A week of things dance

Well it started with me apprehensively going to see a double bill in the cinemas, live from the Bolshoi. I was apprehensive because when I last saw the Bolshoi, in the flesh and in the Kremlin, they were not good. theatrically dead and ugly, and no drama. not the transformative experience it could be. Their swan Lake was ghastly actually. But here we had the sultry and very visual Carmen suite followed by a new Petrushka – the first different production of this, and, my, it knocked my socks off. starkly and but strikingly designed with five huge flat coloured Russian Dolls, and the cast in costumes whose colours seared my eyes. and a gorgeous intelligent production, almost reversing the idea of who is a puppet and who is human. Beautifully staged.
Then some friends in a 1970’s comedy that was slightly morally questionable, but an entertaining night all the same.
Then at the Garrick, the hugely ambitious Cats. we weren’t allowed to reference the original production, and the rather literal rood top set of smoking chimneys was a suitable playground for the cats to thrown themselves round. Perhaps incessantly choreographed, as chum martin as Gus sat still on a black box barely moving was an absolutel highlight. I might have put more thought into giving Grisabella a bit more of a dynamic send off. After all this walking up a flight of steps into a light was a bit meh. But the fact that we can do such complex shows is rather amazing.
Then I’d been invited to the Pendleton evening of dance called Tryptich too. These performers are sixth formers and danced relentlessly for two and a half hours, and some of it was a bit too easily confrontational, but a scene where their usual black costumes were transformed with the addition of a floaty marron skirt, was sensational. Much circiling around a lady with a heavier skirt, which billowed out to fill the whole stage, and again much billowing. That was gorgeous enough, and swan Lake finale played here, and some Vivaldi, but then they started scattering hundreds of torn up newspapers. I thought this one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen. Gorgeous.
and then finally last night, over to Sheffiled Lyceum to see the final night of the UK tour of new Adventures swan Lake. I’d seen them at the beginning of the tour, and wen with a friend who was a swan Lake virgin. They are still magnificent and the feat still takes my breath away, but the theatre here was simply too small. Much of the set was not visible, throwing out the potent symmetry, and often the dancers had to land off stage as their simply was not enough space. Add a rake and the humour that seemed to have grown, I was not quite as involved as usual, but I still my hand up and say that this is still a masterpiece. There are still questions I want to ask, but I hope this is not the last time I see this piece.
Yep that was a week.

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