Bugaku: questions and more questions...Input needed...!!
Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:33 PM
Could you give me some clues as what to expect...? perhaps some details to be aware of...? or for the matters whatever recollections you could have from the ballet in previous incarnations and/or some of its most memorable dancers...?
Am I asking a lot...?
Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:47 AM
Posted 12 October 2010 - 04:41 AM
Here is Jack Anderson, NY Times, writing in 1996. He is referring to Lincoln Kirstein, Balanchine's partner in the creation of the New York City Ballet.:
Balanchine's take on all this focuses on a mating ritual. My memories of the original cast are limited to on (a) Allegra Kent, (b) the costumes and design, and © Allegra Kent. For some reason, I can't recall Villella at all. I DO recall Arthur Mitchell later on. There are elements in the work between the man and woman that remind me of Agon pdd.
I tracked down Anna Kisselgoff's review of a 1981 revival by NYCB. She goes into the background a bit.
Heather Watts and Jock Soto were the geisha and samurai escorted by an ensemble of male and female attendants. Miss Watts has honed the ballerina role to inventive perfection. She can scurry on toe with the modesty of her retinue, 75 percent of which is named Jennifer in one spelling or another: Jennifer Fuchs, Jenifer Ringer, Jennifer Tinsley and Rita Norona. But the assertiveness of her jumps onto toe, feet held parallel, presages her boldness in the famous pas de deux.
Stretched to the extreme as she begins in a low-slung position mirrored by Mr. Soto, she moves her leg eventually into a split up her partner's chest. The most acrobatic of embraces is followed by a ceremonial dance for all, full of floating veils kicked up by flicks of a leg. Mr. Soto's performance is especially likable: light in his leaps and beats but solid as a masculine foil, he exudes grace without exaggeration.
So far, I've tended to think about the MCB revival mainly as an exercise in ballet history. Now, thanks to this thread, I'm hoping to enjoy it on a higher and deeper level than I was capable of in my youth.
Looking forward to hearing what others have to say, especially those who have seen it in NYCB revivals over the years.
Posted 12 October 2010 - 07:28 AM
Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:05 AM
Trividic has just returned to MCB this season after several years away.
Maybe Villella's discussion of the piece may give some insight into what indeed may seen "wierd" if one hasn't seen it.
Villella makes me think of just how daring an experimenter Balanchine was. The integration of Japanese court movement and classical ballet are much more interesting -- and emotionally moving -- than I recall.
Allegra Kent was done here recently coaching this. I wonder who coached in 2002.
Any guesses about who should dance the leads?
I was surprised to find only one name popping up and refusing to go away -- Mary Carmen Catoya, the company's supreme classicist. I don't know how well she would work with the much taller Trividic. But I'd love to see her. Possibly with her regular partner, Renato Penteado? Hmmmmm.
Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:42 AM
Wu and Albertson. How's that...?
Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:50 AM
"Soft" and "lyrical" might seem to be just the thing. But, after looking at the video you posted, I realized how much strength and technique are required for this role. And not only for the neoclassical bits.
There is steel inside the body of this apparently submissive young woman, even as she is manipulated by the man. That is what made me think of Catoya, with her great technical strength, contained within a small and apparently delicate body. Does Wu have that kind of strength, I wonder?.
Posted 13 October 2010 - 01:20 PM
"She can scurry on toe with the modesty of her retinue, 75 percent of which is named Jennifer in one spelling or another: Jennifer Fuchs, Jenifer Ringer, Jennifer Tinsley and Rita Norona."
Substitute Emma/Emily for Jennifer and you would have the female student body of most of the high schools in the US.
Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:28 PM
Also, for what I perceived from the clip, this role requires some sort of detachment/coldness, which I think both Albertson and Wu can deliver somehow.
Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:43 PM
The MCB blog has a longish video of Edward Villella and Allegra Kent discussing Balanchine's creation of the ballet, their feelings about interpretation, memories of the first performances, etc.
It's worth watching. Villella, especially, is articulate about the work. Kent is simply marvelous. What a joy to watch her -- and to watch her expressive arms and hands as she describes the movement qualities of the work. They are sitting side by side on a small sofa. But, with Allegra Kent is still dancing.
Kent comments that many dancers have performed these roles over the years. The interpretations and look have inevitably changed.
Villella: I feel very comfortable with Allegra here so that we ought to be able to provide our dancers with the way this was originally intended.
Posted 13 October 2010 - 07:46 PM
Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:27 PM
Posted 14 October 2010 - 04:14 AM
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