public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:05 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
This regional writer is getting to the point where he's harming dance by over simplifying the US national dance scene through a local perspective and an almost childish need to rank cities in categories not clearly stated:

Quote:
When Discovering the Future Means Revisiting the Past

By JOHN ROCKWELL
NY Times

SOMETIMES looking backward can mean looking forward. Neo-Classical ballets like "Pulcinella" seemed progressive back in the 1920's, however furiously modernists fought against them.


more


Last edited by Azlan on Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
What a terrible, pointless article. We know he liked certain things and not others, but we don't know why. The LA Times's classical music reviewer recently did a similar tour of four east-coast orchestras, and turned in a more detailed, evocative account of his visits. What Rockwell wrote would be appropriate for a quick, late-night posting to one of the dance forums, but for the New York Times?

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:13 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1638
Location: London UK
I never thought I would hear a Van Manen work described thus:

Quote:
a cheesy sexual ballet by Hans van Manen to Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge," of all things
And is he implying that Beethoven's music shouldn't be used for dance?


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 219
If we remember that Rockwell is brought to us by the same people who brought Jayson Blair and Judith Miller to the front pages of The New York Times, it will become a bit more clear. Authentic knowledge, (not to mention empirical knowledge), is not a requirement for boldly holding oneself out as an expert to be read and considered by millions daily. Being interesting and provocative is more important than substance and accuracy. Rockwell is a music critic. He may as well crossed over to being a restaurant critic as a dance critic. It makes as much sense.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 3373
Location: Canada
I'm expanding this topic to be a more general debate on John Rockwell's articles, since another one appeared in today's NY Times:

Quote:
Dancers Without Borders: Does National Origin Matter?

By JOHN ROCKWELL
The NY Times
April 3, 2005

WHEN George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein set about forming an American ballet company in the 1930's - an effort that would result in the New York City Ballet - they encountered resistance. Ballet in this country had been the province of Russian (or Russian-named) ballerinas who espoused a style that would seem theatrically artificial today. There were some, like John Martin, dance critic of The New York Times, who felt initially that American dance was modern dance and that ballet represented a regression to what might now be called "old Europe."
More

And he strikes again... While the premise of the article is intriguing, it's another classic Rockwell mangle of facts, fiction and opinion.

To compare the Balanchine tradition with Petipa and Bournonville is shaky at best. The former two traditions are hundreds of years old, as compared to barely fifty for Balanchine (as far as the NYCB), and developed in different eras. And for that matter, neither have emerged intact. Petipa has been tweaked and changed by every choreographer and AD who has put on the ballets and Bournonville has changed and some of his works have been lost, despite being performed in the same theatre by the same company. And the ballets probably would not be performed so well today if there had not been a foreign influx into the company, for covering a population of just 5 million people, the RDB school has not produced enough new Danish dancers to keep up the size of the company. And in the ultimate test of foreign acclimitization, the new production of "Kermesse in Bruges" is being set by an American.

Plus, to define Balanchine as American is to ignore the fact that his style derives heavily from what he grew up with in Russia and experienced while working in Copenhagen. He was the original blender of styles, and the teachers that he attracted to SAB reflected that - Danes, Russians etc.

Also, the US never has been a country of one dominant ballet school or company - like Denmark or France or Russia, to some extent, so there never was (nor will be) one distinguishable American style. If you want to see American dance, look to the Native Americans - the rest of us are but immigrants of one generation or another.

Kate


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Rockwell Articles...commentary
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Yet another pointless article, as he writes himself in meandering circles with limp-noodle reasoning. Is his editor even conscious?

He also neglects the fact that the Russians were eclectic dancers as well, with the French Petipa, Italian Cecchetti, and Danish Johanssen all training dancers in Russia's golden age of ballet, and that they took and fused together the best elements of each style.

--Andre


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Actually ksneds, Balanchine often said in interviews that he was a direct, artistic descendant of Petipa. He often said that he felt was picking up where Petipa left off. One can see this quite readily in such works as "Jewels", "Raymonda Variations" and "Symphony in C", among others. All have an elegant, refined classicism. Of course, some of Balanchine's more "modern" works look like a radical departure from Petipa, such works as "Agon", "Concerto Barocco" and "Four Temperments". Maybe Balanchine meant his work was part of an evolutionary process. But he always referred to Petipa as his artistic father, so to speak. And on another note--I'm sorry to say I have to agree wholeheartedly about Hans van Manen. I don't think I've seen one work of his in 30 plus years of watching dance I've thought was any good; but hey that's just my opinion. I could never figure out why he was so successful. I was always highly underwhelmed. As far as the Beethoven business...well-respected choreographers, Paul Taylor among them, have often stated that they are hesitant to use certain works of Beethoven's for choreography. I think the idea is that those works are in the "canon" of musical masterpieces, and these works are complete unto themselves, that using them for choreography requires a deep knowledge, respect and understanding of the works. Which perhaps this person felt that H. vanManen did not possess. :!: :P :roll:


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1638
Location: London UK
Certainly Beethoven's music would present challenges to choreographers, perhaps that is why his only ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, has had so few productions. In a very long career of watching ballet I've seen only one, by the most musical choreographer of them all - Ashton.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 12:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Trina, I too place van Manen more as one of the group of choreographers, like Duato etc., who are expanding the envelope that Kylian began pushing but I have to say I find both of Rockwell's commentaries very disheartening and actually silly. Have you read both articles in detail? I have not yet found one dance person who didn't cringe at either article.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Here comes another one :?
Quote:
Dance, Memory: When Looking Back Is Looking Ahead
by JOHN ROCKWELL for the New York Times

IN all the arts, at different rates and in different ways, we seem more and more to be backing into the future. Centuries ago, nearly all the performing arts were brand new. It was considered old-fashioned to revive yesterday's work, and when it was revived, it was updated - as in Mozart's addition of clarinets to Handel's "Messiah" in a performance 50 years after the oratorio's premiere. But for the last 150 years, the musical repertory has tilted increasingly toward the past. Old scores and a scrupulous effort to perform works as closely as possible to the way they were first heard are all the rage.

Dance has come late to this historicism.

published: October 16, 2005
more...


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group