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miliosr

2016-2017 Season

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Songs of a Wayfarer has stood the test of time, with the exception of Bhakti, I have a strong preference for his shorter pieces.

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I visited Paris very briefly this week and was lucky to see both of the current ballet programmes.

Cunningham / Forsythe

Walkaround Time - I loved it! It's the first Cunningham piece I have ever seen. It may also be my last as I live very far from anywhere that is likely to present his works. This piece is so different from the current trends in modern dance (like Complexions-style jazz/modern or Ohad Naharin's Gaga) that I have a hard time describing the work, what it is that appealed to me and how to situate it in the contemporary dance world. One the one hand it is just dancers each one in a different (muddy) coloured leotard and tights dancing in a space with 7 plastic transparent boxes to 'difficult' music for a long time, but on the other hand it is superior beings dancing superbly with empathy together infinitely and with continuous creative flow. I wasn't bored for a second. However these dancers are also clearly human, ideal humans perhaps, but real people, unlike for instance the dancers in Concerto Barocco who are (IMO) dancing in celestial fields. Looking at the piece that way, although it is very Classical, it is also very of its time - of the Space Age and it is dated like 2001: A Space Odyssey or the aesthetic of the Jetsons is dated. It is saying, "This is how humanity could be, if we put aside our differences and see our common humanity". :angel_not: 

Trio / Forsythe - 3 needy dancers beg for the audience's attention, by showing off unusual body parts like a wrist or the small of the back. If the aim was to show the exact opposite of Cunningham's noble dancers, the aim was achieved!

Herman Schmermann - the pas de cing was beautiful. Forsythe in full 'affirming-ballet-by-way-of-subverting-it' mode. I loved it. The dancers were amazing, the music was great, the clothes (ladies in black leotards with back detailing and men in black tights and T-s with the same detailing) - and it was perfect 21st ballet.

The pas de deux (which I think is familiar to American audiences) was awful. Like in the Trio, the dancers are mugging the whole time, instead of dancing, and the dance language is boring. I like Jerry Lewis as much as the next grey haired audience member at the Paris Opera, but sending a lady out wearing a short skirt and a see-through leotard and then the man changing into a matching skirt and a bare chest just isn't funny. 

2/4 pieces but the two that were good were GREAT!

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Have any of our French correspondents seen the Bertaud/Bouche/Paul/Valastro (the four sujets) bill?

 

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43 minutes ago, miliosr said:

Have any of our French correspondents seen the Bertaud/Bouche/Paul/Valastro (the four sujets) bill?

 

I did. Quickly because I’m just getting ready to go back tonight. A too long evening up to me, it should have been split in two, all pieces were about more than 30-35 minutes, with a long interval. 
The Bertaud, Renaissance, was uninspired which is regrettable because it was supposed to be the neo-classic of the evening and morevover all the press communication has been done on this piece, presumably perhaps thanks to the Balmain group which designed the costumes (looking more like ice skating costumes than ballet costumes though) and the fact that Dorothée Gilbert’s husband is a fashion photographer who made a short promotional clip used by POB for the quadruple bill with only the piece his wife was in… Anyway, from most of the comments and mine, the piece itself was boring and more like a copy of a Millepied’s ballet… with less talent… 
It was followed by The Little Match Girl Passion (from David Lang eponymous piece) by Simone Valastro which was the opposite. A lot of imagination, perhaps too much sometimes, but a brilliant piece from the staging point of view with live singers moving on stage and off stage, and percussions, special effects completely in tune with the narrative, and with imaginative choreography in which Eleonora Abbagnato was fantastic as the little match girl. 
The piece by Bruno Bouché, Undoing world, was about migrants and how being a fugitive can be in relation to the world. It was ambitious, sometimes not really fully accomplished but as for the Valastro, with a lot of poetry, especially with Aurélien Houette touching singing the eponymous song by the Klezmatics. 
The main piece of the evening was by Nicolas Paul, an already experienced choreographer who delivered up to me a masterpiece, Sept mètres et demi au-dessus des montagnes, inspired (from far) by the deluge. The poignant and powerful choreography was supported by a video of the dancers slowly drowning with the use of their images and their reflects in the water. In addition, the dancers were coming from below the stage and disappearing under the video screen at an increasing speed which sustained the feeling of oppression. It was strongly danced by Stéphane Bullion and Josua Hoffalt, with a very supportive cast. 
 

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Thanks for the review silvermash. One hears that Aurelie Dupont plans to discontinue the annual company choreographers presentation so this year's presentation is something of an experiment in a void.

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Well what was exactly reported in a Figaro article was that Dupont needed the dancers and that she couldn't let them take time for the "Academy" that Millepied had established. This academy was already closed this year. Only the four dancers in the quadruple bill had the opportunity to participate. The public never knew exactly what was the "Academy" and what means were given to the dancers. However dancers from POB had from time to time participate to smaller events to show their choreographic works, and a long time before Millepied. I hope it's going to continue even if they won't work with the same conditions, time off, budget for the staging, and dancers (Etoiles and Premiers danseurs). 

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According to Benjamin Millepied's Instagram feed, Axel Ibot will be joining LA Dance Project

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5 hours ago, miliosr said:

 

Yes, especially since quite a few dancers are new in the roles (La Sylphide) :o

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Did anyone see La Sylphide yet?

I will see it on Friday. 

Wondering what to expect since I don't know this ballet.

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7 hours ago, silvermash said:

 

Yes, especially since quite a few dancers are new in the roles (La Sylphide) :o

Fairly or not, this interview only reinforces the impression that she was brought in as Director to calm the roiled waters left by Millepied and not much more. I can just imagine what her arch-nemesis, Claude Bessy, would have to say about leaving "to breathe".

 

19 minutes ago, ballet_n00b said:

Did anyone see La Sylphide yet?

I will see it on Friday. 

Wondering what to expect since I don't know this ballet.

This is the reconstructed version by Pierre Lacotte and not the August Bournonville version danced in Copenhagen. But, since you say you're not familiar with the ballet (in any version), I would say go and enjoy. I took a look at the cast on Friday and it looks stellar, especially the young sujet Paul Marque.

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Idk if one should read anything into this but Aurelie Dupont's instagram has very few pictures of "company life." It's very focused on herself and her own (dancing) career. It's a real contrast, to say, the IG accounts of Manuel Legris or Julie Kent or other former dancers who have transitioned into running a ballet company.

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The photo is terrible, but Dupont did find the time to acknowledge retiring premiers danseurs Mélanie Hurel and Emmanuel Thibault, dancing in La Sylphide tonight for the last time.

To canbelto's point, Dupont might have found a photo of Hurel rather than herself.

 

Edited by volcanohunter

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1 hour ago, volcanohunter said:

Final bow for Hurel and Thibault. :flowers:

 

 

It was nice. Mélanie's little daughter brought her the bouquet and Mélanie gave it to Emmanuel who had his own thrown from the audience.

Premiers danseurs are not given proper farewells but theirs were particular because their cararacters just appeared in the first act and don't bow at the end of the ballet. But they had two curtain calls at the end of the first act, which is not common.

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On 7/12/2017 at 5:33 AM, ballet_n00b said:

Did anyone see La Sylphide yet?

I will see it on Friday. 

Wondering what to expect since I don't know this ballet.

 

I went opening night July 1.  I was not familiar with this ballet, and after reading the information on the POB website I expected something along the lines of Giselle or Chopiniana.  I like Giselle, but I don't love it like some of my friends.

 

My expectations were surpassed in every way.  The first act was not primarily mime, I don't want to give too much away but there are a lot more dancers and more choreography than I expected in Act I.  The pas de trois scenes make this story ballet unique.  The choreography in the second act was also much more dense than my expectations.  The first scene was very unique, I've not seen anything like it.  I figured if one wants to see a ballet in the Romantic genre who better to see than POB?  The corp in Act II was fantastic, with a very specific way of holding their upper bodies.  It was also neat to see such an old ballet, in such a historic theater.  And for such an old theater, there's some pretty neat technical tricks in the production.

 

The fancy program for 12 euros does have a small English section starting on page 22, but it's mostly in French.  In the gift shop there is also a book that tells the story, in French only.

 

I wanted to see it again before I left Paris, but couldn't fit it in.  So I hope to catch it in NYC next summer.  There really was a lot to see and I felt like I couldn't take it all in.  Enjoy!

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38 minutes ago, seattle_dancer said:

 

I went opening night July 1.  I was not familiar with this ballet, and after reading the information on the POB website I expected something along the lines of Giselle or Chopiniana.  ...

I wanted to see it again before I left Paris, but couldn't fit it in.  So I hope to catch it in NYC next summer.  There really was a lot to see and I felt like I couldn't take it all in.  Enjoy!

 

I'm glad you got a chance to see this.  The Lacotte is different in several ways from the Bournonville -- I hope you get a chance at that one as well, so you can compare.

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Thanks for your impressions seattle_dancer!

I saw it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I didn't follow the plot at all and the music was incredibly boring (I had fun predicting the harmonic progressions as I was listening) but the dancing was great.

I especially loved Ludmila Pagliero and her beautiful arabesques.

I went with friends who are visiting from Australia and they loved it too.

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