quarta-feira, 30 de abril de 2014
At first, after watching yesterday’s performance and talking to many dancers, in and out of the cast, during the after-Premiere party, I thought of not writing a review about the Show. It seemed utterly unfair.
Today I have decided otherwise. My “dilemma” in relation to “Ein Reigen” lies not on the talent of so many young dancers but somewhere else… I will try to explain why.
“Der Reigen” was one of the biggest theatre scandals in the 20th Century and was, after the “Schnitzler’s Trial”, forbidden on Austrian stages until 1982 (even though Films and Records were produced).
“Ein Reigen” , loosely based on “Der Reigen” from Arthur Schnitzler, differs primarily from the original in the story-telling’s main line… In the play all characters “meet” in “pre- and post-coital” situations. In yesterday’s ballet all characters have obvious “love/sex” scenes – unfortunately most of them extremely repetitious. After the second there was no more “surprise” (nor thrill) for the audience.
Monsieur Manuel Legris said in his speech after the show that it is very hard to find someone who’d accept to stage a full-length Ballet.
He is absolutely right.
To fill a whole evening’s programme one’s “choreographical vocabulary” must be extensive, huge in fact. Unfortunately this was not the case. Ashley Page’s choreography is not only repetitious but lacks completely the “ups and downs” that give rhythm to a “script”. After a while the story-telling became boring… not inventive, not challenging, not dynamic. All this added to a very questionable music score: Surely wonderful works from Mahler, Zemlinsky, Korngold, Berg etc. ON THEIR OWN – but all of them - especially put together - extremely gloomy and nearly depressing.
Once more very repetitious.
Perhaps the only “brilliant” use of music was Ravel’s La Valse at the very End of the Show. “La Valse” which, in fact, was never a success when used for a ballet – even though history shows us the many choreographers who envisioned this piece as “dance stuff”.
The concept of using “celebrities” makes it quite confusing and bothered me. I personally would have preferred the use of “fictious” characters (like played by Alice Firenze - see photo above) instead of Freud, Mahler, Kokoschka, Alma Mahler, Schönberg, Schiele etc… Here we are again into that English craze, apart from the big “cliché” which these characters bring along with, of trying to “use” Ballet as a platform for other forms of art, not using the language of dance but simply the “script form” of a play… MacMillan’s “Mayerling” is one of the best examples of how confusing this can be.
History books have their own language – so should Ballet (And do audiences and even the dancers really know all about who is being portrayed? Today's world pace is too quick to assimilate all that we should... )
One positive thing must be said about Mr. Page: His very pointed feeling for casting. Knowing the company, I enjoyed (nearly most) of his casting.
...I still have not revealed the main point about deciding so late about writing a review about yesterday’s show or not.
It can be seasily described in simple three words:
Lack of Rehearsals.
Audience could feel that in many parts of the show the dancers were insecure (never “ending” movements) and very uncertain (especially musically). I was sitting beside another dancer and sometimes we’d look sadly at each other…
I am sure that with some more rehearsal this ballet may turn into a good one – even though I question why it was put on the stage of the Volksopera. Need of a financial magnet for tourists in having a ballet about “Vienna”?
It could be… I wonder if it will survive this season.
Even so I could witness again the lovely stage presence of Suzan Oppermann (on whom I could concentrate a lot!), Clara Soley, Flavia Soares (elegance), Gala Aura Jovanovic (exceptional in a “trouser’s role”), Ioana Avraam, Maria Alati (very daring! I like that), beautiful Denys Chrevychko (unfortunately dressed in a horrible costume) and Kirill Kourlaev.
Surprisingly enough for me was the fact that Mr. Roman Lazik, a dancer that I consider extremely “blasé” on stage, managed to show at last some emotion.
Eno Peçi and Dagmar Kronberger, great professionals who would never, for a single second, let the audience see a glimpse of discomfort or insecurity. I enjoyed especially to witness again their dancing together.
Ketevan Papava had the difficult (and notorious) Alma Mahler to portray. And she did a very good job out of the very ungrateful choreography that was given to her.
But three dancers outshone completely the rest of the company:
Eszter Ledán (Emilie Flöge), that seemed to have arrived directly out of the past and looked like a reincarnation of the famous Klimt’s portrait (so sorry I do not have a picture of Miss Ledán in this role),
Alice Firenze (Mitzi, a prostitute), full of strength, power, interpretation’s understanding.
It is needless to write about both dancer’s splendid technique.
and Misha Sosnovschi (here with Maria Alati as Wally Neuzil) , that gave life to Egon Schiele and had one of the best parts, choreographically and dramatically observed, of the show.
I can well imagine what a creative, construtive and committed “worker” Mr. Sosnovschi is.
Feeling “responsible” for his work (he is the one that has to go on stage and show to the audiences what the choreopgrapher created) he is surely the dream for every choreographer to work with.
Participation. That's the secret of a real artist...
Apart from his splandid technique and stage presence. I like that...
The use of the revolving stage of the Volksopera was no surprise.
Neither for the rest of the audience nor for me.
Once again the factor “repetitiveness” playing a role.
Sceneries were good but the costumes were excellent – even though they could be described as too “Volksopera affine”
(Both by Anthony McDonald.
...one last question remains unaswered for me:
hasn’t “Wien, Wien, nur Du allein” (Maurice Béjart) a much greater “insight” into the Viennese gloomy, very depressive moods? Prostitution, Betrayal, Prater, Tarot cards, Murder…
In 1990 I had the privilege to watch this (marvelous) show (Marcia Haydée, Jorge Donn) at the State Opera.
It received very mild applause…
Yesterday’s applause was also lukewarm…
Do Viennese really want to see themselves portrayed?
Copyrights: Pictures from the Volksopera's programme and Thomas Schulz (Many Thanks, dear Thomas)
sexta-feira, 25 de abril de 2014
Inspirações podem ser espontaneas...às vezes não… mas, a verdade é que podemos até esquecer do que as causou...
Adoro um video que foi feito do espetáculo em honra dos 80 anos de Stephen Sondheim em 2010… Sim, o “mestre” nasceu em 1930…
Tantos maravilhosos talentos reunidos numa única noite, num único palco…
Principalmente a cena de “Follies” (que começa com “Beautiful Girls”, grande número…) prendeu completamente minha atenção e abusou de toda minha concentração (e continua com o mesmo efeito, apesar de eu já te-la assistido várias vezes!): David Hyde Pierce canta e introduz as fantásticas, veteranas Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Bernadette Peters e Elaine Stritch, que simplesmente “arrasam” (Mais sobre as cenas indiduais de cada uma delas em próximas postagens de “As Tertúlias”)!
Como “não existem coincidências” recebi um destes dias o DVD de “Ziegfeld Girl” (MGM, 1941) com Judy Garland, Heddy Lamarr e Lana Turner… será que um garotinho de 11 anos deixou-se inconscientemente inspirar com esta cena de LanaTurner “descendo” as escadas…
O filme, na realidade, possui todo um simbolismo cínico sobre o “descer” e “subir” em volta do personagem de Lana:
ela é descoberta como ascensorista subindo e descendo elevadores, ela sobe aos palcos para ser uma estrela de Florenz Ziegfeld, subindo e descendo escadas, no final do filme infeliz e “mantida” por um homem velho ela “desce” e se volta para o álcool…
O simbolismo das escadas…
Sim será que o garotinho Sondheim se inspirou aqui, inclusive musicalmente?
(Um dia teremos também que falar sobre Bette Davis subindo e descendo as escadas da Warner por 15 anos... ).
segunda-feira, 21 de abril de 2014
Desde a versão de George Cukor de „My fair Lady“ (Warner, 1964), com Audrey Hepburn, o primeiro número de Eliza (“Wouldn’t it be loverly?”) vem-se transformando erroneamente num número “feliz”, cheio de sorrisos, risadas, felicidade... mas não foi isso o que Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe e Moss Hart „visualizaram“ para Eliza...
Muito pelo contrário.
Na versão original ela canta „o que poderia ser” de um ponto de vista mais meditativo, contemplativo…
Esta sempre foi MINHA teoria – infelizmente não era nascido quando o original foi feito na Broadway na estação teatral de 1955/56 e por este motivo não tinha como provar minhas suposições...
Mas não é que a vida me proporciona certas felicidades????
Encontrei um video de Julie (Andrews) num programa de televisão de Ed Sullivan de 1960.
Maravilhosa descoberta: Julie já estava em «Camelot» ao lado de Richard Burton mas para este programa recria esta cena que tinha feito até o ano anterior (já em Londres, depois da Broadway) com a coreografia original…
...e notem, o “ar” contemplativo, meditativo…´nada de falsas felicidades e afetações. Uma "flower girl" sonhando com um mundo melhor. Só isso!
“Loverly”. Eu tinha razão!
E tudo isto adicionado à simplicidade da coreografia, da cenografia e do "staging": AMO!
terça-feira, 15 de abril de 2014
Chove e faz frio...
A gloriosa primavera que já nos visitava em princípios de março foi embora, nos deixando com esta “sopa cinzenta”; mistura de céu escuro, frio e chuva…
Encontrei esta rara “jóiazinha”, uma das «Happy Harmonies» da MGM do início dos anos 30…
Aguma vez eu a tinha assistido mas fiquei desta vez tão fascinado com a naïveté dos desenhos em si, com a simples magia de imaginação colocada em 24 fotogramas por segundo (à mão!), do uso da bailarina que deu vida ao personagem da "fadinha" para os animadores desenharem, do roteiro ("eles" são os quem fazem o Danúbio ficar azul!), do uso da música...
E então parei, deixei tudo de lado, sentei-me e fiquei quietinho assistindo; como se tivesse só 5 anos de idade e pensei: Sim, estou vendo...
Claro que o uso do “O Danúbio Azul” de Strauß é mais do que precioso – apesar de questionável orquestração e cantoria, mas quem se importa? – e, ainda por cima, tem tudo que ver com minha melancolia primaveril...
Ó Sol, quando retornas????
quinta-feira, 10 de abril de 2014
Encontrei esta ceninha de „Ziegfeld Girl“ (MGM, 1941). Sim, encontrei pois nunca havia assistido-a.
Judy (e sua transbordande sinceridade), Lana Turner e até Hedy Lamarr (linda!) me deram prazer…
Estranho como coisas certas aparecem na hora certa na nossa vida… Mas sempre repitimos: “Não existem coincidencias”, não é? Mais uma vez Judy e um „rainbow“ na minha vida…
Apesar de conhecer a música por "toda uma vida", a realmente "ouvi" ontem... aqueles fenomenos (lindos) de sensibilidade que a vida, o tempo e a idade trazem consigo...
Me dar realmente conta que eu também estou sempre «chasing rainbows» (apesar de não lutar ativamente para faze-lo), fez-me ontem bem, muito bem… e eu estava precisando!
De certa forma ainda acredito infantilmente que todos deveríamos ter o direito de ser felizes… Mas existem, infelizmente, tantas pessoas que adoram atacar os outros, transformar bons momentos em momentos negativos e tudo isso até «dando a bandeira» que estão apreciando suas “patifarias”.
Mas, pensando bem e "invertendo o jogo" (no sentido positivo da expressão): não deveríamos, na realidade, dar «Graças a Deus» por estas «criaturas» existirem? Sem sua «existencia», sem sua presença não daríamos o devido valor, não nos daríamos conta dos tantos amigos, das pessoas boas, honestas, carinhosas, sinceras que enchem nossa vida…
e "daquele" amigo que temos no nosso interior, dentro da nossa alma… nós mesmos!
Chasing Rainbows… always…
segunda-feira, 7 de abril de 2014
There is always a certain feeling of expectation at a première…
But yesterday’s “Swan Lake” was not a “première” in the real sense of the word.
It was “just” Svetlana Zakharova’s first show in Vienna, ever,
and a great chance to many persons to watch her for the first time on stage, including me!
Having already written about another performance of SL, I will not repeat all that I have already put here… just read my other critic (from March 19th).
Oh, well, only perhaps to remind you of the incredible synchronity, timing and chemistry between Greig Matthews and Dumitru Taran. Both did not dance in the pas de cinq yesterday.
But I must say that Alexandru Tcacenco did a great job.
A wonderful stage presence and such a "clean" technique. A dancer we should look more carefully at.
I could not wait for the first act to finish even tough I was caught by Vladimir Shishov’s incredible sensibility at the last variation of it – we are, of course, talking about Nureyev’s version of which I have written on last March 18th. This slow variation is a very difficult piece of magic: but perhaps due to Rudi’s egocentrism, focusing the ballet around the male dancer, I had never enjoyed it. At yesterday’s performance Mr. Shishov gave us a new “reading” of this role. He was full of despair, questions, hopes, emotion… He was not “showing off” technically like Nureyev tried to do. He was simply completely inside his role. Simply being Siegfried! And with such precise technique: a marvelous, special moment, indeed!
The second act… Well, it started (at last) and I could not wait to see Miss Zakharova’s entrance as the white Swan.
She came in and just after three or four seconds of her presence on stage, just after her first grand-jéte, I felt the first tear (of many) rolls down my cheek. There she was. A Swan…
Nobody should make the mistake of comparing one dancer to another. So many Odettes and Odilles left such an impression inside me: Makarova, Park, Martinelli just to mention a few. But each one was a single Odette, a single Odille. Some were stronger as the white swan, some were the black one personified. Some were both. Few were none...
Miss Zakharova was definitely Odette. The use of her arms are pure poetry. They are so fascinating that you forget to look at those wonderful legs, gorgeous feet and glorious neck.
I felt simply connected to that torsothat was simply framed by those expressive arms, “broken” wrists, fingers: bird-like ones…
The third act: Flavia Soares gave us a beautiful, impressive performance in the Spanish Dance. And such Cambrés!!!!!!! Simply amazing.
Her “Muchacha” (very becoming, in red, with a lovely hairdo) was not the cliché spanish “chica”, so often misunderstood.
She was just a latin girl, filled with hot blood, chillies, temperament and charm. Great!
Zakharova’s Odille was a bit too friendly like.
I missed somehow the evilness of this black, dangerous bird.
Amazing was the use (again) of her arms while doing the Piqués en tournant: Placing them a bit backwards than her torso (a challenging thing because of the sense of balance) she created, to the front audience, the most pure impression of “wings”. What an effect!
While all this was happening, I was amazed by Mr. Shishov’s performance!
The chemistry between Miss Zakharova and him could not be missed by anyone – and it is 100 percent right to affirm that it is so important to have both principals in the same “state of mind” while on stage.
Makarova would never have been “that” swan without Anthony Dowell and Ivan Nagy.
Mr. Shishov and Miss Zakharova would not have been Siegfried and Odette/Odille last evening without each other.
Many, many curtain calls, incredible applause from an excited "ballet audience" (so many people from all over Europe and abroad simply flew to Vienna to watch that performance last night) and lots of talk with a friend sitting next to me: Davide Dato – “Liebling” with a broken foot - made this evening an unforgettable one.
I am so glad to have been able to watch last evening's performance.
ALL PICTURES: copyright Thomas Schulz (Thank you for your kind permission, perception and incredible sensibility!)