Thursday, June 18, 2009

WATCH OUT, IT'S A LUVVIE MOMENT...



I realised last night that the reason for going to see opera or ballet, for me at least, is the peak moment. I'm not so interested in technical accomplishment, the set design is not usually stimulating enough to hold my attention and the costumes shouldn't distract from the performance. I'm not thinking about any of those things. Just trying to lose myself to the point where I'm not distracted by the trombonist in my eye line looking bored when he doesn't have to play, or even aware of each composite part making up the whole. This state is not that easy to achieve but last night, during the all too short Le Spectre de la Rose segment of the Ballets Russes performed by the English National Ballet at Sadlers Wells, I was briefly lost in the moment. From then on, The Dying Swan, (tutu designed by Herr Lagerfeld, the incredible strength needed in the arms to perform it) Faune, (two male dancers and two grand pianos) and the bonkers crazy freakout of The Rite of Spring (which provoked riots at its first performance in 1913 by the original Ballets Russes in Paris) was just a seamless whirl of motion. Ah, to be transported. I sound like such a luvvie: Oh! Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Fokine, Balanchine, Bakst, Anna Pavlova...can't help it, it evokes so much. I wish I had been around to see the real Ballets Russes, or that there existed today a true modern equivalent of the creative collaboration between great artists in different fields, pushing a medium forward as they did.


Making the wings for the Karl Lagerfeld designed tutu at Lemarie.

Here's a video of KL's tutu in action at Chanel HQ in rue Cambon.

Here's a good article about the centenery of Ballets Russes.

Here's
the trailer for the Ballets Russes documentary.

Before I float away on a cloud of tulle, here's a quote from the increasingly quotable KL (Alzheimers?):
"I think every designer of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century has a touch of influence from the Ballets Russes. It is not something you can put into words. That would be kind of pretentious and not true. If you are good with words you can make hours about this kind of bullshit."
{image source}

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh lovely post!!!

and yes of course i wanted to be a ballerina when i was a child...and so when i get the chance to see a ballet...it is forever magic for me and i am always in awe when i realise what the human body can do.

i heard about this film...and must see it....
nancy

Juliet said...

Can such a beauty even exist? I love ballet, as a child I used to cry to mom that I wanted to go for a classes, but we lived way too far away from the nearest dance school.
So it kind a broke my heart and left this desire for beauty.

juliet xxx

Bombay Beauty said...

I agree with you -- and would go a step further. I'm willing to risk everything for such a moment. Well, perhaps everything is going to far. But I would rather go to an opera that has a 1/10 chance of being sublime and a 9/10 chance of falling flat than something that will always be good but rarely transporting...

The ballet, unfortunately, doesn't do it for me -- love the concept, but just don't lose myself in the movement the way I do with the human voice in the opera...

BB

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I went a few times to the Diaghilev Exhibition in Groningen ( I live nearby ) in 2005 and loved it all . Karl Lagerfeld's tutu is beautiful , of course . It's not Alzheimers ....just the increased outrageousness age allows .....I'm old enough to know !

Anonymous said...

I experienced something similar at two shows of Pina Bausch (modern dance coreographer) and her ballet company. Highly recommended...
xxx
Mia