Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cleveland Orchestra: Joffery Ballet: The Rite of Spring

Gould: Interplay (choreographed by Jerome Robbins)
Adams: Son of Chamber Symphony (choreographed by Stanton Welch)
Khachaturian: Adagio (choreographed by Yuri Possikhov)
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (Choreography after Vaslav Nijinsky, reconstructed by Millicent Hudson)
Joella Jones, piano.
Tito Munoz, conductor.

Once again a beautiful late summer evening greater patrons arriving at Blossom Music Center -- and its hard to believe summer is almost over, and there is only one more "true" cancer weekend left at Blossom. (There is a labor day double header of music from Pixar films that sounds interesting, but at this point it seems Rachel and I will be in St. Ignace, Michigan to participate in the Mackinac Bridge walk). Anyway, returning to this evening, I had found my way toy seat early and was settled in -- head down in reading about the advantages of clipless bike pedals -- when about 10 minutes until 8 the dam bust open and a surge of patrons filled the pavilion.

Opening the evening was Interplay, a four movement piece that the program notes claim has no storyline, however, I got the feeling of innocence and playground fun (the movement titles seem to support this) the third movement was slow and sad almost a loss of innocence before turning a slow jazzy (with a thin hint of "making whoopee" wisping up from the orchestra if I'm not reading too much into it) before turning spritely and happy and fast for the fourth movement.

I can have mixed feelings with John Adams work, and Son of a Chamber Symphony would be no exception of the music were to stand alone. Likewise, the dance without music would have fallen into that same void, but the combination of the two (and possibly the number of classical tutus--have I mentioned I'm a sucker for the look of a classical tutu) was beautiful allowing me to switch from eye to ear at whim as my attention span with either was taxed.

The last piece before intermission was the beautiful nine-minute duet Adagio which was, true to its name, a slow piece filled with romance and dance where both seemed to flow effortlessly.

The sole piece after intermission was Stavinsky's The Rite of Spring -- a piece celebrating its centennial this year. The piece has intrigued me since I first heard it performed at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) a few years ago and when I heard about it's turbulent history (causing a "near riot" in the audience upon its premiere for it's -- at the time -- avant garde music and choreography). I've heard the piece performed several times since, but I've never seen it danced. While musically it was a bit less sharply percussive than I've come to expect, it was a beautiful performance and I will say my heart seemed to beat a bit faster and I had to imagine being in the theatre a hundred years ago -- seeing something "new" and unlike the three pieces proceeding it on the program.


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