Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 30 of 30

Thread: Is This Ballet?

  1. #16
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    Very true. Let's, however, recall that the name of this website is Talk Classical.
    You must mean Talk Bor-ing!

  2. #17
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Bristol, UK.
    Posts
    159
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Like any art form, classical ballet has its own universally-accepted language, rules and standards to which all its executants aspire. Once you appreciate those, it is anything but boring.

    Modern choreography has largely abandoned that established language in favour of the idiosyncracies of individual choreographers. Because there are no longer many widely-accepted and objectively-judged common standards, artistic judgements are now almost entirely subjective.

    It may seem boring to have to do a bit of work over time in order to learn to appreciate the classical ballet art form, but as many here will testify, it ultimately pays off.
    Last edited by Marsilius; Nov-08-2019 at 06:52.

  3. #18
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    Like any art form, classical ballet has its own universally-accepted language, rules and standards to which all its executants aspire. Once you appreciate those, it is anything but boring.

    Modern choreography has largely abandoned that established language in favour of the idiosyncracies of individual choreographers. Because there are no longer many widely-accepted and objectively-judged common standards, artistic judgements are now almost entirely subjective.

    It may seem boring to have to do a bit of work over time in order to learn to appreciate the classical ballet art form, but as many here will testify, it ultimately pays off.
    I've got better things to do than pay homage to history. I also disagree with your conflation of tradition with "objectivity." This is art, not science.

    "Objective standards?" That's very pretentious
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Nov-08-2019 at 15:20.

  4. #19
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    A lot of my knowledge about ballet comes from Jennifer Homans' "Apollos's Angels: A History of Ballet." This from the Wall Street Journal review:

    -----------------------------------------------

    How to explain this art form to them? Ms. Homans, a former dancer turned academic, has focused on answering the question: "How had the art come to embody ideas, or a people, or a time?" For while the story she tells begins very specifically in France, in the 16th century, it crosses continents and plays politics. "Ballet," she writes, "was shaped by the Renaissance and French Classicism, by revolutions and Romanticism, by Expressionism and Bolshevism, modernism and the Cold War." "Apollo's Angels," then, is the intellectual history of a deeply physical form. Ms. Homans lays the stress on ideas—and, by extension, idealism.

    -----------------------------------------------

    As I was growing up, I believe I saw each of the Tchaikovsky ballets once. I had no interest in seeing them - or any other ballets - again. It was about 15 years ago when I asked a friend of mine (whose brother had been a principal dancer at NYCB) where to start with ballet. She invited me to a performance that included Balanchine's "Serenade" (to Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings) and "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" I was gobsmacked. This was beauty. Neither work has a traditional story (although something's going on in Serenade). What entranced me was the way the choreographer and dancers responded to the music. The dancer and the dance became one.

    And as the music varied so did the choreography. "Glass Pieces" is obviously heavily influenced by modern dance. But when Robbins' turns to Chopin, his style is very different. This from his masterpiece, "Dances at a Gathering," again performed by the Paris Ballet:



    This is a more subtle blending of classical movement with some hints of modern.

    Over time I have grown to appreciate story ballet, but my heart is still with non-story.

  5. Likes Larkenfield liked this post
  6. #20
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    4,272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Is it ballet? If it moves poetically like a duck, leaps gracefully in the air like a duck, and pirouettes in a ballet tutu like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Tchaikovsky wrote a lot of music for the ballet. So did Stravinsky but all the ducks went up in flames in The Rite of Spring. Ballet is marvelous to watch.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-09-2019 at 17:09.
    "That's all Folks!"

  7. #21
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Is it ballet? If it moves poetically like a duck, leaps gracefully in the air like a duck, and pirouettes in a ballet tutu like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
    ...As long as it adheres to a universally-accepted language, and rules and standards to which all its executants aspire.

  8. Likes Marsilius liked this post
  9. #22
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Bristol, UK.
    Posts
    159
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    ...As long as it adheres to a universally-accepted language, and rules and standards to which all its executants aspire.
    You hit the nail on the head exactly.

  10. #23
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    4,272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post


    This is a more subtle blending of classical movement with some hints of modern.

    Over time I have grown to appreciate story ballet, but my heart is still with non-story.
    Wow! Loved every moment... especially when the ballerinas were tossed through the air and the spontaneous applause. I detect a hint of the modern too with the noticeable independence of each dancer, and then, of course, their unity. Wonderful! The choreography seemed to fit perfectly with one of Chopin's charming waltzes. When played in a more straightforward and steady tempo (no exaggerated rubato), he can be quite danceable and would occasionally play for dancing at social gatherings. This side of him is not mentioned enough. When not desperate about his health, he could be quite agreeable, joyous, and willing to please. Wonderful choreography!
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-24-2019 at 10:50.
    "That's all Folks!"

  11. #24
    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    830
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhdanov View Post
    a lot, in fact, quite a lot.

    Spartacus, The Stone Flower, Ivan The Terrible - choreographic masterpieces all (chor. Grigorovich).

    and lest we forget Diaghilev ballets and there seasons in Paris too.

    a huge advance, specifically Grigorovich's that took ballet to completely another level:

    he employed the Stanislavsky System in those stagings, which made them lots more spectacular.
    I looked at some of works by Grigorovich mentioned above. This kind of dance is plainly meant to narrate a story. It's just like opera except action is being substituted for sung dialogue to tell that story and that action follows the rules of ballet. What's going on is quite literal, for instance we know by the costumes what kind of characters we are watching. The dance feels secondary to conveying the story.

    The modern dance I like best is much more abstract (from the choreography to the costumes to the staging to the weaving together of music and other sounds). There often isn't an obvious narrative or a well-known story, yet somehow it is intensely moving when it works, it hits you at a gut level. The level of original artistry can be through the roof, it challenges and intrigues you. There is always something new in the best of it.

    I worry about the dancers when I watch this modern choreography. The contortions they subject their bodies to seem to guarantee a future of orthopedic surgeries. It's like trying to enjoy American football now that we know some of the players will suffer from serious effects in middle age from the concussions they received in the sport.
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

  12. #25
    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    830
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    One example. This is among the most popular works at New York City Ballet. Unfortunately, NYCB has very little high quality video available (in any format). This performance is by the Paris Ballet.



    Edit: Here's part of Concerto DSCH choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky for NYCB.
    What the line of the dancers in the back is doing reminds me of a modern dance I saw, can't remember which company it was. But since this was not ballet those dancers were not all of the same build, a couple were shaped like bowling pins. Their motions were more organic, morphed over time, they looked like a giant amoeba.

    Ballet however it may have changed, still seems hung up on symmetry and following rules, compared to modern dance.
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

  13. #26
    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    830
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    "Is this ballet?" Ohh, I love it!
    Is it ballet or not?
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

  14. #27
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Open Book View Post
    Is it ballet or not?
    Well, it ("Glass Pieces" in response to the exchange, although "Dances at a Gathering" as well) is performed by ballet companies around the world.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Dec-17-2019 at 03:48.

  15. #28
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Open Book View Post
    What the line of the dancers in the back is doing reminds me of a modern dance I saw, can't remember which company it was. But since this was not ballet those dancers were not all of the same build, a couple were shaped like bowling pins. Their motions were more organic, morphed over time, they looked like a giant amoeba.

    Ballet however it may have changed, still seems hung up on symmetry and following rules, compared to modern dance.
    "Glass Pieces" is about symmetry and breaking away from it. "Dancers at a Gathering" is about the communal life style that was developing in the late 60's (when the ballet was created). Yes, it is linked to the formal requisites of ballet, but is could not have been created in 1869.

    So when you ask, has ballet evolved, my answer is yes. And great choreographers from the recent past, such as Balanchine and Robbins, as well as choreographers today, such as Wheeldon, Peck and (most notably) Ratmansky continue to excite.

  16. #29
    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    830
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    "Glass Pieces" is about symmetry and breaking away from it. "Dancers at a Gathering" is about the communal life style that was developing in the late 60's (when the ballet was created). Yes, it is linked to the formal requisites of ballet, but is could not have been created in 1869.

    So when you ask, has ballet evolved, my answer is yes. And great choreographers from the recent past, such as Balanchine and Robbins, as well as choreographers today, such as Wheeldon, Peck and (most notably) Ratmansky continue to excite.
    And ballet is very conscious of physical beauty and proportion. Modern dance can be odd or ugly occasionally. It goes out on a limb.

    It's comparable to visual art. Ballet is like naturalistic art and modern dance is like abstract art. I started out preferring figurative art and I still admire the technique required to do it well. But now I generally prefer abstract art, it's more interesting. It's pure imagination and aesthetic content when it's done well, not bound by the constraints of realism. Very creative.

    Different people, different preferences.

    I will check out those choreographers.
    Last edited by Open Book; Dec-17-2019 at 06:20.
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

  17. #30
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    2,078
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Open Book View Post
    And ballet is very conscious of physical beauty and proportion. Modern dance can be odd or ugly occasionally. It goes out on a limb.

    It's comparable to visual art. Ballet is like naturalistic art and modern dance is like abstract art. I started out preferring figurative art and I still admire the technique required to do it well. But now I generally prefer abstract art, it's more interesting. It's pure imagination and aesthetic content when it's done well, not bound by the constraints of realism. Very creative.

    Different people, different preferences.

    I will check out those choreographers.
    I've mentioned in this forum that of the current choreographers whose work I've seen, my favorite is Ratmansky. His range is prodigious: from heavily recreations of Petipa's Tchaikovsky ballets to a version of Anna Karenina for Mariinsky (not his best, though) to "Whipped Cream," an almost forgotten ballet by Richard Strauss, to a number plotless ballets created for New York City Ballet and other companies. I'm looking forward to a new ballet NYCB will be presenting this winter.

    Here's "Russian Seasons," created for NYCB. As usual they have no video of of it, but the Bolshoi does.


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •