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Jan McNulty

Phoenix Dance Theatre - The Rite of Spring - Tour Spring 2019

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Phoenix Dance Theatre have been performing Rite of Spring in a double bill with Opera North performing  Gianni Schicchi.  I was fortunate to see the performance at The Lowry last night.


This production of The Rite of Spring was choreographed on Phoenix' 8 dancers by Jeanguy SAINTUS.  How would 8 dancers fill that powerful music on the large Lowry stage?  Well fill it they did!


The costumes were simple white trousers and slightly draped tops with a little colour added later with underskirts and then a colourful skirt for one of the dancers.  The stage was a black box with some haze effects and lighting that LIT the dancers - very effective indeed.


The choreography filled the stage with tribalistic movements and an ever changing ensemble of dancers - men and women separated, men and women together, writhing on the floor, leaping in the air and four male dancers lifting one of the ladies in swooping movements (as my friend said - straight from Manon!).


It was compelling viewing and the 40 minutes flashed past in what seemed like seconds.


The orchestra was absolutely magnificent.


I'm not an opera buff but I enjoyed the lunacy of Gianni Schicchi although I did think sometimes (I was on the front row of the stalls) that the orchestra rather drowned out the singers.

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