Friday, October 26, 2007

ABT: Clear, Leaves are Fading, and Fancy Free

What's the movie where that one character is always saying, "busy, busy, busy!"? I feel like it's a Disney movie or something. I don't know. That's been me this week. Wednesday I went to the ballet with Kir, Jenny, and Wendy (more on that below) and Thursday Wendy and I met our across the hall neighbor for the first time. He's lived there for about a year, but we weren't even sure what he looked like, which is so very New York, but not in a good way. Hey, I grew up in the suburbs, I'm used to the whole chatting with the neighbors thing. Anyway, he had a few friends over and invited us to come over and drink port and eat with various cheeses and such with them--seems like a nice guy. I'm pretty sure he's also the only other person on our floor who is under the age of seventy.

Then today I went up to a bar on the Upper East Side and met Jenny and some of her friends there to watch the Sabres game. So it's all been fun stuff, but I'm such a homebody that I find it exhausting. And on a sidenote, the whole having a life thing is really interfering with my blogging. I'm going to stay pretty busy through the weekend I think, but after that things should lighten up. Who knows, I might even get to catch up on some of my reading. I'm in the middle of a couple interesting books right now, and recently finished a couple other books that I'd like to write about. But anyway...

Wednesday I met Kir after work and the two of us walked over to a Japanese restaurant on 49th between 6th and 7th, where we met Wendy and Jenny for dinner. It was one of those places where the food is really cheap and they give you enough to feed an army. From there we walked up to City Center in the rain--which I normally don't mind, but it's been the nasty, drizzly kind of rain for the most part.

I really enjoyed everything we saw on Wednesday, although I feel like I missed bits of Clear and would need to see it again. Which I will, tomorrow, so it's a good thing I'm interested in watching it more than once. I'm not sure exactly what it's trying to say although I certainly get the impression that there's an emotion or idea there that it's trying to express.

I'm sure that I could do with seeing Leaves are Fading again as well--which I won't--but I did think that it's meaning was much more apparent and clearly expressed in the choreography. The Dvorak music it's set to is absolutely beautiful and the dancing, which is a meditation on love and memory and aging and the passing of time--or at least that's what I thought it was--fits it perfectly. I saw Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes (they're pictured above in the photo I stole from ABT's Web site) in this and thought that Kent was particularly beautiful. Everything about the role seems well-suited to her. Gomes was also a pleasure to watch. If you'd like to see the pas de deux they performed, you can see different dancers doing it here (embedding is disabled). Really quite lovely.

The final piece of the evening was Fancy Free which just seemed like a lot of fun not only for the audience but for the dancers as well. I mean, for all I know they loathe dancing it but they certianly managed to seem like they were having fun. The only choreography of Robbins that I'd seen previously was West Side Story and I really enjoyed watching Fancy Free because you can definitely see that Broadway/Musical Theater sensibility in it. It also seemed so quintessentially 40s with it's sailor costumes and gags. Which is neat because I quite like musicals and such from that era. Watching, it was like watching a musical except one where the story is told through the dancing/movement alone. As someone who has really never danced or used any non-verbal communication I think it's fascinating to see how people are doing that. I love it.

Tomorrow Wendy and I are going to see Clear again and the new Millepied and Elo works. Hopefully it's as enjoyable as Wednesday was.

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