Feb. 9th, 2013

commonpeople1: (Sea)

An evening at the Barbican with colleagues from work, to see Deborah Colker's Dance Company perform Tatyana. Based on Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin, it's a story of unrequited love and tragedy. Two young men, Lensky and Onegin, meet two beautiful young women in the countryside, one being Tatyana.  She falls in love with Onegin and opens her heart in a letter - but he rejects her.  Years later, he runs into her again - this time married to a rich man in St Petersburg - and realises she was meant to be with him... but now her feelings have changed...

The first Act has a large contraption on stage - a sort of wooden tree - which the dancers climb all over, jump from and dance around. The second Act is more surreal and modern, with the dancers dancing as if suspended in the air while light is projected and run through them.  Their style is more modern dance than contemporary - with a lot of ballet thrown in the mix in the second half.

Two interesting details which I thought raised the performance: each character is played by four dancers, and a new character is introduced into the story - Pushkin himself (played by a blonde male character dressed entirely in black which I first thought represented death, and who sometimes was substituted by Deborah Colker herself.) This idea of a character having four dancers works well when demonstrating emotion: four Onegins surrounding one Tatyana gives the impression of "overwhelming emotion" or "excessive love".  And the idea of Colker herself taking turns with Pushkin inside the story was an obvious, but nice, idea of the author never being too far from its creation, and that maybe a love story written a century ago by a man can gain new life today through a woman from another side of the planet (Brasil).

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