the danceview times
Volume 4, Number 1 January 9, 2006 The weekly online supplement to DanceView magazine
A Clipped Story
Is it only me who sees the whole idea of Edward Scissorhandsthe character and the storyas absolutely daft? I can’t believe that. Why would an inventor who makes a model boy furnish him, even pro tem, with scissors instead of hands, so that when said inventor dies the toy boy is left permanently with these useless appendages, but apparently alive so that he must attempt a real life with them. They tell me it was Johnny Depp’s performance in the film (which I never saw) that explained its appeal. Surely Matthew Bourne didn’t imagine he could offer such a star in his ballet versionor did he suppose that his dances would do the trick?
New Year's Concert from Vienna
"Salute to Vienna"
Like "The Nutcracker", "The Messiah" and dramatizations of "A Christmas Carol", the New Year's Concert from Vienna is a seasonal favorite. People who attend no other ballet, play or concert all year long, keep going back to these performances year after year for sentiment's sake, often taking younger family members along. The quality of the productions varies, from highly professional to home made, and so does the spirit, from genuine to ersatznot that good skills and the right spirit are always matched.
by John Percival
Off-stage, in my admittedly limited experience, Fernando Bujones was pleasantly composed and polite; not at all pushy and big-mouthed as sometimes imagined. Ambitious he certainly was, but perfection was his aim, not just fame. His idols and role models were the two most perfect he could find: Erik Bruhn for the purity of his style, and Rudolf Nureyev initially for his power, later realising also, and emulating, the Russian’s wide range. Because Bujones’s physical skills were so extraordinary, people tended to attribute his eminence just to that, but there was much more to him. He said himself that “to dance a role is to become the character of the role you dance”, and his illustrious international career was to be based on a wide variety of interpretationsnot forgetting that whenever I saw him he gave a distinctive character even to a plotless dance.
Girls, Women and Tomboys
“Allegro Brillante," "Liturgy," "Monumentum Pro Gesualdo," "Movements for Piano and Orchestra," "Symphony in C," "Fearful Symmetries"
by Leigh Witchel
In ballet, girlhood and womanhood aren't always defined by age. New York City Ballet’s ballerinas have always been the company’s treasure; they range from coltish to sophisticated. All have their place in the repertory; the girls who show us delicacy and vulnerability as well as the women who bring maturity and strength. The company lost some of its golden girls recently, but a duet of strongly programmed and nearly identical repertory performances gave the company’s women a chance to show off.
A renewed acquaintance with Peter Martins’ 1996 “Swan Lake” after a five-year hiatus does not provide any reason to adjust the initial impression this dry, perfunctory, often downright ugly production made when NYCB first performed it in 1999. The garish colors (emerald green, bright orange, royal blue, red) still shock and annoy the eye; even now that I’m prepared for them, the costumes in Act One still leave me wondering, “what was this designer thinking?” The lakeside scenes are acceptable, if unimaginatively staged, and one definitely misses the Big Swans, for their expansive poignancy and as counterparts to the cygnets, who remain as in other standard versions of the ballet. The non-lakeside scenes seem to be more about the emotional ups and downs of the court’s jester than about the emotional journey of Prince Siegfried; Martins’ hyperactive jester is center stage when the curtain first rises and inserts himself into the action at every opportunity. When he’s on the sidelines, he sighs and stretches, flirts with a villager and steals a nap. Most intrusive and senseless is his final appearance, entering the now-empty Act Three ballroom after all have fled, as the mournful strains of Act Four’s introductory music are heard, to sneak onto the throne, just in time for the scenery to be whisked away and reveal the lake.
Copyright © 2006 by DanceView