Sunday, June 10, 2007

American Ballet Theatre

Yesterday, I saw a production put on my American Ballet Theatre at the Met. My response to it shows either how much of a lowbrow redneck I am or how I ought to become a choreographer myself. I had a great appreciation for the music-- its rhythm and thematic development. The movement of the dancers however too often had nothing to do with the rhythm and theme of the music at that time. I'm sure the twirls and leaps were flawlessly executed and perhaps it took years of study for someone to even be able to design such a dance. But it's as if you can achieve greatness without being good.

I'd be sitting there enjoying the music, tempted to move my hands along to it as if I were the conductor. I imagined moving my whole body to it out on that floor after a few glasses of wine. But then I'd see the dancers violently thrashing out a complex piece that ignored the changes in theme that the music was undertaking.

One of my favorite dance tunes is Everybody Dance Now by C.C. Music Factory. The last time I danced to it with my wife, years ago, I was moving so fast that she worried I was going to give myself a heart attack. But then there are slow parts to the song where it really slows down-- there's just a few drum beats and no BAH BAH BAHBAH BAH of the synthesizer. Looking around the dance floor at this part of the song, I always wonder why some folks didn't slow down at that point in the song too-- they keep up the frenetic pace of movement which has nothing to do with the song. It's as if these people went on to become ballet choreographers.

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