We have all been there -- something amazing happens -- something you really didn't expect --- something undeserved - and yet, Somehow, Someway, For Christ's Sake!!!! You Drop The Ball! And there it goes .... Tumbling Into The Abyss. A friendship dropped. A call un-returned. An offer gambled. An Interview Unposted!
Please tell me I am not the only one prone to such actions. Lie to me if you must. Even I, in all my energized excitement for dance become over-committed and overwhelmed by juggling so many competing roles. Add to this that personal tragedy seems to have my number. What that is all about, I'll never know. (My astrology friend says its Saturn Squared plus Mercury Retrograde...and its supposed to stop in 2015). WHAT CAN BE DONE?!! I mean sometimes you just think..FU(ck)DGE!
2 years ago, nearly to this day I was given the incredible opportunity to interview one of my most favorite of favorite choreographers, Russell Maliphant of Sadler's Wells. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? I WAS SHOCKED!
Russell has worked with so many incredible dancers..(eh'hem Sylvie Guillem -- but she's one of many) RUSSELL HIMSELF IS AN INCREDIBLE DANCER and he makes work right up my alley. Emotional, well designed, movement centered work. It's not cerebral.. it's not some sort of puzzle to be figured out and analysed -- its not a mere display of youth and vigor. Its an experience that reaches into your senses and moves you from within -- reminding us why we go to see dance at all -- that indeed somethings are best left unsaid -- and expressed through music, movement and that-which -can-not-be-named "something" of theater.
To this day, I've never seen a more genius use of the haunting music of Satie. After seeing his glorious Afterlight, I was sold! I get downright moody when anyone else tries to use that music. It's sacrilegious in my mind. The last time I saw a concert using Satie all I was thinking was: "Just. Stop. Please. Stop Moving Around. Russell already showed you what this music can be." I was exasperated. Really, Russell develops in his choreography that depth of feeling that has become all too rarified in today's world, and contains that magical ingredient behind every memorable work -- that is, SOUL.
Nevertheless, after being granted a wonderful interview dinner, and the luxury of his time, personal obligations took over, and writing this blog took a backseat; then time passed, guilt grew -- and well, I didn't follow up and publish our chat. Yes, I am a bad person. No one would ever accuse me of getting anywhere because of my networking skills. (ouch)
That said, we all really missed out here because Russell and I had an incredible time discussing at length his ideas on his craft. We touched on his incredible life in the arts, discussing his beginning from a working class family to ballet at The Royal Ballet School -- and his surprising path to becoming one of the world's most sought after choreographers of work that is far beyond classical ballet. Indeed, Russell has built a reputation on utilizing any movement -- from Martial Arts, to moves found in the underground street scene, to ballet, to modern -- whatever movement expresses his vision is what you will see.
We discussed his early inspiration of Nureyev, whose performance left a memory of excitement, passion and charisma that has characterized what he loves in dancers to this day. We discussed his belief that dancers need to really investigate why we are dancing and develop the abilities to be fully expressive in the work. And his need to stop perfecting pirouettes in order to reach deeper into movement as an honest tool of communication.
And yes, you missed learning about the entire point of his last venture to the US -- The Rodin Project, a dance - theater work based on Rodin's sculptures, brought to life before our very eyes by his gifted dancers RIGHT HERE IN NY! I can imagine a work as this being on rotating performances at both the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, and the Musee Rodin in Paris. Yes indeed, you missed out on this -- and the time for those things have past. And it's my fault.
And I am sorry.
Nevertheless, it has to mean something that Russell is back in NYC NOW! December 10 - 14th at The Joyce, with his newest work titled STILL CURRENT. I can't help but hope that this title is a sign -- a sign that we are all survived the ball drop -- and we are still relevant -- mistakes, mishaps and all.
That said - lets move along.
For those of you unfamiliar with Russell's work I implore you to take a few moments to peruse his website, here. You can also learn more through The Joyce Theater Blog, here, where they have written 2 features on Russell and his company for this week's performance. If you are a dancer, dance lover, dance skeptic, dating a dancer, or just a generally smart person, you can't remain in the dark on this company.
THEN AFTER YOU HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT, IMMEDIATELY GO HERE AND GET YOUR TICKET for a truly special night in the theatre.
It's not often that Russell makes it to this side of The Pond --- so you can't afford to miss out now!
Toi Toi Toi !