Monday, October 29, 2012

Ephemera—Performance Notebook, Hurricane Sandy edition

Hurricane Sandy is on the way. City's shut down, and one of the odd benefits of the subway being halted is that the near-constant subterranean rumbling is also temporarily stopped. 

Georgina Pascoguin kicking out the jambs in Bachground with Ballet Next. Photos: Paul B. Goode

Ballet Next at the Joyce

  • The post-big company phase in the careers of ex-principals Michele Wiles (ABT) and Charles Askegard (NYCB)
  • Caught one of two bills
  • A duet (Stravinsky Divertimento) by NYCB soloist Georgina Pascoguin and Askegard, who choreographed it. He partners well; she excels in character roles for NYCB, but here, with no specific narrative, looked mainly fierce
  • Brian Reeder's Picnic for six dancers is based on a film about some girls who go missing
  • Victorian style cotton frocks and black tights/toe shoes an effective metaphor for a stifling era, but they also disguise the body and its lines
  • Michele Wiles the mysterious central figure, proving she has lost none of her pinpoint balance or turning ability
  • Mauro Bigonzetti's BachGround (ouch) shows his effective dramatic lighting and flair for visually bold imagery
  • The six dancers, wearing black skirt-backed shorts, sit on chairs upstage and frantically pivot them 180º to demarcate solos and duets
  • Muscular movements with Bigonzetti's trademark neurotic gesture arms/hands
  • Live music in the Askegard and Bigonzetti a nice touch
  • This ambitious week run that showed some range could have benefitted from more rehearsal

Pina Bausch's "...como el musguito..." at BAM

  • Her continuous involvement of viewers through the dancers' entering and exiting via the side stage-house steps, and up the side aisles, is overlooked as a means of establishing audience connections. 
  • The dancers can appear larger-than-life onstage—glamorous, handsome, beautiful, hair silken or musculature perfect, but when they move among us, they become one of us. 
  • Come to think of it, nearly every time it was a woman using this pathway
  • The women reminded me of the Wilis from Giselle (or a similar massing of forlorn women, from Swan Lake or La Bayadere, etc.) as they drifted onstage in their evening gowns, heads hanging down, barefoot, like some sort of sorority of sad souls
  • It became perhaps a bit too easy to see everything through the filter that Pina was ill while creating this, even if she was unaware of the illness  

Ensemble Basiani of Tblisi, Georgia at Church of St. Mary the Virgin

  • Transcending Time all-traditional program part of the White Light Festival
  • Traditional folk songs and hymns, all-male, a cappella, choir of the Georgian patriarchate from Tblisi
  • Powerfully visceral experience as a viewer
  • Ranged from fog-horn like, loud, demonstrative singing to soft, delicate lullaby volume
  • Georgian-style yodeling ("krimanchuli") hit some high notes, but otherwise the range seemed to be contained to a middle octave
  • They wore knee-length, military-feel navy blue coats with pewter decorations and black boots
  • There's no subsititute for the authenticity of a choir like this, singing traditional songs in their native tongue
Stay safe and dry. See you on the other side of the hurricane, when the trains resume their rumbling.


Christy said...

Yeah, more notebooks! It's a little bit like seeing an artist's sketchbook, so fun to see some of the process. Reminds me of my dad's oil comps before the final cover design.

Susan said...

Glad you like it! thanks.