Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for July 26th, 2014

Dancing beyond personality

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Suzanne Farrell and Geoge Balanchine

A committed Balanchine dancer (with a small “d”) comes to realize that Personality (with an enormous “P”) is a bundle of haphazard characteristics frozen in a pleasing mask for immediate identification and negotiable prestige. No matter what is danced—and it makes little difference—stardom dims the dancing. What is danced is perforce secondary. There are two types of ballet companies: those interested in selling stars and those occupied in demonstrating and extending the dance, as such…

Physicality in the tense relationships of Balanchine’s dancers kept under so strict a discipline in so free an exercise pushes the spectacle to a high pressure point. Everything is so focused, compressed, packed, playful that it is as if the entire design were patterned on coiled steel or explosive fuels. Combinations of music in motion approach a fourth dimension that cannot be verbally defined.

Lincoln Kirstein, “Balanchine’s Fourth Dimension,” in Vogue

Written by nevalalee

July 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

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