Saturday, August 26, 2017

ARCHÈ!



Concept and direction by Simon Hoy
Choreography by Simon Hoy and Timothy Podesta
Melbourne Ballet Company
Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to 26 August

Reviewed by Len Power 25 August 2017

Inspired by ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Archè!’ also takes inspiration from the Greek Myth – Leda and the Swan and The Dying Swan.  Archè is the Greek word that indicates the beginning, the principle from which all things arise – the force that explains their birth and death.

It’s a clever concept because in this show we have the original ballet, Swan Lake, as the beginning and, of course, its storyline leads to death at the end.  Director, Simon Hoy, honours the original ballet but gives us a fresh and innovative take on it with a modern-looking production using video projection for the backgrounds, the familiar and expected music by Tchaikovsky but blended seamlessly with other music by Einaldi, Arnalds, Morricone, Jeanrenaud and Elgar.  Costuming by Hoy and Antonia Leonardi is also a mix of classical and modern that works very well.

The choreography by Hoy and Timothy Podesta is constantly surprising, defying our expectations and giving a wistful, dreamlike quality to the story’s progression.

Hoy and Podesta’s choreography is beautifully danced by the company’s nine dancers.  Michael Braun captured a realistic and appealing innocence in his performance as the love-struck Prince Siegfried, dancing the role very well.  Kristy Lee Denovan as Odette and Odile, gave us two very distinctive characters and her dancing as the tragic Odette was especially moving.  Alexander Baden Bryce was a dangerously attractive Rothbart, dancing with great precision and Matt Dillon danced the prince’s friend, Benno, very well.

Simon Hoy has put his own stamp on this much-loved classic ballet and it all works very enjoyably.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7’s ‘Artcetera’ program (9.00am Saturdays) and on other selected Artsound programs.

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