Sunday, May 9, 2010

Le Sacre According To.....Tingmar? (reposted from my other blog)

In keeping with the theme of "Le Sacre du Printemps Month" and marking the 98 year anniversary of its debut in Paris, I am reposting this entry from my other blog. I write a bit differntly on that blog. You might even call it crass.

I wish I could tell you more about the person who made this little art film. But I can't. What I CAN tell you is that you have to watch it through and yes it is Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and no I am not going to tear it apart. That's right. This on the morning of the bad news: my idol has betrayed my idol. Yes, the rumor that Pietragalla had choreographed a 2005 Le Sacre du Printemps in Shanghai is true and she bridged it to Stravinsky's Le Noces (an interesting vocal and symphonic piece choreographed by Nijinsky's sister Bronislava) and it's not good. It's not good. If it were good it would have made it out of Shanghai for starters I mean that's like the New Haven trial run for a Broadway play. You debut it in Connecticut to make sure if it blows, that it blows in Connecticut and you can sort of keep it quiet. Like if you're going to do a revival of Sweet Charity with Rosie O'Donnell in the lead you might even want to debut it in Boise, Idaho to play it safe because New Haven is just too close to New York and it's almost a guaranteed flop I mean Rosie O'Donnell??? 

So what I am saying is Shanghai is the New Haven of Europe I think and evidently Pietra's Le Sacre was bad enough that you have do go really deep into Google to find out about it and the only thing worse was the Shanghai debut of her choreography on Giselle I guess, another thing left out on her site. You have to go into the PDF format docs for this info which is like reading the pharmacological study insert with your prescription meds: no one taking the stuff is interested and no one making the stuff really wants you to know about it anyway. So on the morning of my grim discovery - well, I knew about this I just wasn't wanting to talk about it so this is like putting my hand up and saying "my name is Fatova and I'm an alcoholic" after having already gone from the penthouse to the Maytag box years ago, I'm at the admission stage - so on this morning, I am ripping the silver lining out of the dark cloud and posting it and it's called TINGMAR.

I'm sure TINGMAR is not his real name and if it is, I mean if he is a one-name guy and he picked TINGMAR then, what can I say. You can fall from grace with me so easily I mean 2 paragraphs ago I loved this guy and now just thinking that maybe he changed his name from something like Luke Christianson to TINGMAR or something and the freefall begins. If my shrink hadn't said otherwise, we'd almost have a confirmed Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis right here on Blogspot. But Tingmar's video - and he writes its old, maybe a first video attempt - is pretty fucking good.

It's the music of "The Danse Sacral", the finale from The Rite of Spring. Those of you who read here know I am hyper-critical on this subject. So this is a massive compliment "TINGMAR". Oy. I started to watch and got a little interested because of the music and my obsession with the all things related to that score, ballet, riot, etc. And then it happens....the girl (and I don't know, maybe that's not a girl , who gives a shit, it's not Rosie O'Donnell) does the jump! The Nijinsky dance steps appear suddenly and sporadically and they are not done well at all and that makes it work so beautifully. They are cut in badly and in repetition but it worked really well and I realized I wasn't paying attention to this thing. So I had to go back and watch it from the beginning and it's "Le Sacre du Printemps" - it's the story. It's just told like a 1967 German art film which it isn't. It's all symbolic. Watch the scene where she is kneeling wrapped in rope. The columns in the architecture suddenly become people wrapped in black material and this seems representative of the tribe and well, I don't want to spell the whole thing out like some presumptuous 1967 German art film bitch in a black turtleneck.

Now it's all up for interpretation I understand this and I shouldn't be such a hard ass about the choreography to Le Sacre but this is not a ballet. This is a film about the story. Or even if it wasn't, it was just a film to Stravinsky's music. It is not a replacement of Nijinsky's tragically dismissed masterpiece. I have a video of Dame Margot Fonteyne, considered the world's greatest prima ballerina (who sadly danced waaay too late into her years I mean she looked like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" at the end, it's just awful) but the video was a series of interviews filmed in 1979 before the discovery and reconstruction of Nijinsky's ballet and she speaks of how Martha Graham and others in the 30's are credited with modern dance when it was Nijinksky in 1913 who should be but because the ballet of Le Sacre du Printemps was lost, he will tragically never be given his due. Something like that.

Ten years later, after Milicent Hodson's reconstruction, Nijinsky's choreography was performed for the world by the Joffrey Ballet. I don't know why the history of this means so much to me. There is an echo between us as humans, between our souls, like an energy of some kind. We are responsible for Nijinsky, for Camile Claudel, for Klaus Nomi, maybe someday someone will be responsible for me but if not may they be responsible for the echoes of the contributions of the forgotten or the fringe, or the misunderstood who touched the water and made even the smallest ripple. - Fatova Mingus.