CriticalDance Forum

Kirov in London, 2005 - Forsythe programme
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Author:  Rosella [ Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:09 am ]
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I was completely overtaken by In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, the music, the performance, the dynamism, I quite enjoyed Approximate Sonata, but I agree with Stuart about the first piece, Septext, it did not have the strength it was meant to have...

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Jul 28, 2005 4:32 am ]
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From Russia, with delight
by ZOE ANDERSON for the Independent

They rise to the challenge with delight. After the complacencies of Swan Lake and Romeo last week, these dancers look thrilled to be on stage.

published: July 27, 2005

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:45 am ]
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Zoe Anderson wrote:

Forsythe's choreography is thin.

While all perspectives are welcome, I'm confident that neither Deborah Bull nor most of the other artists who perform Forsythe or the choreographers who have been influenced by his approach would share Zoe Anderson's view.

In Stuttgart back in the 80s Kenneth MacMillan encouraged Forsythe. He told him: "Don't take any notice what the press say - it doesn't matter."

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:06 am ]
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The Forsythe saga
By Kevin Ng for The St. Petersburg Times

LONDON — Still known overseas as the Kirov Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet will close its two-week season at the Royal Opera House in London on Saturday with a performance of “La Bayadere” led by its top stars Ulyana Loptakina and Igor Zelensky. On Monday the Mariinsky Opera, which tours London less frequently than the Mariinsky Ballet, will open its one-week season with “Boris Godunov.”

click for more

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:09 am ]
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I wonder if Zoe Anderson has tried to dance Forsythe? or choreograph in general?

Stuart, I agree 200%.

Author:  Lyndsey Winship [ Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:54 pm ]
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Really enjoyed the Forsythe programme, best of the three Kirov shows I saw (but that's partly a matter of taste). Would agree with Stuart that generally the male dances seemed to have a bit more pluck. Although I thought Ekaterina Kondaurova completely stole the show in In The Middle. A piece like that is quite meritocratic you could say, and it's exciting to see someone from the corps getting the chance to stamp their personality on the stage. Haven't witnessed that much energy at the Opera House for a while. I also particularly liked Evgenia Obratsova in Approximate Sonata. I'd seen the Ballet Boyz do a couple of movements from this in the past, which left me cold, but in its entirety it was very satisfying.

Author:  KANTER [ Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:06 am ]
Post subject:  Sorry to gatecrash, but

Sorry to gatecrash, but

Neither Deborah Bull, nor Zoe Andersen for that matter, are authority-figures, at least not in my book. Governor or no Governor.

Ulyana Lopatkina expresses rather trenchant views about Billie Forsythe in a recent interviews. Contrary to Zoe Andersen, I am led to believe that Miss Lopatkina has graced the legitimate stage, do correct me if I'm wrong.

A number of professionals of my own acquaintance, although they find his work interesting - at a safe distance - would share, emphatically, Miss Lopatkina's view that Forsythe's choreography is "too radical on the body".

Billie Forsythe, ripping, tearing and yanking at limb and ligament, is, in his complete disregard for the sanctity of the body, as much an expression of the Zeitgeist as video games.

That one enjoy certain things, subjectively, does not necessarily make them objectively good.

Nor does that give one grounds for running down those who think otherwise, by suggesting, for example, that they have no locus for criticism on account of never having graced the legit'.

Were this forum to be restricted to professionals on active duty, this would be a quiet little place.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:03 am ]
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I'm a little puzzled, Katherine, as Zoe Anderson makes no comment about the impact of Forsythe's choreography on the body, but rather that his choreography is "thin". In this regard, I note that a number of professionals of your acquaintance find his choreography "interesting".

Thanks for your contribution - not gate-crashing at all.

Author:  Rosella [ Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:45 am ]
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Sunday 24th (evening), 2005, Royal Opera House, London

The impulse to move can come from every part of the body, an elbow, a foot, a pelvic shift. Forsythe's approach to ballet is destabilising as he takes the classical lines and postures and deconstructs them. His use of the body is often controversial and disturbing as it is exciting. The decision for the Kirov Ballet director Makhar Vaziev to embark on a Forsythe programme confirms that new challenges are possible for a Company that is renown for mastering the classical ballet repertoire. Already presented in St. Petersburgh last March, the Forsythe programme has landed in London for the first time during the Kirov Summer tour at the Royal Opera House.

The programme opens with "Septext", featuring Daria Pavlenko as the red dressed ballerina and Andrei Ivanov, Mikhail Lobukhin and Vladimir Shishov as her male partners. This piece dates back to 1985 and it is a bit annoying for the abrupt interruptions of the music, the beautiful Chaconne by Bach, and for the choice to let the performance begin with the lights on in the theatre. Both these devices highlight Forsythe's intention to disrupt the classical expectation of a dance piece. The choreography in itself rotates aroung the female figure who, in this occasion, does not seem to be up to the role. The male dancers do a great job in thier lifting and idiosyncratic movements, while Pavlenko could have been more decisive.

"Approximate Sonata" and "The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude", both presented under the umbrella title "Two Ballets in the Manner of the Late 20th Century", follow this unusual start. The first ballet prolongs the sense of inadeguacy felt with the previous ballet. Andrei Ivanov and Evgenia Obraztsova stand backstage centre, Ivanov moves forward and says: "Am I in the right place?", an ironic question that maybe a few members of the audience are also asking to themselves. A female voice offstage answers "Yes" and his dance begins. His torso is flowy and his falls well controlled. To his solo other dance phrases follow and the four couples on stage perform exciting dance. The audience seem to be getting the gist of Forsythe's aesthetics and a first climax is finally reached with the second piece which is a neoclassical virtuoso performed at an incredible speed. The costumes confirm its ironic accent, women wear acid green flat tutus and men red short pants and red tops transparent on their backs.

The last choreography is "In the Middle Somewhat Elevated", a kind of signature piece for the American choreographer transplanted in Germany, that has entered the repertoire of many ballet companies. Music more than movement introduces the audience to the complex exploration of directions. Different dance phrases go on at the same time in different parts of the stage, splits and wide batmans performed by the female dancers explode according to vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, thus forging the sense of suspension suggested by the title. This represents the second climax of the evening, by far the best piece in terms of choreographic invention and dancers' interpretation. In particular Irina Golub, a sweet and delicate Juliet just the day before, stands out for her energy and stamina. A white haired lady sitting in front of me seems to be petrified, an enthusiastic applause goes on around her, but she stands still. Did she like it? Did she not? Maybe this is not the point, the point is that she did not remain indifferent and that is certainly the great thing about Forsythe!

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