The Age of Anxiety explores the artists’ response to war. W. H. Auden in poetry, Leonard Bernstein in music and Scarlett in dance. Auden’s words, shrewd, perceptive and often despairing are interpreted in music that captures the location, a bar in New York and the period, the Second World War, with intuitive precision as jazz interludes punctuate the restless and troubled score.
Scarlett, a man undaunted by complex subject matter, tackles the theme succeeding well in defining the individual four characters though I felt the essence of this monumental theme evaded him.
The bar room scenes were deftly handled by an exceptional cast: Steven Mc Rae seemed to enjoy exposing his tap dance roots in the jazzy sections and Sarah Lamb, defined neatly in dance the brittle sophistication of Rosetta. Gartside again excelled, providing ballast as Quant, the solid businessman.
Tristan Dyer as Emble, the young naval recruit, brings to his character the beauty of youth and some fine dancing. He brings an element of ambiguity to the work in the somewhat iconic: leaving Rosetta’s apartment as John MacFarlane’s designs open out to reveal dawn over the Manhattan skyline. The picture is exhilarating but seemed to offer the wrong message. However it is an intriguing work that offers challenging roles for the dancers.
22 nov 2014