Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Stravinsky's Pulcinella - Busoni's Arlecchino|
Actors: Alessandro Riga, Marco Alemanno, Filippo Adami
Director: Lucio Dalla
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
PJR | Minneapolis, Minnesota United States | 03/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this and am giving it five stars on that basis. Hey! I am not a ballet critic! I am the first person to review this for Amazon and that is not right. I don't know these works and only watch ballet now and then.
There are two discs of performances staged at Bologna.The first is Stravinsky's Pulcinella. I don't know the story, but this did not matter much to me. I loved the music and the dancing and the editing and they all fit togther really well to complement each other. It was a pleasure to watch.
The "story" was another matter. All I got out of it was that we are pretty insignificant and silly creatures. The dancers spent a lot of time interacting socially in a setting that was evidently a huge Wall Street office early 20th century with a background that looked rather industrial. I found it all attractive. Perhaps someone else will explain the story in this production better. I would be curious, but again I thoroughly enjoyed the art and talent without knowing the story.
There are added features but they are all in Italian so far as I can tell. I needed the English subtitles for the ballet itself because there were some singing parts about love and "mushy stuff like that." Obviously a lot of the socializing is flurting and passing relationships, but nothing in this production obviously deeply passionate as in grand opera or some other ballets. At some point the hero seems to be contemplating suicide, but it is not convincingly tragic. Maybe we are creatures too trivial to be tragic.
The second disc is Busoni's Arteccino. Not my favorite music, but alright. Also staged in Bologna. It is also sort of comic and probably that is why they are boxed together.
The attraction here for me was the staging. It is just fun. The video starts out with the protagonist being driven in an ambulance through the streets of Bologna. He is seated in the audience in an overcoat while the audience seats fill up. The orchestra fires up and he stands up and rips off his overcoat and is half naked and runs around the audience telling them what a great production they can expect. He then spray paints his body with colored spots and the Harlequin goes on stage.
The stage sets are artsy and attractively fun. The acting style is light. The singing is lighthearted. The costumes are fun without being the sort of ragged look that has been so much in style for a long time in "fun" theatre (thanks).
Is the story interesting? I will have to get back on this after a second viewing. Frankly I was thinking mostly about the sets and costumes and trying to get in the right mood to appreciate the music, which as I said was not my favorite kind of music. It was actually more "modern" than the Stravinsky! The opera debuted in 1917 and was written in German but here is performed in Italian. Works for me. Again there are added features on this disc.
It seemed worth trying to get used to the musical treatment because the style of the opera's play is basically Commedia dell'arte 16-18th century, while the music has even flavors of Schoenberg! I think it does work artistically, but then this was a new enough experience for me to digest that I was distracted from the story.
This is a keeper. I will go back to it for entertainment and also for further contemplation. I might even go to Bologna to the ballet and opera!"