Stagephil, my first fouffy blog, was exported to Alternatetakes2, my current fouffier blog and we just passed a year of fouffiness and we are, doves, on the verge of 500 posts. Thank you Jan! AT2s fab and fierce photographer in the gorgeous hills of PA. They are too, too beautiful. HappyBlogdamnyear!
Ballet X continues to expand its choreographic streams and its pool of multi-cultural dancers and choreographers. Here are my notes from their fall program of all premieres at the Wilma Theatre.
Meredith Rainey’s They Break shows subtle invention with new classical. All is not fluid, despite the ethereal lighting. The duets and especially the trio express turmoil with dancers flinging themselves at each other and trio tangles. Intriguing pointe work for the women and rushing balletic resolves actually, as always, do dazzle. Rainey knows how to give his to his dancers lyrically and physically. Martha Chamberlain’s flowey steelblue and clay dance skirts (I want one)on both the men and women make most dramatic the finale of Aileyesque group clusters pulse.
Alex Ketley choreographing for the first time with the company created Silt, and explored is working with gestural language. It moves to a frenzied tempo and becomes frenzied dance. The eerie soundtrack has a movement of disco overlay of Arvo Part, and the two couples move from loopy partnering to classical phrasing. Ketley taps into Bxs strong versatility in modern idioms and classical.
Neenan’s ‘Last of the year’ has a dodgy feel, like he wants to defy his style. Group slinky lines look rote, and dancer sniffing around each other look vulgar, but they are fragments and erasures. The medley of songs he uses hits Schubert, and this piece shows flashes of something bigger, the tautness of the strings and the dancer connective Neenan gets to is his most exciting signature.
Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open has sparked scorn from fellow athletes because of the Wimbledon champ’s admitted loathing of the game, his crystal meth use, and the fact that his mullet was fake. The crystal cover close-up is tres Scavulo.
But the real headline from Open is Agassi’s prose prowess, crafted by J. R. Moehringer, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Tender Bar. Whoever is serving the literary style in the book, it is a manic page-turner.
The opening passages present a rakish play-by-play of Agassi’s nail-biter at the 2006 U.S. Open; the scene reminds you of the chariot race in Ben-Hur. He then exorcises all of his demons that got him to this point. Agassi’s lost youth saga is the stuff of rebellious American anti-heroes.
High-stakes tennis aside, suddenly the reader is up close and personal in Agassi’s lifelong dramas that have crushed his emotions as hard as his sport is crushing his body. The book features lots of male locker-room bonding with the tennis boys. For celebheads – Babs comes off classy, Brooke self-absorbed (although she did get him to shave his head) and Steffi Graf, who he married and with whom he is raising two children, an earthly goddess.
Andre is not chasing grand slams anymore since he won all four and Olympic gold. The 9th grade dropout (his dad wanted him to go pro) founded the Agassi Prep school in Vegas, it is obvious this book is intended to be more than a sports celeb confessional.
For net fans, Agassi writes tennis like a ’40s fight reporter, you can smell the success and failure from inside the arena.