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NYCB in Chicago

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I had an interesting revelation when we attended Thursday night (the program Jack reviewed). We sat just enough closer that the eye was drawn to individual dancers rather than the unfolding tableau. To my surprise, I had a whole different reaction than the one I'd had two nights before!

I've always found that seeing a ballet from a different location reveals a new ballet. Try, for example, Symphony in 3 Movements from one of the rings at the edge of the curve on the right, and THEN try it in the same ring, but on the left side and watch the movement flow through that line of corps women. Huge difference! Concerto Barocco 2nd movement looks like a double helix unwinding, prior to cell division (as I remember it from college Biology) when you see it from above, and totally different from the orchestra.

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Treefrog, having seen these strange, unrealized performances, I think I can understand your bewilderment. When the ballet is well performed, there is much less of those problems, not that everything is "explained" in capital letters; we are content that maybe two people with tender feelings for one another have gone to a concert and after a while, caring as they do for each other, they begin to share their responses to what they hear with each other (and with us). But there is more to what they have together than that, hence the misunderstanding? Parting, anyway, and reunion, maybe stronger, on a deeper basis, in the last movement.

Or maybe this is just me. I think Balanchine would have it that way, I mean, each to his own response, although what we saw at the Harris just lacked enough presence to respond to. (In other words, one of Balanchine's delicate balances, between clarity and ambiguity, was destroyed.) I think that may be why you were, perhaps, feeling "left out," if that's a fair way of describing your state?

But I agree with the statements about distance; sometimes I was a bit far, and I felt I was "outside" what was going on - except for those performers whose dancing nevertheless did reach me.

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