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New Barak ballet?


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#1 AmandaNYC

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 12:05 PM

Read the review of the new Barak ballet in the Times today. WIll be seeing it this Sunday. But, would love to hear others' comments on it. Was anyone in attendance Tuesday night?

-amanda

#2 Juliet

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Posted 06 June 2002 - 01:14 PM

I was there on Tuesday. While I am not a big fan of cello/piano pairings, I did surprise myself by liking this. The dancing and choreography were both beautiful--I was not especially taken with the first section (but that may have been because I was not completely caught up in the piece, yet) but I thought it was very, very well-paced. I think that one portion of especial poignancy toward the end was exceptional in its depth.....there was a lot of scope for the individual dancers' expressiveness and yet the expressiveness did not teeter into the chasm of Too Much.

There were four men and four women and a lead couple--I was very taken with Millepied, less so with van Kipnis.

I am continually surprised by how accomplished a choreographer Ms. Barak is in how she uses space--the entire stage and that between the dancers. Her dances are well-structured and not static....I found myself interested by the movement, moved by the pathos (this is Shostakovich, after all), and very, very happy that any touch of maudlin was avoided. There was the requisite inclusion of character/folk dance steps --demanded by the music--which almost took on a too-strong note (I was hoping they wouldn't bring on the ribbons), but things moved on and the blend wasn't jarring or inappropriate.

Men were in very flattering black--sleeveless, not tank, which was echoed in van Kipnis' leotard/skirt. The women were in white, as was Millepied.

Those are just impressions---I think it a very successful work and am so happy that Martins is giving her a chance to make dances on the company. Now I'll go read the review!;)

#3 foryourinfo

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Posted 07 June 2002 - 03:44 PM

Julliette- Could you expand on your comment about the dancing?

I thought the review was fair, although I thought it was clear when van Kipnis decided to break from her group and take a chance to be with Millepied. In fact I thought there was an interesting modern twist in general, with the women taking more of the initiative.

#4 AmandaNYC

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 09:15 AM

I finally saw the ballet yesterday. I think I echo others' (here and elsewhere) when I say that there were some great elements there. Barak does know how to use the dancers well, fill that huge stage, and utilize the classical ballet vocabulary. It was in the attempts at the dramatic that I was less than impressed. Right now, and for a first attempt at the more dramatic, I think Barak tried too hard. Subtlety, for me, is better. And, also, if there is going to be some drama, then I think it needs to flow and keep up with the *story*. One movement ends with van Kipnis and Millipied seemingly rebelling against the wishes of their respective groups and running off together. The two groups (the women in white and men in black) had seemed ominous. Then, after the leads run-off, a joyous dance of sorts begins. Eventually, the leads join back in. This segment did show off the dancers quite nicely, but I found it jarring after the previous dramatic segment. I realize that the music does this same switch. But, still. There was dramatic set-up, but then it seems she let it go and just did a dance.

There were some really interesting combinations to the choreography-- the elements were there. Didn't quite up to as coherent a whole as the Telemann piece.

I thought all the dancers did a fabulous job. It was nice to van Kipnis in role like this. I loved Barak's choice for corps dancers (Bouder, Edge, Keenan, Riggins + Carmena, Hendrickson, Ramasar, Veyette).

In all, it was interesting to see a young choreographer's early attempt at a more dramatic piece, but I hope Barak's next piece returns to the coherence of her Telemann piece.

-amanda


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