The Buzz, 7-8: Blowing
in the Wind
Winds of War; Wind Cancels SF Ballet; Akram Khan Meets Sidi Larbi;
Karin Averty Meets Juliet in Farewell; Jill Johnston Revives Amsterdam
Copyright 2005 The Dance Insider
War of the Worlds
PARIS -- Returning from
my run to Montmartre this morning, just below the Bateau Lavoir,
the artist's residence where Picasso started disfiguring figures,
I spotted a woman bidding goodbye to an infant in a stroller held
by a suited man. (Yesterday, around 11:30 a.m. London time, I'd
strolled past the home and studio where he worked on "Guernica.")
I turned for an instant to look at the child, and he gave me an
anxious, almost girded smile, as if to ask: "What kind of world
have you brought me into?"
Four years ago, on September
11, 2001, I proposed, somewhat arrogantly -- I'm just a dance critic,
after all -- that the way to answer hate is with light, for which
you, as dancers, are a vehicle. Rather than give you more platitudes
after what Londoners are already calling their 'mini-9/11,' today
I'd like to ask you, dance insider, How and why does one continue
dancing in a time of hate and fear? If you have any ideas, please
let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can tell you,
with relief, that Josephine Leask, our London bureau chief, and
her family are fine, and I wish the same to all our London readers.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Mark Twain once famously
said that the coldest winter he ever spent was summer in San Francisco.The
San Francisco Ballet seems to have brought that weather with it
to its Paris season. If last night's temperatures here weren't quite
arctic, they were cold enough according to the dancers' contract
to cancel the scheduled opening of SFB's program 2 at the historic
National Archives, a.k.a. the Hotels Rohan/Soubise. The same cast
of the mixed Balanchine-Helgi Tomasson program will get another
shot tonight, temperatures allowing.
In what promises to
the the highlight of the 2005-2006 season at Paris's Theatre de
la Ville - Sarah Bernhardt, London's Akram Khan will pair with Belgium's
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in the world series of dance, as the two choreograph
and perform "Zero Degrees," October 11 - 16. Larbi, in case you
haven't been reading the Dance Insider the past three years, is
the hottest dance artist in Europe, long overdue on US shores. Meanwhile,
yesterday's news, the clearly spent Angelin Preljocaj, will open
the season at France's main dance theater with "Four Seasons," his
dull knife taking a stab at the Vivaldi music of the same name.
Preljocaj returns April 4 - 12 with what I can already predict is
the aptly named "Empty Moves (part 1)," (eek!) to John Cage's similarly
titled composition. About the only bright spot in this program commemorating
the Preljocaj company's 20th anniversary is a reprisal, on the Spring
program, of the 1989 "Noces."
Other highlights of
Theatre de la Ville's season at the Sarah Bernhardt include dance
photographer Lois Greenfield shooting and sharing her work live
for Australian Dance Theatre, Maguy Marin's "Umwelt," Ea Sola with
the National Ballet of Hanoi, new dance from Sasha Waltz & Guests,
a new Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker tryptique to George Benjamin, Bela
Bartok, and Claude Debussy, and Pina Bausch's latest creation, being
made in residency this year in South Korea. With other houses in
town, the theater will be co-presenting Rachid Ouramdane and a new
solo, as well as "Last Landscape," by and for Josef Nadj.
At Last Juliet
Speaking of "Noces,"
one of the finest interpreters I've seen of Nijinska's version,
the Paris Opera Ballet's Karin Averty, makes her farewell tomorrow
night at the Opera Bastille -- in a debut, the title role in Nureyev's
"Romeo & Juliet," to the Prokofiev score.
Johnston Revives Amsterdam
"One starts somewhere,"
writes Jill Johnston in the biography posted on her new web site,
www.jilljohnston.com. "My career
as a writer began in the minimal and marginalized field of dance
criticism. Despite, or perhaps because of, its low place on the
cultural totem pole, I had a compelling ambition to excel at it
and make it my own. I was twenty-something, and the time was the
late fifties, just when a great sea change in the American modern
dance tradition was underway. My aspirations as a critic were academic
and literary from the start. Certain analytic interpretive writings
of a prominent German dance critic were a model -- best applied
no doubt to history rather than to work of the moment. And it became
the moment -- so eventful and attractively shocking heading into
the sixties --that would arrest me." And her writing that would
arrest a generation of dancegoers and influence a generation of
dance and other journalists. Newly minted Johnston can now be found
on her web site, in the form of The Johnston Letter. Check out
the first, "Reviving Amsterdam"; it's must reading for septuagenarians
of all ages.