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 Post subject: Christopher Wheeldon -- Pas de Deux and Beyond
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Posts: 1436
Location: USA-Switzerland
"After the Rain"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBBYPQNkFs&NR=1
(Uploaded by Vail Valley Foundation on Aug 3, 2010)

Any thoughts or comments ?


"Mercurial Manoeuvres"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYQSgtBgM1M
(Uploaded by VailValleyFoundation on Aug 4, 2009)

These are some comments by Apollinaire Scherr about NYCB's recent performance of Christopher Wheeldon's "Mercurial Manoeuvres."

"Wheeldon is perhaps most celebrated for his pas de deux – configurations so inventive that they spark enigma and feeling. [I would say *Enchantment*]

"They [Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle] orbit the stage, with him carrying her aloft as she angles her limbs like the prongs of a star. Wheeldon intermittently arrests the flow of movement to etch their forms in the air and bring out the spaciousness they have found in each other.

"The choreographer’s capacity to distil drama into image is astounding. More impressive still is the way he moves between drama and its abstraction. Peck and Angle touch fingertips, but they also convey their yearning metaphorically."

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/8be852f6-8d32 ... z1PT9cT1qC

And from Jennifer Dunning in 2003 about the same work.

"Miranda Weese and Jock Soto seem to pause in perpetual gentle flight for the pas de deux, which has all the simplicity and sumptuous sweetness of the music."

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/25/arts/ ... eyond.html


"Polyphonia"

Again from Apollinaire Scherr in Janaury.

"Tyler Angle carries Wendy Whelan on his back....The images are ancient and mythical, rooted in heaven and earth."

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/214cfa12 ... ab49a.html

And from Alistair Macaulay in 2007.

"When “Polyphonia” was new, it was just what the doctor ordered for ballet worldwide. It handled the classical vocabulary of Balanchine (in particular), Ashton and others without being inhibited or retro; it has a constant supply of inventiveness. And it is unmistakably well built: here, as elsewhere in Mr. Wheeldon’s repertory, you see motifs returning when you least expect them, so that you feel the happy surprise of pattern falling into place."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/13/arts/ ... 3morp.html


For a comparison -- "Afternoon of a Faun" by Jerome Robbins (Just lovely! See any influences?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQFbPnsm ... ure=relmfu
(Uploaded by VailValleyFoundation on Aug 5, 2009)


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon -- Pas de Deux and Beyond
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1436
Location: USA-Switzerland
" Liturgy "

Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall

(approx. 10 minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/user/VisionsandV ... jIw7KWRfNI

http://www.youtube.com/user/VisionsandV ... j7lVXSe4sE


" After the Rain "

Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall

(approx. 10 minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/user/VisionsandV ... end=3&ob=5


"Liturgy"

This is a review by Anna Kisselgoff ("New York Times") after its premiere in 2003

"The sense was that they [Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto] were on a spiritual journey and ''Liturgy,'' set to Arvo Pärt's music, is the spiritual equivalent of what could be called the secular ballets Mr. Wheeldon has choreographed to Ligeti's music.

"But ''Polyphonia'' is about steps and structure, while ''Liturgy'' takes its cue from the mystical aura of Pärt's score.

" ''Liturgy'' is not ''Polyphonia,'' arguably Mr. Wheeldon's masterpiece. But it is a striking experiment on a high plane."

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/02/arts/ ... int&src=pm


(The video clips were uploaded by Visions and Voices, "The USC [University of Southern California] Arts & Humanities Initiative....Performance of "After the Rain" [and "Liturgy"] at the Visions and Voices event "Ballet for the 21st Century: Wendy Whelan and the Choreography of Christopher Wheeldon" in Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California....Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by President C. L. Max Nikias....")


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon -- Pas de Deux and Beyond
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1436
Location: USA-Switzerland
This is an interesting article by Joseph Carmen in "Dance Magazine" from 2003 that give some fairly good insights into Christopher Wheeldon as well as interesting things to think about.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... 100047914/

"During an orchestra rehearsal for New York City Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon rushes onto the stage from the audience....As Wendy Whelan and Alexandra Ansanelli listen, Wheeldon demonstrates an undulating phrase of movement and precisely counts the difficult score by Gyorgy Ligeti the way he hears it. They grasp it. He moves on, never wasting a nanosecond.

"Because of his meticulous working process and the unquestionable success of his ballets, it has become clear why Wheeldon, who turned 30 on March 22, [2003] has caused such a clamor in the ballet world....

"So how has Wheeldon done it? And what makes him special? His inherent qualities include a highly sophisticated taste in music, an adherence to and reverence for the academic brilliance of ballet technique, a knowledge of how to move dancers in space, and a lucid imagination to match his intelligence. Wheeldon has also absorbed much from his choreographic forefathers and yet has processed a style all his own.

"Ashton and Macmillan--that's my upbringing, so I can draw from that," explains Wheeldon, who grew up in Somerset, England. "I now have a very rich pool of influences from Balanchine and Robbins. I look at them as my teachers." Indeed, the cultured port de bras of Ashton, the dramatic undercurrents of Robbins, and the formal structure of Balanchine are all there. But he shuns comparisons and wants people to know he has grown up and is his own man, thank you very much. "I just want to make work that is mine. I feel I've taken a step away each time I create a new ballet....

"....his intention "to paint music, to show the complexity and the layers of music through the movement."

"....his insistence that "the air around the dancer is almost as important as what's going on in the body."

"Having been a respected dancer himself, Wheeldon understands the importance of dancers in the creative mix. Musical and imaginative ability figure significantly when he casts a work. "I want dancers who can create in their mind an atmosphere or an environment for themselves. Musically, I like someone who isn't predictable, who finds a way to shape the phrase of the movement and brings some sort of dramatic flair to what they do," he says.

"What keeps him focused is his passion for choreographing in the studio, he says....

"And, OK, he does love a nice ovation on opening night, he says. But his biggest gratification may be in spurring new audiences...."I love it when a young person comes up to me and says: `This is my first time to the ballet. I'll be back, because watching your work has inspired me and I want to see more.' "


This article really highlights the technical nature of what Christopher Wheeldon does, i.e. relating to the music, etc. Something else that seem very important to keep in mind is the 'humanity,' the emotional and 'transcedental' content.

Again referring to the quotes above by Apollinaire Scherr about "Mercurial Manoeuvres"

"Wheeldon is perhaps most celebrated for his pas de deux – configurations so inventive that they spark enigma and feeling.

"The choreographer’s capacity to distil drama into image is astounding. More impressive still is the way he moves between drama and its abstraction. Peck and Angle touch fingertips, but they also convey their yearning metaphorically."


And Anna Kisselgoff quotes about "Liturgy."

"The sense was that they [Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto] were on a spiritual journey and ''Liturgy,'' set to Arvo Pärt's music, is the spiritual equivalent of what could be called the secular ballets Mr. Wheeldon has choreographed to Ligeti's music.

"But ''Polyphonia'' is about steps and structure, while ''Liturgy'' takes its cue from the mystical aura of Pärt's score.

" ''Liturgy'' is not ''Polyphonia,'' arguably Mr. Wheeldon's masterpiece. But it is a striking experiment on a high plane."


[The last eight paragraphs from "This article really highlights...." were added about a half hour later.]


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 Post subject: Re: Christopher Wheeldon -- Pas de Deux and Beyond
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:02 pm
Posts: 1436
Location: USA-Switzerland
In the article above "complexity" is one of the words used to describe some of Christopher Wheeldon's work. As a contrast the idea of 'simplicity' is always interesting. I am wondering how Christopher Wheeldon feels about this and to what extent it exists in his large number of works.

Again, as a comparison, "Afternoon of a Faun" by Jerome Robbins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQFbPnsm ... ure=relmfu
(Uploaded by VailValleyFoundation on Aug 5, 2009)


And this extremely beautiful dance. (The dance starts at about one minute into the video clip.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKUKKkjl ... re=related
(this video can also be seen at the production's own site)


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