New Wheeldon Ballet
Posted 16 June 2002 - 05:37 PM
Posted 16 June 2002 - 06:35 PM
Posted 17 June 2002 - 12:52 PM
If "A rising tide lifts all ships," the Diamond Project is like a Sinking Tide and evidently has the opposite effect. And I'll ask again, what does Wheeldon's title of Resident Choreographer mean? We have had as many, if not one more, new ballets from Melissa Barak in the last year than we have had from Wheeldon, and at that we have this half hearted thrown together piece for his new ballet. And also, shouldn't a choreographer resident in the company be more involved with the dancers, with company class, etc., wouldn't that be a great advantage? That is what we are getting from Barak but not Wheeldon. Different kind of "residency."
Posted 17 June 2002 - 02:45 PM
Posted 17 June 2002 - 04:17 PM
Posted 17 June 2002 - 04:39 PM
I'm going to be a bit cynical here, partially because I think Wheeldon is good, but he isn't the savior of ballet as he's been called. I think City Ballet gave him the title, which to the outside world, probably gave him more creditability than perhaps he deserved. He went out and has done things for other companies, a Broadway show and gotten recognition in the tabloids, this in turn brings City Ballet some press and hopefully an audience just to see what he turns out next.
I think he's a decent choreographer, but I think there are some others and I wonder if he's just become a ballet celebrity of sorts, with not much star power to back it up.
Sorry, I'm just annoyed yet again at a waste of a season over at City Ballet. What a contrast to see ABT revive something as old as Fille and I love it and all the new stuff I can't stand is across the plaza.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 04:57 AM
Posted 19 June 2002 - 05:16 AM
That said, I liked the new piece and thought it was interesting.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 05:33 AM
The 'spider' movement was there, but not as frequent as reviewers led me to believe. I wonder if anything's been changed? No matter, this was appropriate to the Ligeti score, as was when the ladies were held in 'iron cross' positions and tiled side to side. The repetition 'morphed' the two couples, who were emotional opposites. Wheeldon is becoming more musically astute with each piece. Even silent sections work.
During the piece several audience members sitting in my row complained LOUDLY about the music - have NYCB audiences changed so much? 'New' music is a company tradition.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:06 AM
As for me, I had a mixed reaction to the piece. I thought the movements were amazingly fluid. Beautiful. I wasn't sure how much that was due to the wonderful dancing -- and it was wonderful -- or the choreography. .
I also loved the lighting, even if I couldn't detect its meaning. And the costumes were very pretty for a leotard ballet. As for the Ligeti score, I thought it was easier to digest and enjoy than his more recent works.
Neverthless, I found my mind wandering about 3/4s through the ballet. It did have the somewhat familiar and unappealling scent of a typical Diamond project ballet.
One hopes that next year Wheeldon will slow down a bit and work on at least one ballet with a large NYCB cast. It seems to me that Martins wants to tie Wheeldon to the company but also give him the freedom he wants. I don't think that's a bad thing -- particularly at this stage of Wheeldon's career. It doesn't force Wheeldon to make a choice -- Broadway vs. City Ballet. The Royal vs. City Ballet, etc. It can only give him more experience and help City Ballet in the long run. And isn't that somewhat similar to the relationship Robbins had with the company?
Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:22 AM
The least successful Wheeldon choreography of recent times IMO, was for "Sweet Smell of Success." It was generic Broadway razzmatazz. I thought that show as a whole, though, was a lot better than the critics said, and I'm sorry it closed.
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