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Syrene Hvid

Giant Steps

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On the 17th of this month, I watched Giant Steps at the Old Stage and was very enamoured with this collection of modern masterpieces.

 

The programme starts out with McGregor's Infra, followed by Kylián's Falling Angels and finishing off very strongly with Khan's Vertical Road.

 

Of the three, I will have to pick Infra as the weaker link, while both Falling Angels and Vertical Road were strong, genuine and intense dance experiences, but this is not to say that Infra wasn't an entertaining piece of choreography, its very specific setting - centering on the London terror attacks - just didn't necessarily translate as directly for me as the more general themes of female existence in Falling Angels and the religious journey of Vertical Road. All in all, however, I found the picks of this collection sound, strong and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.

 

In Infra I was particularly swayed by Andreas Kaas and Stephanie Chen Gundorph's pas de deux and J'aime Crandall's overall performance, especially her final scene where people walk past her in normal clothes, while she just stands there and cries was extremely powerful.

 

In Falling Angels I watched the second cast where especially Jocelyn Dolson and Marina Minoiu stood out for me, Dolson with a stark and wonderfully danced solo and Minoiu with her strong features that really burned across the stage and through the fourth wall. All in all it was really a powerful performance that stays with me even now. I could watch that choreography again and again and seeing it live only enhanced its beauty. Everybody did their very best and added to the experience for me.

 

Finally Vertical Road ended the evening on the strongest possible note. It was definitely the strongest piece that evening. The dusty feel, the hypnotic rhythms, the perfect synched dancing and the strength of every movement, it was a masterpiece, a true masterpiece. When the ensemble first moved and the dust rose, the audience exploded in gasps and ah's, it was a magnetic moment. Sebastian Haynes danced the stranger character and did a remarkable, out of this world job of it. He's such a strong, charismatic dancer, one of my favorites amongst the men of the RDB. The way there was power, forcefulness and aggression in the ensemble dancing, opposite the searching nature of the stranger. When Haynes did those turns that made him almost blur, it went that fast, I lost my breath. I couldn't breathe, I just stared at him moving around in circles again and again and again, that in itself was like a religious experience and really conveyed the entire feel of the piece perfectly. The use of shadows against a golden-yellow-orange background was stark and left an impression of beauty, movement and darkness all at once. Khan has choreographed a true masterpiece here and the audience responded to it as such. It was no doubt the highlight of the evening.

 

It was a very enjoyable evening that to me proved that the RDB can dance modern choreography along with the best as well as classical ballet.

 

Did anyone else attend?

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Any word on when they will announce their 2017-18 season? I can't find any hints on their web site.

 

Years ago there were rumors they hoped to do another Bournonville festival, but I haven't seen anything on that either. Any new on that front?

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3 hours ago, Syrene Hvid said:

Of the three, I will have to pick Infra as the weaker link, while both Falling Angels and Vertical Road were strong, genuine and intense dance experiences, but this is not to say that Infra wasn't an entertaining piece of choreography, its very specific setting - centering on the London terror attacks - just didn't necessarily translate as directly for me as the more general themes of female existence in Falling Angels and the religious journey of Vertical Road.

 

Interesting: I don't remember anyone in London linking Infra directly with the terrorist bombs, or even mentioning that - it was (and still is, so far as I know) seen as a more general reflection on the stress of living in a busy city and the loneliness that can exist  in the middle of crowds. But maybe I just didn't read the programme note...

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1 hour ago, California said:

Any word on when they will announce their 2017-18 season? I can't find any hints on their web site.

 

Years ago there were rumors they hoped to do another Bournonville festival, but I haven't seen anything on that either. Any new on that front?

 

The latest news I have on this, from Nikolaj Hubbe's assistant, is that they are not planning a Bournonville festival as such, but a festival of some sort in June 2018, which would include some Bournonville. That was a few months ago and of course things may have changed.  Last year the RDB announced their new season in late April.

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30 minutes ago, kbarber said:

 

The latest news I have on this, from Nikolaj Hubbe's assistant, is that they are not planning a Bournonville festival as such, but a festival of some sort in June 2018, which would include some Bournonville. That was a few months ago and of course things may have changed.  Last year the RDB announced their new season in late April.

 

Thank you! I've seen a lot of "Bournonville" by other companies over the years. It would be such a treat to see the "real thing" in their home theater. I'll keep hoping and watching their schedule.

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1 minute ago, California said:

 

Thank you! I've seen a lot of "Bournonville" by other companies over the years. It would be such a treat to see the "real thing" in their home theater. I'll keep hoping and watching their schedule.

Indeed, there is nothing quite like that. I am organizing a trip if you're interested.

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20 minutes ago, kbarber said:

Indeed, there is nothing quite like that. I am organizing a trip if you're interested.

Keep us posted on your plans!

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23 hours ago, Helene said:

Reading your posts, @Syrene Hvid, I so wish I could be in Copenhagen regularly!

 

I always feel extremely privileged to be able to follow the ballet as closely as I do. I'm happy to share my experiences with the people of BA!

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On 3/28/2017 at 4:00 PM, kbarber said:

Last year the RDB announced their new season in late April.

 

The theatre has just announced that next season's programme will be revealed on April 26th.

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