For the hell of it, here goes:
Thus runs the timeline of movement-as-art in the twentieth century:
1913 - Nijinsky's Sacre du Printemps raises Parisian eyebrows
1984 - Synchronized swimming becomes an Olympic event
1997 - Robert Wilson's Lohengrin booed at the Metropolitan
Granted, I probably left a few things out. Also granted: the temporalpossibility of WIlson taking in the summer games proves nothing interms of causality or inspiration. The trend, nonetheless, is downward. It seems a shame, in any case, the R.W. didn't turn his talent for devastating tableaux to ballet or something else not explicitly textual, as the frequent contertextuality of his directing is by turns frustrating and hilarious, in opera.
Some examples: Ortrud and Elsa's Act II confrontation. Unavoidably,gripping drama. Unless they sort of skate around one another, Ortrudmaking a Vulcan salute, while Elsa answers "Live long and prosper"with what can only mean in a late 90s gestural lexicon: "Talk to thehand, cuz Elsa ain't listenin'!" Later Telramund perishes in opera's first death by voguing -- no sword, just attitude! But the best/worst may have been Lohengrin, singing to Elsa to give Gottfriedhis horn, ring, and sword, and proceeding to hand her what appears tobe either a Hallmark card or a paper airplane. Is the moral of this opera that it's the thought that counts?
Anyhow... it had its moments, and the singing (Ben Heppner, Karita Mattila, Deborah Polaski, René Pape) was uniformly solid. Everyone hadexciting moments, even. Levine got a screaming ovation from thethird-act survivors, (Thank god no-one loves Wagner; I heard the lastact from orchestra seats) though I've heard the Met orchestra soundbetter -- it's basically gradations of perfection.
And we're back to the present, for better or worse.
*ok wow. Correction. This was apparently an actual letter on that material they used to make from trees.
In other news, you know what would be lots of fun? A Robert Wilson Fledermaus, that's what.