Saturday, September 3, 2011

Juwelen - Gems Rare & Polished

Since the beginning of July the regular stage performances were stopped for the overall needed summer holidays. The ensemble from singers to ballet dancers and regular staff was off to recharge their "batteries" once more - only to kickstart in late August for the second season of the "new era".

Dresden in those days was crowded with international folks from all around the globe being also on their holidays. I wondered, "How would they will have a chance to learn about Semperoper and the awesome stuff to see?" They shouldn't wait longer - on 21st of August the session restarted. And it restarted with a "big bang" so to say.

Weeks ago I saved myself some tickets for the main rehearsal of the new ballet performance 'Jewels" on last Thursday (even some Goethe Institute students could be made interested to come, actually from Moscow). This time the performance (actually rehearsal) time was quite different to what a normal go to the Semperoper would be. 11 o'clock AM, and the heat was on (actually more a day of performing 'Street Scene') around sweaty 30°C.  I thought by myself, "How easy it is for the 'knowledge worker' in the web age, just moving the fingers of the laptop keyboard. But the members of the Semperoper Ballett Company dancing 'Jewels' that morning in this heat definitely deserve more than just appreciation by applause. Having the choreography in mind, interacting with the team, and coping with the heat is definitely something not easily seen from the distance."

Photo: Costin Radu
The reality definitely outreached my deepest expectations. And it just was the beginning of something greater, a bit fuzzy to grab - yet after 'emeralds' and 'rubies' the dedicated crowd of ballet fans was asked to let the company finish off their daily work alone. Quite understandable. This fueled our's and others' desire to see for the premiere on that coming Saturday.

27th of August 2011 the first premiere of the season - George Balanchine's 'Jewels', a three-piece ballet evening.

... where to start? Too much in order to express the whole evening, which was one of the best ever, and one could clearly see that it is the SEMPEROPER BALLETT which brings the 'jewels' not just to sparkle in the stunningly set light (congrats to the folks managing the lighting - I wonder when there will be a time accompanying one evening and get the special feeling from this perspective?).

Three parts that could not have been more different in costumes, expressions, fun & joy, figures, music, and last but least the protagonists.

See the music - hear the dance (George Balanchine, 1903-1983)

Some extending thoughts in the PresencingStatus modus:

Good - Semperoper Ballett with all dancers from top principal ones to the corps de ballet and really new elevens, putting only five performances for this season increases certainly attraction, enthusiastic audience (there was not much missing for standing ovations in the end), new dance pairs which always show what great company we have here in Dresden, meeting Boris Michael Gruhl during the break and seeing his sparking eyes and enthusiastic voice as we had a short chat with him

Tricky - it is always challenging for me to sit at one place over the complete course of the performance (my mind urges me to shift perspective and grab new learnings about what is going on on stage, in the audience, and the whole "field" of the house which enables such magical moments as experienced that night

Learned - the team of Semperoper ticket service at Schinkelwache always open and providing extra info, thanking especially Mrs. Ansel, a former ballet dancer of Semperoper Ballett for her deep insight around Balanchine and that Semperoper Ballett is one of the few (!) in the world being licensed to dance Balanchine ballets, for sparkling 'jewels' on stage or in life it needs the main stone and the adjacent ones even more to bring them into visibility - congratulations to ALL DANCERS equally :)

Action - Looking forward to meet some of the dancers of 'Jewels' soon and learn more about the "hidden" work of ballet and what can be learned from the artist for life (this has been sparked by Edgar Schein's article about it)

PS.: More in press and audio about that stunning evening (in German mostly). A big THANKS to Valda Wilson, Australian soprano at Semperoper - who made me aware of ballet through her tweet back in September during Semperoper Open Day, which will be on Sunday, 11th of September this year - be sure to come as there is more ballet to be seen, I am pretty sure of that) -

MDR Figaro
Musik in Dresden

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