Edinburgh International Festival 2015
Ballett Zürich presented a dramatic programme of two pieces at the Edinburgh International Festival, August 2015. Kairos, choreographed by Wayne McGregor set to music by Max Richter, and Sonett choreographed by Christian Spuch, set to music by Philip Glass and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This was a very well received programme of contrasting pieces showing the company’s athleticism, precision and grace.
Ballett Zürich presented a dramatic programme of two pieces at the Edinburgh International Festival, August 2015. Kairos, choreographed by Wayne McGregor, set to music by Max Richter, and Sonett choreographed by Christian Spuch, set to music by Philip Glass and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This was a very well received programme of contrasting pieces showing the company’s athleticism, precision and grace.
Kairos is a striking visual piece with a scrim at the front of the stage ornamented with musical staves and notes. The light flickers and we see the dancers in an exciting display or leaps, jumps and turns – it’s electric! McGregor’s complex choreography with diagonal asymmetrical body movement and extensions seem like the movement pulls and pushes at the same time. Featured dancers Katja Wünsche, Viktorina Kapitonova, Juliette Brunner, Giulia Tonelli, Mélissa Ligurgo, Alexander Jones, Manuel Renard, MaTThew Knight, Tars Vendebeek and Surimu Fukushi are precise, muscular, lithe and fluid. Interesting acrobatic moves and beating of the back wall add drama. Costume design by Moritz Junge includes agile flesh coloured vests and shorts with additions of sheer short black tunics with solid coloured leotards underneath.
After the interval the curtain rose to show the stunning set design for Sonett. Christian Spuck choreographed and did stage design for this fascinating ballet – with an immense image of a young Elizabethan man on the back wall, and several small platforms. The Poet’s Shadow, played by Mireille Mossé dressed as an Elizabethan man (complete with curly moustache) is a revelation! Hearing the sonnets in French (with English supertitles on the wall) through her personable clarity and seeing her striking presence brought something special to the performance. Spuck’s creative mise en scène of the Dark Lady, sensitively played by Ava Dewaele, and Mossé create a sense of space in the abstract, which is fascinating. The ballet features Wei Chen, Andrei Cozlac and Christopher Parker and the company – a total of about twenty four dancers – all vital and dynamic. The choreography is intricate and gutsy with inventive transitions complementing the witty music. Costume design by Emma Ryott ranges from the traditional Elizabethan male costume of the Poet’s Shadow and the Dark Lady’s beautiful Elizabethan long purple and black brocade dress with a dramatically long train that the Shadow uses to full effect later in the piece. A highlight of this ballet is the trio of men wearing dark blue dress coats which flare like dervishes as they jump and pirouette so rapidly. This is a sensual exploration of Shakespeare’s sonnets and gender – as it is speculated that the sonnets were composed by a man who loved a man and an unattainable woman.
An exhilarating and visceral evening of ballet.
Originally published in www.ForAllEvents.com