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National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,
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Author:  Azlan [ Tue Nov 23, 1999 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Fans were treated to performances by three different companies in this program inspired by Glenn Gould. In addition to National Ballet of Canada's two premieres, modern dancer Margie Gillis performed in "Variations" and Ballet British Columbia performed William Forsythe's "The Vile Paraody of Address." But perhaps "treated" is the wrong word to use as the works on this program, especially the Forsythe piece, required a lot of patience from the audience. All the ballet works were avant-garde in nature with not much for the average dance fan to grasp. Ironically, Gillis' modern dance work, "Variations," seemed the most traditional.<P>National Ballet performed Dominique Dumais' "one hundred words for snow" which was pretty to watch but she had so many ideas packed in that I think it overwhelmed the audience. By doing so, I think she also gave the dancers too much to do as they seemed to have problems with some of the difficult sequences. They also performed James Kudelka's "A Disembodied Voice," which attempted to highlight five faces of Glenn Gould. However, having a monkey and a rooster interjecting into romantic pdd's is not exactly most people's idea of a beautiful ballet.

Author:  pidge [ Wed Nov 24, 1999 8:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Out of curiosity... what did the Forsythe and Gillis piece have to do with Gould? Pardon my ignorance Image And who sponsored the show? Was it a gala? Or just a showcase type thing? One thing I remember about Margie Gillis, is that though she is 'avant-garde,' contemporary, whatever you call it, I find some of her pieces absolutely wonderful, as far as dance (not ballet) is concerned, and I enjoy them as much as many ballets I have seen.<P>pidge

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Nov 25, 1999 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Pidge, both the Forsythe and Gillis pieces were based on music by Gould. The program was a "normal" program that was part of their season. The Dumais and Kudelka pieces used music or made references that had connections to Gould in one way or another.

Author:  Albrecht [ Sun Nov 28, 1999 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

This makes me wonder. Are there any companies in Canada now that do classical ballet in the traditional sense? With National Ballet and Ballet British Columbia incorporating modern and contemporary works in their repertoire, is the art of the classical ballet lost? Which are the other companies in Canada? What do they perform?

Author:  pidge [ Sun Nov 28, 1999 10:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

ALbrecht,<P>In North America, there are no more companies that devote themselves solely' to full length calssical ballets. American Ballet Theater has a mixed rep season for two weeks at City Center, as well as a handful of mixed rep bills at the Met season. San Francisco, Boston, Houston, National Ballet of Canada...<P>Ballet BC was never really a 'classical' ballet company to my knowledge. They've always done the cutting edge contemporary ballet and such. National Ballet of Canada still does full length classics... how can one forget the new Kudelka Swan lake? Canada also has Royal Winnepeg Ballet, which does Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Mark GOdden's new full length Dracula, and several other full lengths. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, known more for their strength at mixed rep, also do full lengths, including Giselle, Coppelia and the Nutcracker. Betweem NBoC and RWB, Canada has two major, interenationally known 'classical ballet' companies that perform full length classical ballets in the 'traditional' sense. Kudelka's Swan Lake doesn't really count, but National does a lot of other full lengths. There is also ALberta Ballet, based in Calgary, but they are a smaller company and do more mixed rep stuff, as opposed to full lengths.<P>Hope this sort of answers your question ALbrecht, and if you have any mroe, feel free to ask<P>pidge

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Nov 28, 1999 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Thanks, pidge, for fielding this question.<P>I left my program notes in Canada <gasp!> but I remember reading a feature about National Ballet's school in which they talked about how the school is emphasizing modern dance techniques to add to the classical vocabulary the students have already been exposed to. Not being a dancer, I wouldn't know if this is good or bad. Perhaps it will give the dancers more capabilities but I am curious as to whether it won't also dilute their classical technique.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited 11-29-1999).]

Author:  Azlan [ Tue Nov 30, 1999 6:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

One other comment about the dancers at NBoC. From their razor-like profiles and GQ/Elle type faces, I speculate that the dancers were picked as much for their modish looks as their dancing abililities.

Author:  pidge [ Mon Dec 06, 1999 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Azlan,<P>Everyone has a different opinion on if modern training is good in training. Ultimately, yes, especially in today's job market with a surplus of dancers who want a job and don't have one, so versatility is a very good factor in the dancers favor... It also means the blending of classical and contemporary ballet even more, which can be good bad or neither in anybody's opinion.<P>Your comment on NBoC is interesting...it most be a Canadien thing, because I've had friends come see Les Grands, and look at the program and go, wow, they're a really good looking company!!<P>pidge

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Dec 06, 1999 8:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: National Ballet of Canada's Inspired by Gould, Toronto,

Pidge, maybe it *is* a Canadian thing. I think NYCB has some good-looking dancers as does SFB but *all* the NBoC dancers I saw were definitely model quality.<P>But then again, the dancers for Ballet British Columbia didn't quite have the same look, with varying body types and shapes.

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