NYTimes’s website is rocking these days. First, NYTimes Chief Dance Critic Alastair Macaulay’s review of ABT’s opening night gala is now up. Read it here. Whoa, far more critical than anyone was of NYCB’s opening. I’m not trying to be thick, but I honestly don’t understand his paragraph on the excerpt from Othello, danced by Alessandra Ferri and Marcelo Gomes, and choreographed by Lar Lubovitch. This in particular is what I don’t get:
“This choreography pursued a hammy old dance-expressionist rule: ‘Never express an emotion to the left that you don’t also express to the right, preferably several times either way.'”
This is in the context of his contention that Ferri’s “willing victim” schtick didn’t really work and Gomes struggled with being “intense.” So, I don’t get it: is he saying Ferri did something wrong, Gomes did, they both screwed up together, or the choreography was nonsensical? And what does he mean by left and right — does he mean literally don’t do something one-sided or half-assed, or does he mean it in an art versus reason sense (don’t make an intellectual choice if you can’t back it up with the proper emotion), or in a political sense (Ferri’s willing victim and /or Gomes’s macho intensity were anachronistically and stupidly misogynistic for this day and age, making them disingenuous)? They’re all interesting points of view; I just want to understand! Oh wait, is he just saying either she needed to take it down a notch or he needed to take it up a notch? That makes sense, and is what I was saying as well (the second part, rather). Well, everyone just go see Othello and we’ll all figure Macaulay out together 🙂 …
Also, they have a video of the gala here with some rather amusing commentary by former Wonder Woman Linda Carter. The reporter concludes that many of the chi chi guests came out not to watch the dancing, but to hob-knob and boogie down themselves. Interesting.
And, finally, something my friend sent me regarding that same-sex ballroom dance competition held here two weekends ago that I blogged about earlier and was written up in the City section last weekend — the Times has a little video clip up of that too. It’s really quite interesting: they give a little history of the competition and talk about some of the reasons why people participate in same-sex ballroom dancing — it’s not always because the couples are homosexual; sometimes women just feel sexier leading rather than following, and it’s too hard to lead a male partner. Interesting. I never did get the hang of following! Here’s the video.