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Ballet Black - Then Or Now, The Waiting Game - Autumn Tour 2021

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Ballet Black's Autumn Tour opened at The Lowry last night with 2 world premieres.  The sense of anticipation was high before the evening started and our anticipation was more than realised with the performance.


The evening opened with Will Tuckett's Then or Now.  The score is a mix of the poems of Adrienne Rich with Heinrich von Bieber's Passacaglia for Solo Violin (as played/recorded by Daniel Pioro with some of his own improvisations).  It really was very effective. The costumes were simple and black or grey) and suited the piece admirably


Will Tuckett's choreography is fluid and articulate with the 8 dancers in a mix of ensemble, duets, solos etc.  At the end my friend commented that for him the movements did not always match the intent of the words but for me that did not matter.  I thought that often the movement matched the cadence of the words and I thought it worked really well.  It goes without saying that the dancers were superb.


For me Then Or Now was both thoughtful and satisfying and I would love to see it again.


After the interval we had a real treat with Mthuthuzeli November's second work for the company - The Waiting Game.  I hadn't read the programme before hand.  It is joyous and infectious and almost nonsense.  There is a man in a suit contemplating his life (accompanied by some spoken word - "I wake up. Brush my teeth. Open a door. ...) and six dancers in what I thought looked loosely based on deconstructed pierrot costumes appeared.  The prop looked like a small wardrobe and could be lit from within and used as an entrance and exit.  The pierrots (if I can call them such) followed the man around and manipulated him.  I didn't have a clue what was going on but it was ENORMOUS FUN and I just loved it!!!  The choreography had quite a contemporary feel to it and I found it very attractive to watch.  There were a number of laugh-out-loud moments!  Reading the programme when I got home I saw that Mthuthuzeli had been inspired by Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd.  It's another one that I would just LOVE to see again!!


This evening was so satisfying and uplifting and my car and I floated all the way home.


Please go and see this wonderful company if you get the chance - you will not be sorry!



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