'Scene 1: Pollen in the Air,' 'Suite; Arms Around Me,' 'Blue Cathedral,' 'Lisa D.,' and 'Requiem'
by S.E. Arnold
July 24-27, 2003 -- Doris Duke Theater at Jacob's Pillow, MA
For their second appearance in the Doris Duke Theatre at Jacob's Pillow, Buglisi/Foreman Dance presented a concert of five works: "Scene 1: Pollen in the Air," "Suite; Arms Around Me," "Blue Cathedral," "Lisa D.," and "Requiem." As if in sympathy with the concert's nocturne mood a stunning sight greeted the audience following the late afternoon performance. Outside the theatre the golden sidelong light of the setting sun wove haunting shapes of shadow and mist across the great crush and crease of the Berkshire's fabric of stone, and in one's contemplative fancy this visual serenade met the Buglisi and Foreman works in even measure.
In a sense, the first section
of Jacqulyn Buglisi's humorous look at human mating habits, "Scene 1:
Pollen in the Air (A Romantic Scene in the Park)," prepared one for the
somber works, "Suite; Arms Around Me," "Blue Cathedral,"
and "Requiem," that followed. Set on two male and female couples,
the ladies' costumes suggest the exposed, yet abundantly draped style
of richly colored material worn by women in the 16th century. The piece
rushes into action on the familiar opening theme from the first movement
of Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" with hilarious punning of love's
urge--the pollen in the air-- as fated sounds: the bright side of a rising
melody that must ultimately expire in a decent of melting steps. And,
if one missed the point made by this opening of Scene 1, that love's urge
is a dance with death, then the use of "Valse triste" in this three-part
work (that also excerpted a piano piece by Schumann), makes the point
again. Recall, "Valse triste" is incidental music Sibelius composed for
a play titled "Kuolema" (Death). In this play, Death appears to a dying
woman as her deceased husband, and as they waltz together Death takes
Moreover, at the very center of the piece, Buglisi fits an image that combined the calming mid-range soprano voice, the Requiem's prayerful text, and an intense sidelight that gilded the dancers' care-filled pose and highlighted the mellifluous volumes of drapery, whose crush and crease empathized with the care of the text and the dancer's pose into heart-stopping effect. And in the final moments of "Requiem," the dancers stretched to full height upon their cubes, and with their backs to the audience, slowly melted in a sustained posture of ecstasy and death into a mound of gold.
Edited by Lori Ibay
You too can write a review. See Stuart Sweeney's helpful guide.
Submit press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information, corrections and questions, please contact email@example.com.