Minder Posted June 21, 2013 Share Posted June 21, 2013 Last night (20 June) was the premiere of Kim Brandstrup's "Ceremony of Innocence" at Snape Maltings as part of the Aldeburgh Festival and Britten's centenary. As there are only 2 performances (second is tonight) I thought I would jot down a few thoughts. Brandstrup has already worked on Death in Venice for ENO and has loosely returned to the theme. The music is Britten's "Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge" which suits dance and drama. Edward Watson plays an anguished man seemingly obsessed with a young boy (Marcelino Sambe) to the disgust of the boy's mother (Mara Galeazzi). Meanwhile two young couples (Itziar Mendizabal/Alexander Campbell and Deidre Chapman/Johannes Stepanek) are full of the joys of life. I don't think there is a story as such but this is what I saw. It is a really well thought out piece which never flags in its 25 minutes or so and is actually helped by video projection of what looked like the inside of a confused mind then shadows of dancers (pre recorded cast members) and waves of water then at the end back to anguish. Snape has a brick wall at the back and needs something like this to avoid the dances merging with the brickwork. Marcelino Sambe was outstanding, not just in getting the character and some virtuoso dancing but also partnering and lifting Mara with confidence. He deserved the big first night cheer he got. With Mara's retirement it is a shame her acting and the work could never be reprised with the original cast, because it justifies further viewing. The evening was shared with Royal Ballet of Flanders with two works by Ashley Page - If Memory Serves (short and cheerful) and Courting the Senses (baroque to Purcell arranged by Britten; dark and interesting) - and one longer piece by Cameron McMillan called Dream Weaver. For me a bit long and repetitive but showing fluid movement and the quality of the Flanders' dancers. The Flanders pieces had already been created and performed recently in Belgium and at times the Snape brick wall syndrome was a distraction. 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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