Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Ballet Canadiana

Recommended Posts

I don't really have time to write a long description, but I just wanted to start a thread and see if anyone else attended the mixed program.

I went on saturday for the matinee, mostly because I wanted to see Evelyn Hart. She may not be appearing with NBoC for much longer, so it's really nice to see her while we still can- even if it's only for a very short pas de deux. Evelyn and Rex danced an excerpt from Kudelka's "Gazebo Dances" (made on Ballet Met). For the entire segment, the woman covers one eye with her hand, and the man has his hand places over his mouth. With only one free hand, they manage to do promenades, turns, and balances quite effectively (sometimes switching hands, but there is always one covering the eye/mouth). I'm not sure if this mannerism persists through the entire ballet though. I think that would be a bit much. Otherwise, the two dance compliment each other very well and seem completely in sync with each other. There are some daring lifts in the pdd, and they were tackled with ease. Evelyn looks even more tiny to me now, so fragile. In this pdd, she seems vulnerable and afraid. She has such an amazing ability to project these feelings with the smallest gestures. It's hard to describe, but she has "breath" in her dancing...When you watch her, sometimes you start to inhale and exhale in time with her.

The other Kudelka excerpt was a solo from "The End" (made on SFB). I wish I had seen Guillaume Cote, I think he would be brilliant in it. I also thought of Jhe Russell when I watched it. He won the Erik Bruhn Prize a few years ago with this solo. I didn't see that performance, but I imagine it being an ideal showcase for his talents. It's an exuberant piece, mostly jumps- and it requires a dancer with a great deal of energy and charisma. I felt that Richard Landry was lacking in those categories. His jumps were technically sound, but they lacked amplitude. Overall, the performance looked a little tired but it was clear from watching it, that it could be great.

"there, below" (Kudelka) was created on Ballet Met in 1999. It was interesting for me to see one of his "earlier" works. This ballet is very geometric, the lines are harsher. The intricate partnering he is known for is displayed in the series of pdd. Overall, the piece seems detached from emotion. The dancers, in nude unitards with sequins, seem inhuman in their movements and interactions.

"One Hundred Words for Snow" (Dumais) was choreographed for the Glenn Gould tribute in 1999. I think it loses a bit of its impact when it's taken outside that context. She is quite literal in her approach. Gould was known to be obsessive about taking care of his hands (i.e. he wore gloves everywhere), so she incorporates a lot of awkward hand movements. Throughout most of the ballet, Gould's humming can be heard on the recording. However, it is an interesting piece to watch, with each of the dancers representing different voices in the music . All of the dancers looked comfortable in this work, understanding the details and nuances of the steps (I didn't feel that this was the case with "Monument").

"Monument" (Mrozewski) was a bit of a let down. He addresses some important ideas about the ephemeral nature of dance, its history, its future. It's a bit like a tribute to the art form and its evolution. This is his 2nd comission for NBoC, "A Delicate Battle" being his first. With "Monument", Mrozewski works with a larger ensemble and also has a set. The set is integral to the ballet. There is a old run-down building whose walls are used to climb up and hang from, and there are several boxes which the dancer move around and stack on top of each other. Compared to his first ballet, "Monument" is more cluttered, less unified, less lucid. It has 3 movements: the first features the dancers in romantic tutus and represents classical ballet, the second movement has the dancers in bare feet and street-type clothes- their movements are more grounded and allude to modern dance (at least that's what I think, but I haven't seen a lot of modern), the third movement hints at the fusion of classical and modern. There were some wonderful images in this ballet and his approach is fresh (except, I think that the juxtaposition of classical dancers and more "contemporary" dancers in ballets is overused. I thought of "Centre Stage" when I saw it, and that's not a good thing). Mrozewski has shown with "A Delicate Battle" that he is a highly skilled and original choreographer, and although "Monument" may perhaps need some refinement, it is promising to see in him a glimpse of the future of Canadian ballet.

Sorry that this is about all I have time for right now (hmm, actually, that was quite long all things considered!). I'm curious to hear what other peoples' impressions were though, so do chime in!

Link to comment

I have to admit that I found this mixed rep more than the usual mixed bag.

Monument was a mess. It felt to me that it existed largely so that we would all think that Matt Mrozewski is clever and innovative. I felt neither to be the case. It felt incoherent and derivative. The set too was a bad mistake. We've seen the piece once and if we're lucky we won't see it again.

The Kudelka 'trilogy' was also hit 'n miss. The solo and pdd did little for me. I feel like I've seen variations on this pdd before ... several years ago he made something for the Mozart Festival that was very similar. I think "there, below" succeeded best (and in some ways represents Kudelka at his best ... working with smaller groups)

I had really admired 100 Words for Snow when I first saw it but I almost feel asleep this time around. I'm not sure why that was (tired maybe?), but it didn't hold me in the same way.

The theatre was eerily empty. Apparently the worst selling program that the National has presented in a long time.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...