Went to see some ballet Sunday afternoon,
The Grand Théàtre de Genève Ballet Company, with three pieces choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, or He of the hilariously-balletical last name. Also he of the choreography for Black Swan. Also he of Natalie Portman.
You guys, I was a little worried: had been up and at the Rose Bowl at 8am for the MS Walk, which Mr. Adult Beginner and I have been doing every spring for like ever, with our friend who’s a big team leader and a bunch of other friends who also do it every year,
And then on the way to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion we stopped at Phillipe’s for lamb and blue cheese French-dipped sandwiches, and a pickle,
So chances were pretty good that with all that activity and yummy food, the lights would go down and I’d Immediately Fall Asleep.
Like a chicken.
It’s happened before.
And I didn’t even have this whole baby thing as an excuse that other time.
So here’s the pre-show chatter:
AB: oh good, the first piece is set to Philip Glass.
Mr. AB: Smartass.
AB: hey, I thought the website said that Marc Jacobs did the costumes?
Jbro: yeah, it did, but the program says Paul Cox???
AB: weird. Hey, how were the costumes for that Snow White you saw?
Jbro: Ballet Preljocaj! They were sexy! By some French fashion dude?
AB: um, Jean Paul Gaultier!
Jbro: yeah that sounds right, I guess we’re supposed to know who he is or something?
AB: I love you.
Jbro: the Evil Queen was like a dominatrix!
Mr. AB: oh, Gaultier did a dominatrix, que’el surprise.
And then the lights went down and I immediately did Not fall asleep!
First up was Amoveo. With the Philip Glass.
How do dancers dance to Philip Glass? I mean, when the music is all noodle-y and there’s nothing in particular to keep count to, how do they do it? Is there a metronome backstage that the audience can’t hear? Do they just remember to start each new phrase when the weird spoken-word voice-over says David Cassidy? What?
Amoveo has really fun costumes, all bright colored t-shirts and pants and little skirts, reminded me of Feist’s 1234 video. Lots of different groups dancing with lots of color, and then everyone would run off stage except the girl with the yellow T and green skirt and boy with green T and yellow pants, kind of like how theater costume designers often do color-grouping in Shakespeare, so you can keep track of which couples are supposed to be together despite their star-crossedness. Totally wanted them to all magically end up with their color-mate at the end, but they didn’t.
It would’ve been awesome! The odd man out, dancer #11, he could have taken his bow with both couples he sort of matched! Hilarious! But oh well.
In other news, Mr. Adult Beginner still got no love for ballet’s Excessive Bow Process.
Second up was Le Spectre de la Rose. Totally fun, totally silly, lots of giggling from the audience. Really funny sleep-dancing from the female lead, who has the fantastical name of Sarawanee Tanatanit. Loved it. Not the Spectre I was expecting from my Nijinski books, much younger, less draaaaaama, more fun.
And third, Les Sylphides. My favorite of this piece was a segment performed repeatedly, by a couple people, then by those people plus more, then by all those people plus even more, so you know it’ll end with the whole cast all together and you Hope the visual pay-off is enough and then Yes! they all run out and repeat the phrase and it’s So Many People and the audience is totaly lol-ing!
So yeah, I really liked it.
Good show, Mr. Millepied.
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