Last night I could feel only two things: clear happiness and a the strange pride of being human. The potential of the human mind and body suddenly dawned on me again as I watched Sylvie Guillem and Akham Khan unwind on stage at Sadler’s Wells. ‘Sacred Monsters’ is possibly the most appropriate title for this piece. With its minimalist scenography, stunning musical accompaniment, and the dancers’ elegance, ‘Sacred Monsters’ was one of the most exceptional pieces of contemporary dance I have ever seen. Despite being very casual, the performance echoed everything contemporary dance should be about: beauty, athletics, and above all, the expression of the human soul and creativity.
Sylvie’s fleeting innocence and striking technique contrasted and complemented Akhan’s strenght and sophistication in their common struggle between conforming to traditional forms of dance and the journey into the contemporary expressive dance form. The dancing varied from aggression and internal conflict to surprising humour and tenderness. The weight of Akham’s choices and Sylvie’s worries of futility in dance were perfectly balanced with sparks of humour and the striking ease between the dancers. Beautiful, inspiring, or as Sylvie pointed out, simply ‘merveilleuse’.
I have two French boys staying in my flat for this month and one of the things I keep hearing about is Tecktonik. It’s a fairly new style of dance that started last year in Paris. Just thought I’d share…
Last week my dear friend Jola arrived on a train from Krakow. We had an absolute blast catching up, drinking wine, and walking around Budapest. I’ve been wanting to mention though that seeing Russell Maliphant’s dance group performing at Trafo really topped our weekend. His performace was like no other I’ve seen yet and has been reviewed in very high notes all over the world. His technique incorporates classic ballet, tai chi, and yoga. Michael Hulls also did a fantastic job designing the lighting for the play and together with their music it was an extremely elegant and intense composition of movement, light, and music. Do see these people if you get a chance!
My stay in Washington was an absolute delight. I was wined and dined and taken to all sorts of wonderful events by my charming grandfather-in-law. My flight from NY was not the best prelude to this city, but the 7 hour delay (4.5 of which I spent on tarmac) was well worth it in the end. It would be wrong to compare it to NYC, but this town definitely has a lot going on artwise. On the crisp evenings I spent in DC I went to the Philharmonic and to a show by the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
I can’t say I have a vast knowledge of contemporary dance, but I definitely am a fan. This show was one of the most enjoyable things I have ever seen. Paul Taylor is said to be the greatest living choreographer and at the end of the performance showed his face to a standing ovation . The show consisted of four parts and each of them touched the audience with currents of humour, youthfullness, as well as fear and darkness. The picture above is from the ‘Banquet of Vultures’, which was a take on Bush and on the permanence of warfare. The dancers were fantastic and I’m unsure who is more lucky to have whom – Paul Tylor the dancers or the other way round. See this show if it comes to your town.
And before it gets too late to say it – Merry Christmas everyone!