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Shambards -- love it or hate it?

What did you think of Shambards?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. What did you think of Shambards?

    • 1. Loved it! A real breakthrough for Wheeldon.
    • 2. Interesting new work, liked parts of it.
    • 3. It's okay -- nice novelty
    • 4. Yech. Can't get past dragging the women around and breaking their necks.
    • 5. What was he thinking?
    • 6. Other

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I voted for #2. As I said in my first post about this ballet, Wheeldon has great talent for moving people around and great imagination. But my personal bugaboo remains: the parts where women are dragged on the floor is unacceptable for any length of time. It coursens what otherwise would be for me a very interesting ballet.

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I try to approach all the new works with an open mind, but I have to say that I don't get what all the fuss about Wheeldon is. I'd truly prefer Ash and Fearful Symmetries over any of his works (that might have turned some of you off from the rest of this post...)

I do think he has a talent for using his dancers and showing them off well. But, I think he still lacks an ability to put together a cohesive work that remains interesting after one viewing (is that what is referred to as craft?)-- he has moments of great ideas and great choreography, but they don't last. Even Polyphonia, which I enjoyed very much on the first viewing, bored me afterwards. And, I do feel he's too young in his career to be relying on gimmicks (though there is something to be said about creating a kid-friendly, buzz-worthy ballet that can bring people in... to be exposed to other works). He's all over the place experimenting. I think he might learn more about craft by sticking with one "genre" and playing with it, just as many great painters went through different periods.

So, it comes as no surprise that I did not like Shambards. Except for the fleeting moments of exciting male corps work in the final part, I was itching for the ballet to end. Forget the dragging of Weese on the floor, the music was dragging my nerves through dark places...

Which leads to another point. Being a Balanchine fan foremost, I do believe you can't make a great ballet without great music. And, I don't think you can make a good ballet from bad music. I don't think Wheeldon had much of a chance to make a work that I'd think was great from music that grated on me.

I admit it. I voted for "What was he thinking?"


p.s. A choreographer who can waste Bouder and Fairchild so that their two roles could have been danced by anyone is going to lose my affection anyway! :thumbsup:

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