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 Post subject: Wayne McGregor as The Royal Ballet's Resident Choreographer
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 223
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Well I'm pretty sure that everybody here knows about but I'm surprised to not see any comments :roll:

Quote:
Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet, is pleased to announce Wayne McGregor will become The Royal Ballet's Resident Choreographer from 1 December, 2006.


more

Are you happy with this new :)

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 Post subject: One Plummy Voice
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:09 am 
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Posts: 358
Location: Paris
ONE PLUMMY VOICE, RAISED IN DISSENT.

“He boasts that he has never attended a ballet class in his life and is happier on a Harry Potter film set than in a crowd at the barre. Yet when McGregor, 36, was announced this weekend as resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet not one plummy voice was raised in dissent (...)”


Norman Lebrecht, writing in this week’s The Stage.


Well, here is one plummy voice raised in dissent.


From the Rambert Website – the sample of its aggressively-commercial writing, reproduced below is how - thanks to Lady Thatcher - artistic enterprise in England is now encouraged to self-promote. The idea is to give the punters a foretaste (foreplay?) of the Thrills they’ll be buying for their £.

Or, as our American friends would say, “More Bang for your Buck”.


“Detritus” (title of ballet)

“Overall Impression
“Fast and athletic, this work pushes the boundaries of what is physically possible. Limbs are hyper-extended and bodies are contorted as the gap between classical and contemporary movement is explored. The dancers (some of whom are en pointe) skid and dart across the stage in a precise, yet chaotic way. This is a real spectacle. One audience member at its première described the opening sequence as ‘the best five minutes on stage I’ve ever seen’.

"Music
"By Scanner, it is an ambient electronic, sampled score. It is very upbeat, influenced by club music, but more subtle than pounding techno music.

"Designs

"The dancers wear skin-tight red costumes. The set contains a huge suspended mechanical ‘limb’ that moves through the space, disrupting the choreography and eroding the space – hence the title detritus, which means ‘the matter produced by erosion’.

« Presentient » (title of ballet)
« Overall impression

“An assault on the senses. This is modern dance at it’s most thrilling and daring. A blast of sheer physicality that leaves you wanting more. 12 dancers, performing in unison or in quartets, dissolve into seductive and sensual duets, all the while, mirroring the tempo of the music. This is a technically demanding work that the dancers rise to admirably.

"Choreographic Style
"Very fast, dynamic and energetic movements that push the dancers to their physical limits. The work continues McGregor’s concern with extending human movement into a kind of alien neo-classicism. Angles are taken to extremes, body sections are isolated and every muscle is mobilised.

"Music
"Triple Quartet by Steve Reich. Performed live by London Musici. The score combines driving rhythmic grooves with sections of meditative tranquillity, to create an overwhelmingly powerful piece of music. The opening section is performed to the electronic sound-track – Another Soft Helion by Zoviet France. »



Clearly, what the Rambert Webpage quoted above describes, is a Techno-Disco event, to the currently-fashionable Noise Soundtrack, performed by classical dancers.


But Forsythe has done it, and there is nothing more to add.
A thousand standing ovations at Covent Garden will not change that fact.


No-one asks the question, WHY?

WHY must the body be “pushed to its physical limits”? Classical dancing is already the most difficult form of movement known to Man. The audience may not realise it, but the people on stage do.

WHAT does “body sections are isolated and every muscle is mobilised” have to do with dancing? We do that in physiotherapy every day.

WHAT, if anything, does all this twitching and jerking have to do with the VALUES that we in the Western world allegedly, and I do mean allegedly, represent?

And WHAT injuries can we expect from asking people to do this kind of thing?

WHY are we pandering to fashion - techno music, groove, chaos theory (that has nothing to do with the way the universe is actually structured, soit dit en passant) in the person of Wayne McGregor?


We have painted ourselves into a corner with this “non-narrative” track.

The search for ever-newer, ever-weirder movement, for SENSATION, is a DEAD END - as dead as the careers of the dozens of dancers who have been wrecked by repeated injury.


Most of the lifts that the men are now called upon to perform, should be ILLEGAL – causing unnecessary harm and suffering to a fellow human being.


When one reads on a slip of paper “cast change”, it’s just a line on a page. Try suffering that injury yourself – especially if it’s your fourth or fifth major injury in five years. The body never forgets.


The only way classical dancing will progress, will be through dealing with great subjects – historical, dramatic – precisely as Noverre explains in his reputed Letters. In the search to express new and important ideas through the music and the libretto, new forms will arise, that will be anatomically sound.


The search for bizarre new lifts, and in general, new forms as such, is sterile, and empty intellectualising. It seeks to impose a formal Bauhaus or Cubist construct, on the human frame.

Gang, if it ain’t going somewhere, it’s a Value-Free Zone.


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 Post subject: Re: One Plummy Voice
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:21 am
Posts: 72
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
KANTER wrote:
ONE PLUMMY VOICE, RAISED IN DISSENT.

No-one asks the question, WHY?

WHY must the body be “pushed to its physical limits”? Classical dancing is already the most difficult form of movement known to Man. The audience may not realise it, but the people on stage do.................

Most of the lifts that the men are now called upon to perform, should be ILLEGAL – causing unnecessary harm and suffering to a fellow human being................

The only way classical dancing will progress, will be through dealing with great subjects – historical, dramatic – precisely as Noverre explains in his reputed Letters. In the search to express new and important ideas through the music and the libretto, new forms will arise, that will be anatomically sound.
...........


Well said KANTER, although I would expand the list of what a 'great subject' for ballet is, by including the human body---(which, in my view, has been, is, and always will be, the principal subject of classical dance).

Isn't Monica Mason simply announcing- with the appointment of Wayne McGregor- the state of decadence in classical dance?

I guess not.
She must sincerely mean it to signal the way forward.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:03 am 
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Location: London UK
This appointment has been made on the back of the massive success of McGregor's new work for the RB, Chroma. McGregor is hugely talented and his Random Dance Company has become one of the best modern dance groups in the UK. However I'm a little uneasy about his new appointment.

I've always questioned the suitability of classical dancers performing in other genres, but the unpalatable truth remains that if it weren’t for choreographers such as McGregor we simply wouldn't see new work at the opera house at all. Just as the RB is now incapable of producing home grown principal dancers, it's also incapable of producing choreographers willing and able to create within the classical canon.

New work is the bedrock of every ballet company, it is what dancers thrive on and I can understand the need to secure a top-flight choreographer at all costs, but all the same I'm not totally happy about Ms Mason’s choice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:47 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
Just as the RB is now incapable of producing home grown principal dancers, it's also incapable of producing choreographers willing and able to create within the classical canon.


well, there's Wheeldon, obviously.

It's distressing to see a choreographer who prides himself on being non-classical in this position in one of the few surviving classical ballet companies in the entire world.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:58 am 
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Location: London UK
Quote:
well, there's Wheeldon, obviously.


Yes, but for whatever reasons Wheeldon's career has been mainly outside the UK which suggests to me that he wasn't sufficiently appreciated at the ROH at the start of his career. I wonder if he was offered the job or whether he prefers to work as a freelance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:37 am 
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I think this appointment is good news really. I watched Chroma and being one of the "younger" people found it one of the most exciting things I've ever seen. Not becuase of who wrote the music or because it was trendy or whatever but simply because all the facets of the piece came together so perfectly and worked, for me, I found it enthralling.
I think I see every programme that the Royal Ballet do and I love the classics and up till now haven't really enjoyed any of the new works except for the MacGregor and Wheeldon.

Unlike previous apointments of Resident choreographer, I suspect that this time MacGregor's input will not change the style of the company and I suspect also that there won't be any more new works per year than there currently are. I think that the role of resident choreographer will be diferent to the past.

Yes his choreography is extreme but he is an immensely talented guy who has choreographed in so many genres and styles including musical theatre and he was responsible for the choreography of Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Woman in white!" I don't know if anyone here has seen it but theres no way you would realise it was MacGregor's. It was all classical movement and steps that is like any old fashoned piece of musical theatre. Nothing remotely modern about it!
MacGregor has also created some lovely pas de deux at the Royal BAllet in a very classical form and so I think that he will be sympathetic to the company and it's values and wont storm in, getting everyone to work at their extremes.

Only time will tell but as I see it MacGregor will go in and help the young choreographers which is vital and much needed as well as choreographing probably a couple of pieces a year which will not infringe on anything else that the company do and giving them their quota of new works.

Everything classical was new and never seen before at some stage so anything that's new and obscene now will undoubtedly go down the same path!

I am looking forward to seeing his new works in 2007/2008

:D :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Bart exiled to Siberia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:19 am 
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Posts: 358
Location: Paris
The French étoile Jean-Guillaume Bart has several FULL LENGTH classical ballets in cold storage - no-one in France can be found to be put them up.

Note: this is NOT Patrice Bart, the ballet master, but J.G.

Anyway,

Storage so cold, in fact, that

J.G. IS NOW IN SIBERIA.

I kid you not.

Jean-Guillaume Bart is, literally, in Siberia, putting up a ballet there.

It might have been easier for him to cross the Channel in Eurostar.

If anyone can still be found to be put up a NEW play in the classical idiom, with actual steps, perhaps he could be recalled from Siberia.


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 Post subject: Jean-Guillaume Bart
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 9:50 am 
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Location: London UK
Quote:
The French étoile Jean-Guillaume Bart has several FULL LENGTH classical ballets in cold storage - no-one in France can be found to be put them up.


You surprise me: after seeing M. Le Riche's Caligula last year, I rather assumed anyone could have a go at a full length in Paris.


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