Wednesday August 23rd 2017

“Moulin Rouge” by Graham Albachten

It is no surprise to me that Choreographer , Jordan Morris, used to be a principal danseur himself. His work in “Moulin Rouge” which recently was presented at The Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, performed by Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, demonstrates a strong command of the “male” dancers are capable of, but where his work shines with the male dancers, there is as much a deficiency in the work created for the female dancers. It is hard to imagine that an eight woman “cat-fight” could be boring ( most men love to watch a cat-fight), but in this production, I found that to be the case. Not just once, but twice in the first 20 minutes. The audience has the pleasure of seeing sixteen beautiful ballerinas in costumes that are extraordinary(Anne Armit and Shannon Lovelace) execute perfectly, but about as eventful as watching then working out in a classroom, doing their exercises.

Even at times, the male dancers were given routines that were what might be termed “choreograhic laziness”. When Talouse buys Matthew a new suit and he changes onstage, why not make this a dance routine using the other mae dancers on stage. This would have been far more captivating to an audience that was anxious to see more creativity in the production. While the technical aspects of the production are all in place, they do very little in the way of movement of the story. There were many opportunities to stir the audience which were never utilized. Lighting effects did not blend with the telling of the story. The second act was far better in telling of the story with far to much meaningless filler.

Perhaps they should revisit what it is the  Canadian Royal Winnipeg ballet wants to bring to the audience in this production as they travel to other ports. Maybe, less filler, better cutting and simpler effects so that the story can be told with more ingenuity. Solid talent, but not enough “vocabulary”. If they recreate the choreography to be more direct, this could have been a production that would have :blown the minds” of the audience.

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