By Bob Hicks
Seeking to rise above the weather under which he’s been submerged these past several days, Mr. Scatter elevated to the balcony of Keller Auditorium on Saturday evening so he could take in the grand sweep of Oregon Ballet Theatre‘s new Giselle. The air was a little giddy up there – or maybe it was just the gyroscope wobbling inside Mr. Scatter’s overstuffed head – but the view was magnificent.
Mr. Scatter ordinarily sits on the orchestra level, closer to the stage, where the sounds of scraping slippers are more strenuous and the actorly expressions of the dancers are as revealing as they can get in a 3,000-seat hall. Upstairs, he missed some of the dramatic detail (how was the gifted Chauncey Parsons interpreting the two-timing rich dude Albrecht? – easy to tell choreographically, tough to tell psychologically) but had a better chance to appreciate the breadth and patterns of the dancing, which can unfold so much more fully from above. What he lost in intimacy he gained in scope: a sort of whole-picture Cinemascopic sweep of design; what the movie people call mise-en-scène.
And what a scène it was.