A SUBLIME AND SPECIAL FUNDRAISING EVENT
Breathe: A celebration of song and dance in aid of Cystic Fibrosis
Medhi Angot (director, choreographer)
at Soundings - Te Papa, Wellington
From 7 Jul 2012 to 8 Jul 2012
Reviewed by Lyne Pringle, 10 Jul 2012
Artists from the Royal New Zealand Ballet join forces with Musical Theatre singers and the Cystic Fibrosis Association to present Breathe at the Soundings Theatre in Te Papa. This was a special concert. The dancers were sublime. It is a rare treat to see the great pas de deux from the classical ballet canon clustered together, and it is a rare treat to see them performed so beautifully in such an intimate setting. They were interspersed with two contemporary ballet duets and musical interludes.
The project is the brainchild of Medhi Agnot and he is ably assisted by his partner Glenn Horsfall to bring it to fruition alongside Caroline Wagteveld McKenzie from the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand. Horsfall and Agnot perform with stature and grace throughout the evening.
The pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite pieces of music; soaring, romantic, surging and swelling - a perfect expression of romantic love. The marriage of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa has an enduring perfection which is matched by the precise dancing and partnering of Ginny Gan and Jaered Glavin. The triple fish dive sequence is seamlessly executed.
The Bayadére Pas de Deux danced by Lucy Green and Medhi Angot shows off their wonderful ballon and technique. They sparkle with excellence and make a fantastic couple with seductive glances, lovely turns and needle-like jêtes .
Aprés La Pluie is a contemporary piece danced by Lucy Balfour and Dimitri Kleioris, with choreography by Pierre Doncq and music by René Aubry. The work exploits their sinuous strength and athleticism in choreography depicting the nuances of a partnership struggling to find communication. With flung movements that drip duende, the two dancers embrace the physicality of this piece.
Corsaire Pas de Deux is danced by Antonia Hewitt and Qi Huan, choreographed by Petipa, who features largely in the programme, to music by Leon Minkus. It is breath-taking and exquisitely executed with tenderness and musicality. The very famous solos are whipped off with great virtuosity.
Through to You another contemporary piece danced by Antonia Hewitt and Jaered Glavin is choreographed by Andrew Simmons to enduring music by Arvo Part: a favourite of choreographers, this interpretation is sublime, both choreographically and performatively. Circular movements match the swirling music as the dance builds to a climax of tenderness and yearning as the dancers walk side by side away from us to finish – together/alone in love.
Ginny Gan epitomizes the doomed swan in the White Swan Pas de Deux and Qi Huan is her perfect Prince. These classical pas de deux have such clearly defined male and female roles, both have strength, the male lifts and displays the woman allowing the woman to create exquisite arabesques and poses with liquid expressive arms. In this very famous variation Gan and Huan are wonderful; Huan is statuesque and noble whilst Gan has extraordinary extension and fluidity – a beautiful partnership.
The last dance item on the programme is also stunning; Lucy Green and Medhi Angot dance the Don Quixote Pas de Deux. Again their dynamic chemistry is on display. Green whips her way through the fan variation with fiery passion, fantastic fouettes and pointe work that sizzles whilst Angot leaps and whirls, commanding the stage with his skill.
It is a darn good idea to have an evening of dance pas de deux - and a privilege to attend.
Having cystic fibrosis is likened to spending life breathing through a straw : as the performers sing and move we sense their breath, artistry and skill. It is a brilliant and generous contribution of their vitality for this fund-raising venture, breathing life into a ‘small charity with a big heart'. Performers and organisers all deserve congratulations and the fully deserved standing ovation as the cover girl for the project, Eva, is held aloft by Medhi Angot and Jaered Glavin.
It is great to see art being used for community good: deeply heart-warming.
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