Sunday, April 20, 2008

"one should have something to be correct about"

Go read Joan Acoccella's New Yorker piece on the Kirov's season. It's exactly what I was getting at in my initial response to last night's performance but didn't know how to say, and of course she has said it perfectly...

The first half of the article is on a puppeteer whose work I didn't see, but the second half describes the ballerinas and their fault: all technique and no emotion. She prasies Diana Vishneva (who I didn't see this time around but caught her solo season earlier this year) for having meaning behind her dancing, being able to play with the music and create nuance.

"Somova’s other attractions include a lovely face, and hair the color of Barbie’s. She also has the emotional range of Barbie."

I also didn't see Somova, but this could be said of many of the dancers onstage.

"Vishneva seems to know why she is dancing—what it is that’s important about the ballet she’s doing—and this knowledge translates into phrasing, which is the dancer’s primary dramatic resource. As she inflects the steps, she is taking you somewhere, and you follow her bug-eyed, whereas, with many of her colleagues, you could go out into the lobby and get a drink of water, and, when you came back, they would look as though they were doing the same thing as before.....she is a lesson, from which the company could learn. Correctness is fine, admirable, but one should have something to be correct about."

Exactly my feeling about the performance I saw and about ballet in general right now. Why bother with perfect lines and extensions and precision if there's no meaning behind the art?

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