Thursday, 27 October 2011

Rodin / Claudel ballet

Recently, I had gone to see Rodin / Claudel. It was the second day of the world premiere, and the first ballet written by Canadian born Peter Quanz. I was in the third row from the pit, one of the best seats in the house (will run you about $120 or so).

First off, the order of my passions are as follows.

1. Double Bass / Music.
2. Ballet.
3. Jazz drums.

For anyone that knows me personally, and has talked to me about music, they know how passionate I am. I believe that ballet being second shows my passion for it very well. Almost every ballet I see makes me cry, and Rodin / Claudel came close.

Actually, Rodin / Claudel has an interesting premise. Auguste Rodin was a sculptor, as was Camille Claudel. Presumably, from the ballet, they both fell in love, but Auguste couldn't make up his mind. In the end, Camille goes insane and is committed to an insane asylum. Peter Quanz' narrative lightly tells the story of Auguste / Camille, but it focuses more on their romance. Besides Auguste's involvement in Camille's life, her whole story is intricate and interesting. Here is a link to her Wikipedia page (

The lead female was excitingly beautiful. So much so that I could hardly tear my eyes from her to focus on other parts of the ballet. It's interesting, during a ballet; there is so much going on. Generally, you feel that you must follow the lead dancers, but watching the support dancers can be so exciting as well. This was especially true in Rodin / Claudel. Most of the support dancers were dressed only in ballet undergarments that were skin colour. They were meant to represent the clay (or other objects) used to sculpt by Camille and Auguste. One of my favourite parts of the ballet was to see how the lead roles would move the other dancers to represent sculpting. Often, it was as if the leads' had a passion for sculpting, and actively drew it out while dancing. When I noticed this, it made me teary at how beautiful it was, and thinking about it now makes me teary as well.

However, as grandiose as the ballet was, it was not my favourite. I'm unable to pin point exactly where I disliked the ballet, but when I saw 'Giselle' by the Nacional ballet de Cuba, it became the 'untouchable' experience. I fear that nothing may touch this (except for Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky later this year), and am saddened to say that Rodin / Claudel did not make me shed tears, or have an extreme emotional reaction like 'Giselle'.

Fortunately, in conclusion, we can say that as Canadians, we should be proud to have Peter Quanz with us. He has choreographed internationally, and has had a world premiere with one of best ballets in the world! We should be happy, proud, and moved that a man came from our country, making such a beautiful piece. So, rejoice, and the next time that Rodin / Claudel is showed, go see it.

The leads at a rehearsal

No comments:

Post a Comment