Artiklar från 2008 – till idag
Artiklar från 2008 – till idag
STOCKHOLM: The Royal Swedish Ballet’s Spring ’15 programme delivered an evening of fine music and a mixed bag of choreography. For Johan Inger’s Våroffer, the orchestra, under the baton of Lawrence Renes, played Stravinsky’s masterpiece with fervour and for Roy Assaf’s Ballader, Roland Pöntinen gave a rich compassionate interpretation of Johannes Brahms’ piano music.
Tackling Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is not for the faint hearted. It comes with iconic status and many, many earlier interpretations. Inger looks to its modern relevance, investigating how we can validate a ‘rite of spring’ in 2015. In place of ritual sacrifice he investigates unbridled lust and victimisation. In both new and old versions it is a young woman who pays the price and this stirs memories of recent horrific gang rape cases.
However the work starts innocently enough as Anton Valdbauer flattens a pesky buzzing mosquito and in turn is (literally) knocked flat by the sight of Olivia Ancona strutting past on high heels in a bright yellow coat. This could be just another story of summer love but Inger and Stravinsky have other ideas.
The familiar music seems to take on new resonance. The lugubrious bassoon notes at the opening set a mood of indolence as one after another the men uncoil, stretch and start to dance. On the crashing chords the lighting suddenly switches to a haze, cut through by slashes of light and the men stamp out their desire in unison as testosterone levels soar.
As the women appear attractions form, Olivia Ancona and Valdbauer engage in a fractious duet in which desire and fear are equally balanced. Inger uses his favourite prop, a wall, but as ever in any number of unlikely ways. It provides an additional surface, something to climb over and through and in a game of hide and seek Ancona disappears to be instantly substituted by Rena Narumi.
The amber warning light changes metaphorically to red as Jérôme Marchand enters carrying the yellow coat which will mark out his victim. A supremely eloquent dancer, his finely co-ordinated movements make compelling viewing but with just a turn of his head or a gesture of intent he can as well become a creature of such evil he freezes your blood.
He instigates the action by slipping the coat onto several of the women who fight it off but Ancona is cornered and takes on the mantle. Marchand leaves the men to it and returns after the rape. He strips off his jacket and joins the bare chested men in a triumphal dance. Ancona now accepts the coat willingly to cover her nakedness. Her final short solo is brutal as she stagger like a broken doll before tearing off the garment and walking backwards into the welcome darkness.
The choreography is impressive, bringing out the subtle changes as relationships shift and matching Stravinsky’s score in movements varied and powerful. Mylla Ek’s costumes and set are simple and striking while her sketches in the programme are powerfully evocative. While Erik Berglund, who choreographs the lighting design, proves himself a master of the art.
For his duet, which opened the programme, Roy Assaf choses two of the company’s top dancers, Mariko Kido and Hokuto Kodama, who are a couple both on and off stage. He states his intention to allow the dancers to reveal their private lives. Disappointingly the resulting 25 minute piece borders on biopic sentimentality. For lengthy periods very little happens – the couple simply lie in each other’s arms or mooch aimlessly. The choreography is minimal and as the dancers work only on one half of the stage, a fair number of the audience did not even see what little there was. Fortunately Pöntinen was placed centre stage and played magnificent but it was a sad waste of dance talent.
2 march 2015
Grundad 1995. Est. 1995