woensdag 6 november 2013

Baltic Ballet Group and Depeche Mode

There are many things that I haven't done in my life up to now, but the ones relevant to my experience tonight are: 1) gone to a ballet; 2) attending a Depeche Mode concert and 3) visit a basketball stadium. Tonight I sort of did all three. I am in Vilnius, Lithuania for a European Commission conference on ICT and tonight the EU presidency Lithuania hosted a social event in a basketball arena. As socials go there is a lot of booze, food and hundreds upon hundreds of people. The surprising thing is that we did not get a lame local show of traditional music or singing or whatever, the sort of thing governments are likely to put on. The attendees got this ballet show solely on Depeche Mode songs, with helicopter, moody interludes in between. I'll attest here: I do not like ballet and I do not like Depeche Mode, except for the few obvious hits, heck, I do not even like basketball. But I did like this show. Lithuania, my complements for sticking your neck out like this. "Innovation or die"? This show proves that you'll live.

The music, once I got used to the bad sound arenas always have, was powerful. What I noticed, is that the songs of Depeche Mode, songs that I mostly ignored for the past 30 years, haven't aged at all. They are harsh, hard, shocking and, well, modern. Not that I liked all of them particularly. (Where was its biggest hit in The Netherlands, by the way?) I can hear 'Personal Jesus' and 'Enjoy the silence' anytime. They were there. 'Everything counts' wasn't. Together with the live version of 'I just can't get enough' you have my four Depeche Mode songs all together. That's it basically. Having said that, in this ambiance it worked.

As far as I've seen ballet on tv or something, the people dancing on stage tonight all had the moves and the turning around and throwing the girls up in the air. Still, I liked it. So is it the accompanying music? It seems like it. The dancing is skillful, for certain. The people doing it beyond "normal", i.e. your average person. Skinny, in control of their limbs and muscles, strong, muscular. Not attractive to me, but very graceful none the same.

Let me leave this experience as just that: an experience that I was subjected to and liked in these circumstances, surprise and all. What was it? Non-sexual, android and ???? dancing? All true, including zombie dancing. Modern I supposed, but well drafted out of an ancient tradition of dancing techniques, I'd say. The modern thing being the accompanying music. By a band that is around for more than 30 years in 2013. That is a long time by most standards. There remains one question: Will Depeche Mode record a Anton Corbijn video with the Baltic Ballet Group? That would be true recognition and deservedly so!


If you like more information on the Baltic Ballet group, click here.

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