You're Joking

Every Wednesday I have a chat about something with my advisor in Czech. I've been talking about my latest chapter now for a few weeks and I'm sick of it. Stick a fork in Boris Mikhailovich, he's done folks. At least as far as I'm concerned. So, I asked Ptichka about possible non-diss topics for the chat and she pointed out this article about James Kudelka's version of Swan Lake. I've seen the Kudelka version of Swan Lake and after reading this piece I'm wondering if I actually saw this production. I didn't see psychological complexity. I didn't see innovation. I saw a bunch of people milling about because Kudelka's choreography is better suited to a marching band routine than a ballet and some unsuccessful attempts to escape the traditional story ballet devices. Freud in ballet is soooo 1970s. Oh, and I saw crap. A big steaming pile of it on stage.

Admittedly, the article is somewhat interesting because all of the interpretations offered by the dancers could be applied with ease to a traditional production of the ballet. It's another series of concretizations that reflect what's important now: gender relations, the environment, gender stereotypes and Kudelka may have played those up a bit (I only remember being disappointed and Ptichka only remembers being skeeved and disappointed), but, really, you could talk about love and the environment and gender when discussing any production of Swan Lake from Petipa to Kudelka. The only thing Kudelka has that Petipa doesn't is the gang rape. Oh, and crappier choeography. Kudelka has that too but I believe that I already mentioned that.


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