reg. price)
please contact me asap at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 28 February 2002 - 06:03 PM
Posted 28 February 2002 - 11:39 PM
Posted 02 March 2002 - 12:43 PM
I didn't find "Jeux" convincing. I thought it was static, and I thought some of the movement was too much like the modern dance of the 1930s (a world away from 1913). This was the one reconstructed from the thinnest of materials, unlike Faune and Sacre. I didn't sense any relationships among the dancers, and I had no sense of surprise. Was the audience supposed to think that the girls, at the beginning, were just two sweet young things? Did the boy think they were interested in him? (They screamed 'WE ARE SUPER CHIC 1913 LESBIANS, WINK WINK' to me from the moment the curtain went up.) Was the boy interested in them? Was it once a surprise when the two girls went off with each other?
I'm one of the few people in the world who does not love "Faune" I've never seen a convincing performance of it. By "convincing" I mean that no dancer -- very understandably -- is Nijinsky. He was not only an extraordinary technician, but an extraordinary presence. We've seen those photos so often, nothing on stage will ever match the muscles, the sweetness, the allure, the magic.
I thought "Sacre" did work as a performance, although I don't get the sense of primitive justice and inevitability -- why do they choose the girl? Because she falls? So the whole thing is like "Ring Around the Rosy?"? A children's game gone bad? -- and there isn't the ferocious rawness that we read the ballet had.
I'm always glad to see programs like this, and very grateful to the Joffrey for reviving the ballets and keeping them in repertory, but this a museum piece evening for me.
Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:54 AM
I'm also interested in the Jeux and Après midi d'un faune reconstructions mentioned in this topic.
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