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Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other
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Author:  Azlan [ Sun Nov 14, 1999 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other

So, I'm a nut. What can I say? I flew back from NYC to the SF Bay Area, came home long enough to unpack and then drove out to Oakland to catch Oakland Ballet's final program of the season before their Nutcracker, and I'm glad I went.<P>I'll try to write a "dancelogue" later but here's a first impression. My favorite work of the afternoon was Eugene Loring's "The Tender Land," done to a very American score by Aaron Copland. This work was indeed tender in scope, with the tender parting moments of a Midwest teenager leaving home after a graduation hoe-down.<P>Other works included a modern "Bolero" (Marc Wilde/Ravel) which was very stylish and acrobatic, Ronn Guidi's Selections from the Seasons (Glazunov), and Alonzo King's "Love Dogs" (Paul Crossley solo piano). All in all, I liked the program but I found the taped music somewhat muted for Seasons. In my opinion, Glazunov compositions should be played up for its grandeur and majesty.<P>And once again, Alonzo King's work is a mystery to me. It was beautiful to watch but I feel there is more to it than my limited experience can perceive.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other

Azlan, how interesting to hear of a ballet piece based on Copland's 'The Tender Land', both in itself and also because of the use of one of Copland's lesser known scores.<P>'The Tender Land' is an infrequently performed full length opera with some really lovely parts, but perhaps some overall structural problems. I wonder if the ballet is based on the orchestral suite which uses the dynamic intro. to the final act, the 'I love you' duet, the party scene and ends in great style with 'The Promise of Living'. <P>I have a recent recording of the full opera and these parts deserve to be better known. A few years ago my ameteur choir did the latter two parts mentioned above and they really loved it.<P>Looking forward to hearing more Azlan.

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Nov 15, 1999 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other

Stuart,<P>From your description, it appears that the ballet probably used the same suite. The program notes made it sound like Copland and Loring collaborated on the ballet (as they did on the ballet Billy the Kid). Interestingly, this ballet was actually created for Oakland Ballet.<P>The ballet is broken into three parts: the introduction, so to speak, where the characters are introduced one by one; then the party (or hoedown) scene celebrating the older daughter's graduation; and finally the anguish and sadness as the daughter leaves home.<P>The music suits the subject matter very well, with its "spaciousness" effectively conjuring an image of the midwest plains. I would like to see the opera. Hmm, I wonder if it's on video.

Author:  Michael [ Wed Nov 17, 1999 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other

Azlan, you've got to tell us all about this Oakland performance. My wife Shirley and I were in Napa that weekend, and drove down to Oakland to try to catch the Sunday matinee(we're diehard Marcie Ryken fans), but the notorious Bay Area traffic bested us. Maybe I need a faster car to be a better ballet fan. Or a helicopter.<BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Nov 19, 1999 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Oakland Ballet's "Tender Land," "Bolero," and Other

Michael, unfortunately, Ryken did not shine very much in this afternoon's works. She was only in the background for "The Tender Land" and "Bolero". And the contemporary style of the other works did not allow her to be expressive.

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