The Paris Opera Ballet, in its determined non-classical guise, closed its New York visit with the late Pina Bausch’s 1975 Orpheus and Eurydice. In a post-modern, glossy-mag décor, Bausch’s take on the subject mingles the ravishing dancers with the solo singers, giving Terpsichore’s favorites little better to do than undulate their supple spines (ladies), run and jump (gentlemen), and (all) make the same gestures, many of them mindlessly co-opted from Martha Graham, again and again. And again. In the house program, Bausch assigned each element of the deeply touching myth her own “intellectual” meaning. Her most grievous act, however, was to chop up and rearrange Gluck’s sublime music. I did appreciate Stéphane Bullion’s physical endurance as a strangely sulky Orpheus and joined in the burst of acclaim that Marie-Agnès Gillot earned for her magnificent dancing as Eurydice.
Photo: Stephanie Berger
© 2012 Tobi Tobias