Ballet Zurich, in it’s final sessionÂ 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. Â 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 andÂ the single discordant note in this excellent performance.
The second half of the performance, combining Â 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.