Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Pas de Deux? The Architecture of Dance

Pas de Deux? The Architecture of Dance.

Architecture apparently imitates dance. ...or vice versa. One of our favourite European architects, Santiago Calatrava, has recently designed a split arch for a New York City Ballet production, Benjamin Millepied's Why I am not where you are. Dancers perform jetes and arabesques in front and around and through the split arch. Choreography? Definitely. And Calatrava's set is perfect for accenting the structural positions of the dancers. Lighting in various hues from cherry red to grisaille to rainbow enhances the dancers positions and performances.

Commissioned by Peter Martins, Artistic Director, as part of the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center, Calatrava's hyperbolic-paraboloid composition (structural cables in evidence) commences as a sphere and then changes through a split, almost butterfly-shaped arch through to the rainbow-hued 'phoenix'. It is the perfect foil for the elegant dance composition. George Balanchine and Philip Johnson would be delighted that the tradition of their previous collaborations (1981 Tschaikovsky Festival) is being continued.

Elegant beyond belief. Memories of Balanchine's Jewels, actually.

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