The ballets represented in the "Black and White" series are arresting examples of Jiri Kylian's style and fully justify his reputation as one of the most inventive and daring choreographers on today's dance scene. The vita... more »lity of his work in underpinned by a musically so innate from the same impulse. Dances: "Sarabande" with music by Bach, "Petite Mort" with music by Mozart, "Sweet Dreams" with music by Webern, "No More Play" with music by Webern, "Falling Angels" with music by Reich, "Six Dances" with music by Mozart. 98 minutes.« less
Ashley K. (asmkern) from W FRANKFORT, IL Reviewed on 2/1/2010...
The creativity in these dances is hard to take your eye off of. The concepts are a bit out of the ordinary, but the choreography and the dancing is so good that it leaves you wanting more.
Wow... what else can I say?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was more than impressed with this DVD. Often when dance is filmed, you lose the dance...there are many close-ups (usually of the face) and many quick cuts which don't allow the viewer to feel as if she (or he) is seeing the full stage. Therefore, much of the choreography is lost. Not so here! This is an expertly filmed production that allows the viewer to forget that they are viewing a DVD and instead, it seems that the viewer is seeing the dance unfold on a stage. Kudos! If only all dance was filmed with this philosophy in mind. Additionally, the quality of the DVD is great. It isn't grainy or blurry. Rather, the quality is better than most DVD/videos. It is as close to live performance as one can get in this medium.The reviewer from IL speaks wonderfully of Kylian's choreograhic feats, and I agree. My personal favorite is also Petite Mort, and I would buy the DVD if Petite Mort were the only offering. This work is breathtaking and inspiring."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent DVD! Kylian's choreography is inventive and seamless. The transitions in all partnering are amazingly smooth and performed to perfection. The six ballets presented are all very diferent in style and feeling though bound together by their color theme as well as the reoccurance of a set of black baroque dresses. I enjoyed them all except for Sarabande which - though it had it's interesting moments - I found to be rather teadious. My absolute personal favourite must be Petit Mort with it's beautiful score, simple costumes and impressive and inovative movement vocabulary, very clearly drawing on classical technique but going it's own way entierly - allowing for freedom in motion. I highly reccomend this DVD and had no problem viewing it."
Jack Kirven | Charlotte, NC | 03/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"man, every time i see kylian's work i'm inspired to be a better dancer -- his people are so fluent in their bodies and in their art. i can only imagine that it must be so rigorous, satisfying, and challenging to learn this choreography. the physicality is exciting, the humor is intelligent, and the musicality is sensitive without becoming predictable. i enjoy this dvd very much and strongly recommend it to dancers, choreographers, amateurs, dance historians (bizarre use of costumes/props --> classical european references are strange and not altogether clear for me, but the use of these references is endearing nontheless), musicians, and other artists interested in using movement in their designs/collaborations. my personal favorite is "no more play," but webern is my favorite composer and i've choreographed a solo to this piece of music, so i'm biased"
Mixed feelings about the dancing; awesome videography
J. Lizzi | Costa Mesa, CA | 12/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a collection of six dance works, all choreographed by Jiri Kylian, and all danced by the very accomplished artists of Nederlands Dans Theater. The six works are similar in genre, what I would describe generally as a combination of inventive modern movement, posturing and lifts, mixed with a few elements of classical ballet. Although the technical artistry throughout is good, only the latter two pieces held my attention; during the first four I had to struggle to keep my focus. Still, I'm glad I bought this because I enjoy all types of dance, and I view this as definitive presentation of stylized work by an important contemporary choreographer.
With all due respect for the other reviewers, my lower-than-awesome rating should NOT be construed as a "thumbs down" for this DVD, but rather as reflective of my taste for what I saw in comparison to other modern choreographers (for example, Nacho Duato's work in the "Three By Duato" disc, which I consider to be among the best for modern dance).
Kylian presents in these works a minimalist viewscape of costume and sets. The performers are very simply dressed, there is very little in the way of props, and the lighting is used most often to create shaped "platforms" upon which the dancers pose, all of which is perfectly fine; "lavish" is not a word that accords with this genre. Each work in the series ranges in run-time from 13 to 19 minutes, alternately featuring flashes of whimsical acting, some Egyptian-like poses, impressive balancing, interesting modern pas de deux, and occasionally fast-paced movement. In my opinion, there was too much of what I'd term "robotic" motion in place of fluidity. I watched intently during the first four pieces, trying hard to take in as much as possible, but alas, I tended to lose my concentration. Much better were the last two pieces, entitled "Petite Mort," featuring a series of pas de deux danced to Mozart, and "Falling Angels," showcasing some excellent choreography to an all-percussion soundtrack ("Drumming Part 1" by Reich). I thought these two were several notches above the others in terms of presentation and interpretation. Fans of Kylian will no doubt like all six.
Like the name of these ballets, the music in these six pieces was also quite a contrast: classical versus contemporary; Bach and Mozart versus Anton Webern and Steve Reich; melody versus sound effect. Sorry to say, the composition of sounds in the Webern pieces (in "Sweet Dreams" and "No More Play") may have been a factor in my not staying involved in the dancing.
Bravo: of all the dance DVD's I own, this one has THE BEST videography of them all. Especially noteworthy is the use of a mobile boom-mounted camera that captured unique vantage points to bring the viewer practically right onto the stage. The editing is absolutely first-rate, mixing wide angle, with mid-distance and close-up views, the result being that I was always looking at exactly where my eyes wanted to be. This would be a great teaching video for studying camera work.
Overall, I would recommend this DVD to collectors of dance performances, or to students of dance/choreography, especially fans of Kylian."
A taste of truly great coreography.
Jorge Salinas | Monterrey, Mexico | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jiri Kylian is one of the best choreographers alive and this is one of his most accomplished works.
The image quality is good and so is the audio, in terms of DVD production. I would have liked an interview a commentary or some other info on the pieces, but then again the important part of the work is there, and that is the dance display.
In terms of range of interpretation, Kylian is master, while some other choreographers have a single emotion or a very focused subject portrayed throughout a piece, his work encompasses a variety of expressions that can sometimes make you laugh and at other times drive you to introspection. He plays with light and shadow to give them their proper role as characters on stage and to somehow act as a territory for the development of the scenes, since there are no clear stage lines and depths. One thing that I particularly find marvelous is that the movement never or rarely feels improvised as in some contemporary dance proposals, and the quality of performance is flawless, brusqueness is true brusqueness and a sinewy arm is soft and carefully blended with another arm. The action, when there are a lot of elements on stage is not hard to follow, and the graphic aspect of the dance is well balanced at the micro and macro level, so it respects the viewers choice of perspective without the sense of losing a vital piece of the work.
All in all, it is a must in every dance lover's video library."