Catherine Pawlick wrote:
....it's a huge challenge to tackle any philosophical/psychological story in movement terms, because the means of depicting thoughts are limited.
I've only been able to follow part of this discussion, but would like to add a personal thought about Alexei Ratmansky. I'm not that familiar with all that he's done. I've seen between five and ten of his works. Although as you have mentioned, Catherine, "it's a huge challenge to tackle any philosophical/psychological story in movement terms" and although Alexei Ratmansky, himself, has played down his ability to do this, he does handle the "philosophical/psychological" in as 'Interesting' a manner as I've yet seen in dance. He has one of the finest abilities that I've noticed to take his choreography into so many dimensions at one time. His "Russian Seasons", as performed by the Bolshoi in London a few years ago, fascinated me with how he appeared to touch on 'Everything'. His focus seemed to shift from dance technique, to a fleeting thought, to deep introspection, and on and on, in little more than a moment's time.
Another example comes from the internet video clips of Alina Somova and Alexander Sergeyev performing his version of "Cinderella". Again brilliant and fascinating "philosophical/psychological" expression to be found here. Once instance is when Alina Somova, out of nowhere, pantomimes some of her intense feelings about her past. Later in a different situation, Alexander Sergeyev repeats, for an instant, some of those same hand gestures in a highly emotional and sympathetic yet totally subconscious response.
I would hope to see much more of Alexei Ratmansky's work to enjoy how he deals with representing the "philosophical/psychological" as well as pure abstract dance and everything in-between, which I think that he can do so brilliantly.
Catherine, in a previous thought you said, "....my impression is that Ratmansky did an excellent job of taking "key moments" or "scenes" and using them symbolically to move the onstage story along. We as the spectators must then form the link between those episodes."
This perception seems somewhat similar to what I'm trying to express.