Review: The 'Ravel' Rousers on WFYI

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir rehearses Daphnis and Chloe in a scene from the documentary The 'Ravel' Rousers.

The ‘Ravel’ Rousers: The Re-imagining of Daphnes et Chloe

, a half-hour documentary produced by WFYI and SkyBlue Window that first aired Sept. 25, finds writer/director Bob Williams respectfully awestruck as he documents the leadup to the June performance of the ballet Daphnes and Chloe at Clowes.

In promotional materials, Williams states his intention was to “focus on the collaborative effort rather than the performance itself; how it got to where it ended up.”

Williams elicits honest gut reactions to hurdles faced by each of the principles.

READ: A preview of Daphnis and Chloe by Rita Kohn

Krzysztof Urbanski, music director for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, tells us he had to sacrifice a little of his own vision about how the work should be presented in deference to David Hochoy’s vision.

Hochoy, artistic director for Dance Kaleidoscope, confirms he was 16 minutes into choreographing when the complexity of the music hit him and he worried about finishing on time.

And Eric Stark, artistic director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, reveals initially feeling daunted by the task of 160 singers memorizing a score without words — just notes with sounds that mimic instruments and forces of nature.

Artist Jeff Gooch, on the other hand, was more exhilarated than daunted by the task of creating stage-filling scrims to further illuminate the music, the story and the choreography for a seamless whole in sync with lighting and costumes.

READ: Tom Aldridge's review of Daphnis and Chloe

To annotator Marianne Williams Tobias fell the task of explicating what is going on, as notes in the printed program. She had to merge the original work of 1903-04 with the changes Hochoy made regarding the flow of events and the identity of characters.

We learn from dancers Jillian Godwin (Chloe) and Brandon Comer (Daphnis) how they absorbed all the elements to make their characters real while having to project larger-than-life from the dimensions of Clowes’ stage. And yes, we do get snippets of the performance itself.

The ‘Ravel’ Rousers airs again on Oct. 16 
at 5:00 a.m. on WFYI 1 (20.1). It can be viewed in its entirety (as of Sept. 29) on


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