Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Ballet Met Guys Dancing
Yesterday was my first rehearsal for Twisted.

The first thing you notice is that everyone in this show is nineteen and buff.
I hope to God the costume department at Ballet Met has a full set of spanx or man girdles handy
I expect they'll have to order out for some of us whose best dancing years were in the Carter administration.

Edwaard Liang in rehearsal
I was one of those people who said Huh? when the idea of Twisted was first explained to me. Silently I was railing. These people are negating the stories of the operas and the wishes of the composers. What is this ignoring the story just because skinny pretty people can skip around. And what about the Columbus symphony? Are they just the back up band.

No no and no. Stagecraft is the only area in my life where I am conservative. I'm learning a lot from this rehearsal process. All composers have the flexibility built in form their talent so there music and words and dramaturgy can be adapted, or not.

The trio from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte is so sublime, what's to ad? A swing, dancers and singers and the image of a Fragonard painting. Beauty added on beauty. Beautiful it certainly is, and Mozart front and center. Everything I've seen so far enhances the CSO and the music by Mozart, Puccini, Delibes, etc. The ballerinas are Mozart, lovely like flowers.

I spent time yesterday working on the bit leading up to Don Giovanni;'s Serenade as he invites a lovely to come to the window. Deh, vieni al la finestra. You listen to this music and you remember that Mozart was known to pinch his sopranos on the fanny during rehearsals.

I learned as a stage director that when else fails, get a hunky tenor to go out into the house, find an old lady and sit in her lap and sing his big aria. Never fails. We'll be selecting a lady from the audience to come on stage to be seduced. I even get to say, "Not you sir! Put your hand down!"

Then the finale to Mefistofele was rehearsed by Edwaard Liang, with  what looked like the full corps. And the singers. The music is apocalyptic. The angles wrestling Satan to the floor and winning:

From the eternal music of the spheres, in cerulean space immersed/emanates a paean to love supreme, that rises to the thee, through great and sweet harmony. Hail! Hail!

Edwaard Liang's choreography is sexy and reflects a very human chaos, movement and stillness, touching and not touching-the uncertainty of salvation delighting the bodies of the dancers. Remember there will be a large orchestra in the sections on stage and the splendid 100 voice Columbus Symphony Chorus.

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