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Subject: "George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Robert

06-02-02, 10:53 PM (GMT)
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"George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
 
   When William Trevitt and Michael Nunn announced George Piper Dances I was jubilant. As the Balletboyz are ex Royal Ballet I had hoped that their company would put on something other than the standard modern dance fare of wriggling about, in the semi dark, to unpleasant sounds coming from loudspeakers! I know that I am exceedingly biased, but I have a lifetime of interest in ballet and I used to like and go to modern dance and I try to see new companies, and I would like to encourage and help enthusiastic young people with lively and exiting new ideas. In my youth I had fleeting involvement with one of the companies Walter Gore set up. I was upset that Western Theatre Ballet was taken to Scotland and destroyed Unfortunately the dances as shown by George Piper just fail to provide any interest or enjoyment. I care about music and nothing apart from Sigue at the Wycome Swan last night was danced to anything approximating to music. The Forsythe thing Steptext was danced to a terrible racket made from synthesised and chopped up sound. It certainly was not Bach. Perhaps the programme should have called it bruised and bashed Bach on a bad day. Like everything else it was danced almost in the dark with little patches of light, and of course the dancers wore, you guessed it black! It is all so original presumably it all came from Bertholt Brecht and the Berliner Ensemble, but at least they had spotlights. And some sort of idealism unpleasant as it proved. Steptext was followed by more gloomy lighting and terrible sound. I thought of leaving but I hoped things would change. Sorry but they did not. Critical Mass was the worst of the lot. Dark dingy and unpleasant danced to noises. Unfortunately William Trevitt and Michael Nunn had had their hair cut or shaved which made them look unpleasant and threatening, all rather sad really. I went to Pina Bausch last week and although it was not dance it was certainly amusing and interesting and it had a chicken! The audience was not very large and some were enthusiastic. I came home bored annoyed and fed up. I should have known Forsythe has never been for me but I did expect the rest of the programme to have something of interest. Quite a few people of my generation, some even ex dancers tell me that they have given up on both ballet and dance, unfortunately audience research proves this true, I think I can understand why. Fortunately on arrival home I was able to watch and listen (superb music) to a David Parsons video of the Envelope Dance. Sorry Balletboyz but I will not be coming again, unless you change choreographers, get some lights, find some music and grow your hair.
I would like to know if anyone else was there and what they thought?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Carol Norris 07-02-02 1
     RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Brendan McCarthymoderator 07-02-02 2
         RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Ann Welsh 10-04-02 3
             RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Flight 11-04-02 4
                 RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Flight 12-04-02 5
                     RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb alison 15-04-02 6
                         RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb Robert 15-04-02 7

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Carol Norris

07-02-02, 10:17 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #0
 
   I was there - for the fourth time - to see GEORGE PIPER DANCES.

I've seen quite a bit of Dance over the years including the Bolshoi on their first visit to London, Moira Shearer, Fonteyn, Martha Graham and some others. I had become fairly bored with Dance in this country and very bored with the Royal Opera House and extremely bored with watching superbly trained and talented men dancers spending most of their time dressing the stage. If permitted anything more mobile, it seemed, inevitably, to be behind a girl lifting her. What kind of life is this after years of being taught how to jump, to turn, to move, to DANCE? Not much fun to spend all your time with a tutu up your nose. We still have the white ballets and the other traditional stuff and plenty of audiences to watch it and enjoy it and of course that will continue and that is fine. But this is the 21st century and things move on. Thank goodness they move on to GEORGE PIPER DANCES. What joy to see men DANCE. The GEORGE PIPER dancers are breathtaking and their programme is innovative and exciting. Costumes and sets aren't necessary when there is talent like this to watch - you don't need the distraction. And anyway costumes and sets cost big money. Surely it is better to use GEORGE PIPER's limited resources for DANCE? This company is the best thing to happen to British Dance for years - we should support it and celebrate it.


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

07-02-02, 10:28 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #1
 
   Carol's posting prompts me to mention a thread that sank un-noticed on the recent Ballet Independents' Group seminar on 'Men in Tights'. Here's a taster:

“Disappointingly I’ve never had anyone tease me for being a dancer”, Billy Trevitt told his audience. “I’ve never had a problem about wearing tights; I’ve spent lots of time in tights as a prince in most of the classics” But it had been frustrating. Traditional ballets such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty had been “all about the ballerina”. Of Sleeping Beauty, he said, “it was very easy; you didn’t even come on stage until ten o’clock”. What was additionally wearing was a lack of challenging classical choreography for men. Kenneth MacMillan was an exception; he went through various phases of fascination with male and female muses – Nureyev, Seymour, Bussell, and finally Mukhamedov.

Leaving the Royal Ballet did not resolve Trevitt’s dissatisfaction. His time with K Ballet in Japan had been ‘unreal’. “Until last year I was growing into a procedural mould. Double tours to the knee, double assemblés, 3 pirouettes, lift someone over your head. My height and build ordained that. Every male soloist starts with his arms in the same way. It is often a question of doing five specific things during a solo or I’ve failed”.

For more follow this link


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Ann Welsh

10-04-02, 11:44 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #2
 
   Just come back from GPD's performance in Newcastle with mixed feelings. Apart from the 'Boyz', the other dancers were Oxana Panchenko, Lucy Dodd, Matthew Hart and Christopher Marney. I'm a great fan of Matthew Hart, and Christopher Marney I noted when he was touring with the Central Ballet graduates a couple of years ago.

First off was Steptext, which I am familiar with and like very much. And of course, given their pedigree, was performed immaculately by Mike, Billy, Matthew and Oxana.

The next two items - Truly Great Thing (ch. Charles Linehan) and Sigue (ch. Paul Lightfoot) - I didn't see much point to.

Finally, Maliphant's Critical Mass. Great for showing off Mike & Billy's athletisism and strength.

But all in all, the whole bill seemed much of a muchness. I wasn't exactly bored, but on a few rare occasions, we got a glimpse of what these guys were capable of in classical terms and what a miss they must be to the RB. Here, they walk about a bit, swing their arms, roll about on the floor and lie down quite a lot

And, of course, throughout, we had those video takes - a bit of an ego trip for the boys. We were even made to stay for another 10 minutes after the show had ended while a back projection showed Mike talking to camera-wielding Billy, even to the extent of showing us his poor injured feet.

Maybe, in time, they will get together a more 'mixed' bill and grow their hair. In the mean time, they are such an engaging pair that you can't help wishing them every success.


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Flight

11-04-02, 05:24 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #3
 
   I am just about to leave the house to see them tonight!

(Sorry I know that isn't much help, but I haven't been to any dance performances for a week so I am quite happy about it).


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Flight

12-04-02, 04:42 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #4
 
   Right...

Thought Steptext could have been a lot smoother at the beginning - I expect it is very easy to make this piece look jerky and out of control. It improved with time, though. The male dancers were excellent - I must admit that when I've seen it before my focus has always been on the female, but I was closer to the stage this time so they stood out better. The Russian ballerinas (haven't got the programme to hand, and can't remember her name) didn't seem paricularly good at sustaining a high developpe to the front - they were all somewhat out of proportion to the ronde de jambes etc., which didn't need as much strength. Interestingly, she was arque (bowlegged), and should naturally not have had high extensions. It just goes to show how high they have become for all dancers, not just jarrete (hyperextended) ones.

Didn't much like the second piece - I felt that it would have been more interesting to watch in the studio. Not very memorable to me and I wouldn't want to see it again.

The third piece - v. good. It had some classical ballet steps, unlike the above. I enjoyed it.

By the time of Critical Mass I was unusually tired (been a hard week). At first I thought 'the music is like something Wayne MacGregor would choose', which put me off. But it grew on me and by the end I realised I was enjoying it and didn't want it to finish.

I rather enjoyed the videos - they were extracting the urine from the Blair Witch Project and morris dancing. Not that I have anything against morris dancing...

I have mixed feelings about the fact that one can now be a friend of GPD. Are they really going to exist for that long? And if they do, it will not be with the same dancers, because they seem to vary the dancers that they employ at any one time. I am dubious about the contiuity.

I managed to beg one of those posters from that extremely good looking dark, curly-haired usher-type-person, so now I have a large photograph of a naked man on my bedroom wall - nice.


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alison

15-04-02, 01:30 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #5
 
   >I managed to beg one of
>those posters from that extremely
>good looking dark, curly-haired usher-type-person,
>so now I have a
>large photograph of a naked
>man on my bedroom wall
>- nice.

At *your* age, Flight? I'm shocked


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Robert

15-04-02, 03:33 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: George Piper Wycombe Swan 5-6 Feb"
In response to message #6
 
   Flight.I bet Mum and Dad are pleased it is only a photograph!

I wish this thread would go away. I wrote my rather vitriolic reaction to G. Piper ages ago, and wish I had been a little less outraged. I sat near to one of the balletboyz at CG the other night and felt guilty although I still cannot stand Forsythe, or the noise it makes.


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