Good morning, everyone. After the Rain is a gorgeous Pas de Deux choreographed by the sublime Christopher Wheeldon.
What if every couple were to approach one another – in every encounter – with the tenderness and sensitivity of husband and wife dancers Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims? What would our world be like?
If everyone – if every girl and boy – learned to dance when they are young, there would be far less war and violence.
…because After the Rain there is this…
#Dance #ChristopherWheeldon #AftertheRain #LindaCelesteSims #GlennAllenSims #Vimeo
March 29, 2015 at 3:40 pm
Plus 100 on your learning to dance equating to less war and violence comment, and plus 1000 on the joy of watching this sublimely beautiful dance duet. As always Giselle Minoli from you another wonderful post. I learned to dance when I was quite young; and although I wasn’t very coordinated or good at it, being exposed to the joys of dance I firmly believe made me a better individual on a personal level, and was a benefit to me professionally in later years when I had the pleasure of doing lighting design for dance performances including ballet, tap dance, and musical theatre.
March 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm
Good morning stuart richman. I am not surprised to learn that you learned to dance when you were quite young. You have that certain je ne said quoi quality about you that indicates an appreciate for such things. It’s difficult to explain and, for me at least, more than a little complicated. Dance is an expression of every conceivable emotion and different choreographers mine that territory in highly individual ways – from Pina Bausch to Mark Morris to Justin Peck to Christopher Wheeldon. But the singular most important thing – it seems to me – about the craft of choreography and of dancing is that one has to have a high degree of sensitivity to and appreciation for their partner…else the harmony never happens. I love sports and athletics…but there is something within this particular discipline that teaches a practitioner something almost indescribable that no matter the brilliance and performance of tennis or baseball or football or basketball, for instance, just isn’t quite there for me the way it is in dance.
March 29, 2015 at 3:58 pm
Giselle Minoli A nebulous question. Considering what facets of the human psychological profile that would be omitted for such behavior to be a standard, the entire feeling nature of humanity would necessarily be altered to enable such behavior, but to answer the question in a word: “Overpopulated” would be my answer.
March 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm
Interesting word “nebulous” R. Harlan Smith. While it means hazy or cloudy in some way, which connotes something rather vague, formless and without definition, pictures of “nebulae” are always beautiful to me. They are almost (well, everything celestial that I can think of is…) a kind of choreography that is impossible to imagine… So, Yes, a nebulous question on the one hand, but on the other maybe not.
March 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm
Good morning Giselle!
When Ms. Sims got up from the floor it seemed as if she was waking up and I thought that if the piece had been titled After the Dream, how different my take on it would be.
Is this the power of labeling shaping my experience of a dance, or is it rather the strength of the dance supporting more than one narrative?
March 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm
What a great observation/question Bill Abrams. Maybe it’s both. It would have been possible to post it without a title and just write Watch This. But choreography/dance is a conversation, a dialogue, sometimes a monologue and therefore it is words expressed through movement…it is called dance notation, meaning you can literally write down the steps, the movements, the sequences. Perhaps that is why choreographers name their dances in the same way that poets name their poems and writers name their essays, novels, books. I can’t imagine not doing that.
Although in painting you encounter artists who “name” their works of art with just numbers. It seems very hard to me to name some works of art.
After the Rain. I don’t know, I tend to free-associate what it means to me…After the Rain there is love, communication, sex, sunshine…springtime. After the Rain comes whatever comes After the Rain!
March 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm
March 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm
Amen to that !
wish you a nebulous day 🙂
March 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm
After the rain, nature responds. Both plant and human. The dance captures both for me.
March 29, 2015 at 5:09 pm
And for me Bill Abrams. BTW…there is a video online at the Times. I don’t know why I thought of you when I watched it, but I did. Left me speechless: http://www.nytimes.com/video/health/100000003553347/before-i-die.html?playlistId=1194811622182®ion=video-grid&version=video-grid-thumbnail&contentCollection=Times+Video&contentPlacement=1&module=recent-videos&action=click&pgType=Multimedia&eventName=video-grid-click
March 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm
Nancy H you are like a nebula…floating there, mysterious, watching over my posts. Thank you. I appreciate it. And a very nebulous day to you, too!
March 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm
Giselle Minoli Thanks, the video is touching. It is hard to imagine sharing a diagnosis with your sister and then to live on after her death.
Her before-I-die list reminds me of Until I Say Goodbye by Susan Spencer-Wendel:
It seems that I am hearing about more and more cases of people confronting genetic disorders. I may be sensitized to the issue and so see the references more or maybe treatments are available so more and more people are living to tell the tale.
March 29, 2015 at 9:31 pm
Maybe Bill Abrams the advent of interactive media and the willingness of the Times (and other media) to publicize the travails of people who are not celebrities makes us more aware of what might have been there all along.
Strangely (or not) I see dance as a conversation between life and death, Yes and No, Being Alone and Being Apart. In fact I tend to think that everything is a conversation between life and death. There is that Buddhist saying that those who are able to confront death and admit that it is going to happen sooner or later are those who are the most capable of being fully present in life.
March 29, 2015 at 9:59 pm
The mysterious in you knows the mysterious in me ! Giselle Minoli
I really admire your opinion about everything, sometimes reading your words I feel like having a 100 question to ask you ( how u feel about that, what you think about this … ) you have some spiritual seduction in your letters …
And it is us who should Thank you for posting things that touches the human essence.
As for the last cmnt up as you see I like it too,
somewhere in the story of Orlando Virginia Woolf says that if we didn’t take small doses of death everyday life would be intolerable, I think it’s true, maybe it is the mystery of death that motivate us to live and wonder in this life and its different manifestations …
March 29, 2015 at 11:03 pm
March 29, 2015 at 11:21 pm
I see you Edward Morbius. You can run, but you cannot hide..
March 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm
Nancy H I think that heightens when you lose someone you love, or have a brush with death…or a deep experience of trauma that isn’t denied. And I can’t help but think that creative people experience this in a particular way, which in no way diminishes the experiences of people who are not particularly creative.
March 30, 2015 at 7:50 pm
I was just at Wheeldon’s Alice in Wonderland at the National Ballet of Canada this past Sat. It was my 3rd time to see it from when it premiered here in Toronto about 2 or 3 years ago. Anyway, Wheeldon does pas de deux like nobody’s business! I actually interviewed him: early in his choreography career: http://maisonneuve.org/article/2004/05/16/balanchines-heir-apparent/.
March 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm
And, oh, Wheeldon’s short ballet on the music of Carousel (made for New York City Ballet but performed here too in Toronto, National Ballet of Canada just this past month), it’s not to be missed! And, the young lady doing the lead at NBC I mentioned in Wheeldon’s ballet just last week won the Erik Bruhn Prize after!: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KenaHerod/posts/7wX5yrxVk4t
March 31, 2015 at 12:08 pm
Kena Herod I loved your interview with Wheeldon and (ahem….) think you must get back to this vocation toute de suite!
…When you put a man and woman onstage, what more do you need? Indeed. There it is, isn’t it? And the point of this post. I don’t know many dancers who came from England to the States, although Hillary Cartwright from the Royal became big in New York among dancers who practice Yoga when she began White Cloud Studios with Juliu Horvath (the inventor of the Gyrotonic System)…but I do know many actors who were trained in England but came to the States to work. And many of their sentiments are similar to those of Wheeldon’s. The strict and rigorous training received in England, couple with emotional freedom here makes for an extended exploration of the craft.
I think the criticism of Martins is absurd. He’s bringing the company into the future. But I don’t think that criticism applies just to the world of Ballet. There are Broadway goers who loathe any kind of “new” musical, any kind of divergence from what has traditionally been called a “musical” and are resentful that everything isn’t Jerome Robbins or Gilbert & Sullivan.
And this is true in music and theatre and books and poetry. There are people who like steak and potatoes and nothing more because it makes them feel comfortable and safe. But it isn’t an artist’s job to be safe and comfortable. It is to venture outside the comfort zone. Wheeldon is less afraid to display emotion than Ballanchine was. He may have loved women, but they were imprisoned within Ballanchine thought. Wheeldon frees them. IMHO.
“*I suppose that my aim with Polyphonia was to go into that and accentuate the strong physical presence in dance today, but then infuse it with a little bit of poetry, a little bit of tenderness, a little bit of human connection.*” I have not seen this ballet but would love to. Meanwhile…continue writing Kena Herod! And thank you for that link!
March 31, 2015 at 12:18 pm
Kena Herod It makes me a weird combination of sad and ill that I cannot see Chroma and The Man in Black. But it makes me angry that there is such a lock down on full-length videos of major ballets and dance choreography on the Internet. While I certainly understand from a creative POV (at least that is the excuse offered), I think it is keeping the dance audience extremely small – only those who are fortunate enough to live in physical proximity to dance companies and can afford the freight of a ticket will be exposed to this art form. Those who live at distances will have only snippets of video to watch, but will not be able to immerse themselves in what one feels when completely engaged in dance.
Thus was born street dance – unrestricted, free, spontaneous, site-specific and with a kind of immediate viral energy that travels from block to block from city to city. The “official” dance world has done much to damage itself by being too precious.
Young dancers/choreographers like Justin Peck are reaching out to connect appreciators of different genres of musical and physical craft and will, hopefully, be able to bring this form into the future and expose it to greater audiences.
Please continue to review and write Kena Herod. PLEASE.