SheilaC Posted June 25, 2012 Share Posted June 25, 2012 Glasgow Theatre Royal last week was the opening venue for Dance GB, which moves on to Cardiff and Greenwich. The Cultural Olympiad brought together Scottish Ballet, ENB and the National Dance Company of Wales and each performs a new ballet inspired by the Olympics. At the Saturday matinee I attended the most popular piece was the middle one, Dream, created by Christopher Bruce on NDC Wales. It was humorous in places, with whimsical depiction of children playing and retro1950s clothes in the early parts, egg and spoon races and sack races followed by frequent references to various sports covered in the Olympics. The music was varied with that ballet cliche, Ravel's Bolero, featuring largely, because of its association with the (Winter) Olympics triumph of Torvill and Dean. Thankfully Bruce treats the music lightly and it's not the usual hackneyed strutting; the music is complemented by that of Grace Williams. The dancers are excellent, two women in particular exceptional, but I couldn't tell from the programme photos who they were. The two other ballets made less explicit references to specific sports but each conveyed the extreme athleticism essential to the Olympics. Scottish Ballet's dancers lived up to the title of their ballet, Run for it, choreographed by Martin Lawrance to music by John Adams, dancing flat out. The ENB piece, And the Earth shall Bear again, to John Cage music, was created by that seemingly ubiquitous choreographer, Itzik Galili, who developed a lot of leg and body movements with similarities to McGregor's distortions. It was very much a group work, even though several Principals were included, but Esteban Berlanga was particularly noticeable. I choose that word advisedly: the lighting makes much of the stage obscure (not unlike sections of Tharp's In the Upper Room), yet the power of the dancing cannot be obscured, nor the dancers' exultant pleasure in performing such contemporary choreography. The performance was opened by a film, Dancing Parallel, which shows young dancers from Aberdeen, Cardiff and London, dancing with chairs and each other in odd sites. Whilst there was some interesting dancing I wondered what members of the audience who weren't heavily in dance would make of it as there was little explanation of its aim. All in all, it was an excellent afternoon, with three specially commissioned ballets performed by dancers at the top of their game. Catch it if you can. 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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