Monday, July 30, 2012

Tao Dance Theater—Primal and Essential

Tao Ye and Duan Ni. 2012 photo by Peggy Jarrell Kaplan, courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
Tao Dance Theater happens to be based near Beijing, but as far as its relation to either Chinese dance—or European or American dance, for that matter—it occupies its own galaxy. Choreographer Tao Ye presented two dances at Alice Tully Hall in the 2012 Lincoln Center Festival, 4 and 2, describing the number of dancers. The company performed in last year's Fall for Dance and was one of the more intriguing New York debuts; this run lived up to ensuing expectations. 

Tao eschews standard forms of dance, instead carefully reading and exploring the body from the inside out. He strips movement to its fundamentals, shorn of excess, leaving primal, essential movement. Voluminous costumes by Li Min have more in common with martial arts uniforms than the usual costumes worn in dance, and yet despite the drapes and folds of fabric, don't obscure the tensile strength of the body. Tao employs a great deal of floor work, and the garments probably help to protect the joints and add a softness to the movement quality.

In 4, the performers wear chambray smocks, genie pants, and somewhat sinister masks. Duan Ni, Wang Hao, Xie Xin, and Lei Yan move as one, yet with individuality. Arrayed in a diamond shape, they never break from position even as they revolve in their own individual orbits. The torso ripples and convulses powerfully, almost like an octopus, guiding the legs in one direction, or led by the head tilting sideways. Hands are held in fists for the most part, never decorative, nor manifestations of perceived grace. And yet the movement is so much of the human body, emanating from inside out, that it is fundamentally beautiful, organic, pure. The rhythmic, organized phrases have a productive quality, as if the dancers were weaving invisible patterns. As the lights dim, they continue to weave, receding from sight.

Duan Ni and Tao Ye. Photo: Andrea Mohin 
At the start of 2, Tao and Duan, dressed in olive drab fitted tops and voluminous pants, lie like bear pelt rugs, feet toward us. They're still long enough to lull the audience into nervous chatter even as white noise fills the air. They begin to move in fits and starts, gradually pulling off the floor but rarely higher than sitting on their calves, legs folded beneath them. All body parts other than the obvious become supportive: particularly shoulders, rib cages, and heads. What might seem to be awkward positions for humans take on a beauty evocative of other animal species. (Try sitting on the insides of your thighs, knees fully bent, and arch back as far as you can. Or rather, don't try it.) They move across the stage mostly without walking, and when they do get on their feet, they're in full plié and waddle like ducks. 

While they move together in bursts, there's no beat to follow in the varied, abstract soundscape by Xiao He, who also created the chant-filled music for 4. And though clearly in tune with one another, they touch perhaps twice, and only by bumping shoulders, not emotively. The trajectory of 2 does seem to follow their evolution from inert slugs to more expressive, sentient beings. Gravity is their prime constraint, and it's a heavy one, but it certainly doesn't constrain Tao's creativity.

This exercise in endurance for the dancers (and for some of the audience who exited before the end) also defied the norm with several minutes of music playing in darkness during the presumed finale. The pair eventually appeared before us, eyes closed, feet apart, inscrutable. Their inward focus didn't waver until they opened their eyes slowly and someone from the audience urged a bouquet on them as cheers erupted, breaking the spell that had already cast its magic.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 2012 Tour de France—Brits, Tacks, and a Newf

Numero Uno: Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky. Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty 
The 2012 Tour de France ended last Sunday. It was a pretty uneventful TdF as they go, with a rather tame and puffed-up contest between last year's winner Cadel Evans of Australia (Team BMC) and Brit Bradley Wiggins (Sky) being trumped as the new big rivalry. It's just a coincidence, but they are two of the least mediagenic riders in recent memory. Wiggins' peckishness and his camp's caustic comments about his teammates make the dyspeptic Evans seem like a publicist's dream. I don't believe they should change their personalities, but there is something to be said for at least being polite in front of millions of viewers who (could) support you. And actually, his public face did evolve by the race's end, as he let his legs and his teamsmanship (leading out for sprinter Mark Cavendish, for one) speak.

Wiggins has encountered some brisk competition from young teammate and countryman Chris Froome and American Teejay van Garderen (BMC, always referred to by Paul Sherwen with the dumb qualifier, "the American with the Dutch sounding name." That said, the tv team, covering the race has been excellent, as usual, led by Phil Liggett.) This Montana upstart, leading the white jersey (young rider) competition, has shown he has the potential to win, and he has helped underscore Wiggins as a sourpuss while endearing himself to American audiences with his frequent, affable media appearances. 

The Tourminator, Peter Sagan. Photo: Graham Watson.
Other bright stars this year included Peter Sagan (Liquigas), the powerful young Serbian (Cyborgian?) sprinter with jaw-dropping finish line speed and with climbing potential, who has finally has given Mark Cavendish some humble pie. As the commentators kept reminding us, Sagan is just finding out his capabilities, and that's freaking out everyone for the future. Other sprinters who've performed well include big-legged Andrei Greipel (Lotto/Belisol) and Fabian Cancellara (Shack/Nissan), an electric presence  who took off mid-race on paternity leave. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)  also proved strong contenders.

I don't want to talk about doping, but such is the state of the sport that it can't be avoided. Thoughts of Lance Armstrong and his peers Jan Ullrich, and Alberto Contador (on suspension) are still fresh in our minds not just because of their heroic rivalries, but also because of the USADA case against Armstrong that has been dominating headlines. There have also been a couple of 2012 retirements attributed to possible doping, most prominently by Frank Schleck of the beleaguered Radio Shack/Nissan team—which lost his brother, and bright star, Andy Schleck to injury before the start, as well as team director Johan Bruyneel who thought his role in the Armstrong case would be a distraction. The team reportedly has had problems paying its riders. Frank Schleck issued a statement that sums up the paranoid and ultra-defensive approach by the riders, with a clause written in the litigious-ese pluperfect. "If this analysis confirms the first result," (a forbidden diuretic) "a complaint will be filed against an unspecified person for poisoning." Brother Andy, and the Shack team rebuilt around these Luxembourgian brothers, can't be too pleased.

And poor Cadel. Even years after Lance's retirement, he can't escape his Armstrong's shadow. (Will the sport ever?) Several of Lance's old domestiques have been summoned to testify, most significantly George Hincapie, one of the most inspiring riders to have competed in our generation. In his final TdF, he was BMC's wingman to Evans, helping him finish a tough stage in the Pyrenees that saw the ugly scattering of tacks on the route that led to 30+ flats; three for Evans alone. (An unleashed Newfoundland that appeared like some great black wooly mammoth wreaked havoc on a subsequent day, causing a crash that would've been comical had it not been ludicrous; it may have imperiled Philippe Gilbert's shot at the Olympics.) George was honored by leading the field onto the Champs Elysee. Wiggins guaranteed his win on Saturday by dominating the time trial, with Froome second overall and Nibali third, and Van Garderen finishing a very promising fifth.

It should be mentioned that several cycling stars either opted out of the Tour with an eye on the Olympics, or tailored their regimen to favor the Olympics, another reason competition flagged somewhat. Questions remain: is this event so brutal and demanding that in order to be competitive, you have to dope? Why would you not use everything in your power to gain an advantage, especially if it is pervasive? And if Armstrong is brought down, would it be the first in a chain effect of allegations that would taint an entire era, like steroids in the home run era of baseball, if it hasn't already? And who in the world would scatter tacks on the route, or let a huge dog run unleashed with the peloton imminent? All fodder in this bizarre, enchanting love letter to France.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pina's Orpheus and Eurydice—Don't Look Back

Paris Opera Ballet in Pina's Orpheus and Eurydice. Photo: Stephanie Berger
Pina Bausch's Orpheus and Eurydice is one of those rare fully-produced operas led by a choreographer with enough name power to have complete artistic control. It was performed by the Paris Opera Ballet at the Koch Theater as part of Lincoln Center Festival 2012. And while a handsome artistic totality, perhaps predictably, it showed specific, fairly narrow elements of Bausch's talent.

Backing up a little, even before her premature death in 2009, Bausch's reputation and legend had been building into its own mythology, and with good reason. The works that BAM (where I work) brought beginning in the early 80s, and through the mid-90s, formed the foundation: they were unsparing, tough, gritty, sadistic, yet humorous, sensual, and ultimately optimistic about our ability to thrive in the face of adversity, without being as didactic as that just sounded. 

These tough works (including such pieces as Palermo, Palermo; Arien; Gebirge; Nelken; and Two Cigarettes in the Dark) in the eyes of her many fans forged her reputation as a visionary artist willing to put her dancers through hell and, literally, (not so high) water, and their willingness to endure her psychological steeplechases. They also paved the way for her subsequent phase, which would last for the remainder of her career— numerous commissioned travelogues about specific cities or cultures that shed most of the darkness that had engulfed her previous output. 

In all of these pieces, which had only been presented in New York at BAM, dance played a significant, but not necessarily proprietary, role. Often more memorable were the shocking scenes in which women (and occasionally, men) appeared to be if not actually tortured, then symbolically so. Or the comical vignettes involving one of her many charismatic dancers slowly promenading while doing something ridiculous, yet behaving as if it were the coolest thing in the world, and watching our reaction. Or the never-ending flirtations between women, in satin slip dresses and heels, and men in suits, or shirtless. 

The dance sections came with regularity, of course, but her slippery, lyrical phrases seemed fraught with urgency, as if the dancers needed to get them out of their system before the next bizarre section began. They were the glue that always brought the emotional dynamic back to neutral ground.

Marie-Agnès Gillot and Stéphane Guillion in the title roles. Photo: Stephanie Berger
Bausch created Orpheus and Eurydice way back in 1975; performed by her company, it was one of her earliest creations, after Iphigenie et Tauride and Rite of Spring, also in POB's repertory. It indisputably bears the look and feel of her collaborative team, with sets/costumes/lighting by Rolf Borzik (whose aesthetic was carried throughout her creative body of work by Peter Pabst and Marian Cito). The illusion of architectural partitions is formed by fabric panels, augmented by plexiglass panes and various dead or "live" flora; very tall chairs create a man-made forest. 

The women, barefoot, wore elegant long-sleeved, floor-length gowns of black, white, and pale pink throughout the respective sections (mourning, violence, peace, and death). The three featured solo singers wore black gowns of a similar design; they moved in concert with their corresponding doppelgänger dancers. (The Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble und Chor performed with clarity and verve in the pit.) The male dancers wore suits, butcher aprons, or nude-hued trunks. The long-limbed Marie-Agnès Gillot portrayed Eurydice in a red gown, and an ardent Stéphane Buillion, Orpheus, the night I attended. As fluent as the POB dancers were, I missed the strong, individual personalities that Pina had cultivated over many years in Wuppertal.

Bausch often relied heavily on a jukebox music approach to set the mood for each section in her non-operatic work. With Gluck's score as the one prevailing given, that liberty was taken away, so Bausch needed to describe the mood with action and movement. She couldn't or wouldn't use mime, instead relying on dance. Yet dance was but one tool she worked with, and she never seemed completely interested in expanding her fairly limited choreographic vocabulary, at least not the way she voraciously probed the human psyche, or new cultures.

Marie-Agnès Gillot as Eurydice. Photo: Stephanie Berger
Thus Orpheus is filled with repeating sweeping arms, taut upper body oppositions, and various plaintive gestures of sorrow. Pretty much just one character (Love) ever seemed happy (alright, I know it's the story of Orpheus); the rest moved somberly or apologetically, similar to the way Bausch usually carried herself in the public eye. The group dances were emotionally powerful—a Greek chorus evoking a tribal feel–with touches of primitive folk dance. An experiment with lengths of string, reeled out across the stage to form a sort of horizontal web, seemed only to be a hazard. And the final death scene was notable for its utter stasis as Gillot lay cross-wise on top of her vocal counterpart for a long time (Yun Jung Choi; Maria Riccarda Wesseling sang Orpheus). In a moment of restlessness, I recalled how early this work was in her career, and where Bausch would go from there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paris Opera Ballet Visits Gotham

Mathieu Ganio and Aurélie Dupont in Giselle.
The Paris Opera Ballet came to New York with a production of Giselle—one of my favorite story ballets—with a version that's new to me. Exciting, right? Yes, but it's also slightly irritating, because while watching it, I spent half my mental energy comparing it to the version done by regularly by ABT (staged by Kevin McKenzie after Coralli/Petipa/Perrot). Ooh, the cottages are painted flats rather than built structures. The costume palette is primarily warm with the exception of Giselle and the Count. Hilarion is more masculine and wears nearly the same costume as Albrecht, making the playing field more level. There are no Borzois or kids! And so on, one relatively small detail after another.

But there were some significant differences. While Giselle is being feted by her friends on the occasion of her birthday, she is placed on the seemingly mandatory hay cart and in addition to receiving a flower headband, is given a sprig of flowers, with which she gaily conducts her friends—the same one used by Myrtha later on to dispense her magic. This dramatic foreshadowing strongly links Giselle to the consigned fate of becoming a resurrected spirit of an unwed dead woman, perhaps even a successor to Myrtha, and gives this carefree scene a shot of gravitas. In contrast, in ABT's production, there are some oddly out-of-place children in the cart, merrily waving their beer steins back and forth as Giselle watches. In general, the POB production (same roots, restaged by Patrice Bart and Eugene Polyakov in 1991) is more somber in the first act, emphasizing less Giselle's girlishness and youth, and more her mutability and mortality. She's less happy-go-lucky and seems conscious of her fate. 

The company uses a shiny floor surface, so that in Act 2, the Wilis are reflected as if in water, adding to the supernatural illusion. They are arrayed more like an army, in neat columns, to be deployed by Myrtha efficiently and ruthlessly when a man strays into the area. And when Hilarion does, he is banished down the line of Wilis with flicks of their hands, one at a time. The lighting is particularly effective, with white tones that read as silvery moonlight. The schemes particularly contrast with those by both NYCB (same house) and ABT (across the plaza), which are murkier. 

And yet I was less moved by this production than ABT's. In fairness, I saw one of the most heartfelt performances ever at ABT, featuring Marcelo Gomes and Diana Vishneva; their technical prowess combined with their range of expressivity was simply alchemical. POB's cast was led by Aurélie Dupont and Mathieu Ganio. Dupont is serene and confident, but I felt that she was too mature to play the teenage Giselle, and I don't mean old. She worked her lovely feet to best advantage; the womens' toe shoes appeared to be slightly more flexible than their American counterparts, with more care given to rolling through the foot. Ganio fit the bill as the callow prince, yet didn't explore the movement and expand on its potential.

Dupont was far better suited to Béjart's Bolero (1961), on the French program. Occupying the center of a round red table, she was surrounded by men seated on red chairs on three sides. There was nothing unpredictable in the way she pulsed seductively to the inexorable rhythm, rocking foot to foot, the movement building in scope as the bare-chested men increasingly gathered around her, echoing the primal beat. Here, her maturity commanded and intrigued. At times, the strikingly modern imagery evoked The Green Table by Kurt Jooss, driven by games of love rather than war. 

and... Dupont and Ganio in Suite en Blanc
This program led off with Suite en Blanc (1943) by transplanted Russian Serge Lifar, which displays the academic accomplishments of a large company by showing each dancer's strengths in sections of varying dynamic and mood. Its striking black and white aesthetic (uncredited, oddly) gave it a flat, dramatic appearance underscored by numerous MGM spectacle-like tableaux and stage compositions. Emphasizing ballet's artificiality to an extreme, it's a fragmentary representation of what Balanchine's counterparts abroad were producing in the post-Romantic period. 

L'Arlésienne, by Roland Petit (1974), utilizes Bizet's catchy, familiar music. Petit drew on folk dance motifs that, when paired with the marriage theme, brought to mind the feel of Nijinska's Les Noces—flat shapes, lines of peasants underscoring the Van Goghesque painted panels. Only a too-long solo for the lead male, toward the end, put the brakes on this charming short ballet.

Paris Opera Ballet will further reveal its scope this week with Pina Bausch's Orpheus.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trisha Brown's Astral Converted at the Armory

Astral Converted, performed in inner space. Photo: Stephanie Berger
The name Trisha Brown immediately conjures upright choreography, a deceptively plush style with ample leg brushes, twisting upper bodies, and rapid direction shifts. Or perhaps, her early, action-oriented pieces, involving wall walking or leaning. But watching Astral Converted (1991) at the Armory last week was to revisit the rigorous Valiant period of her career. Of particular note are the knotty still floor poses where the shoulders and head are treated as equal support elements to the limbs, the dancers' bodies folded into blobby pyramids, morphing into abstract sculptures. 

The collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg (visual presentation) and John Cage (sound score) might suggest that the piece was created earlier, since they contributed elements to dances decades before. There is an odd temporal tension between the Judson swag (push brooms) and the taut, formal choreography in which they're used. There's none of that shaggy incidental aspect here; everything is deliberate, designed, constructed. 

Rauschenberg's rolling towers are brilliantly economical, compactly serving the functions of set, lighting, and sound. He assembled auto parts in a metal framework, powering the headlights with car batteries, and employing car stereo systems and sensors for timing and triggering. The directional lighting amid the yawning dark of the Armory evoked images of midnight dancing in a parking lot lit by parked cars.

He garbed the dancers in silver unitards with contrasting silver panels; the womens' had sheer panels between the legs, like bat wings. Cage's score was fairly tame for him, sustained brass notes and bleats that felt somewhat distant due to the speaker locations. From time to time, a dancer would roll a tower to a new location, once more shifting the aspect.

Momentum built as time passed. Rather than loose-knit groups, Brown used straight lines of four dancers, or neat pairs. A late trio featured careful, yet daring, partnering, the men swooping a woman from the floor and flipping her rotisserie-style, with her leg and torso as a spit. Leanings did appear in sections, which when combined with the brooms, braided Brown's past with a more modern, stringent period. It's humbling to realize these were but a couple of genres within this inventive choreographer's creative output. While Astral used the Drill Hall's spectacular vastness less than previous productions, it did take on an otherworldliness from the void, like a glimpse of a beautiful, intelligent alien civilization.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ethan Stiefel's Adieu—a Slave is Set Free

Bye, Ethan. Thanks. (Ethan Stiefel as Ali. Photo: Hidemi Seto)
ABT's 2012 Met season drew to a close with a week of Le Corsaire, your quintessential pirate ballet. Corsaire is such a rowdy tongue-in-cheek celebration of ballet's cliches that I can forgive many of its flaws. In this production staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Petipa and Sergeyev, we get a clunky pirate ship (twice), a tepid score (based on Adolphe Adam's music), slave girls, and an endless, very pink dream sequence overstuffed with females and flowers. And how could we forget the very proper tutus and tiaras worn by the lead women, so appropriate to the town square and grotto settings? 

Of course, it's not like swans should be wearing tutus either, but the swan metaphor works perfectly with the art of ballet on every level (hence its nauseating overexposure in pop culture), so that leap is much easier to make. Setting aside the assessments of verismo, Corsaire is all about the second act pas de trois between the pirate Conrad, Medora ("a young Greek woman") and the slave, Ali. The two men are usually played by principals, and therein lies the delight of this ballet: having the chance to see Marcelo Gomes and Ethan Stiefel at one performance, and Cory Stearns and Ivan Vasiliev in another (plus the terrific bonus of Herman Cornejo in the role of bazaar owner).

Stiefel scheduled two performances as Ali to mark his ABT retirement; he can hence devote his full attention to running the New Zealand Ballet. (Why that company is another topic; the sheer flying miles required to fulfill such duties boggle the mind.) He had been sidelined with injuries in recent years, so it had been too long since I'd seen him. I expected to see a faded version of my memory of him, but in fact he was far stronger, fitter and more eloquent than that. Ali requires an odd combination of proudly wearing just turquoise harem pants and a feathered headband, and being completely subservient and obedient. His movement alternates between explosive jumps and cowering in humility in kind of silent film manner. Stiefel managed it all more than capably, with admirable jumps and turns.

Ivan Vasiliev. Photo: Rosalie O'Connor
Vasiliev (born in 1989 and, controversially, a recent exile with Natalia Osipova to the Mikhailkovsky Ballet from the Bolshoi) feels like a new breed of male dancer. Like Cornejo he is relatively short, and his gifts have allowed him entree to the top rank. But Cornejo is both a supreme athlete with the ballet superpowers of ballon and spin, and he is a poet. He mesmerizes with his ease and naturalness as his acting has seasoned each year. Vasiliev is all brute force and big muscles, a kind of Rocky Balboa of ballet, and people love him for that, and also that he's earnest and forthright—uncomplicated—in his acting. I used to consider Stiefel among the more athletic men, but the presence of Vasiliev redraws the scale considerably. Factor in his switch of companies as somewhat mercenary, and there are many parallels to today's free agent athletes.

As Conrad, Gomes felt three dimensional, letting a lock of his ebony hair run roguishly loose. Gillian Murphy, as Medora, possesses a note of playful irony that seems entirely appropriate, and she's always up for a display of technical fireworks. This is a backhanded compliment, but she can be too perfect—so capable that insecurity simply isn't an emotion in her palette. In contrast, Veronika Part (across from Cory Stearns) seems filled with insecurity, sometimes like a foal establishing its footing for the first time. But you can't argue that she has the most gorgeous lines and a genuinely complex internal life, and her vulnerability usually plays right into the arms of her current prince. Stearns has similarly beautiful lines and terrific loft; maturity, experience and some bulk will only add to his depth. 

ABT promotions were announced yesterday: Hee Seo is now a principal, and Alex Hammoudi a soloist. Both have been dancing principal roles this season, and Seo last year as well. She is the embodiment of refinement and delicacy, and he, a magnetic prince in the rough with prodigious physical gifts. But with the exodus of Stiefel, Corella, Carreño, and Beloserkovsky (oops—sorry, he's still on the roster, though I haven't seen his name lately), the company is now suddenly in need of male principals; I suspect Hammoudi will be slotted in above his pay grade far more often in coming seasons, until he—or others, probably recruited externally—rises to principal, alongside the few resident and handful of guest principals. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Philharmonic Does a 360

Alan Gilbert as the teeny, tiny maestro of the NY Phil. Photo: Stephanie Berger
Philharmonic 360, performed last week by the New York Philharmonic, was another production that met the high stakes put forth by the gargantuan parameters of Park Avenue Armory's Drill Hall. The huge space absolutely inspires, and the organization selects artists and allows them to pursue their visions on a high level. Within the last year, many memorable productions have included the RSC's residency, Streb, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company's farewell Events.

The orchestra, led by Alan Gilbert, was set up in the pattern of a flower, with orchestra platforms and audience tiered sections alternating like petals. In the central hub was placed a small dais for Gilbert, or a few soloists, surrounded by floor seating for the audience, all facing toward the center. It was impressive if a little creepy, perhaps unintentionally emphasizing the power of the orchestra's artistic director. Some musicians were also positioned in the catwalks.

The program started off with a largely improvised fanfare, Gabrieli's Canzon XVI, which felt appropriate to the grandeur and history of the hall, the brass notes pinging brightly around the space. Pierre Boulez's Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna for Orchestra in Eight Groups (1974-75) took advantage of the volume, as notes and percussion beats seemed to ricochet off the walls and cluster in unexpected coordinates. Despite the relative informality  compared to the Phil's home hall of Avery Fisher, the sense of occasion felt heightened in this work.

When we entered the hall, we were greeted with preening, poshly dressed people, the women in Marie Antoinette wigs, lined up before a red, backlit wall. A bit further in, under the bleacher bowels, were more characters, lounging and observing us trooping in. These were the chorus members for Mozart's Don Giovanni finale to Act I, from the Oratorio Society of New York and the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir. It's understandable how this excerpt must have appealed for its inherent theatricality and staging turmoil, but the vastness of the Drill Hall subsumed the sung lines of many of the singers. Keith Miller (Leporello) was able to take command with his strong projection and charisma. And despite the novelty of placing soloists in the far reaches of the bleachers, and moving the chorus in sweeping circles around the rotunda, the artifice fell short.

The keystone of the program was Stockhausen's Gruppen for Three Orchestras (1955-57). You could see why this piece was the ostensible inspiration for the evening, with its highly specific set-up requiring three conductors (Gilbert plus Matthias Pintscher and Magnus Lindberg) who are able to watch one another. Listening to it, I could visualize the notes rising above us and forming a sort of alternate universe of their own in the space. And when one chord chased its way through the three orchestras in succession, it felt like a rendition of the Doppler effect.

A small percentage of the audience made an exodus after the Stockhausen, which was obviously their reason for coming, but they missed the most beautiful work of the program: Ives' The Unanswered Question, a shimmering meditation that came across as both simple and vastly complex. It was the punctuation to an evening of possibilities and experiments for the venerable Philharmonic, and another success for the Armory.