On the other hand, "Dybbuk": the flipside of "Watermill"
So, while Robbins' "Watermill" (1972) has something of a story but you don't know why it matters (see the last post), "Dybbuk's" meaning and pathos are perfectly clear, even if the plot you worry you're supposed to be following isn't.
Of the two problems, I'll take the second every time. After all, even with "Swan Lake," I can't entirely decode the mime. But when Odette is describing how she ended up a swan, I do understand there's a good reason for her terror. With "Dybbuk"--in which Robbins was trying to devise a form in between story ballet and dramatic yet storyless ballet, as he was for "Watermill" --all there is to feel and think is available to you once you get an idea of how the piece works. "Dybbuk" is more a commentary on the story than a telling of it. It helps to know the story--and then not worry about it.
Janie Taylor as the possessed. On Sunday Joaquin De Luz, a dramatic, crazed spirit, plays opposite her again. Photo by Paul Kolnik for the New York City Ballet.
Janie Taylor (yay! she's back!) as the doubly betrothed Leah brought out all that conflict by stretching ballet form--in arcs and lines of yearning and despair--almost to the breaking point.
tickets for students. Go to nycballet.com for details.
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