Magical Ballet Zurich

Ballet Zurich, in it’s final session at the Edinburgh Playhouse, was a theatrical experience of unforgettable intensity, thrilling the packed audience with a dual performance of Kairos and Sonett, choreographed by Wayne McGregor and Christian Spuck respectively.

Kairos – a philosophical term for the right moment to make a decision – offered a very athletically performed abstract ballet and Sonett combined some of Shakespeare’s sonnets with dancing, singing and possibly provocative acting.  The Playhouse is the largest theatre in the United Kingdom and can seat an audience of 3027. Since it opened in 1929 the reputation for brave, bold, music of all genres dance comedy has continued to grow and Ballet Zurich did not disappoint.

In the first half of the programme, Wayne McGregor choreographed Kairos, with music re-composed from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Max Richter. The dancing was superb and matched the music with great synchronicity and never a wrong step. Personally, I found the horizontal bars across the stage (like huge Venetian blinds at certain points in the performance) a distraction and the single discordant note in this excellent performance.

The second half of the performance, combining  Shakespeare’s sonnets, narrated in French, with dance choreographed by Christian Spuck and music by contemporary composer, Philip Glass, as well as music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was fascinating,and one of the more unusual events I have attended and reviewed. It was fast-moving, surprising and the drama, singing and dancing built to a magical, dramatic climax.

I left the Playhouse, and now leave readers with the thought, ‘how well the words and music of the past can help artistes of the present and future to move forward with new and experimental works without being afraid’.

Ballet Zurich ran until until 30th August.


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Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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