Monday, 21 May 2012 search of Giselle

Shane in Ballet booties.....
Hello Possums,
Once, leaving a performance of the RSC and Peter Brook’s version of “A Mid- Summer Night's Dream”  I noticed the public on the street looking quite unreal;  ill-dressed,  poorly co-ordinated.  
The reality: A  450 year-old play had been more powerfully relevant and affecting in a theatre.  I remember Puck delivering his epilogue almost sotto voce, to a audience of 2500 with his legs dangling in "the pit"... there was not a sound from the 2500.

Photographing a rehearsal of Giselle recently, similar thoughts struck me. How can a performance (ballet in particular) about young women who die before their wedding day, who come out of their graves and dance until first light, dancing to death any hapless male who crosses their path, have any semblance of veracity or relevance in a contemporary world?

Giselle rehearsal
I think  because Giselle’s  1841 creators followed Noverre’s dictum that libretto, music, choreography and staging all follow the same path. And probably more importantly, Giselle is a work of its time; a ballet which seems to encapsulate the Romantic artist’s notion of a spirit of and in nature, ethereal sentiment and otherworldly less known values that are perhaps based in a earlier animistic European culture. 
Historically then the Wilis are really very frightening. They act without reason. They are a force that cannot be interacted with, only submitted to.
Giselle rehearsal
There were moments during the rehearsal watching the Wilis surrounding Hilarion when you sensed his movements were only prompted by cold vapour rushing past, unseen but inexorable and malevolent.
Giselle rehearsal, Hilarion
Or when the Wilis in arabesque cross the stage in opposite lines, it felt as if a chill mist was slowly enveloping the area; draining all warmth and life away.

Giselle rehearsal, Hilarion
It may be a “Romantic” ballet and seem “pretty-pretty” but it’s really a horror story in the realm of Frankenstein, Dracula or even Alice in Wonderland or Coleridge’s The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and fitting musically with Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony and the art-works of William Blake. 
Giselle, in her wheeling arabesque, translating into movement a descriptive sense of being here and not here and the mental confusion of being not alive but not quite dead....
Poster for performance

In short a bloody good watch and good art.
Wombat Droppings

Ohh Possums, where to start?

Slippery Peter’s accuser, Ashby has withdrawn most of the charges he’s laid except two of sexual harassment. Queried as to why he didn’t seek to resolve his concerns “in-house” through normal channels he said he was too afraid of Slippery Pete and the Govt.
Which presumably, is why the press and opposition sighted his allegations before his accused did. 
Hmmmm ..I think I’ll start calling him Godwin. .....and Mr Whyne, on balance of evidence, a liar.

It strikes me too, that Mr.Rabbit should have been taught at some stage by his mentor Pell,  “…..that he among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”.

Senator Heffernan (Liarbril) has been accused of assaulting an (allegedly) bent staffer and calling him a “poofter”. Heffie was in strife a few years back with another seemingly homophobic attack on the then Chief Justice of the High Court, Michael Kirby.
Mr Rabbit doesn’t think it’s a sacking offence…just a distraction thought up by the Labor lot to protect Thomo…

Heffie must be a bit disconcerted as it seems at the moment that eligibility for the Lliarbrils might well be having to be gay….. as well as vicious.

In the State of Tardis
I don’t know what it is in the air on the Peninsular but another State Liarbril down that way is in strife. This time it’s Geoff Shaw, accused of letting his tax-payer funded parliamentary car entitlements to be used for his hardware business on interstate trips.
Member for Frankston says he might have inadvertently let someone have the keys…..duhhh… and also posted embarrassing missives to his wife …too publicly.

What is it with these Liarbrils and their constant bad taste?

“The minister in charge of the state government's so-called ''integrity agenda'' has been caught withholding information from Parliament about his own portfolios.
Documents show Liberal (sic) frontbencher Andrew McIntosh has sat on answers to questions he was meant to provide - sometimes for months after his department briefed him.
The practice appears to be common for the Corrections Minister, who is also in charge of reforms designed to improve transparency and integrity in public office, including Ted Baillieu's long-awaited anti-corruption commission freedom-of-information reforms”.
“………opposition spokeswoman Jill Hennessy accused Mr McIntosh of not meeting the transparency test when it came to his own job. ''Minister McIntosh is the government leader of the house. It is very bad form for him not to be replying to questions on notice from the Parliament. Secondly, he is the minister for public integrity yet these documents demonstrate that he has dithered and delayed on providing information,'' she said.
The documents, which Labor obtained though freedom of information, show Ms Hennessy tried to get Mr McIntosh to answer questions about Victoria's prison system. When he did not provide the answers, she lodged a freedom of information request, only to discover he had been withholding the details. 

An office set up to advise the Premier on climate change policy has had its staff cut nearly in half since Ted Baillieu's election.
The climate change branch within the Department of Premier and Cabinet - responsible for dealing with Canberra over carbon pricing and overseeing the state's climate policies - has had its staff reduced from 14 before the 2010 election to eight, documents show”.     “The Age”

A recent study has found that Australia has the highest number of problem gamblers in the world and that 12% of total Govt. revenue is from gambling.
There are two gaming venues in the Western suburb of Braybrook that has a population of the most disadvantaged in Victoria but also combined revenues of $16,000,000 p.a. from the venues.

38 / 39 applications for more gaming machines are successful, despite local council opposition.

TAFE funding has been slashed to ribbons... the disadvataged will have less options for future work and as private schools are recieving more funding for 1/3 of the schoool population  ...go figure. Teaching staff will be lost, programs cut or diminished.... I did say these Liarbrils lack imagination....what they destroy in five minutes takes twenty years to re-build.   Time to re-define the BOGAN I think.

Professor Kuruvilla George, who was Victoria's deputy chief psychiatrist (former Christian missionary) a member of a doctors group known as “Doctors for the Family” made a submission to Senate inquiry declaring opposition to gay marriage stating that gays had unhealthier children than "straight" parents. He was also on the Equal Opportunity Commission  …go figure… equal what?
Deputy Premier Peter (Ronnie) Ryan (also Police Minister) said he saw no problems with George’s statements as they were only personal statements…. Really, Pete?
Police this week ordered private vehicles to be used as road blocks to stop a speeding driver on a freeway. Crash happened, many cars damaged. Fortunately no injuries to public (one man who's car was hit was in it with partner and children)… go figure what sort of mind-set had occasioned that little piece of tactical brilliance… perhaps the same sort as a Police Minister who seems not to know the difference between public office and private views.

Cheers, Petals

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