Friday, 12 December 2014

Ballet Black Insight Evening

Ballet Black insight evening, Clore Studio @ ROH - reviewed on 10th December
 
At Ballet Black’s insight event in the Royal Opera House’s Clore Studio, Mark Bruce guided dancers through The Second Coming, his creation for the company’s 2015 mixed programme. Having last worked with the dancers in July, Bruce spent most of the evening asking them to perform and then trying to recall his original thought processes, focusing on the transitions between steps.
Bruce and Ballet Black Artistic Director Cassa Pancho also chatted about The Second Coming. Pancho commissioned a 30-40 minute narrative piece after seeing Bruce’s Dracula on tour last year. “It’s a narrative ballet in the broadest possible terms,” explained Bruce. “There’s a narrative that you can follow but it’s my work, so it’s dark, surreal and strange.

“I’d been reading old myths and the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales and was interested in the idea of someone who’s crucified and comes back after 2000 years. He would be pretty annoyed. There’s a wicked king in charge – maybe he’s the devil – and imagery of Mary Magdalene. The person who comes back could be the king’s lost son. He falls in love and has to make a choice. If it’s the wrong choice, he turns into a monster.
“That doesn’t make any sense, does it? But the Grimm fairy tales don’t make any sense either. The ballet has a general narrative and a philosophical narrative and I don’t want to share too much.”

After this frustratingly cryptic introduction, it will be interesting to see if Bruce’s work makes more sense once it’s on the Linbury Studio Theatre stage in February.

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