Sunday, December 20, 2009

ABT Spring 2009 Season

New Works

Whats new at ABT is old (but whats new?). The new works looked lost in a time-warp. The evening started with Prodigal Son (although the program said the Ratmansky piece - which came last) the admirable Balanchine classic, and the fact that he took risks on the crotch showing and seduction, a bit shocking for the 1920's. But, it looked dated. Next came the Kedulka piece - his first one after retiring his career and becoming a baker. It looked like he pulled 3 duets from his full-length Romeo and Juliet or from any of his other ballets - strung them together and had group-work in between both upstage and downstage - doing non-dance steps. It was all in shades of pink/purple (the usual somber) with a backdrop of the Moon and stars - or maybe just a couple of stars. The tone was all the same and the feeling of waltz music was the same. Some of the movement was good but in general it was like one long continuous duet, going on too long. The best part of the piece were these flakes that fell from above - like a falling stars, every now and they - they seemed to be timed with the music. I wanted to find out how that was done, very magical! Later I found it it was random Cherry Blossom flakes from the next ballet, that accidentally fell from the rafters.
Finally the piece (Dnieper) we were all waiting for looked like something choreographed 20 years ago. He was telling (or trying) to tell a kind of Tudor-like story about 3 people. A soldier, his girlfriend and is new found love. Nothing happened. What often happens with us choreographers is the story stays in our heads. This piece was no different, I did not get it despite the fact that everyone in the piece did. They say I saw the wrong cast. But I am looking structurally, writing-wise. What I saw was simple choreography - groups moving in and out and between the lovers tale. There was nothing to take home, no passion or moments to engage you or a reason to come again (unless paid to do so). By the end of the piece I was waiting for something to happen....nothing happened. Oh, did I say nothing happened?

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