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Thread: Attending ballet performances

  1. #31
    Senior Member znapschatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    The only time I was enthralled by a ballet performance was when I attended American Ballet Theater's version of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Terrific!
    That was the ballet that drew me in as a young guy in Cleveland. I don't remember the company, except it was touring from a city elsewhere - Britain, maybe? My then GF, a ballet aficionado and student of the art as a child, got us tickets for the performance. I was lukewarm about ballet, but willing to go anywhere with her. And then the performance did its work, and I left the auditorium a changed person.
    Well, maybe not changed, but I sure enjoyed it.
    "Art is not a mirror held up to society but a hammer with which to shape it."
    - Bertolt Brecht -

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  3. #32
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed "The Hard Nut" last night - Mark Morris' unique version of "The Nutcracker."

    Last edited by jegreenwood; Dec-16-2016 at 13:57.

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  5. #33
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    "The Hard Nut"
    looks hard indeed, and heavy too; the choreographer obviously had no idea what the snow is like and thought it be akin to cobble or something.

  6. #34
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    looks hard indeed, and heavy too; the choreographer obviously had no idea what the snow is like and thought it be akin to cobble or something.
    Well . . . many of the dancers were men.

    And the snow produced round after round of applause and cheers. As to what is it made of, the Times had an article last week:

    'The Hard Nut'

    PREMIERE 1991

    COSTUMES Martin Pakledinaz. The dancers wear headpieces reminiscent of swirling dips of Dairy Queen, halter tops and tutus (women and men alike), each printed with an actual snowflake crystal design. “I don’t even think about it being a man in a tutu,” Mr. Estrada said. “We become the elements.”

    THE SNOW: WHAT IS IT? Paper punch-outs in the shapes of stars or the plus sign.

    SNOW PER SHOW About 20 pounds are used for each performance, adding up to approximately 150 pounds for the run. Much of it is recycled from show to show.

    WHY THROW IT? From Mr. Morris: “It’s magic, and there was no space left in the rafters.”

    PROPER SNOW THROWING “It’s just punch-holed pieces of paper so we can’t have our hands bunched or closed too tightly or else it will thicken and become clumps of snow,” Mr. Estrada said. “But we’re also dancing so we have to make sure that our hands don’t look like balls either. You release a finger, and snow comes out.”

    THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE “Breathing while dancing while these pieces of paper are falling into your face and your mouth,” Mr. Estrada said.

    IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU “It covers your eyes a little bit,” Mr. Estrada said, “so it can just be a blur and if somebody doesn’t pay attention and misses a cue, it’s a domino affect. It’s its own avalanche of chaos.”

    FROM THE INSIDE “Mark’s choreography in general is so intricate and specific, but the way in which he has us traveling in the space and in these very tight canons, the effect can only be realized if we’re so concise and precise. It feels like we are the snow.”
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Dec-20-2016 at 14:31.

  7. #35
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    And the snow produced round after round of applause and cheers.
    as if it justifies anything...

  8. #36
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    That surely depends on the viewpoint from which you're seeing it. From that of an audience that's paid hard-earned money to be enjoyably entertained, the applause and cheers indicate that the production - including that snow - has succeeded in its purpose. Others may somewhat pompously disagree, but it was the audience that was applauding and cheering and without whose ticket purchases the show couldn't have gone on.

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  10. #37
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    depends on the viewpoint from which you're seeing it. From that of an audience that's paid hard-earned money to be enjoyably entertained,
    by that logic, should give them Michael Jackson, and thats it.

  11. #38
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the dancers did not "moonwalk." They did do the hokey pokey and the hand jive during the Christmas party.

  12. #39
    Senior Member Vox Gabrieli's Avatar
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    I would love to go one day, but studies keep me planted at home. Here's to one day experiencing Prokofiev in real life!

  13. #40
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Oops. Duplicate post
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Jan-13-2017 at 14:12. Reason: Duplicate entry

  14. #41
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Next week is ballet week for me.

    I'm seeing this on Wednesday, and this a week from Sunday.

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  16. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Next week is ballet week for me.

    I'm seeing this on Wednesday, and this a week from Sunday.
    Good choices, do have a great time.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

  17. #43
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    Talking of Mark Morris (a living genius if ever there was one) and given the Bach-ian predilections on this board, what do people think -- if they've seen it -- of Falling Down Stairs, Morris' homage to the third Cello Suite? For those unfamiliar, you can see the Sarabande here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAX7WF6iMcU

  18. #44
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodotsArrived View Post
    Talking of Mark Morris (a living genius if ever there was one) and given the Bach-ian predilections on this board, what do people think -- if they've seen it -- of Falling Down Stairs, Morris' homage to the third Cello Suite? For those unfamiliar, you can see the Sarabande here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAX7WF6iMcU
    I agree he is a genius, but I didn't care for that work (watched on Youtube). Maybe live (or maybe without a cellist live on stage). I felt that the dancers overwhelmed the solo cello.

    Bach I think presents a real challenge for choreographers - much of his music is so complex - and so complete on its own. The two Bach ballets that work for me are Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco" (his only Bach based work in the active repertoire) his and Paul Taylor's "Esplanade," both to his orchestral music. I'm sure there are others. Did Ashton ever use Bach?

    I watched a live performance of Jerome Robbins' "Goldberg Variations" several years ago. Interesting for a while, but he couldn't sustain it (IMO) for the entire hour plus length.

  19. #45
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    Many years ago I saw John Neumeier's (Hamburg) ballet version of St Matthew Passion (in which he predictably cast himself as Jesus Christ). Actually, it worked quite well and was an engaging evening perhaps because the nature of that piece lent itself rather more to visual drama than the cello suites. So perhaps Bach can be danced after all. With regard to Falling Down Stairs I agree entirely with your observation above. By the way, SMP also worked better, in my opinion, than Neumeier's ballet to Mahler 3.

    If you've never seen L'Allegro, try to. In my view that's Morris' masterpiece (well, one among many) and a perfect synthesis of dance and music. There's some nice footage here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAX7WF6iMcU
    Last edited by GodotsArrived; Jan-13-2017 at 17:35.

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