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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 12:42 am 
Cathy, thanks for your mention of the Nijinsky Awards.

<small>[ 11-02-2002, 21:30: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
Among the dancers nominated I see those who allow themselves to skip some difficult steps and change the text to suit themselves. At the same time I don't find one who impressed me this year as the most stanning dancer. What a pity that those who nominated the candidates for this award did not apparently see "The Queen of Spades" at the Bolshoi (2001-02)plus "Sheherazade" at the Mariinsky on 10 March 2002 where NIKOLAI TSISKARIDZE gave absolutely outstanding performances and was most highly acclaimed by such strictest critics as Clement Crisp and Rene Sirvin. This is a problem with various nominations and voting.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 186
Location: Great Britain
I am afraid you missed my point, dear Kevin.
However, in any case there is no such thing as "the best dancer". I remember myself as a child listening to my mother's argument with her colleague about who is better - Ulanova or Semyonova? And it was an argument between two people who saw most of the performances by these great ballerinas.
So what can be expected from a jury, any jury (not necessarily one mentioned in the postings above) if its members could not possibly travel everywhere and could not see all outstanding performances which happened during the year?
Benois de la Dance awards this year, for example, were the most incomprehensible.
Every ballet lover knows at heart who is the best dancer.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2002 11:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 72
Location: Totowa,NJ,USA
Coda...I just had to tell you...you are so right!! I couldn't agree more! ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 3:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Stepping out of the wings
By Kelly Apter for Th Scotsman

Like the proverbial bus, you wait two years for a Christopher Wheeldon ballet and then three come along at once. His previous Festival offerings - shown under the banner of New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project - whet our appetites and left us hungry for more. Now the man who brought Edinburgh Playhouse down with Mercurial Manoeuvres and Polyphonia plans to satiate us with a showcase of his own work.

For the uninitiated it may seem a little odd; triple bills are usually the domain of Balanchine, MacMillan and their ilk - legends with vast repertoires under their belts, not someone yet to hit 30 who has been choreographing for less than seven years. But those who have seen Wheeldon in action will appreciate the logic behind such a programme.

click for more

<small>[ 11 April 2003, 02:08 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 59
I realize that this board on Chris Wheeldon has been going on for a few years now, but as I am new to these postings I would like to pose a question. I myself have only had limited experience with his work (only having experienced 3 or 4 works). I would like to know why everyone is so hot for his work. I will definitely say it is well constructed. He has a definite talent for putting together steps, but for me thats where it ended. I didnt feel anything from the works I have seen. Even in Balanchines most "plotless" (if a ballet really can be plotless) works, his choreography makes you feel. Whether it is joy or awe or melancholy, he connected everything to make the audience feel. If anyone has insight into the fuss over Wheeldon please enlighten me.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 537
Location: New Orleans, LA
I wish I could, unfortunately I've seen little of his work. Anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I think ksneds was going to respond to this but I'll try a brief post from my own personal experience.

What does he have? Composition with a touch of class. His style varies from almost Tudor-like to somewhat Balanchine. I find there is a lot in his ballets but they are very subtle -- which is typical of some Brits -- and you have to really watch to get them. If you're looking for "classical" meaning however you won't find it in his works.

So, I guess he's not for everyone, especially for those who prefer classical ballets.

<small>[ 11 April 2003, 02:17 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Hmm - I almost submitted a post in defense of Christopher Stowell's choreography, but noticed the actual last name just in time.

Bgbunhead, I think trying to explain to you what the fuss over Wheeldon is all about is kind of pointless, just as pointless as someone trying to explain to me what the fuss over Mark Morris is all about. I think it's just a matter of personal taste and what strikes a chord in you. In the last Wheeldon ballet I saw (Polyphonia) there was one section that moved me more than just about anything I've seen in the last year, at least. I also thought Sea Pictures was, overall, moving, although I didn't care for the parts in which lots of couples were emoting in unison. While Balanchine has a good number of excellent ballets, there are some that do nothing for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 59
Thanks for the explanations. I completely agree its a matter of opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3375
Location: Canada
I'm here....I'm here!

For the record, I've just seen Wheeldon's NYCB ballets, so I can't comment on his full length and non NYCB ballets.

I've heard people comment that he tends to use to many props and be too "obvious" at times. I didn't mind the carousel "poles" in "Carousel" and thought his "recreation" of the carousel was rather cool! However, I think that it lost something in the regular season performances because of sloppy dancing, and possibly some changes in the choreography. However, I really was swept away by the pas de deux in "Carousel". It might not have been the most original choreography, but it was moving (especially with Millepied and Ansanelli), it flowed and it captured the mood of the music perfectly.

"Mercurial Manoeuvres", I like more each time I see it. It's a perfect ballet for NYCB, with crisp, quick footwork, a chance for Millepied to show off his bravura skills, a chance for some
inredible partnering, and sections to show off the corps. With the flowing, bright red panels, it doesn't look like any other NYCB ballet.
Back to the commments on overuse of "props".

Frankly, I think Wheeldon, of all the newer choreographers at NYCB, has kept things simple. Other than the poles in "Carousel" he's limited himself to the red panels in "Mercurial Maouerves" and the moving strip of backdrop in "Morphoses". To me, it's refreshingly plain in comparision to the sets in many of Peter Martins' ballets-the ballroom in his latest ballet etc., and some of the other Diamond Project Ballet sets.

I really like Wheeldon's style. I think he strikes a nice balance between tradition and being a little different. It seems like a lot of newer choreographers are trying too hard to come up with something new.

Also, especially at NYCB (where he danced for many years), he seems to know the dancers well, and usually picks dancers that are well-suited for his choreography. (The one exception, I think, was matching Damian Woetzel & Jock Soto is some side by side choreography in "Morphoses". Soto may be one of the best partners in ballet today, but he just can jump as high or spin as fast as Woetzel-body type and age work against him).

I don't know whether it is directly attributable to Wheeldon, but his ballets seemed to be the best dressed. The blue dresses in "Mercurial ..." were simple, but zippy, and the "Carousel" costumes were delightfully colorful. In both, the costumes suited the choreography (not just stylish for stylish sake) and looked good on all the dancers.

To me, what's most exciting about Wheeldon is that he is talented and he's young and he's getting a wide range of opportunites to experiment and refine his choreography. He's getting a chance to really figure out who he is, and not just set the same ballets on the same company. We will, hopefully, be seeing his choreography for years to come, and with all the opportunities he's getting around the world, he will have many chances to learn and improve upon his skills.

I can't wait to see his latest ballet at NYCB "Carnival of the Animals" with John Lithgow narrating and apparently Christine Redpath having some special role in ballet (see the NYCB webpage...their announcement hints at her possibly being in the ballet). Sounds like it could be quite a ballet, and it reminds me of the stories about Balanchine having his dancers imitate animals. Any guesses as to who will be what? :o )

Cheers
Kate


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
I can't wait to see his latest ballet at NYCB "Carnival of the Animals" with John Lithgow narrating and apparently Christine Redpath having some special role in ballet (see the NYCB webpage...their announcement hints at her possibly being in the ballet). Sounds like it could be quite a ballet, and it reminds me of the stories about Balanchine having his dancers imitate animals. Any guesses as to who will be what?
Now, that would be an interesting topic...


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 12:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Ha. A caption on the cover of the May issue of Dance Magazine reads: "What's so special about Chris Wheeldon".

The article is written by Lucy's buddy, Joseph Carman.


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Maybe SFB's Damian Smith will be brought in as a guest artist in Carnival of the Animals because of his prior experience being the tortoise.

<small>[ 15 April 2003, 03:26 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 6:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Maybe this will partially answer your question, bgbunhead:

Quote:
A Whirlwind of Daring, of Dances and Ideas

By ANNA KISSELGOFF
NY Times

Just when it seemed there would be a dearth of major young ballet choreographers at the dawn of the 21st century, up popped Christopher Wheeldon. <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/23/arts/dance/23WHEE.html target=_blank>more</a>


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