view from the hill

A look at the elements and events that come into view from where I'm standing...
... the stuff that matters in this life. Some flicker and are gone in a matter of hours
only to live in memory, others become life long travelling companions, never far from reach.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lack Luster Jewels

jewels1 June 12th, 2007
Saw our first ballet in over a year the other night at Lincoln Center. Tchaikovsky was part of the program, so on a whim and we grabbed tickets to the New York City Ballet's production of Jewels choreographed by George Balanchine. I have to say I was disappointed.

The dancing was great, it's always amazing to see what these dancers are able to do, the strength and grace they have is spectacular. But the music I didn't love, and my synasthesia crept in giving me visuals in my head more fascinating than anything going on on stage. There were some interesting asides, but the choreography missed key moments and I was left under-whelmed.

Jewels is a ballet in three acts, each scored by a different composer. There’s no story, only different moods and colors to distinguish each act as an abstract representation of emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. It’s all very 1967, right down to some unfortunately dated dance moves.


The last piece of the night was Tchaikovsky’s 3rd symphony, and though the music is wonderful, the conductor wasn’t up to the task. It's hard to screw up Tchaikovsky, and he didn't murder it, it just lacked vibrancy. It was like watching a film that hasn't been mixed properly. Where the strings should be soaring, there was a watered down whimper. Where the horns should've been triumphant it lacked urgency. I could hear that the music was there, it just wasn't emphasized properly.

jewels3Maybe it’s time to get a really great recording of Tchaikovsky’s 3rd and let the images flow in my mind - that's a show I'm looking forward to seeing.


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