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Amy Reusch

The Green Table

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A bit off-topic, but I think US companies should seriously consider programming this next year. Just saying...

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2 hours ago, California said:

A bit off-topic, but I think US companies should seriously consider programming this next year. Just saying...

The Green Table is one of the greats, but, it's not performed that often for some reason. I'd like to see ABT bring this back for their fall season. But, I wonder if it would be viewed as too political for our current times.

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Ballet West did The Green Table last season (2016-2017) to much acclaim. Considering AD Adam Sklute's Joffrey roots and the political turmoil of the past year in the U.S. (and worldwide), it seemed like a powerful choice. A friend and former colleague who lives in Salt Lake City saw it and was very moved....a testament to the power and reach of the arts. I so wish I could see one of these productions!


I'm glad to hear that other companies are also presenting The Green Table. It is timely.

http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=5170843&itype=CMSID

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6 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

The Green Table is one of the greats, but, it's not performed that often for some reason. I'd like to see ABT bring this back for their fall season. But, I wonder if it would be viewed as too political for our current times.

If the Joffrey could tour this ballet all over the country during the Vietnam War, we can stand to see it now.

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6 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

 But, I wonder if it would be viewed as too political for our current times.

All the more reason to show it as much as possible! The NEA has survived (so far!), so time for the arts to speak truth to power.

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Posted (edited)

Amen! I feel that art is most powerful when it questions the status quo and makes demands of polite society. Sometimes art challenges culture/societal evolution and sometimes culture/societal/evolution challenges art (re: old works that don't fit modern norms or aesthetics), but it's an ongoing process. Ballet and other "high arts" seem to be at a crossroads...will they continue along the old paths and cater to an aging audience that demands comfort or will they adapt and evolve with the demands of more current sensibilities? I think that we're at a transition point.

And something I wonder about is how much the losses of the 1980s generation of artists and creators to AIDS and economic/cultural shifts in state support/valuation of the arts have left a gap that is being felt at present.

 

 

Edited by kylara7

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10 hours ago, kylara7 said:

will they continue along the old paths and cater to an aging audience that demands comfort

how do you know that an "aging audience"  "demands comfort"? Seems like a pretty ageist assumption . I was just in San Francisco for Unbound. Looking around at the audience, it was pretty much the same proportion of white hair as at most ballet performances, and they responded VERY enthusiastically to everything.

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Posted (edited)

I suspect that the majority of the generation that came of age during the Vietnam war — i.e., today's "aging audience" — would not be unduly scandalized by The Green Table. 

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell

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15 hours ago, kylara7 said:

And something I wonder about is how much the losses of the 1980s generation of artists and creators to AIDS and economic/cultural shifts in state support/valuation of the arts have left a gap that is being felt at present.
 

That's been the subject of many conversations over the past few years.  In fact, contemporary choreographer Sean Dorsey is in Seattle at Velocity Dance Center this weekend with a new work that deals with the topic.

We are missing a vital slice of our heritage from that cohort.  We have few enough examples of a choreographer's career arc -- a significant number of dance artists leave the field for various reasons early in their lives, and so we only see a handful of people who persever over the long haul.  Balanchine and Ashton were obviously in that category, as were Cunningham, Ailey, and Graham.  Paul Taylor continues to make new work, and I'm always thrilled to see where his curiosity has led him, and to think of the long development of his aesthetic.  But for many dance artists who came of age during the dance boom, when the possibilities for the art form seemed so broad, AIDS ended their careers much earlier than they would have chosen otherwise. 

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28 minutes ago, sandik said:

That's been the subject of many conversations over the past few years.  In fact, contemporary choreographer Sean Dorsey is in Seattle at Velocity Dance Center this weekend with a new work that deals with the topic.

That sounds fascinating...if you see it, please report back!

I was at a presentation recently that mentioned choreographer Choo San Goh, uncle of Chan-hon Goh, and his work prior to his untimely death and it got me thinking about how our arts ecosystem might look different and more dynamic had we not had those losses. It feels to me like an older era is grimly hanging on long after the next cohort should have taken on some of the workload and helped to build a transition to new audiences and a new body of work to add to the rich tradition.

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11 hours ago, kylara7 said:

That sounds fascinating...if you see it, please report back!

I was at a presentation recently that mentioned choreographer Choo San Goh, uncle of Chan-hon Goh, and his work prior to his untimely death and it got me thinking about how our arts ecosystem might look different and more dynamic had we not had those losses. It feels to me like an older era is grimly hanging on long after the next cohort should have taken on some of the workload and helped to build a transition to new audiences and a new body of work to add to the rich tradition.

Goh was a very active choreographer at the time, and yet today I can't think of a company that has one of his works in their active rep.  One of the saddest parts about losing someone is losing their body of work as well.

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2 hours ago, sandik said:

Goh was a very active choreographer at the time, and yet today I can't think of a company that has one of his works in their active rep.  One of the saddest parts about losing someone is losing their body of work as well.

There is actually a Choo San Goh Foundation, but it doesn't seem to have done much since 2008.

http://goh-mageefoundation.org/

Mary Day at Washington Ballet had the foresight to bring him to the US in 1976. It's a shame they don't keep at least one or two of his pieces in active repertory.

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I've noticed that most companies seem to have a fairly careless approach to their heritage as they move forward.  With the exception of the big classical works (Swan Lake, Giselle, etc), and of course the ubiquitous Nutcracker, they don't generally maintain repertory that isn't directly connected to their directors or their current dancers.

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The Green Table was created in 1932, but thank goodness it was kept alive as the subject matter is evergreen. :(

I'm sure that the argument about whether art is/should be political is equally ubiquitous and is likely influenced by the variety of opinions among the population at a given time and the ebbs and flows of social upheaval and action around social issues. Some people prefer their art as to be an escape from the outside world and its burdens and conflicts. Others prefer to be challenged and unsettled by art and want art to engage with the topics of the times. As these are opinions and not facts, there is no right or wrong, although the reliance on a melange of funding sources and to what extent that includes state and corporate support does seem to shift the balance depending on the region/culture and the general class makeup of the audiences.
 

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4 hours ago, kylara7 said:

Some people prefer their art as to be an escape from the outside world and its burdens and conflicts. Others prefer to be challenged and unsettled by art and want art to engage with the topics of the times.
 

And I like them all!

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Posted (edited)

Formal complexity while not exlicitly “political” can itself unsettle and challenge. I’m tempted to say that in 2018, in the United States, anything that requires concentrated attention can be unsettling for audiences...

Regarding Joos though and how he thought about his art....There  was a telecast of his works with the Joffrey in the 70’s and all I remember from it was a discussion/interview in which the interviewer—perhaps it was Joffrey himself—said something to Joos about how The Green Table never seems the least bit dated and Joos immediately replied “Unfortunately.” This answer filled and fills me with admiration...

Edited by Drew

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Posted (edited)

The Salzburg Museum of Modern Art currently has a video installation called Espiral by Isa Rosenberger, which is based on The Green Table. Most of the video shows a dancer dancing part of the role of Death outside an Austrian bank, with surtitles describing the involvement of Austrian banks in Eastern Europe. There is also an interview with the dancer, Amanda Pina (yes, a woman!!), and how  she learned Joos technique and the connection of the technique to socio-political action. You can read more and watch it here.

It was very interesting and I was very glad to have come across this work by chance, but it was quite obvious that the dance was made on a man and requires greater force and aggression than the dancer displayed.

The installation was part of a wide-ranging exhibition of pwrks from the collection of the Generali Foundation titled "In dialog with 1918 1938 1968" - and some of it was hard to stomach. Otto Dix's drawings of WWI and its aftermath are incredibly evocative and sad and reduced me to tears but the video of a rat being immolated by napalm was just disgusting... 

Edited by Petra
typo

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6 hours ago, Petra said:

The Salzburg Museum of Modern Art currently has a video installation called Espiral by Isa Rosenberger, which is based on The Green Table. Most of the video shows a dancer dancing part of the role of Death outside an Austrian bank, with surtitles describing the involvement of Austrian banks in Eastern Europe. There is also an interview with the dancer, Amanda Pina (yes, a woman!!), and how  she learned Joos technique and the connection of the technique to socio-political action. You can read more and watch it here.

It was very interesting and I was very glad to have come across this work by chance, but it was quite obvious that the dance was made on a man and requires greater force and aggression than the dancer displayed.

The installation was part of a wide-ranging exhibition of pwrks from the collection of the Generali Foundation titled "In dialog with 1918 1938 1968" - and some of it was hard to stomach. Otto Dix's drawings of WWI and its aftermath are incredibly evocative and sad and reduced me to tears but the video of a rat being immolated by napalm was just disgusting... 

I hadn't heard anything about this project -- thanks so much for posting this here!

My partner is in Berlin this spring, and has been fascinated by the way the city tries to engage with its political past.  Some of the artwork he's been telling me about is indeed very difficult to deal with, but that does seem to be part of the point. 

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