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Tacking in Muddy Waters

Tacking in Muddy Waters TACKING IN MUDDY WATERS Lori Ortiz Metapolis II, concept and choreography by Frédéric Flamand, concept and production design by Zaha Hadid, and performed by Ballet National de Marseille. Lincoln Center Festival, New York State Theater, July 26–July 27, 2007. T he operatic spectacle Metapolis II combines a few uncomplicated elements. No simple achievement. This gesamtkunstwerk’s subject is architecture—plainly painted in bold strokes of video, sculpture, music, and movement, in that hierarchy. It left an impression of anomie and of the very lack of humanity it sought to warn us of. With contrasting means, the work presents contrasted ideology. Live dancers and solo violin—plus looming, God-like video projections of live-fed, larger-than-life virtual dancers superimposed on images of drab, uninspired urban architecture—equals humanity swallowed by industry and technology. The dancers are dwarfed by their images and their architectural environment screened on the cyclorama. The live performers are at a distinct disadvantage without the enhancing mediation and commentary provided in the videography, attributed to Jean-Christophe Aubert and Pino Pipitone. Clearly lighting it is a challenge and the live dancing © 2008 Lori Ortiz suffers in this regard. The Protagonists, humanity and life, are embodied. But looming images of impersonal Bauhaus style, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art MIT Press

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2008 Lori Ortiz
ISSN
1520-281X
eISSN
1537-9477
DOI
10.1162/pajj.2008.30.1.71
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

TACKING IN MUDDY WATERS Lori Ortiz Metapolis II, concept and choreography by Frédéric Flamand, concept and production design by Zaha Hadid, and performed by Ballet National de Marseille. Lincoln Center Festival, New York State Theater, July 26–July 27, 2007. T he operatic spectacle Metapolis II combines a few uncomplicated elements. No simple achievement. This gesamtkunstwerk’s subject is architecture—plainly painted in bold strokes of video, sculpture, music, and movement, in that hierarchy. It left an impression of anomie and of the very lack of humanity it sought to warn us of. With contrasting means, the work presents contrasted ideology. Live dancers and solo violin—plus looming, God-like video projections of live-fed, larger-than-life virtual dancers superimposed on images of drab, uninspired urban architecture—equals humanity swallowed by industry and technology. The dancers are dwarfed by their images and their architectural environment screened on the cyclorama. The live performers are at a distinct disadvantage without the enhancing mediation and commentary provided in the videography, attributed to Jean-Christophe Aubert and Pino Pipitone. Clearly lighting it is a challenge and the live dancing © 2008 Lori Ortiz suffers in this regard. The Protagonists, humanity and life, are embodied. But looming images of impersonal Bauhaus style,

Journal

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and ArtMIT Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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