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The "Ground Breakers" program


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Has anyone seen this?

Ilona Landgraf wrote about it for her danceviewtimes blog:

Bleak Prospects for the Future

Stuttgart Ballet, sel­dom lacking self-as­sur­ance, ti­tled its new ballet eve­ning “Ground Breakers”. The Ger­man term “Fort//Schritt//Macher” better con­veys this triple bill's in­ten­tion: Pre­sen­ted are works by three cho­re­o­gra­phers of dif­fer­ent epochs, all dri­ving for­ces be­hind Euro­pean modern bal­let's pro­gress, in short true trail­bla­zers. And further all three – William Forsythe, Hans van Manen and Marco Goecke - are closely asso­ci­a­ted with the com­pa­ny or are even home-bred.

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Thanks so much for pointing us in this direction -- I likely would have missed this during the holidays.

While I've certainly seen work from all three of these artists, I don't know the individual works performed for this program, and so can't really speak specifically, but I was very interested in Landgraf's thoughts on them. Positioned as they are in time, it seems to me that their work spans a very interesting, transitional time in dance, and it's certainly possible to consider them as illustrating the shift from a modern to a post-modern view of ballet.

I usually think of van Manen in a world with artists like Glen Tetley, choreographers who experimented with ballet by borrowing from modern dance but don't really reconfigure the fundamental elements of the art form. For me, Forsythe (or what I know of his work) has been much more radical in his re-visioning of what ballet does, but even with him, I can see the roots of the form at the base of what he's made. Goecke seems to be working even further away from a classical base, at least in the material I've seen from him (Mopey, which has been performed in several places, and Place a Chill, which he made for Pacific Northwest Ballet. I haven't seen any of his narrative work, so I may be way off base here!). His reference points seem to come as much from hip hop and popular movement culture as they do from a concert dance source.

The program really points up what an influence the Stuttgart company has had on the trajectory of ballet in the last half of the 20th century and now into the 21st. It makes me very curious to know who else is coming through that new choreographers incubator.

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