30th November 2012
Jorge Donn - Ravel's Bolero, choreography by Maurice Bejart: link to the video.
I am going to dedicate today's post to Jorge Donn, one of the greatest dancers of the last century, passed away
on November 30, twenty years ago. I want to remember him through his interpretation of Maurice Ravel's Bolero,
choreographed by Maurice Bejart: the fame of all these three artists will be inextricably linked to this masterpiece.
Nowdays we need a good reason to ask Internet users for 15 minutes of their attention, so I will help myself
quoting the questions with which the mission statement of Beauty Without Irony opens:
"When was the last time your breath was taken away by some amazing sight or sound? When you felt gooseflesh
creeping all the way up your arms and tears filling your eyes just because something was so unbelievably
beautiful? And after that, what happened? Could you admit the feeling to yourself and -heaven forbid- to others as
well? Without cracking jokes about getting old an sentimental?"
Even though there is nothing in the world that you must at any rate know, this performance is surely worthy of a
little of time: take a deep breath, then watch Donn's video and then try to answer these questions again.
During the whole piece, two melodies are repeated, always the same, but any time are played by different
instruments; the rhythm of the drums does not change - Tam-tarata Tam-tarata tam-tam... - and grows
imperceptibly but constantly; Donn's movements are geometrical and hypnotic (the hands!!). It seems that time
has stopped; nonetheless tension is rising more and more stronger. Maybe you are feeling something physical,
between the heart and the stomach, closer to the stomach - but if you're yawning don't worry, go back to do what
were you doing, it's ok!
As the sounds are going louder, you also realize that there is not only a soloist dancer, in fact the stage is crowded
by other dancers, all watching him and moving like him as enchanted.
I could be one of them ...
I do not feel pain, I do not feel joy, nor fear or braveness and not a single thought: just the human strenght of
excited bodies. Though everything seems to repeat itself in the same way, the soloist is triggering the arousal of
the other dancers, which eventually will overwhelm him.
The strength that we can enjoy through art and creativity is Designers Against AIDS' weapon, so this hymn to life's
sensuality, is the best way to commemorate Donn's death for AIDS ...
... tam-tarata Tam-tarata tam-tam Tam-tarata TAM-TARATA TARATA-TARATA TAM ...
- Matteo Guastella