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Noverre: Young Choreographers 2019, Stuttgart Ballet

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A fabulous Wednesday evening with a total of 10 works by “Young Choreographers” (“young” in the sense that they aren’t established choreographers yet i.e., not related to their age), some of whom are dancers with the company while others are based elsewhere. Some of those with the company participated for the first time whereas others had already contributed in previous years. Stuttgart Ballet has taken on the organisation of these annual events from the Noverre Society, and so this year’s event was the first one that was organised by the company.

What made this year’s programme special for me was that I enjoyed pretty much all of the works shown, certainly aided by the introduction provided to each piece via audio recording, enabling the audience to gain an insight into the choreographer’s motivations. Highlights for me were the following, in order of occurrence

- Aurora De Mori – Pompei. A piece in two parts, before and after the volcanic eruption. Part 1 to music from Orff’s Carmina Burana with joyful movements by dancers in loose white shirts. Part 2 with dancers in ashen unitards to much more contemplative music by Bizet, and trying to deal with the complete change in environment e.g., hands seen pressing against white cloth as if seeking to get through thick clouds of white smoke/ ash following the eruption. Musical, emotive, thought-provoking.

- Agnes Su – White Light. The piece explores the composition of white light i.e., the colours red, blue and green and the effects caused by their interaction. Three dancers, each representing one of the three colours dance in light shafts of that colour. Their interaction creates light in different colours until the light emerges as white when they all come together. Poetic, contemplative, thoughtful.

- Alessandro Giaquinto – Just Sometimes. The title of the piece refers to the fact that in thinking something through or exploring something, it is only sometimes that such depth is achieved that the outcome is meaningful. The choreography thus shows dancers searching for this “something sometimes”. I thought that the piece definitely found this “something sometimes”.

- Fraser Roach – Demon Days. This was glorious, surreal, hilarious, scary, just wonderful, all at once. Three couples in early 20th-century (?) costumes, one of them shy, the other happy and flirty, the third one calm, plus one person sitting on a bench and reading a newspaper. A person clothed in black with a hunchback and a long stick appears. The couples are scared by this appearance, and all is well again once that person has left. An eerie couple in white appears (Elisa Badenes/ David Moore), they attack the 3 couples. Not much of a chance for these couples to go unharmed … until an angel appears from above (Matteo Crockard-Villa). The angel’s display of exaggerated delicate feminine movements (e.g., hip shaking to remove the belt that had held the angel while it was being lowered down from the top, bourrees on demi pointe) led to repeated outbursts of laughter by the audience. The angel triumphs over the couple in white, and the 3 other couples are saved. Yet the couple in white returns and prevails over the angel. The person reading the newspaper has been oblivious to all this throughout the piece. He succumbs to the couple in white when they attack him from behind, and the piece ends with the reader’s shriek as the lights go off. The piece had a clear storyline, a beginning, a middle, an end, superbly fitting costumes, it had the right length and it came with great acting by those on stage. Wow just wow. Did Fraser Roach take part in any of the choreographic competitions at the RBS when he trained there?

- Shaked Heller – Polosma. Rhythmic and musical with clear lines, enrapturing the audience.

- Armen Arturi (Aalto Ballet Essen) – Many a Moon. My ability to take it all in was somewhat reduced towards the end of the evening but I thought this piece was just utterly impressive with its mix of choreography, costumes and lighting.

Much looking forward to next year’s event.

A review in a local newspaper so as to have more than one viewpoint on this year’s event, and with lots of pictures of the various works https://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.de/inhalt.der-noverre-jahrgang-2019-stellt-sich-vor-junge-taenzer-und-wie-sie-die-welt-sehen.bd15ecc7-0791-41e5-870c-b0b7ed3825c2.html, and via google translate https://translate.google.de/translate?hl=&sl=de&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.stuttgarter-nachrichten.de%2Finhalt.der-noverre-jahrgang-2019-stellt-sich-vor-junge-taenzer-und-wie-sie-die-welt-sehen.bd15ecc7-0791-41e5-870c-b0b7ed3825c2.html&sandbox=1



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