In a recent conversation with the Royal Opera House, Wendy Whelan compares “Restless Creature” to a flower blossoming, explaining “at the beginning it is a tight bud ... but as the programme goes on the movement unravels.” To take her analogy further, I’d liken the bill to a romantic relationship unfolding, one that blooms in the wake of desire and fights to flourish, despite losing a few petals to the tribulations of couplehood. This interpretation may represent but a personal take, but there's no denying the four duets at hand—each of which features a young male choreographer who doubles as a partner—meditate on weighty human dynamics like trust, power and independence. With each successive partner, Whelan flowers in a different way, the dancers' interaction deepening as they negotiate ways to intertwine while preserving the shreds of self that inform their respective strengths.
Wendy Whelan in “Restless Creature.” Photograph by Christopher Duggan
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading