The first excerpt to be considered is Swan Lake choreographed by Matthew Bourne (“Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake 2”). It is necessary to note that the present piece is a modern version of the classical ballet. It differs in choreography and Bourne’s version is performed by male dancers only. The first meeting of the Prince and the Swan gives new insights into the story of great love. Two male dancers in this story create a new effect. It is difficult to say whether the choreographer tries to recreate a version Tchaikovsky could have had in mind, or it was a desire to diminish stereotypes. However, it is clear that the scene is the depiction of two creatures that fall in love with each other. I got used to the idea that the Prince approaches the Swan, but Bourne makes the Swan active and makes him get acquainted with the Prince. The two then reveal their emotions and their feelings in their dance.
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It is necessary to note that the choreography of the excerpt is sophisticated and appealing. First of all, movements of the swans become very realistic, and it seems real swans are dancing on the stage. As has been mentioned above, the Prince does not see the swan first and only after the Swan’s touch, the Prince becomes aware of his presence. Shadowing is prevailing in the excerpt. It creates a feeling of unity of the two souls in love. Bourne also manages to recreate the language of love and passion. It seems that the choreographer understands the nature of people’s emotions as he translates them into body language. The movements are passionate and full of strength and energy.
Unfortunately, the performance is not as sophisticated as the choreography of the excerpt. First, the swans’ movements lack for simultaneousness. This is apparent, and it negatively affects the perception of the whole piece. However, the most disturbing thing is the poor performance of the Swan (at times). The overall performance is good, but there are parts where the dancer lacks precision and accuracy. The Prince’s performance is the most satisfying in this piece. His movements are precise and full of strength and passion. I enjoyed the way he reveals emotions, and the Prince’s performance was very appealing. Though, the dance of the Swan and the Prince also lacks for simultaneousness. Perhaps, there was no enough rehearsal, but the performance makes the experience less enjoyable. The great choreography of the piece suffers greatly as the dancers’ performance is far from being perfect. Though, it is also necessary to note that the piece remains an interesting interpretation with some strengths and certain downsides.
The second piece to be analyzed is “Remanso” choreographed by Nacho Duato. Poetic Waltz by Enrique Granados is the background for another story of love (“Remanso”). Three dancers are telling a story about the love of three people. Remarkably, these are three male dancers who manage to tell the story in a very truthful and appealing way. The eternal problem of love between three people is hard to answer, but the choreographer sees the way out. There is always a place for love and balance in this world. It is important to be able to find a way to balance one’s life and feelings. I would like to note that there were parts where I was thinking about the struggle within one personality. Thus, it could be a story of a person who came to terms with oneself by balancing three facets of his/her personality. Of course, it is possible to contemplate different meanings, but the piece is also remarkable in terms of choreography.
I would call this an exemplary piece of modern ballet. The choreographer utilizes such tools as unison, shadowing, and canon. Pas of classical ballet is intermingled with pure geometric forms and acrobatic elements. The movements are full of tension, passion, strength, and life itself. Acrobatic elements add a sense of modernity and development. It is possible to state that the choreography reveals the latest trends in contemporary society. Thus, modern ballet (as well as society) does not make use of entourage but focuses on the idea and development itself. I am impressed by the choreographers’ ability to translate such concepts as passion, connectedness, love, and desire to live and so on into body language. Precise movements make the story pure and appealing.
It is important to stress that performance is also remarkable. Of course, there are some imperfections when it comes to simultaneousness. However, even these slight errors do not spoil the overall impression. The dancers are focused, and all their moves are precise and simply perfect. Each movement and every posture conveys a certain meaning. It is also necessary to add that the dancers ‘live’ their stories. It is possible to feel the emotions the dancers are depicting with the help of their movements. I believe that the dancers have managed to bring the choreographer’s vision to life. This performance was a real masterpiece of modern ballet.
“Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake 2”. YouTube. 2006. Web.
“Remanso. Vladimir Malakhov, Parrish Maynard & Keith Roberts”. YouTube. 2010. Web.