I'm a bit late, but I thought I'd share my impressions from a few weeks ago. All in all a great night at the ballet.
I’m Old Fashioned: This was fine. It was a long piece, repetitive, and reminded me so much of Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, which incidentally MCB will dance in the upcoming program, and Martins’ Thou Swell. My grandma loved it—it was far and away her favorite piece of the night, so I gather MCB knows its demographic. A red headed man in a principal role really got the style, perhaps Alexander Peters. This piece reminded my grandma of a scene in the movie Flying Down to Rio where women dance on the wings of the plane. Lucky for us, I found it on Youtube. I enjoyed the video very much so will share the link.
This Bitter Earth: Mesmerizing. I can’t say anything more, since I was basically entranced during the entire piece. The dancers were Emily Bromberg and Rainer Krenstetter.
Tschai Pas: Dynamic as always. The fish dives were so daring it looked like Katia Carranza was at risk of falling out of Carlos Quenedit’s arms. Carranza interspersed her fouttées with piqué soutenus, which looked particularly sparkly.
Symphonic Dances (Ratmansky): I may have ranted about Ratmansky’s choreography on this blog before. If so, I apologize for the following. Symphonic Dances has three parts: a drab first section, a carnival-esque middle, and a drab finale. I couldn’t begin identify any dancers. The first section was my favorite, if you can call it a favorite. Least hated may be a more accurate description. It had the most interesting, least twee, and least disturbing choreography, and didn’t seem to go on forever.
The second section. Oh my. I never asked to see a ballet about long lost twins. Well here it is! The beginning has two woman in blue in the spotlight run to the middle of the stage, throw out an arm as if to embrace, but there’s this ~invisible force~ so they can’t touch. The spotlight and twins disappear and the stage turns into a carnival of dancers in bright colors with a black background reminiscent of Moulin Rouge or Brazil. Then that goes away and the twins come back, still separated by the invisible force. The back and forth between Moulin Rouge and twins happens, I don’t know, five times. At some point the twins break the force and hold hands and dance together. Yay them. How lovely. That was sarcasm.
Third section. We’re back to drab costumes. But now women are writhing on the floor in the fetal position with men standing above them holding one hand. Multiple couples are doing this thing on stage simultaneously. I have many questions, but particularly: why? Why is this happening? What am I seeing? In the program Ratmansky says he “want(s) the audience to leave with the images and feelings that the movement gives them.” Well, I have a lot of images and feelings about this ballet. I know I said it was a great night in the ballet, but honestly as many feelings as I have about Symphonic Dances, it certainly was entertaining! It’s rare I still need to rant about anything artistic days let alone weeks after viewing.