A little procrastination before I attempt to catch up on reviews of books I’ve read over the past few months: a dance review.
I saw “6000 miles” recently, the mixed bill dance show starring Sylvie Guillem, co-produced by her too I believe. I went with my sister, my usual ballet companion – our birthday and Christmas presents these days are mostly tickets for dance shows, and I highly recommend this strategy.
Sadly, this was the slightly truncated show, without the Mats Ek/Sylvie Guillem duet, as Mats Ek was otherwise engaged for just two nights of the “6000 miles” run at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, which is where I saw the show.
Well, the first piece, danced by Nicolas Le Riche and Sylvie Guillem was technically brilliant from both partners, a truly virtuoso performance, but it failed to really stir me. It was highly enjoyable to watch such perfection, but I gained rather more emotion from the second piece danced by Ana Laguna (whom I’d seen dance with Baryshnikov a little while back) and I forget which other dancer.
I had great expectations of the third piece, warmly appreciated by a friend, which was the Guillem solo. Well, after Sylvie emerged from the magic mirror (more on that to come), I instantly thought “Pippi Longstocking” and could not get over the image for the rest of the piece. Shame, but take a look at these pictures and you must see what I mean? The long red hair in a sticky-out plait (ok, so Sylvie has one to Pippi’s two), the clunky shoes, the ungainly skirt and top, even down to the visibly muscly legs to match Pippi’s incredible strength…
I must add, however, that I was completely fascinated and enchanted by the magic mirror aka video screen on stage. Having just attended a conference on augmented virtual reality, I realise that this must be quite basic technology (I don’t think you’d risk anything else on stage), but it was 100% effective and beautiful. The screen/mirror/thingy was a free standing device of about human height, placed halfway down the stage. It was both something that gave you a black and white image of what was behind it (Sylvie Guillem dipping in and out of this filmed space) and also showed what must have been recorded images: a group of people – oh and a dog – that looked like they belonged to the same 1950s-ish slightly East European community as the soloist. Utterly entrancing.
All in all though, a four star rather than five star for me, because I wasn’t as thrilled as much as I was by, say, Eonnagata (also with Guillem in it).