Edinburgh International Festival dance review: Ballett Zurich: Kairos and Sonett at Edinburgh Playhouse, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kelly Apter
When I heard that Wayne McGregor had choreographed a piece to Max Richter’s Recomposed – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, I’ll confess to thinking that nothing in the movement could come close to the beauty and excitement of Richter’s music. How wrong I was.
McGregor began creating Kairos before Recomposed had even been recorded, working instead from the score (he can read music) and it shows. It’s hard to recall a piece of choreography so tightly attuned to the notes accompanying it. Every lift of the arm, every sharp pointe-shoed flick of the foot, every twisting body swerve matches the poignancy and adrenalin rush of the score.
Most of this is viewed in the open, but some is performed through the thin veil of Idris Khan’s design – a large screen covered in sheet music, beautifully lit by Lucy Carter.
But perhaps what comes across most in this, and the piece that follows, is the phenomenal talent of the Ballett Zürich dancers. Their flawless speed and precision looks somehow effortless, and you never want them to stop.
The man who moulded this company to its current state of excellence is artistic director, Christian Spuck – so he knew how to get the best out of them while creating Sonett. Inspired by Shakespeare’s love poetry, the piece is almost too much to handle. A busy stage, with five low plinths, an enormous picture of a mysterious man, an actor dressed as Shakespeare delivering the poems in French (which are then translated on to the wall), the “Dark Lady” of the poems in a vast, billowing dress – and 23 dancers.
In the midst of all this lies some truly exquisite choreography – and personally, I’d rather clear everything else off the stage and just watch these incredible dancers perform Spuck’s work.
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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