Saturday, May 1, 2010

98 years ago this month....

...a couple of Russian kids gave the world the anti-ballet with the Paris debut of Le Sacre du Printemps and the world of music and dance would never be the same.

To this day, the measure of progressiveness in both is still determined by going back nearly 100 years. When watching some of the "modern" choreographies done in the years after Nijinsky's masterpiece was lost, one might have been satisfied. Upon Hodson and Archer's reconstruction, most looked they were made up in the back yard of some 15 year old suburban girl who takes tap, ballet and jazz once a week.

This is Preljojac's Danse Sacrale. I crucified this piece on my other blog a few months ago. I stand by the crucifixion. I've searched high and low for a redemption choreography and found none. Bejart nearly made me forget that unitard humping fest he wrote with his re-write of "The Ballbuster" (The Nutcracker), the Ringling Brothers of ballets but Preljojac remains at the bottom. This video is probably classified by psychiatrists as a trigger for level-3 sex offenders.

A very interesting thing next: the BBC's version of Diaghilev's response upon first hearing Igor Stravinsky play "The Rite of Spring" or "Le Sacre du Printemps" from "Riot at The Rite" and Stravinsky's recollection of how it actually happened. It makes the movie that much more appealing (the link to the film is here on this blog):

Finally, an extended clip of Marie Chouinard's extremely odd version of Le Sacre du Printemps. What the hell is going on? Who knows? That's what I like. She didn't, it seems, take the story and re-write it (as did not the great Martha Graham, presumptuousness seeming to be the thing that divides the artistic visionary from the mere artist ) but just played something out to Stravinsky's music. Once Nijinsky's choreography was restored, I found it nearly blasphemous to rewrite the choreography within the framework of the story. I'm in love with Marie Chouinard's work. It's hard to criticize her. I mean anyone who breaks into the world of dance/performance art by pee'ing on stage in the middle of her show is...well, let's say if I were a bunch of Jews in the desert, I'd have melted all my gold by now and fashioned a false god in her image.

This is Le Sacre du Printemps Month. Stay tuned for more. - Fatova Mingus.