Archive for October, 2011
This blog is suffering an identity crisis. Largely, because it is different from most other blogs that either seek to disseminate information, or at least engage in dialogue with a like minded group of people. For want of a better label, I am calling it a research blog. It is a work in progress.
How might I classify this work? It is not strictly academic because I want it to engage with dancers. But then it is also not like any other dance blog I have seen – because I want to engage with academics. This presents something of a dilemma when writing posts. How do I make the content interesting and welcoming to all of my readers?
For the academic: I hope to be writing soon about a theoretical approach to the research. But this is a work in progress also.
For the dancer: I would like to start discussions that talk about classes, rehearsals and performance and about how these activities influence their everyday lives – how are they meaningful?
Feel free to comment on this post if you have any ideas about making this blog a collaborative undertaking.
A very interesting interview with Lar Lubovitch in which he discusses how he visualises time, space and shape with regard to music. He also talks about being “inside” and “outside” a piece of work. I would be very interested to hear a current professional dancer’s perspective of the same ideas.
I had my second ballet class today. Still enjoying it, after a fashion. Speaking of which, the new ballet flats made things a little easier. Now, how do I tell my brain to get my feet, legs, arms and head to do the right thing at the right time? Not only do I need co-ordination, but I also need to remember what I am supposed to be doing while I am keeping things in synch. Given time to think and repetition will help. but every few minutes we are doing something different. Oh well, I am in for the long haul for the time being. If nothing else, I am persistent!
This may not be traditional ballet but seeing a performer en point on their partners head is really quite something.
I cannot say how good the dancing really is. However, the Great Chinese State Circus have an interesting choreography to this classic. This is my second post in recent times of performances from China. Could it be they are pushing the boundaries?
Motivated by both a desire to try new things, and the need to learn the “language” of ballet for my research, I participated in my first ever ballet class today. Up to now I have been reading how many adult males have tried it and really enjoyed it – although most are a lot younger than me. For me, they were correct. The class definitely met my expectations and I look forward to many more. The class was taught by Tibor Horvath who I found to be a teacher who really engages with adult beginners whilst seriously addressing the need for students to learn correctly. Thanks Tibor, I will be back. The class was presented by Roseville Ballet & Performing Arts.
What ABT dancer David Hallberg is doing by splitting his time between the American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet is certainly a significant first. The idea of a defection in reverse has some political appeal and working for two companies simultaneously is a huge undertaking.
However, I think he is a little late in claiming that the move represents the globalization of ballet. Major ballet companies have been touring throughout the world for a long time now, certainly through modern times, but I suspect much longer. And it is not just dance companies that get a taste of the global. Individual dancers have spent a lot of effort in their careers moving from one national company to another – either permanently or on some form of exchange such as scholarships. So globalisation of ballet is not really something new. As in most human endeavours, we have lived in a globalised world for a long time. What is different today is that international travel and communications is so much easier, faster and affordable.
I had below a photo of The Australian Ballet touring company picnicking in Odessa Park, USSR, 1988. It was from the National Library of Australia collection but the link now appears broken so I removed it.
The first video below is of the National Ballet of China. It presents a performance to Pink Floyd music and it started me thinking, where is the line between classical and contemporary ballet? Is there a distinct line anyway? Personally I love classical music and head banging rock almost equally. After seeing the performance in the video, which I didn’t think was all that good, I started imagining a choreography featuring Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (see second video). Or for a different interpretation see Ofra Haza’s version (third video). Now this I would like to see Graeme Murphy take on as a project and call it classical ballet.