Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting movement, gorgeous camera work, February 1, 2007
This review is from: Jiri Kylian's Black & White Ballets (DVD)
This was my first introduction to the Nederlands Dans Theater, and showcased more of Jiri Kylian's work than I had seen before. As a dancer trained in classical ballet, this DVD was fascinating to me. I loved the first piece "Six Dances" which made full use of quick and unusual movements, silly comedic elements, musicality, humorous facial expressivity...and very large black dresses with swords. I found the second piece "Sweet Dreams" to be interesting, but admittedly, I tend to skip over this one more often than I watch it. Not sure why Kylian likes his green apples so much, and I'd hate to be the dancer who has to be tossed around with one in her mouth all the time while wearing a corset. I also invariably skip over "Sarabande" if only because I find the repetitive screaming and "ambient noise" (is that a toilet flushing?) a bit wearisome and annoying after more than 2 minutes. These two pieces are why I gave it four stars and not five. "No More Play" was more interesting, and I think the movement and music in this piece were better suited to one another than in the previous pieces.

"Petite Mort" on the other hand was my absolute favorite. Now this is one I'd love to dance one day. This is where Kylian's more robotic modern movements give way to contemporary fluidity in the pas de deux sequences. This also shows off the dancers strength and physicality to the highest degree. They are simply beautiful to watch. "Falling Angels" is hypnotic; I loved the intro where the dancers moved as if walking in slow motion.

Excellent lighting that gives interesting false perspectives (it's always nice to see Light become a featured element), and the absolute best camera work ever used on a dance performace. I felt as if it had been filmed and edited by Kylian himself; the lens always knew the best place to be. Continually dynamic without losing any sense of the fullness of the pieces themselves.

I also want to comment on the dancers of NDT. It was the most refreshing thing to see a company full of dancers with healthy builds, particularly in regards to the women. No stick figures that make one wonder if the dancer in question has an eating disorder. These women are strong, curvy, and athletic. For this reason alone, I would highly recommend that any and all young girls in ballet see this DVD.
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