Words/ sound: Fiona Christensen & chris booth
photographs: val adamson
I’m not a ballet connoisseur or ballerina myself, in fact, as a little girl I despised it and instead took up sports that didn’t require silly tutus or pirouettes. I did however appreciate movement and the human physique and as I grew older I began to love watching dancing and the graceful, effortless leaps and bounds of ballet and other forms of contemporary dance.
Le Songe d’une Nuit d’ete (A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream – appropriated by Michael Kelemenis and danced by the Geneva Ballet Company) is one of the few ballets I have been privileged to watch, a gala of beauty, form, movement and style with a contemporary twist. It depicts the Shakespearean play of dreams and love between fairies and elves and the consequences of their quarrel. I myself am not too well versed on the play but no previous knowledge was needed as the ballerinas, in their simple, shimmering costumes and minimal scenery managed to explore the play in all its drama, comedy and romance and convey the story successfully through their bodies and movement, weaving a magical story.
The beauty of this production was that it lacked the stiff, traditions of ballet, with not a tutu, point ballet pump or over-done backdrop in sight. Instead the audience was graced with simple, yet highly effective props, flawless group routines and heartfelt dancing from the main lovers. The music, conducted by Lykele Temmingh and the KZNPO Orchestra and the choreography are top-notch and each show has received standing ovations. Although some of the dances are rather risqué in some places, this adds to the beauty of this adaptation, making it more honest and appealing. Favourites of the show were the lovers dancing amidst the feathers and the wedding march on the interesting moving shapes. They dance troupe are currently performing in Cape Town and we highly suggest you book your tickets for a stunning show.