Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

McKenzie, Threat or Menace?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

Poll: McKenzie, Threat or Menace? (1 member(s) have cast votes)

McKenzie, Threat or Menace?

  1. Superb. Who needs ballerinas when you have guys who can jump and turn? (1 votes [4.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  2. Very Good. He hasn't screwed up Giselle. Yet. (6 votes [24.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.00%

  3. Adequate. Could be worse, could be Maina Gielgud. (5 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  4. Not Good. He HAS screwed up Swan Lake. (7 votes [28.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.00%

  5. Lousy. "Pied Piper." "Nutcracker." 'Nuff said. (6 votes [24.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.00%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,275 posts

Posted 02 April 2002 - 07:57 AM

Paul, I don't think you can imagine McKenzie's "Swan Lake" by thinking about his "Giselle." The "Giselle" (which I think is the work of many hands, although directed by him) is generally a traditional production -- and looked very good the last time they danced it here.

"Swan Lake" was billed as a traditional production, but it's so much more :) The big news is that Von Rothbart is now two Von Rothbarts! Von Rothbart I a/k/a Swamp Thing, a slimy green critter who nabs Odette when she's out somewhere dancing out her "I'd rather be doing Juliet" fantasies in her nightgown and changes her into a (very obviously stuffed toy) swan. VRII, a sexy young thing in purple, charges on in the ballroom act and never looks back, dancing with the Would Be Brides and seducing the Queen (gosh, where have we seen THAT before?). Siegfried's role has also been, er, enhanced, jumpily speaking :)

#2 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,275 posts

Posted 02 April 2002 - 01:17 PM

BW I don't have time to search for them all -- there may some still on Recent Performances -- but there's a thread headed ABT Swan Lake about ten posts down from this one:

http://www.balletale...=&threadid=3934

#3 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,275 posts

Posted 27 March 2002 - 06:42 AM

This is interesting so far -- a rather even divide, and far fewer responses than to the Peter Martins poll.

ABTers, please check this one out!

#4 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,275 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 07:27 PM

BW, those posts should still be on this very forum. There were quite a few comments on the ballet in DC, NY and in California.

#5 cargill

cargill

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 645 posts

Posted 02 April 2002 - 10:51 AM

BW, I reviewed the Swan Lake when it was done at the Met for DanceView, but I don't know if Alexandra posted it. Anyway, the short version! There is no understanding of the story or the mystery. Even before the ballet starts, the audience sees a glitttery, Hallmark card lake as a curtain, so there is no mystery. The period is all wrong, early Renaissance was not a spiritual period. The peasants and the nobles were all mixed in together, so there were no class disinctions. The prologue is completely untheatrical. Ivanov/Petipa made the ballerina's entrance into something grand, something the audience has to wait for. Here a few people recognize the ballerina in the dim dark surroundings and applaud, so there is no thrill when she enters in Act 2. The story in the prologue is also not the story Odette tells Siegfried. (Though a mimed "Swamp Man raped me" might be fun to figure out.)

Siegfried had no real character in Act 1. He romps around with the palace slut and is then robbed of his final curtain scene. The act 2 sets don't make sense. There is a palace by the lake, presumably Siegfried's palace, so clearly the lake is not in some mysterious place, because he can just look out of his window. What is Swmap Man doing living in the lake made by Odette's mother's tears, anyway. Good and evil do not live together. That huge moon is completely distracting.

Then I really, really don't like acts 3 and 4. The ballet isn't about sex, Rothbart is evil, not an oversexed Las Vegas floor show. Odile get Siegfried by trickery, not seduction. Good and evil are important ideas, and turning Swan Lake into an MTV-influenced bunch of hotties is not sophistication, it is immature. Well, you did ask!

#6 cargill

cargill

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 645 posts

Posted 27 March 2002 - 06:48 AM

I was going to vote adequate, because there is so much I enjoy, but the Swan Lake issue clinched it for me, I'm afraid. Every aspect was just so terrible, except maybe for some of the dancing. However, he is doing Ashton this spring, so maybe we should vote again then!

#7 Manhattnik

Manhattnik

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 847 posts

Posted 26 March 2002 - 08:36 AM

So what do we think of Kevin McKenzie's reign at ABT? After all, why should Peter Martins have all the attention?

#8 Miss

Miss

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 30 March 2002 - 06:01 AM

As the mom of a dancing young man, we love to watch ABT. Either on TV or a trip to NYC. I am just glad we have le Corsaire on DVD, because I am sure we would have worn out the video tape watching Angel as The Slave Boy

Miss

#9 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 02 April 2002 - 12:18 PM

Is that the same Swan Lake I saw?:eek: :confused:

The only thing "bad" that I recall was the two lovers jumping to their deaths off something or other in the back of the stage... I have to admit I do recall Swamp thing but not much of the rest of it. I will just have to look for that ticket stub...;)

By the way, I tried a search but didn't come up with anything from this board.:)

#10 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 02 April 2002 - 01:34 PM

Thanks Alexandra...it's all coming back to me now...I do recall the Rothbart/Swawmp creature dying a long, slow, torurous death and it did take away from the lovers jumping off into the lake... Perhaps I'll find my old program just for fun to see if anyone critiqued the exact one I saw. Who knows, maybe I'm just a sucker for the music? ;)

#11 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 26 March 2002 - 10:51 AM

Ah, who is it that doesn't love a poll? The questions themselves are worth the read!

#12 BW

BW

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,048 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 06:59 PM

Cargill, what makes you say Swan Lake was so terrible? I saw them do it last summer and really enjoyed it, although I did think the end where they jump off into the lake was a bit much!

Because I don't have a long history of watching ballet, I don't know what ABT was like before...and I would like to know what it is that people do not like about McKenzie's approach.

#13 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 31 March 2002 - 07:39 PM

Not having seen ABT's Swan Lake, I'm curious -- could McKenzies be muc worse than Peter Martins'a, OR Baryshnikov's? (The latter was really quite dismal, though it was strangely refreshing when hte swans clapped their hands a bit, Like Raymonda, in hte last act... Actually that waasn't refreshing at all, it was just final confirmation that Baryshnikov had come to regret ever taking on this task..... HTough the second year, he dancers seemed to have roped it in and figured out how to dance it DESPITE the production.....)

I do believe that McKenzie's might be bad -- though Giselle, when htey danced it here last September, was really quite quite good-- except for Paloma Herra. But Stiefel was wonderfull, and hte corps in hte second act were tight......

#14 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,275 posts

Posted 29 December 2002 - 10:53 AM

[bump]

I'd forgotten to move this one in the first go round. Now moved by request.

#15 grace

grace

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts

Posted 29 December 2002 - 04:34 PM

i cannot have an opinion on this one, but i love the options. thanks manhattnik. :)


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):