Friday, February 22, 2008
Serenade/countdown to curtain
Last night the Houston Ballet opened Gershwin Glam, a triple-bill of Balanchine's Serenade, Christopher Bruce's Swansong and Stanton Welch's new ballet The Core, a tribute to 1940's New York City.
I've seen bits and pieces of Balanchine's 1934 masterpiece Serenade, only on video and never all the way through. To say that seeing it live was a treat would be an understatement.
The ballet, set to Tchaikovsky's Serenade in C Major, is essentially plot- less-- there's no "official" storyline or cast of characters. Instead, it's a big work of imagery. You could compare it to finding shapes in the clouds: Now you see a love story. Now you see someone dying, now you see a chorus of angels leading them to the next place. The ballet had a large cast (primarily women, though when the men did enter for a pas de deux or pas de trois, you wished those sections would last longer), and the elegant lines of the dancers coupled with Balanchine's intricate choreography made the work difficult to tear your eyes from. About two-thirds of the way through the ballet, your eyes will become dry because you've been forgetting to blink. I'm not joking, either. <>
Making use of the large cast of women (clad in long white tutus), Balanchine uses complex spacial patterns and formations, none of which ever become dry or boring to watch.
I have more to say about last night's performance, but I must be going-- we open in T minutes 2 and a half hours. I'm leaving for the theater in 15 minutes so I can get stretched out before our call time.
Here we go. Wish us luck, merde, shake a leg, whatever. I'm sure you'll hear all about it soon enough.
Another Openin,' another show....