Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fancy Dancing

This is a total boy thing, but you know when you were a kid and you didn't have a basketball net, so somebody stood there with his arms in a circle in front of him and pretended that he was the net? I always think of that whenever I see a male ballet dancer standing on point with his arms in a circle in front of him. My first reaction is always to use the guy's face as a backboard when I'm shooting lay-ups. My second reaction is to thank God I had a strong cup of coffee and a brownie fifteen minutes ago, because between the sugar and the caffeine I might just be able to keep my eyes open as these guys lift girly-dressed women up, put them down, twirl them around, stand there like posts while they sway around them like flowers in a breeze, carry them bodily ten feet to the right, and do the whole sequence all over again.

That was the first section of the four-part Georgia Ballet program last night at BAM, which ended up being the ballet equivalent of Star Trek movies and Pretenders albums: every other one was great. So after dozing off during Chaconne, I was wide awake for Duo Concertant, thanks to this dancer:

Eyes left, ladies--it's the girl, not the guy.

Her name's Nino Gogua, and she was also in the fourth section, Sagolabeli, a bracingly choreographed vision of Georgian folkloric dance accompanied by Georgian folk music. The other thing Duo Concertant and Sagolabeli had in common? The name-above-the-title dancer for the company, Nina Ananiashvili, wasn't in 'em. She was in Chaconne and Bizet Variations. Was this why those two pieces were boring and the others weren't? I'm not enough of a dance aficionado to say. I only know I liked the even numbered ones better than the odd ones. The odd ones felt more formal and less alive. Watching those pieces was like watching a figure skater do figures (remember those days?) instead of a routine--the limitations are so precise, it's not about style--it's about using technique to reproduce a figure, not create a new one or give the illusion of creating a new one. I definitely felt that creation in the even-numbered pieces. But not in the odd ones.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What made me go 2 times to see almoust the same program on 2/29/08 and 1/01/08? Of course Sagalobeli. This is a temporary ballete dance on Georgian falcloric motives. It's hard to explain why the emotional power was so strong and overwhelming coming form slow motion, gracious dances. It's was comparable to huracane or tsunami. I am not a georgian by nationality, but I found myself crying for the duration of this peace and later. While dancers were so skillfull and expressive, I found Yury Posohov chareography so expressive, masterfull and unique. I felt like I was 1000 years old seeing georgian history and traditions proudly presented. The reaction of public was similar to mine. That night I felt lucky and choosen to feel one of the deepest emotional experiences in my life.