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This production uses explosive noises and fire and smoke effects

[ремарка в программке MET]

13 января, пятница. [вы уже насторожились -и не зря]

Офис в даунтаун. Диалог с электриком*: с 9утра до 6 веч., звонком, текстом и email.

-Samuel,  so you’ll be available for work tomorrow? You know how to take down industrial ceiling fans? Can you load the fans and deliver them afterwards to an address on LES? Great. Please note you need to bring your own ladder, the ceiling is 12’h. Please give me your quote.

-ET, I will call you in an hour, because I need to talk to my helper, make sure he’ll be available tomorrow.

-Samuel, I’ve been waiting for 2 hrs. Did your helper confirm?

-ET, Oh yes, he’ll do what I say. I don’t need to ask him. I have to find 8′ ladder. I’ll call back

-Samuel, did you find the ladder

-ET, I don’t have a ladder. My quote is $50/per fan, plus “expenses”. Total of $400

-Samuel, the price seems fair [heavy sigh aside]. I’ll bring a checkbook. Were you able to find a ladder?

-ET, don’t worry, if I said yes, I mean yes.

-Samuel, here’s the address:”…”, please confirm you’ll be there at 11am.

-Samuel? Please confirm appointment

-ET, do they have power on premises? If not, I will bring portable lights on batteries. I borrowed the ladder. My total with transportation is $600 [!]. See you tomorrow at 11am.

7:30-9:30 веч., Метрополитан Опера в Линкольн Центре, Севильский Цирюльник. Райские голоса, смешной коротышка-мексиканец Альмавива, по пояс Розине-южноафриканке в кокетливых рюшах. Петренко в качестве Дона Базилио трубит басом и сшибает шляпой-доской честную компанию. Фигаро возвышается над всеми нескладной шведской каланчой, но подбоченивается и поёт вполне аутентично. Кибитка удалая#15 ведомая смирным милым осликом, раскладывается откидными коробами, полными пилюль, париков и ленточек: чудеса сценографии. Девицы, изображающие подружек Фигаро, милуются на крыше сами, без его участия. К концу действия все распелись, публика разогрета, в зале счастье и даже, кажется, запахло воздухом Mediterranean.

9:35pm. Aнтракт. Русские дамы с недоотбеленными хвостами из партера справа гордо несут в фойе меха и бриллианты. На пустые места слева пересаживается пожилая пара, мы вступаем в любезную болтовню. Сзади увлечённо беседуют два биржевика. Гул, смех, шарканье старичков, беготня девиц по проходам.

Начинается 2 отделение. Восторг в зале, веселье на сцене. Фиоритуры, хлопки выстрелов, крещендо к концу – знаменитая сцена с лестницей**. Конец, поклоны, аплодисменты.

Включаю телефон, выключенный по просьбе капельдинеров. Текст за 9:16pm:

Samuel: ET, I will not work tomorrow. Can’t fit ladder on the roof on my van.

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Light of Odeon

Transfixed by magnetic radiance of European culture, I took an after-work train from the Rockefeller Center to Harvey Theater of BAM. Phaedre

Who could’ve resisted this shining Pleiades of words: Greek tragedy*Queen Phaedra*Euripides & Seneca*Odeon-Theatre de l’Europe*Isabelle Huppert* !

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Let’s try to make Chaz feel better.
-“former ballerina” means she is overweight (or anorexic), her knees are shot, she walks awkwardly and has two favorite conversation topics: weight-loss diets and gossiping
-“lifestyle journalist” – she has no profession; she is using her connections from the time she has been a dancer to support her own expensive lifestyle habits by giving BS advice to others.
-“also an architect” – maybe after her ballet career was over…but I doubt it. Architecture requires at least 8 yrs of professional education; say she retired from the stage at 35…OK, at 30. how old, you think will she be by the time she can actually design and build something? Also, Architects usually able to support themselves by actual work, not “lifestyle” advice – or they are not architects. The only overlap between an architect and ballerina could be an enormously inflated ego.
-“headscarf, glamorous shades and a skill to sit luxuriously” – it’s all she has left for sale.

[all of these considerations will not stop me from trying to get to the performance of Ratmansky ballet Golden Cockerel by ABT at Lincoln Center tonight]

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Впечатления смешанные.
Хорошее:
Лопаткина хороша. Сочетание невероятной точности движений и мягкости приземлений, плавных переходов и отточеных поз, технического совершенства с эмоцией. Особенно прекрасны – Павлова и Чекетти с Павлом Беляковым (поставлен Нимейером для Плисецкой в 1971), вальс из Шопенианы с Андреем Ермаковым и конечно, Умирающий Лебедь в конце программы. Не Плисецкая, но очень и очень.
Прекрасна была вся классика – или стилизация по классическим канонам. Всё вышеперечисленниое плюс Жизель: М.Ширинкина и В.Шкляров.
Очень, очень хорош оркестр. Сыгран с артистами идеально, ни одной сомнительной ноты, все соло – концертного уровня.

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So, yesterday, after receiving an email reminder from Todd Seavey, I went to Williamsburg art gallery to see him acting in a play loosely commemorating Reagan, unhinged capitalism and sexual views of Ann Rand – if that sounds weird, lefty-dogmatic and generally off the mark it’s because it was. Did I said it was “staged” (huge quotes signs) in Williamsburg?

When I got out of the L-train at Bedford Ave, the tone was immediately set by a “art-jazz” band on the subway platform. And then I went to the play.

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Определился паттерн. Хоть и всего из 3х случаев, но выявился. Господа, дался вам этот укротитель строптивых!

В сентябре 2007, в первый раз за много лет пошла я на встречу с классикой в БАМ. До того, конечно, был усвоенный в ср. школе трепет, Смоктуновский в фильме 60х, сонеты и Пугачихина интертрепация (именно так); всё, разумеется, в переводах на русский и в прочтении Маршака, или Чуковского, или Лозинского (а, может, и Пастернака…тепрь уже не помню).

Впечатление было сильное. Описано ещё вот тут.

Второй случай, полтора года тому. (more…)

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Dancing around the columns

Last week I went to the dance workshop, joint venture between  OpenHouseNY and Dancing in the Streets, just as I promised.

A beautiful, stately building. Calm and strong, overwhelmingly masculine, manly  enough to play with vignettes, curves, floral motifs and feminine silhouettes. Dynamic contrast in ceiling heights, masses of columns (solid! no joints!) and vaults vs. negative volume of air-filled rotunda. Classicism of 1840 – before nervous self-conscious opulence of late Victorians at the end of the century.

There was another aspect to my pleasure besides admiring taste of the architect: the joy of moving following the “built music” of the surrounding. Channeling the  millions of human shadows that over the time made that indentation in the marble floor of the hall. Letting myself abandon prosaic walking for freedom of lifting my arms, turn, turn again, move in the rhythm of the fluted columns. Exhilarated by performing for the audience of strangers.

Last time I danced in front of the audience – not as a spec in a nightclub crowd, but a performing artiste,  happened when I was 14, and it was in environment far removed from Federal Hall, in all senses – one of 12 clumsy but eager teenagers on a school stage in Tatarstan, “the land of evergreen tomatoes”. Even then I wasn’t much of a dancer, so naturally, my best dancing improve now is a bit…stiff. Luckily, that was not true of the others – there were actual professional dancers there, real talents, nimble of limb but also of thought expressed in movement. The first randomly compiled group of 6 (we were divided into 5 groups)  performed their sketch around vault and stocky heavyset columns of the cellar, and they managed to make it a coherent meaningful piece, as if they had a chance to rehearse it for months.

It was magical…if only those fluid and unrestricted dancers  didn’t try to express themselves verbally. Sigh.

In a follow-up discussion all of us were asked to answer inevitable simplistic questions like “How does place/site inform our perception of an artist’s work? “, “When you were watching the performance of others what thoughts it inspired in you?” etc.
and I felt like being whisked back to college,  to class sessions of “progressive” drivel (exploited women…numbing force of capitalist state…the Lie of Democracy…slaves who were definitely not allowed in this symbol of white dominance…in the cellar I thought of all those clerks, counting all this money, day after day and being paid pittance: there probably was a lot of theft!…Bronze figures on the balconies represent the ancient African queen-goddess Ishtar…it makes me think of all those women waiting in the window enclosures for their loved ones, lost in senseless wars…those repetitious figures in the ornament – they are mass-produced, destroying the Individual…etc, etc) Oh, poop!

I have a different set of questions. What makes people, so free in their self-expression while dancing, to be so conformist in their verbalized thoughts? Why the pretense of individuality, if all they say is a variation of a leftist-approved themes? Is it a requirement, a prerequisite for getting employed – to participate, with a serious look on their faces, in the mindless pretend game of “struggle with establishment” – when in reality they became part of an establishment of “rebels”, a sort of society of RINOs (Rebels In the Name Only)?

But I didn’t bother to ask.

To see more photos, please click on the Flickr widget at the right margin.

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