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Posted on the backstage bulletin board: "Caravaggio (1571-1610) was a leading practitioner of chiaroscuro, sidelight dramatically bringing his figures out of the enveloping gloom. He plunged right into his canvas, without preliminary sketches, and absolutely needed models, maybe low commoners right off the street. Temperamental, argumentative, and belligerent, he was a brawler and a terror. As a 'killer,' he stayed away from the Eternal City in his last four years, dying of malaria in Porto Ercole 90 miles away."
Thanks to TV director Andreas Morrell, assisted by a director of photography and six cameramen, the ballet was filmed and edited as a movie (ever refreshing your vision) where the faces, the upper torsos, the hands do make a difference. You will see ten times what the premiere audience saw from the orchestra and three horseshoe tiers. An inspiration is the overhead camera(s) which gives you the wings of an angel.
Amauro Bigonzetti, choreographer, born 1960 in one of the rougher sections of Rome, danced professionally for ten years, then switched to choreography because he believes a ballet company should develop from within rather than depend on guest stars. He's fond of his corps of young dancers, and spreads them throughout Act I and they jump and spin for joy.Read more ›
The staging imitates the style of Caravaggio in its use of very harsh cross-lighting of the subjects to emphasize the texture and shapes. This too pulls in the viewer, isolating the surroundings. The video work is outstandingly good too, giving the DVD viewer more than anyone in the audience could have received. There are long shots for context, close shots for personal connections, and extreme close ups to show the movements of very expressive hands.
The story is dark from the beginning, and act II becomes even darker as it unfolds various events in Caravaggio's life with connections to his paintings. However, this is not a historical narrative; there is a lot of imagination mixed in, as if, perhaps, the nightmares of Caravaggio.
This is a modern piece of work, but it is fine classical ballet, with a few modern elements mixed in occasionally. If you like ballet, this is something you must see.
Michelangelo Merisi (1571-1610) was the innovative, famous, notorious Renaissance painter known as Caravaggio, taken from the Italian village in which his family lived. Though he lived only a brief life, art history points to Caravaggio as having a profound influence on the new Baroque style of art that exploded in the early 17th century after his death. This Italian master of "darkness and light," or chiaroscuro painting, frequently depicted vivid, real images of intense emotion, bathed in light against dark backdrops. Such elements are to be found reflected within Berlin State Ballet's production based on Caravaggio's life and art, but with intentional modern twists. Caravaggio's influential impact on the development of Western art was only rediscovered 300 years later, in the 20th century, and the ballet's creators wanted this rediscovery to be incorporated, and it is, perhaps too much. I approached the ballet with high expectations based on the facts: that it featured an important subject figure from Italian Renaissance art, musical material drawn from an important Italian composer, but within a one-decade shadow of the 20th century in which the artist was rediscovered. I expected an interpretive ballet that reflected Caravaggio's life and aesthetic, in modern language full of curiosity, implied dramatic threads, and stunning imagery. In Caravaggio's supporting elements, its score and creative designs, it delivered.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read all of the previous postings on this dance and many of them aree written far more adept at reviewing a dance performance than I am. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Daniel B.
Don't buy before trying.
"This could have been beautiful .... seen it live on stage. But the DVD is ruined by someone's bright idea that the editing should be as... Read more
Bigonzetti's "Caravaggio" is a beautiful production of the life of the painter Caravaggio. I admit, I had to read about Caravaggio, but once I did, the story does come through in... Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by gt surber
This is an amazing piece of art. The overwhelming feeling you get is that of the gorgeous renaissance paintings and sculptures (Classical) come to life. Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by spinozarabel
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