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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:41 pm 
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"Othello"
San Francisco Ballet
Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California
Saturday 8 p.m., September 28, 2002

By: Basheva

I did not like this ballet. I loved it. But, perhaps 'love' is not the correct word. This is a difficult ballet to love. It's more like an imposed seduction. In the first act, despite the fulsome beauty of the pas de deux for Desdemona and Othello, I steadfastly refused its proffered hand. During the second act I refused even more adamantly, but mine was a futile refusal. At the end of the third act, I silently screamed "YES!"

Elliot Goldenthal's music blared nonsense, raucous and jarring. I longed for sweep and song to birth the glory of Yuan Yuan Tan and Yuri Possokhov's Act I pas de deux. Instead it was noise. The pas de deux, however, refused to be overwhelmed and found life beyond the music. Gone the choreographic formulaic repeats from side to side or other predictable nostrums. It was just one long melody of movement. Not since Gelsey Kirkland have I seen a ballerina with the singing grace of Tan; seamless, effortless, a stream of shapes. She was well matched by Possokhov's positive partnering. His strength, her delicacy, reached the perfection of polarity meeting on the other side of the circle.

Maynard Parrish's portrayal of Iago as a cold dark crevasse of evil was well done. But the herky-jerky choreography of Lar Lubovitch for Iago is too overt for my taste and would be better tweaked with subtlety. Gonzalo Garcia danced the foolish Cassio well.

Katita Waldo as Emilia technically matched her mistress, Desdemona, and while exhibiting her care and concern, she also maintained the difference in the hierarchy between them. It's a fine line to hone, cradling her lady while still being her servant. In the first act she exhibits understanding of Iago, knowing when to approach him and more importantly when to walk away. But she underestimates the depth of his dark soul.

When Cassio asks to dance with Desdemona at her wedding to Othello, the turn of events is sent on its way. And when Cassio and Desdemona dance off out of the view of Othello they foolishly set up their own doom. If Iago had not used this as a prologue to his plan, someone else at another time would have.

Choreography for the corps de ballet was at one pace - frenetic. Though well danced, it threatened to grow tiresome. The corps became the visible seething from the cauldron of Iago's jealous hatred, but sometimes even evil has a quieter moment.

Scenic designs by George Tsypin were creative. Etched sliding glass panels defined space without enclosing it, sometimes separating characters out for our attention. The second act's stormy sea projected on a back screen was innovative. It added life and movement to the storm. The echoing choreography for the female corps, lying in rows;
Othello – Page Two

arms, legs and bodies became living extensions of the ocean. This was inspired cohesion between choreography and set design. They danced with hair down and in whipping about it became the visible wind of the storm. And then a ship crosses projected on the waves, again very creative. The dancers pulled the ropes as the ship warps into the shore and so a three dimensional quality was added to the whole.

Bianca, danced by Lorena Feijoo, gave wild abandon a good name. She never lost control, she simply hid it. This was a lusty woman willingly involved. The frantic choreography for the corps de ballet behind and around her amplified the turmoil of both Bianca and the storm.

It was the third act that brought me to truly appreciate the preceding two. Suddenly, though I still longed for more memorable music to match Othello and Desdemona's final deathly pas de deux, it didn't really matter any more. The entirety of the ballet was more important than its several parts.

Pat Collins' lighting underlined the story, never intrusive, but blending the various segments. Ann Hould-Ward's costumes added flow to dance movement, never heavy or strained. Occasionally the bloused midriff of Desdemona's dress threatened line during movement, though not in repose. The Pacific Symphony Orchestra, ably conducted by Neal Stulberg, used multiple speaker amplification that brought the volume to the edge of discomfort.

The San Francisco Ballet has talent in depth. The dancers are distinctive, yet intent on fitting well into a composite picture. They are energized and passionate about what they are doing. I would look forward to seeing this ballet again as I have the firm impression that upon subsequent viewing new layers as yet unrealized would be revealed.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:22 pm 
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“Othello”
San Francisco Ballet
Segerstrom Hall
Saturday, September 28, 2002

As much as the performance left me a little luke-warm, I’ve found myself thinking back on it throughout the day. I’ve often felt that any performance that impacts you enough that you still find yourself dwelling on it after the fact, then there must have been some merit to the work. This was a well crafted production, but one that allowed moments for my mind to wander. Whenever this happens, I know something is wrong. Whatever is happening on stage no longer holds my interest at that point. This happened repeatedly during last evening’s performance. The combination of creative visuals, wonderfully imagined set design and some very interesting dancing managed to bring my attention back every time.

The curtain rose on Othello alone, just before his wedding. Whether he is alone and prostrate before his god, or alone in his thoughts as the wedding happens around him is uncertain. What is clear is that from the start he is a man in turmoil. In other words, easy prey for the scheming of Iago. And from the start there is little to endear one to him. A protagonist and anti-hero.

Danced admirably by Yuri Possokhov, Othello was hard to take your eyes off. He towered over the stage, a physically large man with a larger responsibility and image. His angst-ridden portrayal made it difficult for me to develop anything akin to sympathy for the character. Yet his dancing was precise, controlled. I found myself wishing to see him in a classical role where he could show us what must be considerable abilities and technique.

Parrish Maynard made Iago the very essence of the small man who really is the power behind the throne, able to whisper just the right notions into his masters ear and pull the strings. His timing was right on all evening, from his long, lingering jette’s to the moment when he stands lit alone, gently preening his hair at the end of the second act. His instincts this evening were well honed. As the light caught him at the end of Act II, the casual way in which he moved from scheming murder to vanity was chilling. Though I knew to look for it, the effect was intense and surprising.

Yuan Yuan Tan’s Desdemona was as impressive and beautiful as her appearance in “The Damned” two nights earlier. As with Possokhov, the style of choreography fit her well, but I again found myself wishing to see her in a role where her mastery of technique could be showcased. And as with Possokhov, it is that caliber of technique she possesses that makes her able to carry off a demanding role such as this.

Cassio, performed by Gonzalo Garcia, had the most opportunity to show his abilities and classical technique quite well throughout the performance. As he is the most lyrical of the characters and the most expressive from the start, it’s far easier to like and appreciate him.

In all I found the characters less than interesting, with the exception of Iago. He is the only one who makes anything happen. He reacts to the wedding, schemes a plan then sets it into motion. When he entered I found myself paying close attention. I knew something was afoot whenever he was around. The other characters all react to his actions.

But the performance cannot be rated by its dancing, nor its characters, its set design, costumes or even its music. “Othello’s” strength is the gestalt of its components. Take away one of these (choreography, music, costume, sets), and it ceases to be the psychological journey that makes it so interesting. Taken for all its parts, this was a very well crafted and thoughtful show.

I found the sets by George Tsypin striking. In combination with well-chosen visual projections, the set design was inspiring. Costuming was especially of note. When the women await their husbands return by the sea, they look like tangled wisps of seaweed floating along shore. Only at the curtain call did I realize their costumes were in fact a mix of brightly colored fabric. All the more amazing as the lighting made them look so ethereal. The music must have been difficult to dance to. I could not figure out how the dancers were counting this one with its changing rhythms and melodies.

There were a few touches I liked. For instance, in the third act, Iago seals Desdemona’s fate as Othello sits on his throne. A trick of lighting casts Iago’s shadow over Othello as he broods. And as Othello sits facing the audience, his slumped back is reflected in his throne, a tall, straight back of a regal chair, full of power, occupied by someone no longer worthy. As Desdemona tries to tell Othello the truth, as the lines of truth and lies blur, a projection of the a confusing mass of mooring lines from Othello’s appears behind them. It was moments like these throughout that made the show so rewarding. Careful attention was given to every detail.

The collection of details allows the psychology to work. Battered women are common place in this world. Partnered roughly, cast aside at a moments notice, it is easy to overlook the fact that Emilia (danced by Katita Waldo) could in fact be the real power behind the throne. A woman who seems to actually enjoy the abusive relationship with Iago, it is she who sits on Othello’s throne in Act II as Iago rails in anger. Is she sitting there to escape Iago’s rant, or is she in fact resting on something she secretly aspires to through her husband?

Much as the film “American Beauty” and the psychology of its characters left me disturbed for weeks, “Othello” and its inhuman view of women will linger in my mind for some time. This show succeeds because its parts add up to something much greater than its whole.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:42 pm 
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Location: Jamaica, Queens, New York
Thank you for your kindnesses, Basheva. As an acquaintance of mine used to say, you go straight to heaven. :)

I’m afraid I forgot to tell you what “zinky” means. Not that it matters because I made it up (bibliophiles out there, you are suspiciously quiet about the whole thing!). I made it up in the exigencies of the moment (in other words, after a beer). I needed a word to express how right Vanessa Zahorian was for the Tina Leblanc part in “Jazz Pizzicato” number of “Sandpaper Ballet” … slinky, zingy, zippy, slippy … etc … and waa-lah – she’s “zinky”!

Hey, bibliophiles out there, before you get on my case about the “purity of the English language” etc, just keep in mind that one of the strengths of the English language is its constantly changing vocabulary. And, remember, choreographers are always inventing new movement vocabulary… if you’d seen “Sandpaper” that night, you would have agreed.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:24 am 
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Yet another look at this production:

“Othello”
9/29/02 Sunday matinee

Othello—Yuri Possokhov; Desdemona—Yuan Yuan Tan; Iago—Damian Smith; Cassio—Stephen Legate; Emilia—Sherri LeBlanc

Basheva and “2 Left Feet” have reviewed this production quite comprehensively. For my final look at “Othello” I’ll just point out a few items:

As ever, I remain fascinated by the ballet’s opening sequence. One searches for the mot juste. Perhaps ME Hunt comes closest when she describes its “architectural” qualities. Reconsider the prologue with me (yes, for the 3rd time) – the projection on the scrim. The scrim’s blatant 2 dimensionality is emphasized by the successive introduction of visual elements, each adding more and more depth-- Othello’s vigil, the entry of Emilia, Iago, and Cassio; the cross; and at last, Desdemona. By Desdemona’ entrance, the full scene is visible—the architectural panels and the projections that suggest the interior of the Cathedral San Marco.

But, to get the real effect of the prologue requires one to be sitting straight in the geometrical middle of the orchestra section straight in front of the stage—which is where I was on the Saturday matinee but not today. The ballet’s tableaux mandates the center position to achieve perfect visual balance. Othello turns towards the cross and kneels. One sees as Othello sees, first the cross, then Desdemona. He stands and when he enfolds her in his cloaked arms, he completely takes her from sight.

***

I wrote a couple of hundred words about the prologue’s invocation of Renaissance 3-D perspective as an analogue for received modes of knowledge—the moral certainty which Othello starts with but loses and the conventional ballet goer’s experience taught by years of Petipa and Balanchine, also soon to be left behind by the ballet. But, the post is long as is and its sort of theory ridden, so I abridged it (“***”). If anybody is interested, send me an e-mail.

Interestingly, the prologue even with its ambitions for Renaissance visual balance provides the first hints of danger. The set employs glass-like panels which are immense-- floor to ceiling plates of glass (think all glass cathedral doors). Yet, they all have flaws—immense fissures and cracks. So does Othello’s throne. The fissures in the architectural elements foreshadow the weaknesses in Othello’s moral certitude to come. Impressively effective theater. It’s the kind of grand scale scenic conception that basically only opera has gotten used to.

The apparent parodic quality of the wedding divertissement. Its clearly an ironic allusion to all the conventional ballet weddings of so many ballets (Act III “Sleeping Beauty,” “Raymonda, Act III,” even the “Paquita” shown earlier in this run). The Commedia dancers dressed as they are in a hodge podge of what might pass as ethnic costumes entertain in caricatured manner. They caper, they gambol, they hop’n’jump around—almost anything except the set piece variations demanded of the Imperial Russian Ballet style. Its as if Lubovitch is weaning the audience from the world of Aurora and Swanilda and charming animal or pagan symbols. No more Petipa. And, as Evelyn Cisneros said at a Preview talk, “no fouettes.”

Speaking of Evelyn Cisneros, who did a fine job of introducing this daunting work, she asked us to look for the corps girls as waves at the beginning of Act II. Desdemona, Emilia, and Cassio stand in the midst of the corps who float rhythmically like the heaving ocean. The girls are dressed in long, ribbony, costumes of bright organic colors. With their hair long and flowing, the girls look like 60s flower children at an acid rock concert. It reminds me of my favorite section of Lynne Taylor Corbetts “Celts” which the company staged a few years ago—the "Dunwood Lassies” piece which features a pas de deux imagined at the bottom of an Emerald Isle bay.

All this talk of the sexual fetishism of the handkerchief reminds me that perhaps Lubovitch isn’t as iconoclastic as I made out. We’ve seen the sexual fetish before—in the Nijinsky “Afternoon of a Faun.” It wasn’t a handkerchief, more of a scarf or veil, but honestly as far as I’m concerned, it’s the same idea. Perhaps “Othello” is tied to balletic tradition after all.

A last comment on sexual violence. I’d like to clarify my earlier post. I’m not suggesting that the Lubovitch “Othello” is justifying, advocating, or pandering violence against women. Clearly, the ballet condemns Othello and Iago and sympathizes with Desdemona and Emilia. But, all the same, its rhetorical strategies are caught up in issues of dominance, submission, and violence that are gender specific in its thematic and formal movements. It does us a real service in drawing our attention to them on all these levels.

For example, “2 Left Feet” mentioned “battered women.” Over the course of the ballet, one can’t help but notice how the very spaces of the ballet recapitulate the spatial discourse of domestic violence. Consider: in the traditional ballet, violence belongs to the public sphere not the domestic. Prince Desiree and the Lilac Fairy vanquish Carabosse in the Hundred Years’ Forest (at least in those productions where they come into direct conflict like the Royal Ballet/McDowell seen here a few years ago) as does Prince Ivan and the Firebird defeat Katschei. Murder in “Carmen,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Esmerelda,” “Scheherezade,” “La Sonnambula,” and others occur in the public spaces of the town, the palace, the estate.

But, domestic violence and sexual violence against women generally occurs in the domestic spaces of the home (and in this case, the bedchamber). In “Othello,” Desdemona’s bedchamber is the scene of violence and not the public spaces of Cyprus. Othello, Iago, and Cassio may be men of arms full of martial valor but the ballet is not concerned with institutional violence; its scope is of the personal and the psychological. “Othello” starts in the public spaces of Venice but ends in the private chambers of Desdemona. Even “Fall River Legend” and “Damned” (seen earlier in the run) which are stories in which women are both victim and perpetrators seem to conform to the general rule.

Substituting for originally cast Katita Waldo, Yuan Yuan Tan got the distinction of being murdered a 4th time this run. Is this a record for her? Her performances grow stronger and stronger as I contemplate the production. Yuri Possokhov’s rendering of Othello (substituting for Pierre-Francois Vilanoba) evolved from Friday’s rather 2 dimensional portrayal (he just looked sort of pissed off rather than tortured) to one that might be able to compete with the complex depictions of dramatic actors.

Sherri LeBlanc’s Emilia counterbalanced an especially dark and evil Iago played by Damian Smith. Chilling … he merited every cat call and boo at the curtains. Between “Othello” and “The Garden Party” the company seems to have found its arch-villain type. Stephen Legate looked too big for his Cassio costumes but did his best with what is in reality a vestigial Soviet Jester’s part. Again, I enjoyed the Divertissement dancers (Megan Low, Amanda Schull, Brook Broughton, Garret Anderson, and James Sofranko). Again, Kristin Long (“Bianca”) took no prisoners. Ouch!

Neal Stulberg conducted.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:45 am 
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If the theme of Othello is about violence against women....then what does it say about it?

Why did Iago do this - what was his motive?

Why did Desdemona and Cassio dance off together - surely that was asking for trouble - presumably he also was killed.

People do this all the time, illicitly dance off together, even when they know the punishment is death. Even today, in our time. Is the pull so strong, or is the feeling of invulnerability so pervasive, that they believe they won't be caught and punished?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:57 pm 
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Wow! Wonderful thoughtful reviews everyone! Thanks so much for sharing your impressions. I am very curious as to how Othello will "last". In ten years what will we think of it? It already seems a little dated to me, choreographically speaking.

As to why it was brought on tour to LA, perhaps it has also to do with it being broadcast on TV this month? The piece is going to get a lot of exposure, although with Desmond Richardson, and not an SFB principal as the lead.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:32 pm 
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A fairly positive review in the LA Times (great dancing and so-so choreography, which is what I think everyone in SF have been saying too):

Quote:
Strong Cast Overcomes 'Othello's' Unusual Nuances
Resourceful San Francisco Ballet excels despite material that raises more questions than it answers.

Chris Pasles, LA Times

Shakespeare's genius in "Othello" is partly to keep us from asking when there's been time or opportunity for Desdemona to have slept with Cassio.
<a href=http://www.calendarlive.com/cl-et-pasles30sep30,0,595054.story target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:58 pm 
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From Chris Pasles' review:

Quote:
Parrish Maynard was an intense Iago, even in the crazed kinetic distortions Lubovitch thought appropriate to telegraph evil.
I didn't feel that the choreography for Iago telegraphs evil as much as jealousy and hatred, two emotions that can make you feel very twisted inside. Therefore I think that choreography is quite appropriate. (At least, I've heard that jealously and hatred make you feel that way; of course I have no personal experience!)


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 11:59 pm 
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As always, you ask very important questions about the ballet, Basheva. Questions, I’m sure that can be discussed as endlessly as they discuss the Shakespeare – with as many answers as there are performances and performers’ interpretations to help answer them. One only has to look at the different comments posted about it in its reviews here and in San Francisco.

I can only provide my 2 cents worth... My own take is that the ballet “Othello” only utilizes the play “Othello” as a starting place. I think its interest in the gender of violence is not only its theme but its form. Its interest isn’t so much in that it makes a statement as it is a statement. (If you like critical phraseology, “Othello”’s constative dimension is contingent upon its performative dimension ... ok back to reality...)

“Othello,” I think, seeks to realize a theater that subjects us to a kind of violence in order to make us see better and on more levels.

I was taught that theatrical interpretations of the Shakespeare often emphasize the universal nature of evil, often by drawing attention to how quickly Othello is duped by Iago, as if Othello already half believed in Desdemona’s infidelities … as if the evil was always latent inside Othello (and by extension us, too, if we identify with him) for Iago to bring out.

Other interpretations play outwards towards the audience. Iago in these productions isn’t given over to a special kind of evil; rather, his is the agency of power in the transitional world of the tragedy, situated midway between the medieval world of certainties and the Elizabethan or modern world of realpolitik. In this world, dreamers and innocents will and must be destroyed (what is it they say about the fate of children, fools, and madmen?). In these sort of stagings, “Othello” says, this is the real world and Iago is us.

Perhaps what I’m getting at (if I’m getting at anything ;) ), is that the ballet catches us up in it. Its pervasive web imagery isn’t any less deliberate than its design’s emphasis on crystal fissures and cracks. Or even its insistence upon transparent visual elements where other productions might have picked opaque materials.

I think the ballet asks us not only to “see” it, but to “see through” it … to see its theatricality – a theater of cruelty where on every level we are engaged in its workings. We derive a certain pleasure (or not) from “Othello” but that shouldn’t mean that we don’t see its many messages, one of which is the way in which our pleasure is contingent upon Othello’s and Desdemona’s torments … in a sense repeating the way that Iago’s mind works as well, an act of subversion, really. To see, to understand the quality of evil Iago does to Othello in the Act III Temptation scene is also to understand how merely being placed at a certain point on the axes of gender and power is an act of violence. I think the ballet wants to remind us that we, too, are placed at a certain point and in a certain relationship to it, to the theater, and to each other.

Perhaps, its silly of me, but I caught myself wondering whether ole’ Will would have approved or not approved of Lubovitch’s “Othello.” I’m not sure I decided yes or no. Votes, CD friends?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 7:44 am 
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It seems to me, Jeff, if I am understanding you correctly, that Iago merely brings out what was latently within Othello anyway. I can agree to that.

I think that jealousy of the male over the possession of the female is almost always present, perhaps latent and controlled, but present. (Female jealousy of course is the other side, but is another story).

If a man acquires (by marriage, or other means) possession and therefore access to the female, he assumes that because she is valuable to him, then she must be valuable to others. In other words, if he finds her attractive, other males must also. Therefore, he guards his treasure.

"If I can gain access, others can too." Iago simply exploited that underlying doubt within Othello.

But what did he have to gain? - except to ruin another's happiness. Maybe that's enough.

However, in the ballet, this latent doubt within Othello is aggravated also by Desdemona since she does dance away with Cassio. So, the plot might have been given a push by Iago, but Cassio and Desdemona aided and abetted it.

What I found interesting is that Cassio is punished (killed) by others, whereas Othello takes his revenge personally upon Desdemona. I thought in this choreography she made very little effort to save herself. She almost seemed to acquiesce.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 12:47 am 
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Cassio, I think, doesn’t get killed in the Shakespeare. He and a couple of others, like Montano and Lodovico (who my professor used to call “fancy pants” because of his big, colorful pantaloons) crash into Desdemona’s bedchamber. Emilia reveals the truth, gets stabbed. Montano and Fancy Pants take Iago into custody. Othello confesses all, kills himself. Cassio gets appointed governor of Cyprus, Fancy Pants promises to torture Iago into revealing why he did it. End.

I guess the problem is that Shakespeare didn’t write another few more pages so that F.P. can find out from Iago what gives. O well, that’s Shakespeare. Can’t say about the Cinthio since I haven’t read it. Anyway, that’s the play and we saw the ballet…

That’s an extremely interesting point you raise about Desdemona. One that does bear some more thought. The other 2 women—Emilia and Bianca—both get some moments to be more than just victims. Desdemona, on the other hand, seems … o I don’t know … somehow too victim-ey. Did I pick up some sense of Christian self-sacrifice in that last pas de deux? Or, an almost erotic anticipation? Or just beautiful resignation? Or all these things, or none of them?

Stephen Greenblatt, who is considered quite the nib on old Shakespeare by the cognoscenti, suggested that there was something almost subversive in Desdemona’s acquiescence. Here … let me find the quote:

“In Shakespeare’s narrative art, liberation from the massive power structures that determine social and psychic reality is glimpsed in an excessive delight, an erotic embrace of those very structures—the embrace of a Desdemona whose love is more deeply unsettling than even a Iago’s empathy” (1980).

Well, the essay is all “New Historicism” with some Lacan thrown in there for good measure … and, I’m not sure I understand it all, but that sort of discussion in this thread make me wonder about something that’s up in the Dance Issues Forum, “What is Dance Criticism?” thread, which is, if dance reviews make us think so much, are they that different from dance criticism?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2002 8:25 am 
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Some dance reviews and critiques are separate entities, and some a mixture of both.

A review, in my opinion, is a report of what was seen by the reviewer.

A critique is an analysis of the production - and everything that is part of the production or the state of the art in general or particular.

But most reviews and critiques are a bit of both. Not all, but most.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2002 12:47 pm 
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An interesting review:

Quote:
This ‘Othello’ a strange hybrid

Laura Bleiberg, Orange County Register

Lar Lubovitch's ballet version of "Othello" is a half-breed, a hybrid dance with a confused identity.
<a href=http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/editionArticle.do?id=5016&section=SHOW target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Orange County Appearance
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 9:52 am 
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This review just appeared today in the San Diego Union Tribune - well better late than never, I suppose:

Full-length 'Othello' not fully realized

San Francisco Ballet stages a Southern California premiere


By Jennifer de Poyen
DANCE CRITIC

October 6, 2002

Quote:
There's a reason those 19th-century ballets get performed over and over again – everyone loves a good story, or, failing that, some kind of story. And so the appearance, last weekend, of the Southern California premiere of Lar Lubovitch's "Othello," as danced by San Francisco Ballet, brought the promise of a contemporary vision for the story ballet.

As a full-length, full-fledged ballet, though, Lubovitch's "Othello" labors to make its case for itself. Reluctant to take on Shakespeare – a fearsome task, to be sure – the choreographer also drew inspiration from the Bard's source material: a story by the Italian writer Giraldi Cinthio. And therein, perhaps, lies the rub.
MORE...


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