A beast mourning the beauty he could never have—this is the fate of Creature, the protagonist in Akram Khan’s new production for English National Ballet, just as it was for Quasimodo, King Kong and the canon’s other brutes before him. An apparatus fashioned to withstand the harsh conditions of some indeterminate final frontier, Creature unites mechanical might and human brainpower, a combo that eventually fells the military operation he was designed to bolster. His keeper Marie is the only person who treats him with compassion, but it’s not enough to save either of them from a grisly end. Once the operation’s violent major realises he can’t possess Marie, even through force, he kills her and commands the troops to abandon the site and its resident android. We close with Creature clasping Marie’s corpse, deserted for eternity.
Jeffrey Cirio and Victor Prigent in “Creature” by Akram Khan. Photograph by Ambra Vernuccio