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Marcos Morau's Carmen


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Eva Kistrup's review: http://danceviewtimes.typepad.com/eva_kistrup/2018/09/killing-carmen.html

 

I had a unique experience at the ballet last night.

 

Unique in the sense that for the first time in my almost ten years as a ballet-goer, I left at intermission.

The act I watched of Carmen had no connection to the original story (as I experienced it) beyond the beautiful music and a vague Spanish setting that the extremity of the costumes didn't really emphasize. In the photo material for the ballet, I had found the costumes at least appealing, but on stage they didn't work for me at all and what actual dancing there was was stifled by the large-scale size of what the dancers had been shoved into.

There was too much talking and not all lines were delivered with the same conviction. Much of the choreography seemed to me sloppy and lazy - not that the dancers didn't do with it what they could, but then again, the dancers can't take the blame for the choreographer's mistakes. Throughout, it reminded me more of the showdance revue-style of performance than a ballet or even modern dance performance and this might have been the point, but it just didn't speak to me.

I think me and my girlfriend might have been the only ones not to like it in the audience that night, though. Much of the dancing and many of the little dialogues were met with applause and cheers, where it seemed cheap to me. Cheaply bought laughs, cheaply bought applauses. The film setting took up more of the performance than the dance itself did and the many touches and details in it might have looked good aesthetically, but seemed to serve no purpose beyond being crazy or edgy.

Carmen as a character had been watered down to the portrayal by several different dancers and the cigar or the big red skirt was at times the only sense of consistency between them. Kizzy Matiakis was my only real highlight in this the only act I watched, because her dance in the large black costume was underlined by strong acting and a punchy portrayal of independence and her pas de trois also showed some strong connections to the character - in a choreography that otherwise had a clumsy feel and looked better in black and white and closeups on the big screen than actually viewed on the stage.

When the dancers were doing cancans times three near the end of the first act, I think my girlfriend and I looked at each other and silently decided that we wouldn't be staying for the rest. We abandoned two very good seats on the balcony and were sorry to see our tickets go to waste, but we simply couldn't take any more.

 

Have anyone else seen Carmen yet? Was your experience different than mine? I do hope so and would be interested in hearing what you liked/didn't like!

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9 minutes ago, Syrene Hvid said:

I think me and my girlfriend might have been the only ones not to like it in the audience that night, though. Much of the dancing and many of the little dialogues were met with applause and cheers, where it seemed cheap to me. Cheaply bought laughs, cheaply bought applauses. The film setting took up more of the performance than the dance itself did and the many touches and details in it might have looked good aesthetically, but seemed to serve no purpose beyond being crazy or edgy.

This is what you will see now in many, perhaps most, places: embarrassingly inept choreography, shallow provocations, vulgarity of every kind, are "met with applause and cheers". This is what you will see now happening in the venerable interiors of Palais Garnier in Paris. I am afraid a lot more of this is ahead of us. Speaking up about this becomes almost an act of courage.

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I could not possibly agree more with the two previous posts. We live in a very dark era of ballet and most people in the audience seems to be ok with it. Those of us who dare to speak against this travesty are met with hate or, as is in most cases, are completely ignored. To see Ballet's two most venerable institutions submitted to the ignorance and vulgarity of their respectives so-called "Artistic Directors" and of most of the AUDIENCE is revolting, to say the least.

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