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Subject: "Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB" Archived thread - Read only
 
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katharine kanter

05-03-02, 02:27 PM (GMT)
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"Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
 
   (With my excuses to ballet.co - have posted this on Ballet Alert as well - lack time to write two separate reviews.

Saw it on Saturday night March 2nd. Or rather, saw Act One. Walked out before Act Two, along with a musician friend, who spent the hour scrutinishing the cupola's Chagall fresco. He found it more action-packed.

Terribly boring. So boring, that events in orchestra pit more worthwhile. Vello Pahn conducting. Turgid, difficult score. Orchestra wide awake - unusually - to navigate serried ranks of obstacles.

Pahn regularly conducts for the ballet, had clearly sat in on rehearsals, and realised that the ballet was a/ unmusical and b/that the dancers were going strictly by the counts, so no worry about their phrasing, rubato etc.

He accordingly did not raise his eyes to look at the on-stage debacle once. Conducted straight through, on automatic pilot. Seemed to be enjoying himself.

Had been looking forward to Mr. Belarbi's new work. Sorry news: this particular piece is warmed-over Pina Bausch, with snatches of Agnes B. de Mille.

Incidentally, the world has had enough of Bum Lifts. A Bum Lift is a thing "pioneered", if that is the word, by that woman Pina Bausch. The man picks up the girl, who is folded in two like a tea-towel, and presents her bum to the audience. She then straightens her legs, going from tea-towel, to shower-curtain. Strictly for cellulite lovers, as Clement Crisp has remarked on another memorable occasion.

Bournonville did not like lifted at all. Perhaps there was something of the prophet about him after all. Perhaps he knew that Pina Bausch was in the pipeline.

Cannot blame the dancers, but every one on stage save for the Misses Pujol and Daniel staggered about as though they'd rather be out night-clubbing.

Two hours of bedlam, with roughly two minutes worth of actual steps. The current "Directeur de la danse", Brigitte Lefebvre, is one of the Popes of Modern Dance. It shows.



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Brendan McCarthymoderator 05-03-02 1
     RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Jim 05-03-02 3
     RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB AEHandley 05-03-02 5
         RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Viviane 05-03-02 7
  RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Viviane 05-03-02 2
     RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB katharine kanter 05-03-02 4
         RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB AEHandley 05-03-02 6
             RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Viviane 05-03-02 8
                 RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Robert 05-03-02 9
         RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Jim 05-03-02 10
  RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Sonia 07-03-02 11
     RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Sonia 07-03-02 12
         RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB Viviane 07-03-02 13

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Brendan McCarthymoderator

05-03-02, 02:37 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 05-03-02 AT 02:38 PM (GMT)

Katharine - that has brightened my day considerably. Thank you! I particularly loved your account of Vello Pahn's conducting.

One question about 'bum lifts'. Isn't there one in Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee? Or are you referring to something quite different?


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Jim

05-03-02, 03:35 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #1
 
   LAST EDITED ON 05-03-02 AT 03:37 PM (GMT)

Good God. And to think I nearly booked to go and see this. Narrow escape, eh?
Brendan, I don't think Nadia Nerina or Lesley Collier could ever be compared with a tea towell


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AEHandley

05-03-02, 09:34 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #1
 
   There is indeed a bum lift (English version) in Fille - in fact they crop up all over the shop in the RB repertoire. They look nothing like what Katherine described! (actually I'm having trouble picturing what Katherine described - I think I'll go back to thinking about the Chagall cupola, which is indeed gorgeous).


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Viviane

05-03-02, 10:01 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #5
 
   >back to thinking about the
>Chagall cupola, which is indeed
>gorgeous).

hmmm...the Chagall cupola is gorgeous...only a pity he doesn't fit into the Opéra ! If it wasn't signed 'Chagall' I'm sure you'd hear other sounds !



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Viviane

05-03-02, 03:33 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #0
 
   Katharine, I always admire the courage of someone stepping out of a performance halfway
I simply can't ! Always thinking...maybe the best part comes next....and... up until now this behaviour wasn't very successful !
Concerning "Hurlevent", I 'dare' to ask if there is something recognisable in it about Bronte's novel ? And what about the scenery ?
R.Servin suggested to rework it into a more condensed form ?


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katharine kanter

05-03-02, 04:12 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON 05-03-02 AT 04:29 PM (GMT)

LAST EDITED ON 05-03-02 AT 04:18 PM (GMT)

There may be a Bum Lift in La fille Mal Gardée, but if there is one, I don't want to think about that right now.

Have not read Wuthering Heights since (cannot give number of decades or someone will realise how very ancient the present writer is)...suffice it to say that the ballet resembles nothing at all, and certainly does not seem to be set in England.

The sets are however quite lovely, though minimalist, some clever ideas, like those cliffs torn through by a wall of fire, achieved with few, but effective, means.

Kader Belarbi is a first-class dancer and mime, and a highly sympathetic individual withal, which is why I believe the entire city of Paris appears to have turned up at the Opera. There's not a single ticket save for standing room to be had.

Is there a solution to all this drab dullness ? Well, Nureyev gave an interview to a Paris newspaper, "Libération", roughly sixteen years ago (Yikes ! ), whilst he was POB Director. He said that he wanted to bring Bournonville's classes back to the Opera School, to bring back a true choreographic language, with advanced step combinations. It never happened. There were just too many feathers about, eagerly waiting to be ruffled.

The paucity of steps, of step combinations, that is what gets me down, down down. People do not choreograph today in balletic language, where the steps spring from the music like a branch from a tree, but rather in flotsam and jetsam, like the notorious Bum Lift.

Please, fellows, let us get those dancers up off the floor, up off sofas, up out of the dust-mites, or dog poo, or whatever it is, bowling about on the streets !

If there's no money for costumes, or sets, fine, let us get back to basics. Let us have jumps, let us have beats, let us have steps, let us have real enchaînements ! That is the craft of the choreographer. Living Theatre has been done already.


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AEHandley

05-03-02, 09:37 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #4
 
   Thank you for making me laugh out loud - it's a while since I've done that at these pages! It's a shame it was a rotten production but oh I did need a giggle. Actually, I would have given the production a wide berth anyway as I thought the book was utter tripe, but come to think of it that isn't usually a barrier to making a successful ballet.


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Viviane

05-03-02, 10:04 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #6
 
   >It's a shame it was a rotten production but oh I did need a giggle

After searching for other reviews, I'm not so sure it's a 'total' rotten production. Seems the second part was totally different ?


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Robert

05-03-02, 11:16 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #8
 
   I think Ismene Brown(Daily Telegraph) liked it. I thought of risking a trip to Paris but have always been unlucky with French strikes in the past. I would like to make my own mind up, but it appears to be booked up.


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Jim

05-03-02, 11:26 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #4
 
   >rather in flotsam
>and jetsam, like the notorious
>Bum Lift.

I feel totally convinced that the Bum Lift as desribed by Katharine is totally different to the one that I think is being referred to in Fille. In this (pioneered of course by David Blair with Nadia Nerina) Lise rises up from a crowd of girls, lifted triumphantly by Colas who holds her high above his head on one arm (i.e. his hand is supporting her bum)- rather different I think to the description Katherine gives of being folded like a tea-towell.


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Sonia

07-03-02, 08:46 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #0
 
   >(With my excuses to ballet.co -
>have posted this on Ballet
>Alert as well - lack
>time to write two separate
>reviews.
>
>Saw it on Saturday night March
>2nd. Or rather, saw Act
>One. Walked out before
>Act Two, along with a
>musician friend, who spent the
>hour scrutinishing the cupola's Chagall
>fresco. He found it
>more action-packed.
>
>Terribly boring. So boring, that
>events in orchestra pit more
>worthwhile. Vello Pahn conducting.
> Turgid, difficult score.
>Orchestra wide awake - unusually
>- to navigate serried ranks
>of obstacles.
>
>Pahn regularly conducts for the ballet,
>had clearly sat in on
>rehearsals, and realised that the
>ballet was a/ unmusical and
>b/that the dancers were going
>strictly by the counts, so
>no worry about their phrasing,
>rubato etc.
>
>He accordingly did not raise his
>eyes to look at the
>on-stage debacle once. Conducted
>straight through, on automatic pilot.
>Seemed to be enjoying himself.
>
>
>Had been looking forward to Mr.
>Belarbi's new work. Sorry
>news: this particular piece
>is warmed-over Pina Bausch, with
>snatches of Agnes B. de
>Mille.
>
>Incidentally, the world has had enough
>of Bum Lifts. A
>Bum Lift is a thing
>"pioneered", if that is the
>word, by that woman Pina
>Bausch. The man picks
>up the girl, who is
>folded in two like a
>tea-towel, and presents her bum
>to the audience. She
>then straightens her legs, going
>from tea-towel, to shower-curtain.
>Strictly for cellulite lovers, as
>Clement Crisp has remarked on
>another memorable occasion.
>
>Bournonville did not like lifted at
>all. Perhaps there was
>something of the prophet about
>him after all. Perhaps
>he knew that Pina Bausch
>was in the pipeline.
>
>Cannot blame the dancers, but every
>one on stage save for
>the Misses Pujol and Daniel
>staggered about as though they'd
>rather be out night-clubbing.
>
>Two hours of bedlam, with
>roughly two minutes worth of
>actual steps. The current
>"Directeur de la danse", Brigitte
>Lefebvre, is one of the
>Popes of Modern Dance.
>It shows.



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Sonia

07-03-02, 09:33 AM (GMT)
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12. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #11
 
   I disagree with the with the above criticism, I saw both casts dance "Hurlevent" and enjoyed both enormously, the first having the edge Gillot and LeRiche < of which I saw two performances> Belingard, more precise than LeRiche, Gillot,wonderful,her forte is modern dance, such beautiful long limbs, Romoli a marvellous Hindley,he was with both casts as Delanoe did not dance on the Saturday.
Bart as Egar superb,his dacing so light and elegant, Paquette very nice, and Abbagnato quite lovely,Talon another very goog modern dancer great working with both casts as the governess.
The costumes scenery clean and sharp,I especially liked the tree, maybe the sofas did not match with the rest.
One has to read the program notes to see what Belarbi is saying and understand his thoughts re Catherine and Heathcliff.
The first time of watching I found the music quite difficult, but on the next two occasions, it became easier and made more sense.
The audience loved the ballet, there were a couple of boos, after the first act on the 28th
I found this work one of the most interesting and I had seen for a long time in modern dance.
If you love classical dance than this ballet is not for you, but for those who love the sharp clean lines of modern,with a story please do not miss the ballet.
the evening of the 4th the production was recorded for French television, I am sure it will be shown on one of the art channels so judge for yourselfs.
I end by saying WELL DONE Kader, I look foreward to your next. work


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Viviane

07-03-02, 10:25 AM (GMT)
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13. "RE: Wuthering Heights (Hurlevent) at the POB"
In response to message #12
 
   Sonia, thank you for sharing your thoughts and shed a different light on this production !
Please, give us an alert when the ballet will be broadcast ?


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