La fille mal gardée

5 06 2009

From a delightful ballet by Frederick Ashton that AG and I watched recently.

I commented to AG how I felt that this is the type of ballet you would bring children to. I also commented that as I posted earlier, the narrative skill and cleverness of this type of theatre are difficult to find these days not because of lack of technique, but because of a change of attitude. As AG put it, people have a hard time accepting that dance movements can contain any real meaning, probably because they have a hard time believing anything contains transcendent meaning. The best example of this, that I have also written of in the past, can be seen in the choreography of Mark Morris. Compared to Ashton, what we see in Morris is a resort to vulgar tricks and jokes in order to seem clever, intelligent, and “relevant”. But it is one thing to have a bunch of people dressed as barnyard chickens dancing on stage, but it is another to mimic sex acts in a public performance or have two men do a pas de deux in order to “deconstruct” male/female relationships. It seems we have lost a lot even in the comedic realm.

Here is another excerpt: