pnb rep program
Posted 22 April 2001 - 12:50 AM
Posted 22 April 2001 - 11:22 PM
The easy answer to "where did it come from" is "out of the music," but I can't give you examples. Arlene Croce wrote about this a lot; there should be some articles in her collections, if you can get to them. And I always turn to "Repertory in Review" (Nancy Reynolds) but I understand that's very hard to find now.
Can you tell us some of the parts you found emotional and humorous?
Posted 23 April 2001 - 02:08 PM
the martins/mazzo duet was very emotional in this performance at the very end. but not at all during the rest of the duet. it seemed to be really interesting and innovative choreography without emotion until the very end. suddenly it was just there without any leadin.
for the humor again it was probably because of the choices of facial expresions that dancers tended to make at key times (during the backbends in a circle, while slapping hands, during the walkovers). if done with different expressions i might have had a different reaction. but, again, the dancers weren't able to make a conncection emotionaly from movement to movement.
because i have never seen this work performed before i don't know if that is a choreographic choice or dancer's interpretation. i am hoping that it is dancer's interpretation because otherwise i cannot see violin concerto as a masterpiece.
Posted 23 April 2001 - 04:40 PM
"Violin Concerto" seems to have deteriorated rapidly. When it was new, it was considered an "instant classic." By the 1990s, I talked with several people who hadn't seen it with its original cast didn't see much in it.
I don't know if that helps. To me, structurally, it was definitely a masterpiece, and it suited those dancers perfectly.
(Yours is an excellent question, by the way. One of the hardest things to do is to see what isn't there, and often one just has a sense that something isn't right, or that what one is seeing doesn't match what one has read or been told. So thank you for raising this.)
Anyone else have ideas on either what julip has described (do the dancers sound on or off target?) and/or where Violin Concerto is placed?
Posted 23 April 2001 - 07:40 PM
My thoughts are that at the end of Aria II, any emotion that may seem to well up might come as a result of the dancers standing still, facing the audience. The man is behind the woman and reaches out. Their heads tilt as his hand moves. The audience has a chance to really look at the dancers, particularly their faces, and the music may reinforce the emotional effect. Does that make sense? At PNB, Jeff Stanton danced Aria II with Patricia Barker. Louise Nadeau also danced the Kay Mazzo role - she is tiny like Mazzo. Others danced these roles as well, but I can't remember who at the moment
As far as humor (and fun), I think there is a LOT in Violin Concerto. Balanchine put in Russian character steps and steps one might think stemmed from his years in Hollywood and on Broadway. The final Capriccio is a real party. I've always loved watching it. I enjoy this ballet as much as Four Ts and Agon.
These comments are also very interesting to me in light of PNB's performances. PNB is known for its rather dry interpretation of Balanchine ballets, particularly the black and white rep. The dancers tend not to be the sort that would layer on an interpretation of "put on" emotion just for its own sake. At the same time, I can't really see Bart Cook asking for that sort of thing either. The rehearsals I saw were very straightforward. Steps set to music. I would guess that anything "extra" resulting from it would spring from the combination of movement and music perceived by the individual.
Gee, does that sound TOO dry?!
Posted 23 April 2001 - 07:59 PM
Posted 23 April 2001 - 09:08 PM
Wish this had been televised so we could all see it
Posted 23 April 2001 - 09:39 PM
Posted 24 April 2001 - 01:26 PM
also, doug...since you actually saw this program could you share your thoughts on the kent stowell piece? especially the choice of putting a work with walkovers in the same program as violin concerto. also, the night that you saw it did the female dancer appear to collapse during the walkover? i wasn't sure if that was choreographed or not.
Posted 24 April 2001 - 07:05 PM
I doubt that the programmers considered that both Poeme and Violin have walkovers! The walkover in Poeme comes at the end when the ballerina is tired, so maybe it looked as though she collapsed, maybe she did collapse, maybe her back was tight, etc. That's the joy of live performance. They looked okay to me, but I'm generally not keen on walkovers in the first place, so I'm a bad judge of execution.
I know I'm biased toward PNB, but I feel they have a great way with the black and white Balanchine ballets in their rep. I have to say I was SO disappointed with NYCB's Four Temperaments this past January. I was expecting something great and thought most of it was really underdone and some of it just plain badly danced (or set? - also very dully played by Richard Moredock). Most everyone else thought it was a highlight of the season, so I think we are seeing and expecting different things in these ballets and dancers.
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