Monday, October 15, 2007

A Night at the Theater

This past Friday my mom and I went to the ballet, it was The Boston Ballet's Night of the Stars (A Gala Benefit Performance). This is the 2nd year that the Boston Ballet has put on this gala and this year was to celebrate the life of Cathryn S. Keith a woman who was a leader in assisting others, she was well known throughout Boston for her tireless dedication as a volunteer for the Boston Ballet and other institutions. The ballet showcased 14 different ballets from around the world and time. Everything from your traditional ballets all the way to what is now considered modern ballet (personally I like the traditional better then modern). I never realized how big the Boston Ballet and school were, at the end of the show they had all the dancers from the company and school on stage, from the child ballet dancers all the way up to the principle dancers, it was an astonishing sight to see.

*I will list the ballets they showcased below.

My appreciate and love for the theater started at a very young age when my mom took me to see Annie and Peter Pan when I was around 5-6 years old, both in Boston at the Wang Center (it was called something else back then). I remember watching as Annie tried to hide from Mrs Hannigan and Peter Pan flying through the air and up to where we were sitting, (Sandy Duncan played Peter Pan at that performance). My mom has always loved the theater and am so grateful that she introduced me to all that was magical at such a young age. Throughout the years mom and I have seen many performances, even while we lived in Arizona we tried to get to the theater (now that is an experience seeing people in jeans, cowboy hats and boots going to see Le Miserable is definitely different). I have been fortunate enough to see many plays, musicals and ballets, I have yet to see an Opera though a couple are coming here one being Madame Butterfly, one that I have always wanted to see, hopefully I'll be able to.

I think the best ballet I have ever saw was The Taming of the Shrew, it was beautiful, moving and hysterical, the way that Kate would walk around and sulk and resist Petrucchio was funny and what was amazing is to follow the story and watch it being performed with dance and expression and no dialogue is true talent. The audience was roaring and luckily for us they showcased this ballet as well on Friday night.

My favorite musical I would have to say was probably The Who's Tommy, what an awesome show that was, the music, the performers, the scenes, the songs, I remember going with this guy Dave to see it, and sitting on the edge of our seats the whole time. I wish that they would reprise this musical again, I'd see it in a heartbeat.

My favorite play would be The Graduate with Jason Biggs, Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone, I saw this a few years ago with my mom and we had great seats, Kathleen Turner played Mrs Robinson and she was outstanding, the woman actually did a FULL FRONTAL in the scene where she tries to seduce Benjamin, in the movie Anne Bancroft is in a slip, I didn't expect to see ALL of Kathleen Turner but I did, and she is still just as beautiful as ever. I never realized how funny this play was, and to see it with such famous people was just a bonus.

I'm hoping this season that I can make a trip to New York City and see a show on Broadway, for all my years of going to different performances I have never seen one on Broadway. I'm hoping finally this spring to be able to do just that, I love New York in the spring and what a great trip that would be. I have a good friend that lives in New York so maybe I'll be able to see him as well.

Here is the list and description of all the ballets that were showcased on Friday night.

A Midsummer Nights Dream
World Premiere January 17, 1962, New York City Ballet

A Midsummer Night's Dream ballet compresses virtually all of Shakespeare's story into Act I; Act II celebrates the wedding of the lovers with a grand divertissement that is reminiscent of the great 19th-century classics.

World Premiere: April 12, 2007, Boston Ballet
Boston Ballet company member Heather Myers choreographed Found for the young artists of Boston Ballet II for Dance on the Top Floor. Heather’s first commission for the Company will receive its premiere as part of the March 6-9, 2008 repertory program, Next Generation.

The Fairy Doll
World Premiere: 1903, St. Petersburg
Dancing dolls were a popular 19th-century ballet conceit—think of the mechanical dolls in Act I of The Nutcracker and, of course, Coppélia. In this pantomime-divertissement, originally called Die Puppenfee, dolls spring to life and dance the night away in a toy shop, all under the supervision of the Fairy Doll. The libretto was adapted by various choreographers, including this one by Legat, as well as by Massine, whose La Boutique Fantasque dramatized the same story.

Etesian (excerpt)
World Premiere: March 16, 2006, Boston Ballet
The title of Helen Pickett’s first work for Boston Ballet refers to annually recurring phenomena, e.g., etesian winds are those that blow across the Mediterranean Sea each summer. This versatile artist trained at San Francisco Ballet and performed for over a decade with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. A teacher and choreographer who employs Forsythe technique and improvisation, Helen is also an actress who appeared with New York’s cutting-edge Wooster Group for seven years. Her next commission for the Company will be part of the March 6-9, 2008 repertory program, Next Generation.

The Taming of the Shrew
World Premiere: March 16, 1969, Stuttgart Ballet
In bringing Shakespeare’s Kate and Petrucchio to the stage, Cranko displayed his signature ability to convert complex narrative to physical expression. He also demonstrated a rare gift for comedy in dance, as seen in this excerpt.

The Four Temperaments
World Premiere: November 20, 1946, Ballet Society
The music for this seminal work of modernism was commissioned from Hindemith by Balanchine. In the complete work, a formal theme is followed by four movements. Each section bears the title of one of the four natural characteristics or “humors” that, according to ancient theory, governed the human body.

La Sylphide
World Premiere: November 28, 1836, Copenhagen
August Bournonville’s choreography and distinctive style, born of his Royal Danish Ballet training and his exposure to the Romantic traditions of the Paris Opera Ballet, have endured for more than 150 years. In La Sylphide, a young Scotsman pursues an enchanting woodland sylph, eventually destroying her as well as his own chances for worldly happiness. The ballet epitomizes the Romantic fascination with supernatural tales and the foreign locales that are suggested by costume, décor, and folk-influenced character dances like the Act I Reel.

Flower Festival in Genzano
World Premiere: December 19, 1858, Copenhagen
In August of 2007, Boston Ballet II member Jeffrey Cirio and Boston Ballet School trainee Sylvia Deaton spent three weeks in Copenhagen, training with the Royal Danish Ballet School and Company as part of an exchange program with Boston Ballet. During their visit, these young artists were coached on this famous gala piece and other works by many of the finest interpreters of the Bournonville technique and style.

World Premiere: April 22, 2007
Boyko Dossev, from Sofia, Bulgaria, is a member of Boston Ballet’s corps. His inspiration for this piece, created for Dance on the Top Floor, was Company Soloist Misa Kuranaga. “The male represents her life, emotions, hopes, fears, all she wants to achieve, but he is not physically real,” says Dossev. “He exists because of her.”

Brake the Eyes(excerpt)
World Premiere: March 1, 2007, Boston Ballet
Resident choreographer Jorma Elo has received acclaim for his work in New York, Chicago and Europe in recent years, as well as here at Boston Ballet. In this most recent creation for the Company, he adds a sonic dimension to the sculptural style of movement that has become his trademark.

Le Cygne Noir (Black Swan)
World Premiere: 1986, Marseilles
Le Cygne Noir is a male solo from the full length ballet Ma Pavlova, created for Ballet Nationale de Marseilles-Roland Petit and dedicated to the principal dancer Dominique Khalfouni.

The Flames of Paris
World Premiere: Kirov Ballet (State Academic Theatre for Opera and Ballet), Leningrad, November 7, 1932
Very much a work of the Soviet era, The Flames of Paris is a full-length ballet depicting the proletarian struggles of the French Revolution. This selection from Act IV, a tour de force of technique, virtuosity, and bravura style, is frequently seen today as a gala performance piece. Herman Cornejo is a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

World Premiere: January 4, 2001, New York City Ballet
Polyphonia, to date one of Christopher Wheeldon’s most frequently performed ballets, is considered a turning point in his career as a choreographer. This music-driven work, set to the rhythmically intricate and arresting piano works of Ligeti, is a clear tribute to Balanchinian neo-classicism.

Grand Pas Classique
World Premiere: November 12, 1949,
Grand pas, as a generic term, refers to a formally structured number that usually consists of entrances for the soloists and ensemble, followed by the couple’s adagio, individual solo variations, and a coda that includes the return of the corps de ballet.

Boston Ballet concludes this gala evening with a grand défilé or procession. In the tradition of the Paris Opera Ballet, the défilé is a hierarchical parade of dancers, from students through the each level of the company ranks and finally to the principals.

1 Comment:

Cairde said...

I have never been to the theatre. How sad is that?! Have you seen Wicked? I hear it's great and would love to see it.