public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:54 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: St. Petersburg Etagi ArtProject Center: Matrix
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Catching Up With the West

14 September 2008
Etagi ArtProject Center, Ligovsky Prospekt
St. Petersburg, Russia
By Catherine Pawlick

Former Eifman Ballet dancer, Anastasia Shavlokhova along with Maria Romasheva, are branching out into new balletic territory. Their “Matrix of Choreographic Patterns”, held on September 14 at the Etagi (“ay-tah-zhay”, which means floors in Russian) ArtProject Center (www.loftprojectetagi.ru) confirmed their place in the burgeoning field of new approaches to modern movement in a city where Art is otherwise usually classically based.

In this city that is home to the uber classical Mariinsky Theatre, it is unusual to happen upon contemporary movement in an experimental atmosphere. Upon entering Etagi, one thinks first of the narrow staircases of a New York City performance space, or the avant garde adventurism that San Francisco represents so frequently.

At 30 minutes past the appointed performance time, the audience was allowed into a high-ceilinged, nearly pitch black warehouse space dotted with thick cement pillars. Only five overhead light bulbs filled the space, each hanging approximately 8 feet above a circular mirror with a piece of paper on it.

“Age 29. Weight 53 kilograms. Height 175 cm. Likes to drink tea during rainstorms at the dacha. Her husband is jealous of ballet. Has performed with various companies, including…”

Similar descriptions evoked the more personal side of each of the five performers who would later enter the warehouse at a brisk clip, stand on the mirrors in white tennis socks, and begin their series of now-classical, now improvised modern movements. The movements themselves ranged from a series of tendus (think Balanchine’s “Symphony in C”) to entrechat six, or arabesque promenades. In the course of executing their steps several things became apparent: all of the dancers had the same basic repertoire peppered with their own particular themes. A tendu ecarté would suddenly shift to angular elbows and quick hand movements not included in the classical lexicon. Shavlokhova herself seemed an expert at slowing down movement to a near stop, shifting ever so slowly between poses as if someone had pressed “pause” or chosen to dissect her positions millimeter by millimeter. Then, without warning, she’d speed up once more. At times she appeared stuck between the same three millimeters of space. At others she moved tirelessly through quick lunges and small jumps.

As the dancers moved through an hour of nonstop motion, spectators were free to roam among the five spotlit mirrors, stopping to watch whom they chose. No chairs stood in the warehouse space. It was very much an interactive venue, another original idea for a ballet-related performance in this city.

The music, controlled by a DJ set up in one corner of the room, was a mix of chaotic technical noise interrupted several times by a few classical notes. Small spots of beauty –five, to be precise -- found among the chaos of mundane existence, the beauty of structured art, epitomized by ballet movement and form against a backdrop of random, unrefined surroundings? Oleg Sulimenko was credited for the concept and the sound in the project, while Dmitry Cheglakov was responsible for sound installation.

It isn’t news that Saint Petersburg is proliferate with talented young ballerinas, most of whom compete for the few coveted spaces at major classical theatres. But for those who opt for a non-establishment route, projects such as “Matrix of Choreographic Patterns” now offer them an opportunity to explore contemporary movement in modern spaces. In time, it’s possible that these experimental projects will become even more commonplace in the Venice of the North.


Last edited by Catherine Pawlick on Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: St. Petersburg Etagi ArtProject Center: Matrix
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:54 pm
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
Catherine Pawlick wrote:
It isn’t news that Saint Petersburg is proliferate with talented young ballerinas, most of whom compete for the few coveted spaces at major classical theatres. But for those who opt for a non-establishment route, projects such as “Matrix of Choreographic Patterns” now offer them an opportunity to explore contemporary movement in modern spaces. In time, it’s possible that these experimental projects will become even more commonplace in the Venice of the North.


I'm surprised we haven't seen this more often in both Saint Petersburg and Moscow years earlier. I'm sure in private the instructors at the Vaganova Academy and Moscow State Academy of Choreography would love to see their graduates do more of this type of dance work.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:17 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Hi Sacto,

It is rather unusual, I agree, to not have encountered this before. I have two thoughts on that note. First, it was hardly advertised. My friends in EIfman Ballet called me and invited me to it. I had not heard or seen announcement of it anywhere. And second, I wonder(ed) about funding for such situations. OTOH in Russia a handshake agreement between friends could be the only payment required (vs in the States the hundreds (?) of dollars you would pay to rent a performance space for just a couple of hours). But venue could very well be a restriction bc desipte the plethora of perfce spaces in this city, they are nearly all booked 11 mos out of the year, daily and nightly... Plus this wasnt the kind of thing you put in the Hermitage THeatre stage anyway :-)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:54 pm
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
Actually, this type of modern dance would be more appropriate for Moscow, since the dance troupes in Moscow (and the audience there!) more appreciate something modern in scope. Why do you think Spartacus became a lot more famous through performances by the Bolshoi troupe?

Saint Petersburg--because it seems like everyone there want to preserve its "classical" past--may not be so appreciative of modern dance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
Saint Petersburg--because it seems like everyone there want to preserve its "classical" past--may not be so appreciative of modern dance.


Bingo.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:54 pm
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Quote:
Saint Petersburg--because it seems like everyone there want to preserve its "classical" past--may not be so appreciative of modern dance.


Bingo.


Why do you think the people in Saint Petersburg are going ballistic over the new corporate headquarters Gazprom is building there? :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1756
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Uh, because it goes against city height regulations that no building shall be higher than the height of the Hermitage... if we are speaking of the same construction project.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:54 pm
Posts: 163
Location: Sacramento, CA
Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Uh, because it goes against city height regulations that no building shall be higher than the height of the Hermitage... if we are speaking of the same construction project.


Yep, we're talking the same project. I do believe the project (now called Okhta Center) is still ongoing, and it may be the ONLY tall skyscraper in all of Saint Petersburg at the rate things are going.

Speaking of ballet in Saint Petersburg, is the Mariinsky influence so strong that "modern" ballet (as defined in the West) is still quite rare? I'm not even sure how far the Eifman Ballet even dabbles in the Western definition of "modern" ballet....


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


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