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
Inspired by a real-life incident years ago, when police bust in on Joseph Toonga after a neighbour complained about noise, and he had to prove he was a dance student to them and had done nothing wrong, “Born to Manifest” is a brutal and brittle concrete slab of dance. Toonga's choreography sits neatly alongside the cultural signifiers of black culture, where racially-motivated police brutality isn't merely alluded to but represented in an unflinching way in hip-hop, film and literature. I'm reminded of tracks like Public Enemy's “Fight the Power,” Ruthless Rap Assassins' “Justice” and Childish Gambino's “This Is America.” It's dance that defies, dares you to look away, makes you complicit as a spectator in its discomfort.
“Born to Manifest” by Joseph Toonga. Photograph courtesy of the artist
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