To Sir Frederick Ashton’s fast footwork and musicality belongs the Australian Ballet’s double bill “The Dream” and “Marguerite & Armand.” To the charming misadventure distillation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream bubbles “The Dream.” To the legend of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, dovetails Amy Harris’s Marguerite, in Harris’s last stage role before her retirement. After 22-years with the company, Harris bids farewell in a delicious camellia-bloom, echoing Marguerite’s own departure (thankfully for altogether different reasons; Harris is retiring from the stage, whereas her character Marguerite is dying of tuberculous).FREE ARTICLE
The show starts outside the theater. A car, with its right rear window busted out, pulls up, music blaring, bass turned up. A burly, formidable man exits the driver’s seat, opens the trunk, and props himself casually against the passenger-side door. From the trunk, Sati Veyrunes emerges. Veyrunes is small, spunky, and elfin—she parts the crowd as she begins to perform, channeling the music as though possessed. Veyrunes holds tension in her body almost like electricity—she melds with the beat like one does at 2 am, surrounded by strangers, everything enhanced by a (perhaps synthetic) euphoria. At times, Veyrunes’ eyes roll back in their sockets, her eyelids flickering, as though the music and the movement are allowing her to transcend her earthly body.
When a choreographer takes on volcanic and iconic works from American musical giants like Leonard Bernstein and John Adams one move they could take is to cool them down with a couple of more soothing European works in between.Continue Reading