So, the Wheeldon - Electric Counterpoint, brand new and all, only on its fifth performance . Can I mention the night started extremely well, thanks to getting a free, bad-work-memory-erasing, second round of margaritas at Wahaca? Anyway, music credited to Bach and Reich - I was happy about that. But. Oh, the but. The dancers each came on stage for little solos, accompanied by some Bach and their own voices speaking about how they felt about dance and while dancing, while a video of him/her performed behind on a screen, sometimes mirroring them, sometimes illustrating what they were saying. It wasn't bad, the dance and the video, but the movement was uninteresting (sadly on both parts) and the voiceovers were vapid. I mean, gosh, I'm sure the dancers are nice people, but all of it was a distraction from the dance, and the dance wasn't good. Mabel said the whole thing reminded her of "Creature Comforts," a TV show (I was told) in which normal people answer questions and their answers are then reproduced as claymation. Horribly, I think she was right.
The second half of the piece benefitted from having nothing but the live Reich to listen to, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't have a lot of energy or excitement - a quality sadly shared by the action on stage. I've seen Wheeldon do good couple work, and there were some moments when I got lost watching two people just dancing with each other, but mostly I just had no response to the performance at all. The videos weren't _always_ aggravating and I was mostly able to ignore them, but ... it just seemed like a big failure to me, one of those pieces that will get revived one more time and then fall out of rep. So it goes.
Next up was Jerome Robbins "Afternoon of a Faun," which, to my surprise, I realized I had seen before the one time we'd seen City Ballet in New York. It's a clever play on the traditional story, with a sexy dancer lounging about in a studio, but to be honest what I really want to see is the original choreography. I aslo wanted it to be longer. And I wanted a pony.
Finally it was time for Zigane, a Balanchine piece I'd not seen before. It was kind of fun and certainly better than the Martins I'd seen the night before, but in no way mindblowing - fun, well-executed filler that he probably crapped out at a nickle for the dozen back in the day. We all left together; if I'm going to be convinced of the genius of Ashton, it's far more likely to happen at _Sylvia_ than during a short work.
Anyway, I'm in Sicily right now, sitting in the back of a cab.and slowly starving while we wend our way to Taormina. The buses from Taormina to the airport only run until 5 or 6, a detail none of my guidebooks thought fit to share with me. And since I'm out of town anyway I'll be joining the one day blog strike. See you on Saturday (when I'll surely have a photo post), enjoy your long weekends, and remember, texting me is free!