domingo, 23 de março de 2014

Uma cena, um beijo...

São alguns destes poucos e arrebatadores momentos nas telas os que deram ao Cinema o nome de “A sétima Arte”.

Hitchcock, nos deixa aqui boquiabertos: está tudo aí… a maravilhosa camera, as cores difusas, a transformação da vulgar Judy (Kim Novak) na cultivada Madeleine (Kim Novak), a música que nos dá uma “surra” de tanta emoção, o olhar de loucura de Jimmy Stewart (não é suprema loucura uma pessoa querer transformar uma pessoa numa outra?), o cenário – que durante o beijo transforma-se nas cavalariças onde ele uma vez beijou Madeleine… ou Judy… Mas ele não sabe disso…

"Vertigo" descaradamente baseado em "As you desire me" (com Garbo, Melvyn Douglas & Erich von Stroheim) que por sua vez foi inspirado por uma peça teatral de Pirandello

Mas isto realmente importa? Não estou hoje aqui para discutir “Vertigo” como filme… queria só avaliar e reavaliar esta cena, para mim, magnífica, inesquecível, uma obra de arte!

Um daqueles momentos que nos arrebata completamente, que tira nossa respiração, que nos mostra uma "paixão" possessiva e descabida e que, no escuro do cinema, nos faz sonhar, voar longe com atores, atrizes, cores, trilhas musicais, luzes, truques… como eu gosto de deixar “me levar assim” por estes diretores que tão bem entendiam do seu ofício…

Thanks, Hitch!

Sentem-se, relaxem, put your feet up e enjoy! CINEMA no puro sentido da palavra…

quarta-feira, 19 de março de 2014

Swan Lake’s second show of the Season: March 18th 2014

What to expect? Nureyev’s 1964 Version of Lake is not one of my favorites… even though it was modified in 1984 into a new Version for the Paris Opera, it was never changed for the State Opera in Vienna, the very city in which it had its world premiere in 1964 (with Fonteyn and Nureyev getting a record of 89 curtain calls).
Tradition plays a big role in this country even when it is questionable and prevents improvements…

In 1964, having danced already in different versions of “Lake” (including Royal Ballet’s , masterly done by Ashton) Nureyev decided to move the main focus of the story from the Swan(s) to Siegfried. Also a very questionable decision…

To my opinion, Nureyev’s ego was so big that he committed the mistake of turning a “woman’s ballet” into one in which the danseur is the center of attractions… a very egocentric reaction.

For instance, one of the most beautiful and lyrical moments in ballet history is the very end of the 2nd act-pas de deux (in which Odette slowly turns one pirouette, makes a developée, turns then two pirouettes to make another developée and finish her 3 or 4 turns, falling to the side into the arms of Siegfried - take a look at the programme's cover, it's there - and then “falls” into an arabesque penchée in which her hand falls slowly at the very last note of music). But this does not exist for Nureyev… He simply moved the limelight away from the ballerina in one of her most significative moments and made Siegfried perform a short solo instead – to some other music! Ghastly!

On the following video you can see exactly what I mean, about the End of the 2nd act-pas de deux:
Vladimir Shishov & Liudmila Kononalova in a Gala, last year! And the end of the Adagio just like I described above...

But back to March 18th... Nureyev's use of music is also very questionable – we are not accustomed to it especially in the Black Swan’s pas de Deux. I have read once that this was supposedly so in the original score by Tchaikowsky. But I could never found real evidence of that…

It is definitely interesting to compare yesterday’s performance with the 1966 video… How technique and physical ideals have changed… strange: I don’t remember Fonteyn doing the 32 Fouettés EVER in the third act – I believe she never could do them… I’ll have to watch that video again

Yesterday the curtain went up and nothing really happened. Not at first. Even if the stage was full of people. The same way it would later happen during the Opening of the third act. There was some walking around but no acting, no energy, no feeling. As in many parts of the show yesterday, it seemed to take quite a long time before dancers could “enter” their roles, “warm-up” inside them. But there were exceptions.

One of the greatest exceptions of the above mentioned phenomenon is Vladimir Shishov. Really feeling “at home” within Siegfried’s soul, he showed us that this is HIS role.

No question about it.

A grown-up man performing a grown-up man. In complete command of the character, Mr. Shishov showed to us how right he is for this role. Without any phoney sentimentality or pretense he didn’t attitudinized the character. Much on the contrary: in certain moments (known to me from the 1966 film that was made in Vienna) even Nureyev exaggerates in his right to be a central figure. He is simply too often on stage (in comparison to other versions). Mr. Shishov’s more human incarnation of the Siegfried-persona turns him into a more believable character.

One of the fine things about this role is also his very supportive ways concerning Odette/Odille. The Danseur has also to be a great partner and Mr. Shishov is definitely one (and of course exactly the same way like he is a "danseur noble")!
Just the kind of dancer that leaves us calm and relaxed while he is partnering because we know that the ballerina is in very good hands.

After some months of sick leave Liudmila Konovalova (Elle est mignon!!!!) had to jump into yesterday’s performance because Olga Esina unfortunately hurt herself during the premiere on the 16th: after not having seen her on stage for a long while I felt unease during her first moments as Odette.

Wasn’t she, Odette, supposed to feel afraid during her first meeting with Siegfried?
She wasn’t so… but I had just forgotten that Miss Kononalova is NOT the fearful type of dancer. Her interpretation was cleverly adapted by her to her own personality without losing any of its assets.

During the second act I felt that she sometimes hurried a bit, that she was a bit ahead of the music and that small nuances of the role were not being completely used to the end. This feeling passed with time… perhaps it was due to some nervousness after being for so long away from the stage. But fact is that she gave us a marvelous portrayal of Odette and especially Odille. The audience was static.

At the End of the performance Miss Kononalova and Mr. Shishov received a long, standing ovation.
Very well-deserved indeed.

The Corps de Ballet disappointed me a bit during the second act. Especially during the crucial long parts in which the dancers have to stay still, not looking stiff, for a long time one could see that there is still a lot of work to be done: different head positions, arms that were too much high bent. But most of all I missed the lack of discipline during those long moments: many dancers were following the principals with their eyes and some even with their heads.

This should have been noticed during rehearsals, but… were there enough rehearsals?

Paying long attention to lovely Swan, Miss Flavia Soares, I caught myself wishing that there would be more discipline, like hers. She shows insight, beauty in her performance... but of course she is much more experienced than some of the teen-agers that are having their first season with the ballet. Experience cannot be replaced.

Siegfried’s “friends” Ioanna Avraam, Kiyoka Hashimoto, Greig Matthews and Dumitru Taran were the next thing closer to perfection - Synchrony, clean techniques, joy, personality, interpretation. Dancers that entered the stage and had no need to warm-up into their characters! Beautiful!

The little swans (even if for some there should be a "pas de chat urgent rehearsal") brought down the house: Maria Alati, Ioanna Avraam, Rui Tamai and lovely Eszter Ledán performed beautifully. Miss Ledán’s stage presence with her charm and lovely looks that are combined with a strong technique becomes clearer every day. She was also a delight as one of the noble young ladies that are presented to the prince: contrary to others she never left her role, even during the long “waiting” while The Black Swan and the Prince are performing.

The big Swans were beautifully performed, especially by Prisca Zeisel, a talented and very versatile young Ballerina who not only represents all the sweetness of a swan but also gave to the audience a very spirited performance as the Spanish Dancer (bellow) on Act III.

The hungarian dance was a delight – like a firework. But what else could you expect from the lively combination between Alice Firenze and Mihail Sosnovschi? (above) Both remind me somehow of tigers ... feline, strong, elegant… One can feel the joy and fun that both are having while performing. But wasn’t Callas, with all her strength, also called “La Tigresa”?
Oh, by the way; there is another expression that was once said by Fred Astaire about Cyd Charisse that would apply very well to Miss Firenze and Mr. Sosnovschi: beautiful dynamite!!!!!!!!

The polish dance was masterly performed by athletic Alexis Forabosco (bellow), using his legs to the very best even though the choreography is a bit boring – but definitely not so tedious like the neapolitan dance.
But what could one expect? The music belongs to the more tediously uninteresting pieces that Tchaikowsky ever composed! And so is the choreography: not worth mentioning.

Costumes by Luisa Spinatelli have not caused such an impact on me. In fact I think that the tutus in the second act could have been a bit fuller – and the tops more harmonically cut. Also Odette’s Headdress left much to be desired – it simply did not “caress” enough Miss Konovalova’s face.

Except perhaps for The Queen Mother’s (Dagmar Kronberger) exquisite headdresses on both the 1st and the 3rd Acts.

Rotbart’s (Eno Peci) costume that was so often mentioned was OK (but the headdress made him look more like a cock). Unfortunately Rotbart’s performance is resumed to a bit more than running around in a sort of frenzy… but let us be honest: would Nureyev create rivalry for himself on stage? He was much more preoccupied in creating his Siegfried than choreographing many parts and other roles of “Swan Lake”…

Resuming last evening: it was a very rewarding experience… experiencing so many talents that at the same time made me try to analyze more and more the complexity if this work and Nureyev’s motives.

But there was one most disturbing fact that was quite clear to me: Dancers are looking tired… and it is still too early in the Season for that. What is happening? Olga Esina injured herself, Davide Dato broke his foot... This is something to think about...

P.S. all pictures except Miss Soares' taken from the Wiener Staatsballet's programme.
Miss Soares' picture kindly permmited by Mr.Thomas Schulz. Thank you!

P.S.2 and just now, kindly sent by Davide Dato, this lovely picture. When Mr. Shishov went on his knees to give Miss Konovalova these flowers, the audience went mad!!!!!!!

sábado, 15 de março de 2014

The ugly duckling - O patinho feio (Walt Disney)

Acho que todos, em algum ponto de suas vidas, tiveram uma fase na qual se identificaram muito com a estórinha do patinho-feio… ou até duas… a primeira quando ele se dá conta da feiúra, a segunda quando ele passa a ver conscientemente que é bonito.

Eu me senti muito patinho feio aos 7 anos de idade… nossa, como me lembro dessa fase… aquela na qual a gente cresce muito rápido e as mangas da nossa roupa ficam estranhamente curtas toda semana que passa, aquela na qual a gente fica "banguela" (ou como se dizia na minha infancia: 1001!)...

Mas o que é esta coisa chamada beleza?
Para muitos sómente aquela coisa efemera que acaba com o tempo e não aqueles valores interiores que fazem até que a “casca” exterior torne-se bonita?
O que é esta coisa chamada beleza que transforma tantos em monstros e escravos da sua própria vaidade?

De qualquer forma: esta jóia Waltdisneyana de 1939 é mais do que uma formosura de filme, apesar de abreviar o final do conto de Hans Christian Andersen (no qual o “patinho feio” só se dá conta da sua beleza quando amadurece e se torna um cisne, o mais lindo dos pássaros…).

Nesta “Silly simphony” (com excelente música composta por Albert Hay Malotte, que não é sequer mencionado nos créditos do filme) o seu sofrimento é abreviado a poucos momentos de infelicidade e ostracismo (e não vivenciado por um período de um ano, como no conto original) ao ser “adotado” por uma família de cisnes…

Mesmo assim nossos corações se quebram ao constatar sua infelicidade – tão genuína, tão parecida aquele “sofrimento” sincero que as crianças nos mostram ao chorar com toda a alma – e nossos olhos enchem-se de lágrimas…

Este “short” de Disney recebeu um Oscar como melhor curta-metragem (desenho animado) de 1939. Bravo, lindo patinho!

Ah… estes traços maravilhosos dos artistas que trabalhavam com Walt Disney…

A loucura e encanto destes "finados" 24 fotogramas por segundo pintados à mão… A fascinação do desenho animado de outras épocas...
Anos Luz dos desenhos animados de hoje em dia que são produzidos em massa, nas esteiras da chamada “criatividade”, por computadores…

Dedico esta postagem à uma menininha que assistiu este filminho ainda no cinema, na época... pelo seu aniversário, hoje!

Parabéns, querida Mãe!

(e para voces 8 Minutos e meio ou de lembranças ou, para os mais jovens, de puro divertimento... )

segunda-feira, 10 de março de 2014

Take a feeling: Monotony...

Eu sei que já publiquei esta canção aqui uma vez... há muito...

Mas sei também que é um dos meus números prediletos do grande acervo da MGM…
e apesar de ter sido cortado do fabuloso “Easter Parade” (Desfile de Páscoa, 1948), ele nos mostra uma Judy que, nas palavras de Mickey Rooney, estava «at her very best, at the top of her career». Concordo.

E com toda a simplicidade dos momentos eternos, Judy, num trajezinho que viraria sua “marca registrada”, sem cenários, sem grande mis-en-scene, cantando sem “floreados” e repetindo propositalmente os monótonos acordes escritos por Irving Berlin, nos diz "tudo". Sai das telas e conquista a sala do cinema para nos encher de calor com sua interpretação.

Résumé: um daqueles curtos momentos que nos esclarece o porque deste imenso talento ter sido uma estrela tão única em seu magnetismo...

Que maravilha… uma eterna jóia musical e cinematográfica!
Viva os acervos das grandes Companhias da « Fábrica dos Sonhos ». Como gostaria de ter um trabalho lá… pesquisando… Imaginem só o que eu faria... sim, seriam as reais "Adventures of Ricardo in Wonderland"!

sábado, 8 de março de 2014

Take a feeling: sadness

Ando muito cansado de dizer "Adeus".


Ev'ry time we say good-bye, I die a little...

Cole Porter & Ricardo in full understanding of each other...