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About perichoresis

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    ballet accompanist
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  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    New Zealand
  1. perichoresis

    Memories of My Ballet Teachers

    Such a rich, evocative, description of the Russian émigré teachers, their quirks, temperaments, nature of their classes, seen through such a personal lens. What an experience and heritage you have Richard!
  2. perichoresis

    Abstract ballets

    Also ":Airs" Paul Taylor
  3. perichoresis

    The end of all things

    I have at times thought about the eras of history, in which cultures and artistic forms have flourished then declined. For instance Renaissance Italy was a well spring of great artistic achievement, its extraordinary achievements in architecture, sculpture and painting. Out of Europe came the great musical masterworks and more relevantly on this forum, the art which we love...the ballet. To me it seems ,considering the rise and fall of such things mentioned above that leads me to wonder if and when the art of classical dance may fall away. This consideration seems pessimistic but I raise it just as a point of enquiry. In regard to musical compositions I think truly enduring and great compositions ceased around about half. way through the last century.Huge turning points in history ( ie the industrial revolution) wrought vast changes in society, modes of living etc. Now we are in a new equally profound time of change ( that is the era of the electronic and internet technologies) One thinks of the context in which such an immortal work...Bach's Mass in B minor was created, supremely talented composers, employment by the church, a time where people had time and space to listen, ..and I mean really listen.I hope with all my being that the glorious art of classical dance will go ion and on. One thing I am sure of, people will always dance in one form or another, for movement and time and space are our realities.
  4. What is it with Kylian, Mozart, and sword-play? In three ballets Birthday, Six Dances, and Petite Mort, all to the music of Mozart, the great choreographer has to a lesser or greater extent employed the rapier to augment his work.In Petite Mort six rapiers are integral to the work, almost serving as partners in themselves, six men provide astonishing sword-play but in an almost military way, only after this do six ladies join the chaps in Mozart's sublime sensual music.The work is suffused with aggression, sexual tension and energy, but also stillness and vulnerability.A Freudian sub-text no doubt springs to mind ( particularly as the French employ the term Petite Morte "little death" in a sexual context.) But kylian is too nuanced and dimensional to be reduced to such analysis.Six dances ( Mozart's Six German Dances) provides ribald, earthy and surreal fun, with disturbing under-tones , witty , coarse, and fast, The composer himself I'm certain would have loved it, his scatelogical Rabelasian earthy humour ( read his letters!) is wonderfully well represented.The chalk dust on wigs, the bizarre, witty nods to the Baroque and Rococo times...I am wondering, is it only when Kylian uses Mozart's music that the swords come out? Was Kylian ever a fencer?
  5. perichoresis

    Sight unseen

    extraordinary!!! Elgar once said "I have sung the trees' music, or have they sung mine? His nickname for his daughter was "fish-face" Poor girl!
  6. perichoresis

    Sight unseen

  7. perichoresis

    Sight unseen

    It has been an age since I've contributed, but the thought occurs to me, which ballet/ballets, would you most dearly love to see but as yet have not. There are more than a few on my list but Ashton's "Enigma Variations" is a work I have long desired to see. For a start I adore this composition of Elgar, the portrait of friends within.The great noble "Nimrod" variation has become a signature for state and solemn occasions.England had not had a great composer since Purcell , and when the Enigma Variations ( Elgar's first masterpiece) was heard, England realised that here was a composer of international stature. The Edwardian evocations of courtesy and wonderful eccentricity, portraits in music of Elgar's circle of friends, inspired Ashton to realise this marvellous music in a work so quintessentially "English" I understand that a bicycle has a "role" in this ballet( The composer called his bicycle "Mr Phoebus" ) I think the ballet ends with a telegram given to Elgar , conveying the conductor Hans Richter's agreement to conduct Elgar's first symphony in Ab. At its rehearsal, Richter said to the orchestra "Gentlemen, let us rehearse the greatest symphony of our time, and not only in England" But that is another story... It would be most interesting to see what readers have in mind.
  8. The following dialogue was selected from a book.Here goes.... Frank "Yo! What's shaking? Tony "Not much buddy-boy.repaired another 72 cubic Freez-O-Matic today.ain't they the worst? Frank "Fuggedaboutit.Faulty freon tubes left and right.Gimme that side by side Kenmore any day I always say. Tony "Didja get a look at that prima ballerina tonight? Whoa, what a dancer. Frank "You got that right.Never seen such a line.She musta practised with a tape measure. Tony "Yeah, how about that pas de deux-did you catch that amazing pointe work.Quick but delicate, like a Rapid R-53 staple gun. Frank "And those 32 fouettes in the coda. It was like she was drillin' a hole in the floor at 900 rpm with an 18 volt Black&Decker cordless. Tony "Yeah but what's with her partner? No turnout at all during his variation.Sheesh! Frank "Yeah, what does he think he is, a Ramelson 11/64 straight handle skew chisel? Tony "And he totally messed up his menage.turned it into a diagonL halfway through. He coudda used a plumb bob level.Whadda louse. Frank "Yeah... got something stuck in his dance belt. Tony "See you at Beethoven's 9th tonight? Frank "count on it. Go figure! Ciao Tony
  9. perichoresis

    ballet and the hadron accelerator

    Sorry to misquote your name Sandy.Accuracy is a virtue most particularly in your field.
  10. perichoresis

    Balletic Bach and the Brandenburgs

    I appreciate your insightful observations Sandy.You have an observant eye and mind.I am a bit isolated here in New Zealand but worked for two years in Australia, both at the National Ballet Theatre in St Kilda, and also at the Victorian College of the Arts.But it was at Danceworld 301 where I played briefly for Gelsey Kirkland.Back here at the new Zealand School of Dance I saw Concerto Barocco quite a few times.And I agree that Bach and Balanchine are in fact almost certainly in the divine sphere as we speak.I read somewhere that Balanchine somewhere had dancers held vertically upside down doing entrechats.Apparantly this was to indicate an inverted fugual theme.sounds extraordinary but my memory is usually quite impressive.Bach and Balanchine share the architectonic gift, constructing on occasion cathedral- like forms in their work. Being men of faith (Devout Lutheran and Russian Orthodox) and having faith myself I rather think Sandy's celestial hope for them is in fact predicated on reality.But that is entirely another subject.
  11. perichoresis

    ballet and the hadron accelerator

    To answer the questions, I am a pianist.My father had degrees in mathematics and physics and I seem to have inherited his love of both.I recall my father factorising number plates on motor vehicles.Numbers seemed to be his friend.For instance 13 squared = 169. 31 squared =961.The transpositions are nice. Our teacher is a woman of high intelligence and given to somewhat cryptic remarks on occasion. Rarely do her observations border on the mysterious but this remark came so far out of left field it took me a few minutes to fully appreciate its depth.Possibly my imagination was heightened during the time.I was about halfway through the character variation when she uttered this.I thought it was rather elegant that the requested direction she wished her dancers to inscribe was an ellipse around the studio.I thought of the elliptical orbit the sub-atomic particles will soon take around the vast large hadron collider.I think her linking Rutherford with magnets was a highly imaginative remark but I doubt whether she really understood as Sean has pointed out the inconsistency between the two.Quite some years ago I began to explore the feasibilty of writing a paper on the physics of the ballet studio (Newtonian laws) but I didn't get too far.Someone told me that a Polish physicist did this about forty years ago.Perhaps I was interpreting too deeply implied meaning .
  12. perichoresis

    Balletic Bach and the Brandenburgs

    Many thanks for a swift and informative reply.I can see why the other brandenburs mentioned didn't last for long.
  13. A funny thing happened today in the studio where I work.Our resident teacher, choreographer and artistic director, the extraordinary Deirdre Tarrant in one sentence managed to compress dance instruction and reference to both the great New Zealand physicist and the vast particle accelerator near Geneva which has heavily featured in international media recently.This utterance I believe is the verbal equivalent of a mathematical equation possessing both economy and elegance. Instructing her dancers in the spatial relationships she wished them to inscribe (during a character dance from Belarus) she said "Remember Rutherford and the magnets!" What a triumph of concatenation.In this briefest of utterance she paid tribute to the great New Zealand physicist who laid the foundations of nuclear science.Not only this but also made reference to the great apparatus in question.I bow the knee to this most exceptional of remarks.I doubt if ever in the history of ballet such a feat has occured.Did the students get it???? I know I did!
  14. As a dance accompanist much of the music of the concert repertoire I listen to is filtered through the realm of choreographic possibilities.As is well known choreographers have and do find a rich source of inspiration in the music of the great cantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.Obviously the fact that so much of his music is predicated upon the courtly dances of Europe determines this.In Bach we find a quality of kinetic momentum and rythmic pulse that compels expression in the dance.Also the multi layered polyphonic lines and architectonic mathematical nature of much of his work contributes deeply to this. I am so far unaware of existing choreography to the six Brandenburg concertos but I would be most surprised if it is not extant.I wish to suggest the sixth concerto in Bb major BWV 1051.To my mind it is the obvious and most promising candidate.This is so because of all the Brandenburgs it has the qualities mentioned in the previous paragraph.This concerto is thought to be the earliest written of the set.Its instrumentation indicates this is almost certainly the case (viols) and its concerto grosso form, unlike for instance the 5th concerto which is virtually a keyboard concerto with its impressive and wonderful cadenza in the first movement. If anyone could confirm whether or not the sixth concerto has or has not been so far choreographed i would be most appreciative.Do any musicians, accompanists, repetiteurs or indeed choreographers confirm my instinct?
  15. perichoresis

    glories of yesteryear

    St Augustine said there were three things he would have loved to have seen above all.These were :the Lord Jesus Christ when He walked this earth, ; the Apostle Paul preaching, and Rome in all its glory.Inspired by this, I turned my attention to dancers.Here is my list; it is necessarily incomplete. The Men: Vaslav Nijinsky, Enrico Cecchetti, Mikhail Fokhine, Robert Helpmann, Erik Bruhn, Nikita Dolgushin,Igor Zelensky, Yuri Solyviev ("Cosmonautic Yuri" on account of his extraordinary elevations and resemblance to Yuri Gargarin) The Women: Olga Spessistseva (an anecdote describes how in class her centre-work was so extraordinary that the dancers behind her were spellbound(and possibly intimidated) and could not dance anymore' so fixated were they upon her.The teacher moved her to the back! Tatiana Riabouschinska, Tamara Toumanova, Antoinette Sibley, Natalia Bessmertnova, Galina Ulanova. Finally though not strictly in the category, the great Alexander Pushkin teaching his Class of Perfection. What dancers would readers of this post choose? Perhaps teachers could comprise a second list.