Taglioni Tuesday

“Contemporary lithographs and portraits often show Taglioni poised in a low arabesque; she balances on an exquisitely arched foot, with her other leg stretched out behind and an arm reaching poignantly forward. It is an emblematic moment: we feel her body pulled in two directions. She wants to go, but her leg and her arm counteract each other, and instead she balances perfectly on one foot, caught between fleeting desires. The impulse is to fly, but the symmetry of the position will not allow it. The boundaries of classical technique are clear, which made it all the more interesting when she strained to escape them.”

– Jennifer Homans, “Steps, Steps, Steps“, New Republic, February 17, 2002

marie-taglioni-in-zephire-large
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image.

Food, Song, and Chess…

Some fun, creative analogies and descriptions of dance and dance works I’ve come across in reviews recently…

Food:

“If Ratmansky’s first Cinderella was a tongue-scorching Wasabi pea, this one is a smooth, sophisticated sugared almond.”

– Hanna Weibye, “Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Mouthwatering_(18871167589)
“Mouthwatering” Sugared Almonds and other sweet stuff… by Theo K. Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Song:

“Dancing as Matthew, Christian Clark takes bounding leaps and head-spinning pirouettes that sing with emotion.”

– Cynthia Bond Perry, “Review:‘Moulin Rouge’

Handel Aria Detail 1
Detail from “Handel, Rinaldo Aria, 1876”. Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image.

Chess:

“[..] its kaleidoscopically lit, ever-shifting rows and columns are composed as intricately as a Kasparov opening gambit.”

Macbeth outgunned by a massive party – review

Opening_chess_position_from_black_side
Opening chess position from black side” by MichaelMaggs. Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.

Summer (Ballet) Love

Midsummer Night's Dream Clara's Coffee Break
Image by Rachel Hellwig.

Great commentary on the wedding divertissement pas de deux from Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“In this midst of all this prettiness lies a pas de deux of startling transparency. A man and a woman travel across the stage with excruciating slowness, executing the choreographic equivalent of a melody sustained on a single breath. He partners her with the lightest of touches as she turns slowly, lowering and raising one leg; or he lifts her so that she travels – or rather floats – backward through space. At one point, they glide in a diagonal, their arms gently pushing one against the other as if to propel each other forward. Every image adds up to the same idea: eternity, balance, trust.”

– Marina Harss, May 29, 2016, “New York City Ballet – Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Balanchine demonstrates the ideal of Romantic love: two anonymous dancers at the wedding divertissement dance to Mendelssohn’s string symphony No. 9. The music is high, sweet and tender; the dance seems timeless, and suspended. The opposite of the “Pyramus and Thisbe” amateur-dramatic show that Shakespeare provides at this stage in the drama, it floats above the ballet’s plot like the moon”

– Alastair Macaulay, May 23, 2016, “Love Two Ways: Ashton and Balanchine on Romance

Tiler Peck–“Overcaffeinated” Dancer…

Love this description of New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck! ❤

“Peck brings an unbridled passion to Who Cares?, especially in the monstrously difficult, vivacious solo to Fascinatin’ Rhythm. Apropos, Peck’s rhythm is fierce and on form. She is the overcaffeinated Balanchine dancer: ebullient but never untidy. In the finale, she stretches balances to the last millisecond, filling the music without ever being off time–something one more readily expects in Swan Lake than a Gershwin ballet. Peck is all the better for it, flaunting the piece as the work of Olympian athleticism and whirlwind musicality that it should be.”

– Lauren Gallagher “New York City Ballet – Music Director’s Choice: Barber Violin Concerto, Fancy Free, Who Cares?, Candide (Overture) – New York

Tiler Peck’s Fascinatin’ Rhythm solo…