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Obsidian Tear: Boston's Co-Production With Royal Ballet

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I'll be curious to hear what you think -- I've had very mixed reactions to McGregor's work, which makes me think I need to see more of it.

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I loved Chroma... and then every McGregor piece I've seen since then just looks like more of the same. (with ever more impenetrable and pretentious program notes)

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Attended two performances of Boston's program, "Obsidian Tear."  Although not really promoted a such, the evening was a nod to Finland, beginning with the orchestra playing Sibelius' "Finlandia."  "Obsidian Tear" was next, obviously with choreography by McGregor, music by Salonen.  The stage is stark and begins with two male dancers, one if black (Arrais) and one in red (Silva).  They dance alone and together, engaged in some sort of getting to know one another.  At the end of this portion, they walk off together, and return to the stage to meet the other men of the group.  All dressed in black, this is some sort of tribe or group, with a leader, a bully, and varying other characters.  Essentially, it is a "Lord of the Flies" type story, or at least that's how I perceived it.  In the program notes, it states, "What are the rules and hierarchies that govern or drive this community?  How is individuality experienced inside it?  What is the nature of attachment - alliance born of necessity or love?"  In the end, the group does not accept the man in red.  There were varying duets and group dances throughout, and while it was danced tremendously, I am not sure it is a piece I would run to see again.  I much prefer some of his other work. The new soloist, Derek Dunn, performed the man in red on Saturday afternoon.  

 

Next up was Elo's "Fifth Symphony of Jean Sibelius."  This was a tour de force and unlike anything I have seen of Elo's work.  Neo-classical in nature, with just a few touches of typical Elo, it was danced beautifully by what felt like the entire company.  Ashley Ellis was some sort of sprite-like figure who wandered in and out of the ballet.  The main couples were Cirio/Craig, Kuranaga/Lam and Combes/Zhao.  Combes and Zhao were replaced by Fentroy and Yocum on Saturday evening.  There were four secondary couples and a large corps.  Each main couple performed varying pas, with Cirio/Craig being much of the focus.  It was received with a resounding standing ovation at both shows I attended.  This symphony is one I had never heard and it is gorgeous.  Kudos to guest conductor, Daniel Stewart.  Costumes by Yumiko should also be given a mention.  Just lovely.  Also, several of the new dancers from Houston Ballet stood out - Derek Dunn and Michael Ryan.  Looking forward to seeing more of them.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks so much for the report -- I was very curious to hear about the McGregor. 

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