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Mauricio Wainrot, Messiah – Opera de Bordeaux

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I saw Mauricio Wainrot’s Messiah at the Opera de Bordeaux last night. Wainrot created this ballet for the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 1996. He uses around 30 parts from Haydn’s Messiah, alternating the choir and the four soloists. Dancers wear loose-fitting white pants and shirts on a white stage with shades of blue lighting. The choreography uses the ensemble/ larger groups of dancers for the parts that are sung by the choir, and PDD/ pas de trois/ smaller groups of dancers and a single solo to accompany the soloists. Classical steps such as jetes, pirouettes, arabesques, tours en l’air, etc. are used in combination with non-classical forms of movements – arms flexed at the elbow and/ or legs at the knees, dancers rolling forward or sideward on the floor, a cartwheel, dancers throwing themselves into push-up position on the floor and getting back up again. Lifts repeatedly show a dancer in a crucifix-like position with arms stretched out to the side, held up high by three other dancers, and also carried in front of a dancer’s body, similar to Michelangelo’s Pieta. None of the dancers portray the title figure, it is instead about creating an atmosphere through the musicality, fluidity and expressiveness of the choreography. The PDD/ pas de trois/ smaller groups of dancers come in ever-changing combinations that are formed from the ensemble on stage and provide lots of opportunities for dancers in the corps to shine, and which they did use very effectively. Unfortunately, there were no cast sheets available last night. The programme book however lists the casts for each part of the ballet for the whole run so from a match of the choice of names against faces of dancers in the programme book, Neven Ritmanic caught my eye early on through his infectious smile. This is not to discredit his dancing colleagues though in any way, and I guess with the help of a cast sheet, I would be able to mention additional names.

The applause for the dancers, the live orchestra & choir from Bordeaux, the four soloists from the Royal Academy of Music in London and for Andrea Quinn as conductor was long and loud and turned into rhythmic clapping towards the end.

Slowly getting to see the various ballet companies in France. The Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin to follow in September J

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Well, I saw it last night ;-) The link to the programme here (in French only)  http://www.opera-bordeaux.com/detail-spectacle/danse-2/le-messie-1030/15-16-12.html. The page includes an extract of the programme and also a short video.



Edited to add closing parenthesis & to add references to video and programme on the web site.

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