Artistic Director: Kyle Abraham
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
Presented by the American Dance Festival
Anne Bogart, Ballet, Basil Twist, Bejart Ballet Lausanne, Bill T. Jones, Carolina Performing Arts, dance, Fine Art, Joffrey Ballet, music, Nederlands Dans Theater, Nijinsky, Rite of Spring, SITI Company, Stravinsky, The Silk Road Ensemble, UNC, Yo-Yo Ma
Last night, I attended the Carolina Performing Arts 12/13 Season Announcement event; the season will feature 45 performances and a centennial celebration of The Rite of Spring at UNC’s Memorial Hall.
Choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky set The Rite of Spring on Sergei Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes in 1913. Accompanied by the music of Igor Stravinsky, the ballet highlights a sacrificial Pagan ritual that is said to initiate the coming of Spring. When the ballet originally premiered in Paris, the audience rioted in response to its somewhat gruesome content, which was unprecedented at that time.
Here’s a clip from the BBC documentary “Riot at the Rite,” that shows the beginning of the performance and the resulting uproar. You’ll notice in the video that one woman remarks that the dancers’ feet make them look like pigeons. The Rite of Spring‘s choreography featured flexed, turned-in feet rather than the pointed, turned-out feet that are characteristic of most classical ballets.
The Carolina Performing Arts 12/13 season will honor the centennial of The Rite of Spring through movement, music and imagery. The Rite of Spring at 100 performance schedule will include nine world premieres, two U.S. premieres and 11 new works commissioned by the Carolina Performing Arts.
The performance schedule includes works by The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, The Mariinsky Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart, The Joffrey Ballet, Nederlands Dance Theater I, Bejart Ballet Lausanne, and puppeteer Basil Twist, to name a few.
Here’s a clip of the Joffrey Ballet’s reconstruction of The Rite of Spring, which premiered in 1987. The rest of the work can be viewed on YouTube.
Tickets to the general public go on sale June 19th and can be ordered by phone at 919-843-333, online, or in person at the Memorial Hall Box Office on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
@BodyVox recently introduced me to the “Modern Daydreams” video series on Youtube and I love it! Each episode turns an everyday activity into a modern dance masterwork; the whole series is a great example of site-specific work. Check out the series below, and please enjoy the companion videos I’ve selected for each episode!
1. Modern Daydreams 1: Deere John
Companion: Tractor Square Dancing
Yes, this is a real thing…AND IT’S AWESOME.
2. Modern Daydreams 2: Unleashed
Companion: Baha Men – Who Let the Dogs Out?
Can you tell I’m a child of the ’90s?
3. Modern Daydreams 3: Treadmill Softly
Companion: OK Go – Here It Goes Again
If you’ve never seen this music video, you’ve been missing out.
4. Modern Daydreams 4: Islands in the Sky
Companion: Caterpillar Freestyle
See also: Things I wish my car could do.
Which episode is your favorite and why? Leave me a comment and let me know!
I’ve come across lots of cool dance videos lately, so I wanted to share them with all of you! Enjoy!
1. Unusually Cool Japanese Dance
I’m not sure what’s so unusual about it being cool, but I’ll let it slide.
2. TRON Dance
This video features Japan’s most famous dance crew, Wrecking Crew Orchestra in a TRON-themed performance. Just try to figure out how they create their illusions…and then please enlighten me.
3. New York City Ballet “Pointe Shoes”
This video is a short, informative documentary that explains why a perfect pointe shoe is imperative to a ballerina’s success.
4. Hip Hop Kido
And now, let’s take a moment to remember how cool the original Power Rangers were. You’ll notice some locking at the beginning of his combo.
What did you think of these videos? Leave me a comment to let me know!
Modern dance is EVERYWHERE! Check out some recent music videos that highlight modern dance.
tUnE-yArDs – ‘Bizness’
0-0:18 – Emphasis on isolated body parts and gestures; this lasts throughout the classroom scene
0:19-0:25 ; 0:55 – 1:00 – Gestural phrases
0:54 – Is that a Martha Graham contraction?
1:36 – 1:49 – Unison choreography and repetition – we know what that means, right?
1:57 -2:17 – Some floorwork; modern dancers may recognize these shapes from their technique classes
2:24 – Traditional lifts, partnering and weight-sharing
2:46 – 3:43 – Gestural phrase in unison
3:06 – A little Lion for the yogis among us
3:44 – Break to unison choreography
3:55 – Onstage chaos done well! This is done well because the camera isolates different incidents/interactions onstage, which doesn’t overwhelm the viewer.
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘What you know’
0:00 – 0:21, etc. – A group of women performing choreography in unison. This occurs throughout the video, which channels Busby Berkeley imagery.
0:22 – A petit allegro
1:27 – Some ballet stretches
1:52 – 2:20 – Notice the use of grouping; 3 women with 3 women; 3 women with 3 men – gender roles are strong here
2:37 – Another petit allegro; previous themes are repeated from this point onward.
Beyoncé – ‘Countdown’
This video draws clear comparisons between Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video and the choreography of Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. De Keersmaeker’s highlighted films include “Achterland” and “Rosas Danst Rosas.”
*Though Beyoncé’s video sparked a huge plagiarism controversy, I am happy to see a modern dance marvel getting the recognition that she deserves!