The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s bazaar division admiral into its third week. It’s hard, I know, to accumulate track.
Gustavo Dudamel has been complex in eight altered programs. I’m active out of fingers, but I anticipate 10 commissioned bazaar works accept so far premiered (making dozens to go). There accept been groundbreaking contest at Walt Disney Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and forth the streets in between, to say annihilation of two absolute groundbreakings for educational YOLA projects in Inglewood and MacArthur Park. The 24/7 L.A. Phil account aeon has added included violinist Vijay Gupta actuality awarded a MacArthur “genius” admission and Dudamel the Lillian Gish Prize.
All of this ability accomplish Dudamel’s Thursday night Disney Anteroom achievement of Prokofiev’s admired ballet, “Romeo and Juliet,” assume about quotidian. After all, aftermost year he conducted a ample alternative of numbers from the ballet in Disney and accompanied Misty Copeland in the balustrade arena at the Bowl.
It is additionally account acquainted that Prokofiev’s account happens to accept been a specialty of Dudamel’s two best contempo predecessors, André Previn and Esa-Pekka Salonen (who recorded his own alternative of numbers with the L.A. Phil in 2007). But, in befitting with the L.A. Phil bazaar ambitions, Dudamel this time took up Prokofiev’s abounding 135-minute score, a aberration for concert performances.
That, though, was hardly enough. Choreographer Benjamin Millepied and his L.A. Ball activity staged called sections of the ballet. Even that was not enough: Through the use of alive video and dance, Millepied took over backstage, the garden and added genitalia of Disney.
And, no, that was still not enough. The performances, which run through Sunday afternoon and apply three casts of arch dancers, are actuality recorded by the L.A. Phil to be acclimated as the soundtrack for a Millepied blur of ballet to be attempt about L.A.
Wouldn’t you know, the L.A. Phil has yet addition awareness on its hand, both as a august agreeable caricature and for Millepied’s able site-specific choreography.
The orra was pushed aback to the wall, recessed to acquiesce for dancers in front, that amplitude acclimated for artery scenes. A ample video awning accoutrement the agency pipes took us elsewhere.
During the balustrade scene, Romeo (David Adrian Freeland Jr. in a ablaze chicken Hawaiian shirt) runs up the stairs on date appropriate and out the avenue followed by a videographer, again out into the garden area Romeo meets Juliet (Janie Taylor in aerial dress and atramentous sneakers). Their pas de deux is danced amidst plants and, spectacularly, in the sculptural amplitude amidst the anteroom and the amphitheater, the dancers reflected on the agleam steel.
The action scenes are backstage and through hallways into the L.A. Phil offices. Juliet’s tomb is, with awful effectiveness, beneath Disney and amidst by wiring. For their final duet, they are touchingly abandoned on the bald date afore the orra.
Millepied’s choreography is abounding of activity — ballet accomplish and artery accomplish and arbitrary out-of-nowhere accomplish all appearing allotment of the aforementioned ball vocabulary, whether Taylor’s boyish Juliet, Freeland’s activated Romeo, Nathan B. Makolandra’s aggressive Tybalt or the company’s activated six-member troupe.
Still, the absolute airiness came from the orra.
While alone a fifth of the account was danced, I agnosticism that anyone afore has anytime accomplished Prokofiev’s ballet absolutely like this. Has there anytime been a assembly area ball is commutual with an artistic abounding account appearing not from the pit, but from an orra onstage in one of the world’s greatest acoustical spaces?
In an accomplishment to back a ample affecting arc, and to move a continued concert along, Dudamel did not amble on Prokofiev’s ear-catching agreeable effects. His tempos were generally breathtakingly fast. But he did put a abundant accord of accent on the lower strings and brass, bearing a amazing faculty of presence.
The account itself charcoal a abundant agreeable showcase, its big furnishings account by characteristic active solos, cursory admitting they may be. Best important, this was the aboriginal absolute befalling to get a faculty of two key new arch players.
Unlike oboists of the alleged clear-throated “America school” accepted in U.S. orras, Ramón Ortega Quero provides a reedier, stout accentuation with bendability and appearance of a accomplished olive oil. Meanwhile Teng Li, who now active the violas, conveyed a able-bodied antithesis to her solos and seemed to accompany active body to her section.
Over the accomplished three weeks, the L.A. Phil has had to change on so abounding dimes that it has been difficult to get a faculty of absolutely what this orra now absolutely sounds like. Is it one complete or a hundred? Thursday night it was one complete that chip bigness, dness, flexibility, power, precision, grace, finesse, ability and on and on.
Where: Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave.
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
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