Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Lost In Motion"...Guillaume Cote

When someone like Guillaume Cote SERVES CHOREO, you know it's going to be unique and exquisite. I like to think of this particular video as a beautiful collaboration between a choreographer, cinematographer, and a technically refined dancer. As I have said before, it's important to draw a distinction between performance and choreography. In this example however, the choreographer is ALSO the performer, yet we must not confuse the dancer's ability with the actual choreographic choices made by Mr Cote.:

MUSICALITY: Although the video is edited at certain moments to maximize the emotional effect, the majority of the piece allows us to see the choreography as it was paired with the music. Mr Cote skillfully finds the simple moments that reflect the melody lines of the composer. For example, watch at 0:21 where the high note of the melody is matched by Cote's decision to pique in to a high releve sous sus balance(translation for non-ballet speakers LOL, "pique - pee kay" is to extend the foot out in front of the body and then shift the weight up onto this leg..."releve sous sus - reh leh vay sue sue" can be described as balancing on your tippy toes, one foot directly in front of the other).

DANCER SYNC: For me, I really appreciate Mr Cote's ability to work within the classical ballet vocabulary, yet never allows the technique to restrict his movement. Ballet technique is like a seatbelt in the is meant to protect your body and extend the life of your instrument. Practicing proper technique, especially when executing advance dance maneuvers, is essential for avoiding serious injury. HOWEVER, its easy for that seatbelt to get SOOOO tight that is does not allow you to move, breathe, express, and feel. Everyone has had the experience of sitting in the backseat of the minivan in a seatbelt that is choking you to death....NOT COMFORTABLE. Watch at 0:23-0:27 and 0:39-0:41, notice how Mr. Cote is just as adept moving from a very classical, "held" position, to a rounded, organic, expressive shape.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: There are many visual elements here that were intended to grab the eye of the viewer! Even the most jaded, ballet-phobe will be mesmerized by the "matrix" moments where we get to see the airborne bravura portions in slow motion...if anyone doubts the "athletic" nature of dance, show them this video and they will eat their words. Choreographically, I like the ways in which Mr. Cote plays with our expectations. At 1:41, it looks as though he is preparing for a turn of some sort, and then suddenly he begins a low level floor sequence on his knees. For the audience, we are attracted to this little unexpected surprises and appreciate not knowing exactly what is coming next.

KUDOS to Guillaume for shattering the stereotype of the rigid, stiff, cardboard ballet dancer, who is only capable of moving though the requisite positions of the ballet syllabus. Through Guillaume's interpretation, ballet is alive, sensual, expressive and human.

1 comment:

  1. perfection, technique and cleanliness. thats all