Friday, March 25, 2016

I saw "Juilliard Dances Repertory 2016"

What I saw: "Juilliard Dances Repertory 2016" at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Juilliard, 155 W 65th St

What I wore: black Fluevog boots (the ones I used to teach in), tights, dark wash James Jeans denim skirt, wrinkled ATM blouse, Eileen Fisher long cardigan, woven scarf that my mother gave me in the 90s that might not be charmingly dated

What I did beforehand: ate half a bag of the wrong brand of Mexican Japanese peanuts and some slices of manchego, walked from 45th Street 

Who went with me: the Bacon Provider

How I got tickets: well, they were supposed to be comp'ed, but the night before at like 8:18 p.m. I got this text and he's all, "I still haven't gotten a chance to go find the box office—it may be a good idea to buy them instead so it doesn't sell out! (sorry!)," and I was like, "OK." So I bought them online, and paid full price.

Why I saw this show: The Graduate was a vocal performance major in college, and because he lives in Brooklyn, when he isn't working one of two jobs or going to the climbing gym or making beer, he sometimes still sings, and usually tells me about it about a week beforehand.

Where I sat: way up in the balcony on the end, behind my husband. I had no idea if we were going to be able to see our child singing in the chorus of the Stravinsky piece. The only seats left were on the ends. I gambled.

Things that were sad: The second piece, Jerome Robbins' "Moves," which is performed without musical accompaniment, carried more tension and musicality than Paul Taylor's "Roses," which preceded it. 

Things that were funny: I liked the Stravinsky best.

Things that were not funny: it should not be noteworthy that a dance recital have a real orchestra to accompany them. Live music is better, and live music is a reason to go to the theater. Also, I should not have been distracted with grief at the thought that this talented crop of young dancers will graduate into a world where the organized efforts of certain political forces mean less and less funding for the arts.

What it is: a recital featuring dance students in Juilliard's BFA program. Three numbers were presented. "Roses" was danced to Siegfried's Idyll from Wagner and an adagio for clarinet and strings from Heinrich Baermann; I liked the parts where the dancers rolled around on the stage. "Moves" is a tense and muscular dance for men and women, accompanied only by the sounds of their feet, the slapping of their limbs, and one well-timed sneeze from an audience member. The gender norms of their costumes (women on pointe, men in ballet slippers) made me think about the absurdity of shaved armpits (on the women), and the strictness of the long-hair-in-a-bun-for-women/short-hair-for-men paradigm. 
After the second intermission came the piece we had come to see, "Symphony of Psalms," choreographed by Jiří Kylián. When the chorus filed it, I found that we were in luck, and could see the Graduate standing with the other basses. He is easy to spot these days because he wears the "Männlich bun."  (someone with a German accent shouted that at him in a NY crosswalk). The Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and A la gloire de Dieu were performed, and were very beautiful. The richness of human voices added a glorious dimension to the final piece.

Who should see it: proud parents 

What I saw on the way home: a panicked field mouse running across the Saw Mill Parkway

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