18 October 2007

The ballet is TIGHTs! (that's a slang pun).

Last night I went to City Center to see Christopher Wheeldon’s premiere of “Morphoses.” As a person who knows relatively little about ballet, besides my two-year stint as a ballerina around the ages of 5/6 (which coincided with my stint as a tap dancer…god I hope those cowgirl pictures of me tapping in the fringe skirt and sequins never surface) and know who Mikhail Barishnikov is (who, by the way I SAW outside of the theatre last night. But just to prove how much of a non-ballet-focused person I am, my first thought after my eyes popped out of my head was “OMG! Alexandr Petrovsky!! Why were you such a dick to Carrie?!?).

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes. As a person who knows relatively little about ballet, it was….AWESOME.

Which I think was kind of Wheeldon’s point, from all the press I’ve read (his publicist needs a pat on the back).

Check out this New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/arts/dance/30solw.html
And this week’s New York Magazine article: http://nymag.com/arts/classicaldance/dance/features/39314/

Wheeldon wants to bring ballet to the young folks…and make it fun, youthful and sexy. Mission accomplished, sir.

About a month ago, Sarah B. sent me a list of various events she wanted to attend and if I wanted to go to any with her. Given my budget I only allowed myself one. Between picking from various ballet and theatre events she listed, as well as an Arcade Fire concert (and you all know how much I like Arcade Fire), as soon as I looked up the description for Morphoses, I was sold. I think the nail in the coffin was the fact that Wheeldon brought in Narciso Rodriguez to do the costumes. I figured, even if I hated the show, I could appreciate the outfits.

I didn’t hate the show. In fact, I was mesmerized. During the second part of the show, each ballet was introduced by a short behind-the-scenes rehearsal film, which I thought added an entirely new and interesting element to the presentations.

The real jaw dropping show was the last piece: Fool’s Paradise. My first reaction after watching it was “Did David Lynch direct this ballet?” So, OBVIOUSLY, I loved it. It was totally weird and sexual in a creepy yet awesome way that makes you want to watch it again. Which is how I feel about most David Lynch projects.

I know this premiere run is sold out in New York, but if Wheeldon’s company takes off, which I predict it will, I highly recommend catching a performance to ballet and non-ballet folks alike. A truly mesmerizing and interesting experience that will make you smile at times and scratch your head in wonder at others—a dichotomy that begs you to come back for more.

Final tidbit: According to his Playbill bio, Wheeldon choreographed the movie Center Stage, a cheesy guilty pleasure of mine (story-wise, the dancing at the end is tight though, so hats off to you, sir) which plays on the Oxygen Network AT LEAST once a week. That did not stop me from impulse buying the DVD at Target for $7.99, though.

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