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Ballet Talk for Dancers

nudity in ballets???

Guest lurry

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ltraiger, thanks so much for your very thoughtful post. Your discussion of your family's attendance of the play The Producers is very thought provoking.


(And I did appreciate your humor at the end as well!)

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Lurry, you asked if DD understood the theme of the Mats Ek piece. DD said she did not particularly enjoy the piece because she didn't understand it. She said it all seemed "random" to her. The dancers disrobed and then "just stood there for, like, two minutes while the stairs behind them shook". I asked her what the program notes said. Her response was " that they were reflections of each other." From that I derived perhaps a "ying-yang" concept, but she couldn't say. So, nope, she didn't understand the piece, found it "random" and wasn't particularly interested in it. But she truly appreciated the opportunity to view it, experience it, and realize she didn't understand it.


The other two pieces she absolutely loved---and I don't know whether she actually understood them either, but presumably so since she really went on and on about them.


She is quite adapt at picking up underlying, even obscured, themes in literature, movies, etc. So, this one was just beyond her. Based on the little bit of research I did on this choreographer, that doesn't surprise me. It's probably too existential for me, too. (Neither DD nor I have much grasp of existentialism. Can't seem to figure that one out!)

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Mel Johnson

If a work is Existentialist, and you're bored, you're getting it!

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To answer your question, Dd didn't get ANY of the Mat Eks piece, when they were dressed OR when they were not. She mentioned the staircase also but couldn't figure out the symbolism there either. She wasn't really upset by it, just confused mostly. Evidently the belly button ring glinting in the light held her attention keeping her from looking other places. I think we both have a lot to learn about ballet.


She is looking forward to attending the Ohio Ballet's outdoor performance next Sunday after DanceLab is over. We are visiting the Cleveland/Akron area and I really enjoyed their performance last weekend. I'm not sure I understood all of it either, but it was very nice and everyone kept their clothes on. :(

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Existential Ballet? Does anyone even care?


"To be is to do"--Socrates.

"To do is to be"--Jean-Paul Sartre.

"Do be do be do"--Frank Sinatra.

"Yabba Dabba do"--Fred Flintsone


(sorry, I could not resist)

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Guest lurry

So, did the nudity add to the art value or did they see any reason for it being their at all? I know this sound repitious, but I'm just wondering through the eyes of a child if the nudity was significant and how it added to the piece as far as they are concerned? :(

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As far as my daughter was concerned, it didn't add a thing. She didn't care for the piece and didn't see any significance or art value to it with or without clothing. She tried to view it with an open mind and look at it as 'nudity and art' but she just didn't understand it.

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Re: Ek’s “Solo for Two” by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal at Jacob’s Pillow. Here's a clip from an Albany paper’s review of last week’s performance. A google of "Mats Ek Solo” brings up numerous past reviews of performances of the piece by various companies. All the reviews were positive, despite being written from numerous points of view, and all reviewers had vastly different impressions of what the piece was about. Amusing.


From the Albany Times Union, July 22, 2004 -

Montreal ballet serves up an edgy beauty


...Ek's "Solo for Two," set to music by Arvo Part, opened the program on a wonderfully engaging note. Dancers Alisia Pobega and Mariusz Ostrowski inhabit an intriguing set that includes a wall with a door, a set of Escher-like steps and a curving organic shape that suggests a rock or hummock. The contrast between angles and curves is reflected in the choreography, by turns gymnastic and pedestrian, taut and soft-edged, but always infused with raw emotion.


There are moments of vibrating anguish, sequences of simple, mundane gestures and the occasional instant of perfect harmony. In one section, the dancers strip off their clothes and dress in each other's costumes; wearing his pajamas, she carries him across the stage, his skirt trailing -- an odd, tender tableau that reminds us of all the ways in which love blurs boundaries. ...


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