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Dark Elegies


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I love this ballet because I have worked on it.

I adore the music and Tudor's choreography as usual is unique and inspiring.

How do audiences like this work in general? I get the feeling that audiences tend to get bored with it.

Was there a time when audiences really liked it or has it always been more of a ballet that you love if you know it?

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Hi glebb! I'm a "Dark Elegies" lover, too. I know it only from its late ABT days, in the Van Hamel era. She, and Johan Renvall and Danilo Radojevic, were stand outs, for me. I don't remember it as being hugely popular, but I didn't get the sense that the audience found it boring. It went over much better than, say, "Undertow," which was revived around the same time.

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Oh, I love this ballet. Pacific Northwest Ballet used to do it in the late 80's, with a beautifully bleak dropcloth that was inspired by the Washington coast, but they haven't performed it in years. I wish they'd revive it (though at this point, it would be more like a re-staging). I've heard through the grapevine that a number of people thought it was "too depressing" but I have never felt that way. Incredibly sad, yes, but not depressing.

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I also loved this ballet the single time I saw it with ABT in the 90's. I love Mahler's vocal music and was specifically looking for the choreographic response to the music. I remember liking Kathleen Moore's performance in particular. I would love to see PNB revise this work.

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How do audiences like this work in general? I get the feeling that audiences tend to get bored with it.

Was there a time when audiences really liked it or has it always been more of a ballet that you love if you know it?

ABT's Fall, 2005 recension of Dark Elegies was certainly a success for me, in fact Hee Seo's performance in part IV was my high point for the season. That a rookie could deliver such a moving portrayal is not only a testament to the dancer and her coaching, but also to Tudor/Mahler. While Ms. Seo's performance was notably acknowledged by the audience, naturally the ballet didn't spark screams of delight, as Tharp's work did. But that was the point of the Tharp, while Tudor clearly wanted Dark Elegies to move the audience at a more profound level. It came through as a clear masterpiece, as it always has. Isn't one reason for having mixed bills to deliver a variety of experience?

You may read many comments on Dark Elegies on three ABT City Center Fall 2005 Season threads: week2, week3, peak moments.

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