My Vicky Life


Posts tagged with "ballet"

Russian Hamlet,

the last ballet I saw that I actually enjoyed, because it wasn’t the same old Balanchine, Tharp, Taylor, and Robbins that I don’t care if I never see again as long as I live. It’s not exactly Shakespeare’s version, but the title character definitely has mommy issues, his girlfriend dies under odd circumstances, his father’s ghost shows up, the play’s the thing, and everybody goes off the deep end. The choreographer is Boris Eifman, described in the Wikipedia as being “known for his dark portrayals of anguished sexuality and extreme psychological states.” Considering what I blogged about earlier this evening, and considering my habit (or defense mechanism, you might call it) of trying to associate my angst-du-jour with art, it’s small wonder that this work suddenly crossed my mind after so many years. Nice to find the whole thing online.

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Now it’s really Christmas.

Omg, it’s happening AGAIN!!!

Omg, it’s happening AGAIN!!!

30 day music challenge

Day 16: One of your favorite classical songs.

I’m taking this to mean classical music (as opposed to classic rock or something), so I guess if you want to be technical, you’d have to choose something from around the time of Mozart in order for it to qualify as “classical.” I’m hardly a connoisseur, but I always liked Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, because you could joke around with it and sing "Mozart is locked in the closet, let him out, let him out, let him out" to the tune of the opening strains. (Try it, it works. And did you also know that you can sing most of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas?) Then there’s Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, which I guess is kind of on the cusp between classical and romantic. You might remember it from this portion of Disney’s Fantasia. I’m taking a bit of liberty with my ultimate selection, though, and offering up something I’ve blogged about before (usually, believe it or not, with a Brandon Boyd tie-in). It’s Claude Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun, which isn’t exactly classical - I think you’d have to classify it as impressionist, or post-impressionist, or something like that. All I know is, it may be over a hundred years old, but it’s pretty darn hot, and the ballet that went with it is even hotter. It shook people up pretty good in its day, and if you ask me, it’s still got it. Take a listen and see if you agree.

Jul 3
It’s happening AGAIN!

It’s happening AGAIN!

It’s happening again.

It’s happening again.

Not even the best magician in the world can produce a rabbit out of a hat if there isn’t already a rabbit in the hat.

- The Red Shoes

It wouldn’t be Christmas without The Red Shoes

When I was growing up, one of the syndicated TV channels out of New York used to show The Red Shoes every Christmas morning. There were no DVDs in those days, so it was the only time I ever got to see this film. It has since become my all-time favorite, not because it’s about ballet - because it isn’t, really - it’s more about the creative process and the choices you have to make if you want to be a great artist. This video is the entire 15-minute ballet sequence that takes place about mid-way through the picture. I’m posting it here as a Christmas gift to myself, and to everyone who appreciates great film, dance, and music. (By the way, the main character’s name in this movie is Victoria Page, so now you know where my Tumblr and Twitter names come from.)

Dec 5
I really do need to meet Brandon Boyd so I can ask him if he’s ever seen Afternoon of a Faun.

I really do need to meet Brandon Boyd so I can ask him if he’s ever seen Afternoon of a Faun.

This is off-topic, but I can relate it to Incubus if you bear with me for a second. This is a video of the hottest ballet in history, a little Art Nouveau number called Afternoon of a Faun. Though slightly abridged, and with poor picture quality, this video is the real thing, not the lame knockoff I just got back from seeing today. I mean, it was very nice, but not nearly as erotic as Vaslav Nijinsky’s original version, which pretty much rocked everyone’s world when it was first presented back in 1912. The music alone was considered obscene. No tutus, no pointe shoes, no fairy princesses, no swans, no Tchaikovsky. Just a young male animal experiencing his first sexual awakening and enjoying every awkward moment of it.

So I’m posting this video of Rudolf Nureyev in the original version of Afternoon of a Faun (music by Claude Debussy) as a way of venting my frustration with the fact that the ballet company in this town only seems to acknowledge the existence of a small handful of choreographers. Jeez, how much Balanchine, Robbins, and Tharp does one person need to see in a lifetime?

As for the Incubus connection, it’s a bit of a stretch, but the guy who first produced Afternoon of a Faun was a Russian impresario named Sergei Diaghilev, who was a huge fan of the artist Aubrey Beardsley. So is Brandon Boyd: