Their tangled relationship is told in choreographic language that is as eloquent as speech though possibly reflecting a degree of passion more hinted at than revealed in Ibsen’s respectable woman. Natasha Jones and Mark Wax, as their younger selves are correspondingly less complicated and offer two fine dancing roles which they take full advantage of.
While videos show views of gloomy fjords or monochrome waves, the simple and effective set is entirely domestic with the furniture becoming part of the choreography. Kvalvaag, the child Regina, already locked into the role of servant, drags on the table and chairs which become part of a strange and wonderful duet danced with her stepfather, the bluff uncompromising builder, played by Yoshifumi Inao. Like much of the rest of the ballet it is full of adventurous invention that seems to find a distinct voice for each character.
The work had a perfect partner in Nils Petter Molvær’s sound score. He himself is the onstage trumpeter playing a solitary musical line in the opening and closing moments, evoking the sorrow and loneliness. The work is structured on many levels, both physical and metaphysical, with recurrent intrusions from the past haunting the present.
The final scene as mother and son cling together in despair was played at full throttle and makes a profoundly moving completion to the evening.
25 September, 2014