In 1924, Captain John Noel, with the aid of his hand-cranked camera (and steel nerves, I wager) captured footage of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s infamous attempt to climb Everest in all its beauty and brutality. The footage, recently restored by the British Film Institute National Archive in The Epic of Everest: The official record of Mallory and Irvine’s 1924 expedition (with a score composed, orchestrated and conducted by Simon Fisher Turner), saddles a backpack to the shoulder of the viewer even by today’s standards, and leaves me in little doubt as to the majesty of such an environment. Alongside the earliest film records of Tibetan life, the harsh landscape presented is one part awe-inspiring beauty to one part endurance test, and it is this punishing survival element that links an expedition with Chloe Chignell and Timothy Walsh’s new work “Post Phase: The Summit is Blue.” The landscape traversed in both film and dance is one that covers vulnerability and exhaustion, against a backcloth of extreme conditions.
Still from The Epic of Everest: The official record of Mallory and Irvine’s 1924 expedition, film by Captain John Noel, 1924
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.Continua a leggere