« NYCB – Chase Finlay and Anthony Huxley promoted to soloist | Main | ABT @ City Center »

July 18, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I actually agree with you that American literature is insufficiently mined for dance. Actually, I'm bothered that the arts often sequester themselves (okay, that artists sequester themselves into one discipline). Certainly Balanchine--the beloved Balanchine--didn't do that, even though he seems to have this reputation today as an abstract artist. But actually, his work came from a place of sensitivity and general interest in the human animal.

If this kind of revival is going on outside of NYC, I think that's great. The world of opera is certainly looking to everything from contemporary events (Dr. Atomic) to classic and unadapted literature (Great Gatsby) for inspiration. Sometimes these efforts don't pay off (like City Opera's awful "Seance"). But no pain no gain.

I wish KC Ballet lots and lots of luck! And with fresh ideas, certainly dancers are inspired. People like to feel like they are engaged with something new and important--it always raises their game.

Hi B.F.

Agree that fresh ideas are needed. But with regard to ballet choreography, there are so few who are able to use the vocabulary to execute their ideas. It's so easy to say, "Well, the ballet vocabulary isn't rich enough for what I want to say; so, I have to add gymnastics and autistic spasms to the mix in order to express what I'm trying to say which is really an abstract nothing." The ballet vocabulary is rich. We need choreographers to invest the effort to learn how to speak the language. Maybe that's asking too much.

I agree with you. It's going to take imagination and skill. Ballet is a great art and I still have faith that someone will figure out how to engage it in a way that doesn't rely on tricks--it's happened in the past, after all. But I can be annoyingly optimistic. ;-)

Maybe every century a genius with a gift for choreography comes along:
Petipa in the 19th;
Balanchine in the 20th; and
Ratmansky in the 21st.
I am really grateful that we have a Ratmansky, although the only thing I've seen so far is Bright Stream. The New Yorker article by Joan Acocella makes him out to be The Real Thing--devoted to classicism, highly inventive, modest.

The comments to this entry are closed.