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 Post subject: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2000 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Image <P><BR>This is a preview of sorts of a Diablo Ballet show that happened during Thanksgiving weekend. It talks of father-daughter music team Roy and Sharon Bogas who played during the performances:<P><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/11/24/CC30670.DTL" TARGET=_blank>Music a Family Affair</A></B><BR>Peggy Spear, SF Chronicle<P><BR>Reviews to follow. Meanwhile, feel free to comment. DavidH? Image No impressions from me as I've recused myself.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited November 26, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2000 10:16 pm 
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Paraphrased from a dictionary:<P>recused = To disqualify or seek to disqualify from participation in a decision on grounds such as prejudice or personal involvement<P>It has been used quite a bit during this US presidential elections.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 6:01 am 
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Grace, I don't think the term "recused" is really that much used as it draws too much attention to the recusement. Image<P>I like it, as does Basheva it seems, as it is direct and to the point.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 6:42 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
<-------sometimes direct and to the point - at other times devious and circuitous


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 8:51 am 
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Some broad and hastily written impressions from the show: I found "Tango" so-so; Kabaniaev is gifted but he still has a few choreographic lessons to learn. For some reason, the section for three women sticks in my head. You couldn't rightly call it a "trio" because the women danced separately, for the most part, merely performing the same steps in various stage arrangements. Like certain sections of the Kabaniaev piece that Diablo performed at Yerba Buena, it seemed a bit drill team like and lacked intent.<P>KT Nelson's new piece was the highlight for me. I have to admit I like here work in general, both for Diablo and ODC. I really was quite moved by the new work, though it could have used more rehearsing and fine-tuning. The duet for Erika Johnson and Viktor K.--in which she holds out her arms for him to step through and then uses this portal to cling to him--stands out. And now to seize on the insignificant: weren't the rhinestoned spats the women wore over their shoes just perfect?<P>"La Captiva" to me seemed curiously emotion-less. I thought it tried a bit too hard to look avant-garde. The choreography all merges into one big blob in my head now; normally interesting choreographic phrases from a new work will stick in my mind. There didn't seem to be much shifting in dynamics between the couple, even with the puppet-show metaphor introduced towards the end. The program note discussing "the imaginative and unrestrained qualities of transformation and transcendence" and "eternally feminine beauty evolving gracefully through time's passages" were particularly unhelpful here.<P>And, finally, Tina Kay Bohnstedt rocks!! A bang-up job in the Harlequinade pas de deux (anyone out there catch that freeze frame arabesque balance?). I love watching this dancer in all of Diablo's works.<P>Sorry these observations are rushed and informal!


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 11:11 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Many thanks for the lively comments Belinda. Your pen sketches of the works have a delicious spontaneity.<P>grace said<P>'yes, i know what it means...'<P>Well you're one up on me grace! But i take some comfort from the fact that the Shorter English Dictionary tells us that 'recuse' is Middle English that is now rare. Obviously this is not the case in the dives and fleshpots of Foster City, where Azlan lives.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 11:52 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
The use of the word "recuse" is not that rare - I have heard it many times. It is used in the judicial arena by both judges and lawyers, when they feel that there may be an inherent conflict of interest with an issue before them. Just recently I heard Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida "recuse" himself in matters concerning this election - since it involves his brother.<P>I am reading my New Oxford Dictionary of English - and it says that this word is mostly used in South AFrica and North America (so maybe that is why it seems rare to those of you in Britain and Australia) and that it has attained it's present day meaning since the 19th century.<P>So, can I use it now? oy vey - since I live in the fleshpots of San Diego - lots of flesh pots on the beach........


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:11 pm 
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'...this word is mostly used in .....North America...' <P>Makes sense. It's good to know that thou art keeping Middle English alive. Forsooth.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:36 pm 
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Belinda,<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>anyone out there catch that freeze frame arabesque balance?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Sure did! I was wondering if anyone else did.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 1:48 pm 
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Belinda-<BR>I agree with you 100% on Kabanaiev's Tango..same steps, different music, same costumes as in other works, nothing new but nicely danced. <BR>I loved Chris Stowell's piece. Flesh it out a bit and just sit the young girls down somewhere to sing (and hire a better vocalist) and it'll be even better. I found it showed a lot of growth in Chris.<BR>Tina Kay was awesome in the Balanchine. I keep insisting that she do his Sylvia Pas but I don't think it's going to happen. :-) <BR>And KT's work was a beauty. I do have to agree with the reviewer that it doesn't belong on a "family" program. As we all know programming is a tricky part of the business. <BR>DH


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 4:11 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Hmm, how interesting that we have such varied opinions, especially on Nikolai's Tango piece and Christopher's "operatic" choreography. However, it is comments about Lauren's (AD Lauren Jonas') programming that I am intrigued by (and perhaps we could start another thread on programming).<P>Octavio in the SF Chronicle called the program "generous" while Blair in the Contra Costa Times thought it too "sexual" and "adult" for a Thanksgiving family show. Among our posters here, Belinda seemed not to let the programming bother her while DavidH didn't think KT's work belonged in the "family" program. In the audience, a former Oakland Ballet dancer and a current SFB principal thought it the best programming they had seen but yet a ballet teacher opined that it was a bit too risque for a family audience in that region of the Bay Area.<P>Would it have made a difference if the show hadn't been billed as a "Thanksgiving Family Performance" and performed in Walnut Creek?


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 6:21 pm 
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The problem lies in the word "family." I enjoyed the program very much and like others, feel it is one of the strongest I've seen from Diablo. On the other hand, if they are selling something as "family oriented" what does that imply? Works of a light weight nature. Fluff? Familiar music? Easily accessible? etc...... <BR>DH


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 9:06 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA USA
I agree that the "Family" bit didn't really go with the content or subject matter of the performance. I was wondering if anybody else would notice. <P>I missed that beautiful arabesque, but I had a seat in one of the side boxes with obstructed view. Which meant that the dancers tended to dance on the 1/4 of the stage that I couldn't see. . .<P>It's great that everybody seems to have seen something different in the performance. The following is my made-for-internet review:<P>Diablo Ballet performed to a full house on Friday November 24, back on home turf after their triumphant San Francisco debut earlier this year. The program featured all that we love about Diablo ballet - fresh work by local choreographers, live music, and a classic Balanchine. <P>Nikolai Kabaniaev's "Instead of a Tango" takes a fresh approach to the ballet/tango fusion, remaining entirely within ballet and modern dance technique while capturing the spirit and passion of Tango. Tango is not just a music, or a style of dancing, but an attitude. A whole philosophy and outlook on life that is dark, melancholy and intense. Music by Alberto Ginastera, Astor Piazzolla, Julian Plaza and E. Saborido provided dancers with a range of Tango styles, from the classic Piazzolla to the crashing dissonance of Saborido. <P>Stage lighting was mainly dark, with interludes and flashes of light. A final scene, where dancers perform one by one as the spotlight illuminates their virtual stage-within-a-stage, dramatizes the sense of aloneness in Tango. Tango represents passion frustrated or unrequited as often as passion shared.<P>The title "Instead of a Tango" works on different levels. Literally, we have a ballet dance "instead of a Tango". On a more philosophical note, the choreographer equates Tango with passion. "Passion is disturbing and inconvenient, so we learn to control it. "Instead of a Tango" is instead of a passion. But what is still burning deep inside?" <P>"La Captive" begins with the starkness of two performers walking slowly downstage. Soprano Carole Klein leads the small procession sending her voice in front of her. She turns aside to reveal Erika Johnson standing alone and vulnerable in a red traveling dress. Erika begins dancing with a simplicity and innocence that makes the audience catch their breath at the heartbreaking beauty of it.<P>Set to three songs by composer Hector Berlioz, "La Belle Voyageuse"," La Captive", and "La Belle Isabeau", the ballet unfolds in three acts which represent a traveler, a captive, and a woman abducted. Choreographed by Christopher Stowell for Diablo Ballet, this world premiere performance included live musical accompaniment by pianist Roy Bogas, cellist Sharon Bogas, soprano Carole Klein, and members of a girls' chorus from the San Francisco Conservatory. The singers perform an integral part of the choreography, moving about the stage as a counterpoint to the dancers.<P>The piece seems designed to showcase the talents of Erika Johnson, whose remarkable performance certainly made us sit up and take notice. We congratulate Artistic Director Lauren Jonas again on her ability to balance and blend the uniquely individual talents of the Diablo Ballet dancers.<P>The Balanchine "Harlequinade Pas de Deux" was danced with enthusiasm and technical virtuosity by Tina Kay Bohnstedt and Viktor Kabanaiev, but suffered just a bit for its placement among the more interesting modern choreography. Viktor was convincing in his role as the boyishly comic Harlequin, determined to win the love of Columbine. Tina Kay dispatched her role as the flirtatious, sharp-witted Columbine with an ease that belied the obvious physical challenge of the choreography.<P>K.T. Nelson's new pop ballet "Its Not What You Think" is set to song recordings by Iceland's Bjork Gudmundsdottir, with five couples weaving through the push/pull dynamics of their relationships. Nelson relies less on the vocabulary of ballet than either Stowell or Kabanaiev, with her trademark athleticism and abandon. Men dribble their partners like basketballs, cradle them like babies, and carry them triumphantly on their shoulders. <P>As with many new pieces, it was pleasing to watch but had a sense of not quite reaching it's maturity. I sense that it will be even better in subsequent performances.<P>Diablo always manages to stage pieces that captivate the eye and tickle the imagination. It makes one wonder how they will ever choose "The Best of Diablo Ballet" for their January 13 performance at Zellerbach Hall. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 10:45 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Many thanks Daedalus for your review. It has made me keener than ever to see the Company.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2000 4:12 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Maybe we should retitle this thread to include "and N. American dance dialect"... Image


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