Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Is this a restaging of the last of Bigonzetti's juvenilia or
J. Faulk | New York NY USA | 10/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1993 the choreographer and the ballet company music consultant Peride Bonetta raided their record collections to make this Mediterranea collage. It's an uneven assortment favoring Turkish music,with dubious choices to evoke southern Europe, with monstrous North Africa paid scant attention by a single selection from runty Tunisia. Now this Sampler disk/tape remains archived for use anywhere without bothering the orchestra.
The DVD booklet neglects to list the 15 pieces, so the research fell to me:
(1) Anakrousis (ancient Greece), Gregorio Paniagua/Madrid Atrium Musicae. The esoteric term refers to "the beginning of a song." Took me an $0.89 download from Amazon to discover it's the 2-3 second bang-and-whistle that launches the Sea-Man into a leap, and is used three times in the "score." (2) M. Marais, Folies d'Espagne, perf. Jordi Savali. (3) Belle Yolanz (France), perf. Esther Lamandier. This 12th-13th century trouvere love song is split into two appearances in the "score." Since it's sung in Old French, it's as obscure as Chaucer. (4) Battements (Tunisia), perf. Anouar Brahem. (5) Segah Pashervi (Turkey), perf. Brian Keane (6) Chargah Sirto (Turkey), Brian Keane (7) Pasa una mujer llorando (A woman stops crying; Spain), perf. Carmen Linares. This underpins the Baggage Lady pas de deux. (8) Imaginary Traveler, Brian Keane. (9) Mignolo (Sardinia), accordionist Antonello Salis. (10) G. Ligeti, from Quartet No. 2, perf. Quartetto Arditti. Brief; plucked strings and a glissando, but baiting back Belle Yolanz. (11) Improvvisazione (Turkey), percussionist Djamchid Chemirami. (12) W. A. Mozart, from Sonata alla turca, perf. Maria Joao Pires. This intrusion of bright genius elicits audience applause. (13) Karsilama (Balkans), perf. Nikola & Friends. (14)P. Palestrina, Kyrie, perf. Tallis Scholars. Religious uplift at last. (15) J. Cabanilles, Entrada (Spain), organist Francis Chapelet.
The listener may lose his place as tracks run into each other or may even overlap or reappear. The finale is a mini-collage of some pieces.
The backdrop purports to be an olive tree. Really? It is fronted by a big fallen trunk, whose white extender on the right should have been camouflaged.
Costumes include black "swimwear'" long pants, red sheaths split up the legs to the panties or scooped up the center to the bra. Soft slippers, no en pointe. Everyone switches to white for the religious uplift at the end.
At the outset, Man of the Sea and Man of the Earth meet for the first time, in silence. This is The Birth of the Mediterranean Sea. Wouldn't you think one of these elemental forces would be danced by a woman? They grab onto each other in tectonic foreplay, thousands and thousands of years ago. In the next hour, finally leading to the Palestrinian pinnacle of 16th century Roman Catholicism, thirty dancers will run on and off, endeavoring to maintain the idiosyncratic vocabulary of the guest choreographer which avoids ethnic details. There are solos, lots of pas de deux's that are mechanical links with no interest between partners, various formations. Abstractions and more abstractions, raising heart rates but shunning narrative. All photographed traditionally, full body and full stage. Not polished enough because the choreographer is new to them, the opening date is set, and there's a movie crew to pressure the whole project. (The movie, same as the DVD of course, was shown as a special-interest item in the States and elsewhere.
A WOMAN STOPS CRYING
In the pas de sexism, a compact female is strapped into a broad leather belt with handles on front and back. Muscleman spots her, advances slowly but surely, grabs her "love" handles, and mercilessly manhandles her, You Baggage! It hurts, she's shamed, her face contorts, but somehow she knows she deserves it. Kind of an apache Italiano.
Another female should have been confined to the mob scenes. She's long boned, long necked, anorexic. She hasn't the muscle to steady her levers and is ever rubbery. In her two pas de deux's, her partner struggles as with five broomsticks. I look forward to seeing her in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum or The Dying Flamingo. (Easy for me to say who never mastered the boxstep.)
I'm still a big Bigonzetti supporter, but Mauro my love, this ballet IS juvenilia."