Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nijinsky Remains Silent

I've been away from this blog for a year.  It was a tough year for me personally and all interest in dance seemed to be soaked up by the seemingly burlap fabric of my bullshit life.  That is, with the exception of Nijinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps because really, nothing can snuff out my interest/and obsession with that thing.

So I've returned for the sole purpose of pontificating on it right through May 29, 2013, the actual date of the debut and infamous riot.

I've had this long held belief that there is a box of Super 8 reels somewhere of Charlie Parker playing with Dizzy or passed out on the floor even because there simply CAN'T be only the few videos out there of Bird!  There is more.  It's in some basement in Illinois or something, I just know it.  

And so too I believe that one day Vaslav Nijinsky's choreographic diary of Le Sacre will be unearthed at a yard sale somewhere, anywhere, any day! It's out there.  I just know that too.

Meanwhile, we speculate.  I've kicked the whole "knock knees, toes in, inelegant hands" aspect of Le Sacre around so often that I've lost sight of the fact that it was odd.  Once you look at something enough, it becomes so familiar that you see everything ELSE as weird.  But what drove him to that design:

(Elizabeth Hansen, Joffrey)

One could argue - and maybe I am the only one - that this ballet which seemed to literally oppose itself was the manifestation of Nijinsky's opposition to himself.   You have to look at his relationship with Sergie Diaghilev to bear this one out.  Nijinsky, a defector from the Russian Imperial Ballet to Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, spent his duration with this French company as Diaghilev's lover.  But was Nijinsky a homosexual?  Was he involved with Diaghilev in an exploitation for the furtherance of his career or was Diaghilev exploiting the 19 year old phenom with the promise of furtherance? Either way, was there an internal struggle?  And if there was, it was going on in the mind of a young man with schizophrenia though the disease did not entirely presented itself until years later.  

If you take a look at the geometry of Apres midi d'un Faun - the piece he choreographed before Le Sacre, you get a preview of where this guy's thinking was in terms of the body, movement and the emotion of desire.  It is something outside itself, something which does not realize itself except in fleeting recesses.  The simulated/implied  masturbation at the end of "Faun" speaks to an inability to access what is desired but rather only to imagine it in a state of loneliness.  

Was Nijinsky living this way?  And if so, was Le Sacre the frenzy and anger of such a thing?

This is only one theory on the mystery of Le Sacre du Printemps.   But theorizing is what we are left to while Nijinsky remains silent.