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

Ballet Review

Recommended Posts

Am I missing something?---or has 'Ballet Review' been renamed--'Ballet and Cinema'? Is Mr. Mason having a tough time finding ballet articles? How else to justify thirteen pages devoted to Japanese cinema? On the first page of his article Don Daniels made a very weak reference to Balanchine ("....the most comprehensive collection of great modern roles for female performers this side of Balanchine....")--and at the end latched on to a review of ABT---go figure!

Link to comment

atm711, I'm as bemused as you are. The piece took up a significant amount of space, not even including the photo section, and the use of Balanchine and ABT as fig leaves, so to speak, just drew attention to the oddity. Sorry, I don't come to Ballet Review for movie discussions unrelated to dance. Surely there are film magazines and quarterlies aplenty out there?

Link to comment
Sorry, I don't come to Ballet Review for movie discussions unrelated to dance.

Me either, and I'd also prefer less modern dance then they tend to cover. Then again, this issue has another one of Clement Crisp's dance-going diaries, as well as 2-3 articles (my copy's at home) by one Leigh Witchel, always worth a careful read!

Link to comment

I was surprised there was no editorial comment attempting to explain or justify the article's appearance here. However, if you read between the lines, there may indeed be numerous, subtle (v-e-r-y subtle) references to ballet in this film criticism.

The author comments that "Naruse is an expert on two subjects: economic decline within the family ..., and the frustrated emotional lives of his characters." Couldn't this also apply to recent dark visions of the ballet Cinderella?

And how about: "Beyond its psychological freight, the sequence allows us to appreciate the actress's command of physical movement in addition to the expression of eyes and mouth. The caught planes and angles in the barmaid's turn [n.b. "turn"] may also refer to thsoe momentary effects in Japanese Noh dance called kimaru ..." There's that word "dance." Very close to "ballet" in my book!

"Naruse is especially skilled at presenting his heroines with a series of reversals of fortune .... " Doesn't this apply to the plot of Giselle, Manon, Juliet, and numerous other ballet heroines?

Note also that the work of Robert Beavers is "plotless, classically succinct, and patterned as much through private association as by any generalized cultural imperative." And SO IS BALANCHINE's !!!

To be fair, after only 23 pages on Naruse's and Beavers' films, there is a 2-page spread on ABT's performance of Kaleidoscope. In other words, the author TIES IT ALL TOGETHER AT THE END.

As the scenery and crafts in a Beavers film energise and concentrate its eventual revelation, so Quanz's balelrinas define and create themselves against the social group. Here is a clear sign that it is still possible to make a ballet around a sophisticated woman dancing, in this case two ballerinas. And like Naruse, Quanz lets us watch the fascination of a woman as she makes up her mind.
Link to comment

I think a note of explanation would be in order, definitely. It's obvious from the many references to physicality and how the actors move that Daniels is trying hard to make the article relevant to dance, but he still didn't write anything that couldn't appear in a magazine devoted to film.

kfw writes:

Me either, and I'd also prefer less modern dance then they tend to cover.

I'm with you, although I guess with modern dance choreographers making inroads into ballet companies as they have in recent decades, it's important for ballet fans to at least keep abreast of what's happening, since it'll make its way to your local ballet company eventually. :)

Link to comment

I agree! I was seduced immediately by the front cover, but felt as if I had made a wrong turn once I opened it.

Could this lack of focus have anything to do with the recent death of Shields Remine? Mr. Mason depended on Shields a great deal. (I often jump to conclusions of causes that may possibly have to do with personal circumstances as an explanation for the unexplainable.)

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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