“Throwing his body up to a great height for a moment, he leans back, his legs extended, beats an entrechat-sept, and, slowly turning over onto his chest, arches his back and, lowering one leg, holds an arabesque in the air. Smoothly in this pure arabesque, he descends to the ground…. From the depths of the stage with a single leap, assemblé entrechat-dix, he flies towards the first wing.”[note]Bronislava Nijinska describing Vaslav Nijinsky’s Paris debut in Michel Fokine’s “Le Pavillon d’Armide,” from Bronislava Nijinska: Early Memoirs, trans. ed. Irina Nijinska and Jean Rawlinson (California: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981), 270-271[/note] Vaslav Nijinsky could hover in the air, such was his art; such was genius.
Cristiano Martino in John Neumeier's “Nijinsky.” Photograph by Jeff Busby
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading