Angelin Preljocaj – Eldorado (Sonntags Abschied)

February 29, 2008 at 12:33 am (Fróðleikr, Ríta) (, , , , , )

The Ballet Preljocaj has been a major producer of modern dance since its foundation. Its latest run, consisting of two shorter pieces conceived in the 1990’s and the newly developed Eldorado, has consistently sold out in New York and across Europe.

Eldorado is placed last in the programme, and has the longest running time, at 40 minutes. It’s understandable why the director put the longest piece at the end, as it lends the show some form of constancy; dance, concert, and play audiences arrive already trained to expect a gradual build-up.

It’s also understandable why a director would wish to place Eldorado at the end: an audience might feel less inclined to walk out having seen the majority of a show. Had Eldorado been billed as the exuberant opening rather than the main attraction, the theatre might have been significantly less full after the intermission.

The costumes were ill-fitting and unflattering to the extremely well-proportioned and for the most part pleasantly attractive dancers; it’s not easy to imagine where the ability to distinguish between the two halves of a behind from the back of the theatre would be appropriate in interpretive dance, or why a cut and fabric were chosen to make the dancers’ legs look flabby.

The accompaniment was a soundtrack that was continually grating, loud, atonal, and did not suit the costumes, lighting, scenery or movement. Preljocaj claims to have created the piece in responce to the music; if this is the case, his dancers should have been nightmarish blurs, imitating epileptic fits onstage. The most recognisable and prodominant instrument was a synthesizer, which sounded completely alien next to the tribal, monochrome costumes and scenery, and inappropriate for the name of the performance.

The most pleasurable moments in the show are before the lights come up at the very beginning, and just after they go down at the very end, thanks to innovative lighting, which is alluring and dramatic. Sadly, the lighting in between made the dancers appear pockmarked and wrinkled, highlighted their muscles and tendons unpleasantly, and the colours used throughout the piece gave their skin a sallow, unhealthy tint.

The other, shorter pieces are more enjoyable and executed more artistically, but are not worth the price of the ticket, unless one leaves during the interval, before Eldorado begins.

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3 Comments

  1. imolta said,

    whyyyyyyyyy is nothing about your site in english

  2. ataxas said,

    because I’m difficult

  3. imolta said,

    to which I say, “grrr,” verily

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