Posts tagged Place a Chill
Last night, as part of my ticket to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Contemporary 4 dress rehearsal, I got to see a lecture that consisted of artistic director Peter Boal interviewing acclaimed choreographer Alexai Ratmansky, who choreographed Contemporary 4′s closing ballet, DSCH.
Snippets from Alexai’s answers that I found most interesting:
• He says Russian dancers made a lot more effort to learn from the West until pretty recently. He thinks this new trend in discouraging Western influence is rooted in the field’s influentials’ fear that this leads to loss of Russian artistic and cultural identity.
• He tries to use a new group of dancers for each ballet he choreographs.
• When given free reign for choreography inspiration, music is his main source, not literature or dancers. He can remember at what point in his youth he started imagining choreography whenever he listened to music.
• The personalities of dancers who he works with when choreographing a new ballet influence the ballet’s story aspect.
• As part of traditional Russian ballet training, he began a comprehensive performing arts education at age 10 that included academic history lessons. To this day he is still passionate about studying ballet history.
• He pays attention to contemporary-style barefoot choreography because he admires certain choreographers in this field but prefers to choreograph in the classical point style.
• He says he could talk for a long time about differences between Western and Russian ballet, but one of the main differences is that Russian ballet’s center of movement is the shoulders, whereas with Western ballet it’s the feet.
In terms of my review of Contemporary 4 itself, I thought its variety as well as interesting concepts and themes were so entertaining that I’ve been encouraging others to see it.
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website’s wonderful Contemporary 4 multimedia page of course contains nothing from DSCH, but includes this rehearsal video of for Place a Chill’s tutting, a dance style I personally really enjoy watching and therefore loved last night: