Artiklar från 2008 – till idag
Artiklar från 2008 – till idag
LONDON: It is the first time Shakespeare’s play, The Winter’s Tale, has been translated into dance and Christopher Wheeldon and his creative team have done it proud. Both Wheeldon’s choreography and Joby Talbot’s score are full of movement and dramatic colour.
The first act deals with the bulk of the drama, while the second act is a feast of pure dance leaving the third act to tie up the loose ends. Structurally it’s a little front loaded but that’s a minor quibble.
The catalyst is the jealous fit that poisons Sicilian King Leontes and destroys his family. It provides a dream role for Edward Watson whose strength is in interpreting dark disturbed characters. His long suffering wife, Hermione, is interpreted with dignified grace by Lauren Cuthbertson and there are another half a dozen more principal roles to add to the enjoyment of the evening.
The first act is skilfully handled with a set, from Bob Crowley, that shapes the drama and is sensitively lit by Natasha Katz. In a beautifully structured trio, the Kings, Leontes and the visiting Polixenes: a dashing Federico Bonelli, relive again their boyhood friendship dancing together with Hermione.
Tension builds as the trio splits into a duet for the Hermione and Polixenes. Leontes watches them and in his twisted fantasy he sees adultery where there is none. Wheeldon’s handling of this complex emotional scene surpasses any drama version I have seen; it is simply terrific.
The act ends dramatically. A storm at sea and the shipwreck are brought to life through video, and the second act opens in sunbathed Bohemia. Here the shipwrecked daughter of Leontes and Hermione, Perdita, the ever youthful Sarah Lamb, falls in love with who else but the son of noble Polixenes, a virtuoso role for Steven McRae (who still also looks like a teenager). You’ve guessed the rest – they eventually return to the Sicilian court where all is revealed, sorted and matched.
In Bohemia in the shade of a magical gold and glittery tree, the corps of happy peasants dance the hours away. Two of the RB’s brightest young stars, Valentino Zucchetti and Beatrix Stix-Brunell as shepherd and shepherdess match their talents to make a quartet of young lovers and while the act is slight on drama there is no shortage of fine dancing.
In the final act Wheeldon has created a pas de deux for Cuthbertson and Watson expressing the reconciliation of the mature couple in powerful and complex language. It is so different from the usual celebratory finale, but so satisfying. I suspect this ballet will be around a long time.
Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot company brought an intriguing reworking of another Shakespeare play to Sadler’s Wells Theatre. In The Tempest Replica, Pite shows her choreographer’s gift for finding the essential detail in the drama and giving it new life in another form; shaping it into something memorable and moving. She doesn’t recount the plot but focuses on Prospero, (a charismatic performance from Eric Beauchesne) and his relationships to the other characters.
The tempest of frightening ferocity dissolves into a ’story board’ that introduces the characters. The dancers’ heads are shrouded in white masks which, rather than blanking out the characters, makes them more real. Later they appear in ordinary dress when the movement, original and inventive, takes on a visceral, seductive quality.
Her characters, particularly Miranda, opening herself to new love, and Ariel, half servant, half free spirit were drawn with heart stopping tenderness and a keen eye. All sorts of visitation take place, lines from the play are whispered through the score, shadows and videos back the action, and a flotilla of origami boats dress the stage but no detail is extraneous or without purpose. It made a riveting evening of dance-drama.
16 June 2014
Grundad 1995. Est. 1995