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Subject: "Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #47
Reading Topic #47
Bruce Madmin

10-06-99, 11:53 AM (GMT)
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"Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
 
   Not particularly a review - just a tale of woe. I'm sure some more rounded and positive thoughts will emerge.

Er... don't have the programme to hand and therefore can't give the names of pieces - luckily they have already been expunged from my memory.

First piece was for the girls in White Oak. Performed in silence there was a bit of skipping, and a few other random movements. Eventually it developed into 2 girls doing a few movements. And then, rather surprisingly, others joined in from the slips. This most definitely slotted into my "I could choreograph better then this" category. Complete waste of time. The audience did not go wild and some people refused to clap at all. I can think of few worse opening to a night.

Baryshnikov then came out for the first time. A Japanese piece in which the vocalist sounds like he was dreadfully constipated and even with superhuman effort he seemed to find no solace. The sounds caused a few giggles, though one suspects it was all meant to be seen in reverent silence. The choreography was pretty grim and pretentious, BUT Baryshnikov impressed by the quality of his movement - such incredible control and precision. As the piece went on he seemed to take more of us with him. A lesser dancer would have looked very stupid.

First interval. Not very impressed seemed the overall view at that time.

Next piece was for 3 girls and to a mainly electronic score. What it was about I don't know - but I quite liked some of the music. The girls come on in short hoop skirts and perform some rather unimpressive modern dance in a pool of light. One collapses as if a story is being told. Lights out... not the end though, because the girls then emerge in new costumes and do it all again. Had all the UKs dance fans really turned out for junk like this I thought?

Second Interval. more dark mutterings from people. Somebody with tickets for Saturday night is offering them on. However by this time folks are looking forward to the Mark Morris - hopefully that will make the evening all worthwhile. But I don't overly like Morris and was in no mood to be wooed. Even if Guillem had poped out to do Grand pas Clasique I would probably not have enjoyed it by this time. So I went off home.

White Oak desperately need some accessible choreography. While Baryshnikov can probably carry off anything, no matter how bad, the reality is that he is not on stage all the time and the dire choice of work does nothing for the other dancers involved, or more importantly the audience.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Very Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Stuart Sweeney 11-06-99 7
     RE: Very Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Bruce Madmin 11-06-99 8
  Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's II Bruce Madmin 11-06-99 5
     RE: Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's II Carly Gillies 11-06-99 6
  Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Bruce Madmin 11-06-99 4
  RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Shirley 10-06-99 2
  RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Kate Robinson 10-06-99 1
     RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's Eugene Merrett 11-06-99 3

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Stuart Sweeney

11-06-99, 04:14 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Very Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #0
 
   Apart from the penultimate piece, I enjoyed the evening. In particular, the Mark Morris was excellent and by far the most balletic (bad luck Bruce) and I think the dancers were stronger than the Coliseum team, from memory. And Baryshnikov showed the musicality and charisma that make him such one of the greats.

If time permits over the weekend I will write more.


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Bruce Madmin

11-06-99, 05:40 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Very Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #7
 
   >In particular, the
>Mark Morris was excellent and by
>far the most balletic (bad luck
>Bruce)

I went out fully conscious that the Morris would be somewhat more 'balletic' - but I don't find Morris does much for me. Having wasted much time and energy seeing some dreadful stuff, the prospect of something which I might detest marginally less did not overly appeal. There is no bad luck here at all! The bad luck was going in the first place.

It might have been that 10 or 20 years ago we would have all sat and seen things through. But Life is too short and if companies present things which don't appeal, some folks are won't to find entertainment elsewhere.

I'm pleased that some more positive views are emerging and I hope that you are able to record your thoughts further - it would be great to have all the views captured. I'm also pleased that my view is not unique and that others thought it less then impressive and / or left also.


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Bruce Madmin

11-06-99, 02:01 PM (GMT)
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5. "Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's II"
In response to message #0
 
   Debra Craine in Times...

http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/99/06/11/timartdan02001.html?999


It's at times like this the critics make one feel strangely uneducated and out of it!

I remember a programme on the box about wine, in which a dealer in very rare clarets (I think) was saying that at the level they were trading - thousands for a case, one had a very cultivated taste and that normal wine drinkers would think it tasted horrible.

The question is who is more right - the super connoisseur who long since departed the reality of the masses or the masses? Neither is right of course - but hopefully somewhere in between lies a sane reality that most agree on.


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Carly Gillies

11-06-99, 02:59 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's II"
In response to message #5
 
   While I'm afraid that I found 3/4 of the program rather disappointing ( all the more so as opportunities to see dance in London are very limited for me ), I must say I found 'Dance with three drums and flute' totally fascinating and compelling. I've never seen anything like it and know nothing about Kabuki ( or even whether this is anything to do with Kabuki ) but Baryshnikovs control and grace were mesmerising, as was the sound/silence, movement/stillness contrast throughout the piece. I'd love to watch this again with the advantage of knowing what to expect.


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Bruce Madmin

11-06-99, 01:25 PM (GMT)
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4. "Positive Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #0
 
   Ismene Brown loved it...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000148269364269&rtmo=rhEtFm3X&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/99/6/11/btsad11.html


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Shirley

10-06-99, 03:08 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #0
 
   Total agreement ! Mark Morris piece much better - real music and dance !!Probably would not stand out however in any other bill however !!


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Kate Robinson

10-06-99, 01:51 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #0
 
   Ditto, Bruce. I left at the second break.


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Eugene Merrett

11-06-99, 12:13 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Thoughts on White Oak at Sadler's"
In response to message #1
 
   But the Times liked it! However it does not sound like my cup of tea! I will give it a miss!


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