Jump to content

Recommended Posts

We say the double bill of Agon and Firebird yesterday evening at Ballet Austin. I was, to put it mildly, underwhelmed.

Agon was, as the program noted front and center, "presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style and Balanchine Technique Service Standards established by the Trust." Really? When did the Balanchine Style become synonymous with boring? There's not a lot you can do with the T-shirts and black tights of the "workout" type ballets, but put a bit more energy in it!

And then there was the Firebird. Here the scenery and costumes are courtesy of the Louisville Ballet, so it was someone else's vision originally. But can someone point out to the costumer that Russian peasant shirts on the men are incongruous when they're marrying a long line of Russian princesses? The princesses were wearing tiaras that evoked the Russian kokoshnik headdresses and the boys were in peasant shirts -- white, but peasant shirts. There are more interesting ways to evoke a feeling of old Russia than the hackneyed trope of the peasant shirt, and there are any number of versions to be found on the Internet to demonstrate that. Tsk-tsk.wallbash.gif

Nor was the lack of vision overcome by the energy and enthusiasm of the dancers who were, at best, competent. The sole exception was Edward Carr as Kastchei the Immortal, whose costume and dancing were quite the best part of the evening. "Serviceable" is the best adjective for the performance -- you could leave and say that you had seen the Firebird, without having really experienced anything of what the Firebird can do.

Share this post


Link to post

We say the double bill of Agon and Firebird yesterday evening at Ballet Austin. I was, to put it mildly, underwhelmed.

Agon was, as the program noted front and center, "presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style and Balanchine Technique Service Standards established by the Trust." Really? When did the Balanchine Style become synonymous with boring? There's not a lot you can do with the T-shirts and black tights of the "workout" type ballets, but put a bit more energy in it!

If Agon did in fact look like a "workout" type ballet, then it can't have looked much like Agon or Balanchine at all. In that respect, costumes aren't really the issue. Which version of Firebird was the company dancing?

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I know the music and have seen the ballet before. It wouldn't be a ballet that I would choose on its own, but I do like the Firebird, and particularly the recent SF Ballet version. My problem with the Ballet Austin production had to do with the dancers' level of energy and engagement, which seemed to me to be lacking.

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...