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

ABT Fall 2015 season


Recommended Posts

Company B is not a ballet. No pointe work.

Amen to that. A while ago MCB had a program that included the piece, along with some Tharp and something else...can't remember what. The night didn't feel AT ALL like a "night at the ballet"...(which is lately the common case with this company, BTW...)

Link to post

Hmm, MCB has only performed Company B once in the past 15 years and it was on a program with Allegro Brillante, Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux and Symphony in 3 Movements, which I would consider very balletic. Maybe you're thinking of something else?

I, for one, love Company B, and while I also adore pointe work and classicism, I don't think having it present is completely necessary to call something a ballet. After all, Company B was actually choreographed on a ballet company. Whatever we want to call it, I think it is one of the great works of the last quarter century. Heartbreaking, hysterical, nostalgic, athletic... It spans so many emotions and themes but never makes you aware of the transitions.

Link to post

Amen to that. A while ago MCB had a program that included the piece, along with some Tharp and something else...can't remember what. The night didn't feel AT ALL like a "night at the ballet"...(which is lately the common case with this company, BTW...)

WHOA! No pointe work = "not a ballet"? What about "Rodeo"? ""Interplay" "Glass Pieces" I could go on.

Link to post

"Glass Pieces" and "Interplay" do have pointe work, but there are ballets in ballet slippers. If I'm remembering correctly, the "Elegie" movement of "Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3" is danced in ballet slippers.

Link to post

I get what cubanmiamiboy and abatt write. "Ballet" in many folks' minds and hearts is pointe shoes for ladies on stage. That's what many of us want to see when we spend our cash on tickets. Not that there isn't sublime beauty in some dance works without pointes (thinking works like Morris' L'ALLEGRO or Taylor's AIRS). Just don't call it "ballet." Call it "dance." :)

Link to post

ABT has finally posted Monotones casting.

I'm over the moon with the first cast! Part, Stearns and Forster in Monotones II -- pure heaven. Could there be a better role for the Queen of Adagio? And what secure partners she'll have!! And the other trio should look great in Monotones I, too.

Link to post

I get what cubanmiamiboy and abatt write. "Ballet" in many folks' minds and hearts is pointe shoes for ladies on stage. That's what many of us want to see when we spend our cash on tickets. Not that there isn't sublime beauty in some dance works without pointes (thinking works like Morris' L'ALLEGRO or Taylor's AIRS). Just don't call it "ballet." Call it "dance." :)

I understand the preference, but I can't limit the artform to that definition.

Link to post

I understand the preference, but I can't limit the artform to that definition.

Perfectly ok for you to call it 'ballet.' We traditionalists who save our money for ballets with pointe shoes can vote with our wallets! :)

Link to post

As the saying goes, you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Ballet was danced for hundreds of years before the invention of the pointe shoe. Where anyone spends their money is up to him or her.

Link to post

As the world goes on, things are more cataloged, differentiated, defined and re defined with more and more subdivisions and specifications. After milestone choreographers ended up shaping the current face of modern dance at the turn of the XX century, ballet has earned the pointe work reference/distinction with much proper justice. When Fokine did Sheherezade, there was not Martha Graham or Taylor or Cunningham with their very distinctive "no pointe" red flag. Now the reference is huge and the differences impossible to ignore. I don't think I've ever seen a recently made no pointe/barefoot/slipper work being called "ballet" by its choreographer.

Link to post

I agree with Cubanmiamiboy that definitions and distinctions are different in the 21st century than they were in the past, not just in dance, but in many fields etc. But even now there are "ballets"--by "ballet" choreographers--that don't use pointe, and are still based in balletic tradition, including character dance traditions, and/or vocabulary. From recent premiers, I am thinking of Scarlett's Age of Anxiety. Robbins' Fancy Free which Scarlett seems to be referencing would be another. I think these works are more appropriately called ballets than anything else. (And I have never heard that their choreographers didn't think so--Scarlett doesn't seem to have objected to the Royal Ballet calling Age of Anxiety a "narrative ballet" on its website.)

And of course there are works on pointe that barely seem to reference ballet tradition and many of them would be called ballets by most people. Especially when they are created on ballet dancers.

Also, the mid-20th-century 'red line' between ballet and modern that was mentioned above has itself been subject to change and revision over time. I think that in an era when many modern dance choreographers work with ballet dancers (including on pointe) and ballet choreographers occasionally eschew pointe, that red line is not always easy to track. It zigs and zags a bit anyway.

I actually am still in favor of maintaining some form of the distinction. I myself don't consider Paul Taylor or Kurt Joos a ballet choreographer--who does?--though I don't mind ballet companies taking either of them on now and then if the dancers can achieve the right technique. But I would be wary of using the modern-dance/ballet distinction in a way that banishes important repertory to the category of 'not ballets' when one might as well say 'not ballets that I like.'

Link to post

I don't think I've ever seen a recently made no pointe/barefoot/slipper work being called "ballet" by its choreographer.

As just one example, I would cite Hans van Manen's Frank Bridge Variations, which was choreographed about ten years ago. Both women and men wear soft shoes, and it is unmistakably a ballet, based on balletic orientation in space, turnout, classical technique, traditional male-female partnering (supported turns, promenades and lifts) and minimal floorwork (except in partnering, which happens in 19th-century ballet, too). Van Manen refers to the piece as a "ballet."

Link to post

They are exceptions to the general trend in ballet. That's different than a rule.

Another exception is Christopher Wheeldon's "After the Rain" Pas de deux, which is relatively recent. (I haven't seen the other part(s) of the work, and I'm not sure what it's danced in.)

Link to post

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and Vienna Waltzes are two Balanchine ballets with either non-existent (or limited) use of pointe work.

Isadora Duncan is a Frederick Ashton ballet with no pointe work.

Scheherazade is a Fokine ballet with no pointe work.

Link to post

Ok...so let's say you didn't know all those works mentioned above. Let's say you have seen lots of ballets. Let's say you see them for the first time, without the word "ballet" being mentioned in the programme. Would you had said afterworks you went and saw this or that "ballet"...? Would you-(and no one else)-had catalogued them as ballets...?

Link to post

If I went in understanding what ballet is -- the steps, structure, phrasing, posture, logic -- I would easily recognize these works as ballet, just as I would not recognize as ballet a lot of works that are danced in pointe shoes.

As an audience member, I might prefer works en pointe -- which I don't -- and might expect to see works en pointe, but I have internet access, and, as a rule, if I attend a performance at a ballet company, in five minutes I can usually find some written preview or choreographer's work on YouTube that gives me a general idea of what to expect. I could be surprised, and with programs of new works by company choreographers, I expect to not know, since they don't get as much advanced print/pixels.

Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...