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About Joel

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    ballet fan
  • City**
    London, England
  1. I had the opportunity to watch Hubbard Street about 5 years ago when they toured Europe. They danced "Six Dances" by Kylian and it was indeed a very good rendition of that piece. I remember a young, dynamic and talented company.
  2. That's exactly what I tried to answer all along. I would like to add that I agree with Sunpacy's post (july 2nd, 2005). Classifying a choreographer can sometimes prove to be a pointless exercise, even more so in Kylian's case. Since he started choreographing -in surroundings that I've already mentioned- he has created a huge amount of pieces over many years and evolved more than most choreographers of his generation. To anyone who wants to "classify" Jiri Kylian's work I would strongly recommend to take an exhaustive look into his repertoire. It simply can not be judged as a whole. Bart, I can relate to your experience of watching some of Kylian's choreographies and subsequently not really "remembering" them. His pieces often turn into half-forgotten dreams in the minds of people... It's difficult to explain but there definitely is an abstract/ethereal quality to his style. I think this is one of the particularities that Kylian fans love about his choreographies.
  3. Helene, maybe "dismissed" was not the appropriate word, but it was clearly signified to me that I was off-topic in a way that I can only describe as "dry". Having read people's views on this subject I simply decided to share my thoughts. If the community feels that this topic has been discussed too many times, my question is: Why is this thread still running?... I don't personally try to "classify" choreographers, but I do know about the origins of Kylian's early pieces and I thought it would be interesting to read about them as much as I found it interesting to read about other people's perceptions of these works. To me, it isn't that important whether "Sinfonietta" is considered a neo-classical ballet or not. It isn't in my intention to argue with anyone over this issue. What matters most is the quality of that piece and its place in the history of choreography. I have gone some way in trying to give informations that were missing from this board -and there are still lots more to say- but now I feel that my perspective is unwelcome or, at least, misunderstood.
  4. I agree with you, carbro, and I think you misunderstood me: Musicality, to me, could never be reduced to "the matter of hitting a beat". Also, I do agree that the musicality of a dancer is, in most cases, a natural talent (as I wrote in my earlier post), but this was already very well explained by other members on this thread and I am trying to focus on another aspect of musicality in its relation to dance. I hope I can make my point clearer. The interpretation of music differs a lot from one choreographer to the next and therefore it is obvious that musical sensibility is part of a choreographer's style and personality. Some have a looser approach of timing than others, but in general choreographers are musically very specific. It does not mean that dancers have to move in a robotic fashion and not have their own "space" within the music but they do have to respect a style, both in the movement AND in the musicality. I personally think that it is important to mention this perspective. Many dancers will admit that it sometimes takes hours of rehearsals to get familiar with a choreographer's musical demands, because it isn't simply about being "on the beat". Every nuance in the music has to be illustrated and this is what often makes a performance so moving.
  5. I'm sorry, but this is getting ridiculous. It does not matter to me if someone likes or dislikes Kylian's work because, in my mind, people have the right to have their own opinion and they're always going to get my respect. When I wrote that he did not appear to be very well-known in the US it was a personal impression: a board is there for people to discuss their views politely and that's exactly what I did in my original post (as wrong as I may have been). There is no reason my thoughts should be dryly dismissed as being off-topic. As far as I know -and this was implied in my post- Jiri Kyian's choreographies have evolved a lot and no longer show the strong classical influence which was present in his early choreographies. It should be said on this thread that Kylian was dancing in Stuttgart when John Cranko was running the company in the seventies. Cranko, whose ballets were deeply rooted in the classical vocabulary, had a great influence on all of the very young choreographers who were around him at the time. This era proved to be extremely productive and it is no secret that many talented figures, like Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Uwe Scholz or Youri Vamos, have emerged from these surroundings. I have personally talked to artists such as Egon Madsen, Marcia Haydée and Richard Cragun: the essence of the aforementioned choreographers is purely neo-classical since all of it comes from the same source: Mr John Cranko. Of course, their works have slowly evolved and strayed into different territories. Some of them took innovating paths (Forsythe, Kylian) while others remained neo-classical purists, like Scholz, leaving us with a legacy of wonderful pieces. I hope to discuss the genius of Uwe Scholz with you soon, Helene.
  6. Musicality is essential. Dancers can be naturally musical (or not) but very often it is down to the choreographer or the ballet masters to teach them what is required precisely. Hours of studio work usually ensure a professional dancer will perform a faithful interpretation of the choreographer's musical views...
  7. Leigh, your viewpoint is very specific indeed... My earlier post seems to have bothered you: I only wanted to share my thoughts on a thread entitled "Choreography of Jiri Kylian". Besides, I respect Ballet Talk's mission statement and honestly don't see why I shouldn't write on this board about a choreographer who has created famous neo-classical pieces, performed by many great ballet companies. "Sinfonietta", for example, is universally known as a neo-classical masterpiece. You may call Kylian a "fusion" choreographer -whatever that means- but he does deserve a place in the "main subject of the board".
  8. There is so much to say about Jiri Kylian. Reading this thread it seems this choreographer isn't very well-known in the USA... This surprises me when I think of the praise the three NDT companies have enjoyed over the years in Europe and across the world, and the fact that so many companies now perform his pieces. Some of his disciples have created great choreographies (Nacho Duato, Paul Lightfoot...), the NDT companies are a unique structure, and he still has so much to offer!... His style has evolved a lot and covered many different grounds since the 70's. The neoclassical "Symphony in D" and "Sinfonietta" have very little in common with last year's "Sleepless" or "Chapeau", but it's easy to recognize his musicality, his sense of humanity and his humour. To me, Kylian's choreographies are never really dark because they're filled with spirituality....
  9. Thank you for your warm welcome, bart. I have discovered Ballet Talk recently and find it very interesting on many levels. I'm always happy to read about people's views on companies, dancers... so of course it is great to be able to share my own thoughts with other members on these boards. Coming back to this thread, I couldn't agree more with your comments about the struggles that spanish dance companies had -and still have- to go through. It is also true that so many talented dancers have no choice but to move away from their native Spain in order to perform their art. This is part of the reason why I was moved to see such a dedicated and generous company: too often, european companies seem to take their funding and audience for granted and become very self-indulgent (in France, for example). Victor Ullate and his dancers are never sure if they're going to "survive" financial problems, but they really push themselves. They need (and deserve) all the support they can get.
  10. I have seen this company perform a couple of times in the past and really enjoyed it. I was especially impressed by the quality of the male dancers. This is obviously a very disciplined, hard-working company. Ullate's choreographies may or may not be everyone's taste but there is quality and passion in the performances. In my opinion, professionalism is very important in ballet, and this company shows a lot of respect to audiences.
  11. I would like to congratulate Rupert Pennefather for his promotion. I think he is a fine dancer, and having met him I can also say he is a very nice person... Bravo!
  12. Jonathan Cope is/was one of the greatest male principal dancers the Royal Ballet has ever had. I got to see him perform many times and was always charmed by his elegance and outstanding stage presence. He was also a wonderful partner and I will always remember the Manon pas-de-deux he used to dance with Sylvie Guillem... It's a good thing he will still be around in Covent Garden to help younger dancers benefit from his experience. Hopefully we'll see him perform character roles every now then!
  13. I have seen this company dance a Balanchine triple bill recently in France and I have to say I was less than impressed by the quality of the performance. This thread is quite old so it's possible the company has gone downhill in the meantime... They started the evening with "Theme and Variations". It is one of Balanchine's most brilliant ballets, technically very difficult, and I was looking forward to see it. Unfortunately it turned out to be an ill-advised choice for them: the principal dancers looked uncomfortable while the corps lacked discipline and style. Next came a poor rendition of "Apollo" with a dancer looking nothing like a greek God, obviously struggling to get through the piece. "Who Cares?" was definitely the best moment of the night. Overall I was left expecting much more from the Toulouse Ballet. It looked very provincial to me and there was little presence or artistry on stage. A big disappointment.
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