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Estelle

Dance as ever performances

8 posts in this topic

I know that it's a bit difficult to post reviews while knowing the choreographer is reading, but (Leigh, close your eyes ;) )... how was it?

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The solo piece for Peter Boal was not only the best thing I've ever seen Peter do, it was the best thing I've ever seen of its kind -- by which I mean a short ballet exploring the limits of classical form. ("a la Polyphonia"). The Cello score (commissioned) was perfect, very linear. The choreography explored the edge of the dancer's balance and placement within the score, as the dancer moves towards the edge of his balance and placement and even towards distortions of them and then repeatedly, but seamlessly, back into the classical cannon of movement so that the two blend into each other. Because "balance" and "placement" are two key, if not the two key structres in what we regard as classicism, it becomes almost a demonstration of what classicism means.

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I, too, thought the Boal solo was wonderful. I'm not sure that it's the best Leigh has ever done for Boal, simply because I thought the previous two solos were also wonderful. Leigh's work usually has a theme which sometimes borders on a conceit. In the pieces we saw, the more successful ones were those in which the movement grew organically from the Idea, less so when the Idea seemed a bit of a bed of Procrustes for the movement.

In this light, I think the Boal solo (oh where, oh where is my program?) was the most successful work. While there were moments when it was quite clear that the Theme was being Demonstrated, I never felt myself thinking "Oh, look, Peter is Teetering on the Edge again!" And I don't think this was entirely, or even mostly due to the fact that Peter Boal could make tying his shoes engrossing, but because Leigh painted his movement pictures with a fine and sensitive brush.

It is always heartening and a joy to see a choreographer working in an expanded classical idiom. And, as mentioned above, even at his most romantic, Leigh's approach is always that of a classicist. And I know classicism in ballet terms means not quite what it does in the general artistic lexicon, but I think both usages are apt here.

More when I figure out what I've done with my program....

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Estelle, how fortunate you are to have this lovely lyrical ballet, 'Rideau' dedicated to you. This is the first time I have seen Leigh's work and I was struck by how successfully he weds the music to the dance in two very dissimilar pieces, ---the Debussy in 'Rideau' and the comissioned cello piece for the 'Equilibrium' (the Boal solo). My thoughts were with you while watching the 'Rideau'. The set design of the flowing strips of curtain were reminiscent of a wedding.

The set designs of Matthew Mohr in three works were quite good. One final comment,--the Alleluia section of 'Word Becomes Flesh' was very moving. I wish those who have written of Liturgical dance here could have seen it.

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Originally posted by atm711

Estelle, how fortunate you are to have this lovely lyrical ballet, 'Rideau' dedicated to you.  

Well, I didn't know that there was a ballet dedicated to me!!! :):P:):D

Of course I'm green with envy not having seen all that. But that's great to read about it anyway!

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We, too, thought "Equilibrium" was very powerful. For me, seeing Peter Boal in something like this was very different. According to Ballet 101, there are several "types" of male ballet dancers - it's obvious that Mr. Boal is a danseur noble even when finding his "balance". ;)

Yes, Estelle, your wedding piece was dreamlike!

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Aha! Estelle--someone is holding out on you. Quoting from the program:

Rideau (French for "curtain") is dedicated to my good friends Estelle Souche and Philippe Bruhat on the occasion of their marriage.

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There's a review of DAE's program by Eve Cusson on alt.arts.ballet (access it through your news server)

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