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Subject: "Ulysses Dove" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2844
Reading Topic #2844

26-06-02, 01:36 PM (GMT)
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"Ulysses Dove"
   Is Ulysses Dove a seriously underrated choreographer? I ask, because I thought his piece 'Bad Blood' was quite the best thing in last night's Alvin Ailey performance at Sadler's Wells, streets ahead of the other three items on the programme, even the beloved 'Revelations'. The choreography of Bad Blood (a plotless piece) was clean, sharp, fresh and entirely original as far as I could judge. The dancers, six couples wearing uniform white leotards, performed steps and movements strictly inside the classical canon, but the piece seemed wholly contemporary, in particular the women's flying leaps into the men's arms and the way their legs entwined the men's bodies. The lifts, too, were beautiful - at one point, a woman's body, held aloft my a man, resembled a decoration on a Greek vase. The choreography looked somwhere between Balanchine and Forsythe (but far warmer and more human than anything the latter has ever produced). Another Balletcoer I spoke to in the interval liked the piece but objected to it's misogyny, which took me by surprise as I am normally quite hot on misogyny but didn't spot any here. Perhaps I was just too blown away by the whole thing to notice any gender issues.

I've admired Dove's work since I saw a documentary on TV several years ago about his work with the Royal Swedish Ballet on another of his pieces 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven'. I was impressed then by his fluent and original choreograhy and also very moved, because, as he said himself, the piece was done to release his grief at loss of several friends (from Aids-related illnesses, something which I believe caused his own death not long afterwards). But I was more moved by the fact that he seemed to be just discovering himself as a classical choreographer - it was as if he had been released by the Swedish dancers to find his true vocation.

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