Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Must admit – I recognised the name, mainly because of The Adjustment Bureau.
Whilst I normally avoid shows by company related to “ballet”, I was captivated by the trailer of the show.
So I decided it’d be good to go.

Collected ticket, seated, start.

I asked, “Are you the usual ballet dancers?”
“In 15 seconds, you will decide whether you like the show.” (voiceover)
OK, unusual start. Don’t confront me.

Then they crouched, as low as possible.
Live musicians.
Ah, it’s Hofesh.

And they moved, like a beast, with so much grace.
They flew and landed, and there was not a sound.
It was quiet, like a secret.

Hofesh drained all your energy
and asked you to be still.
And be still, you won’t.

But I didn’t get the story – I found no relationships.
Live music didn’t matter, might have just sounded the same…

“I should talk less, do more, maybe then people will like me.” (voiceover)
And you continued to act on the secret;
the secret that I don’t know.

Interval.

I would get a programme, but I had only card.
So I walked to Stage Door to get some fresh air and to decide whether to get some cash,
And saw a dancer sneaked out for a ciggy
I was then sure I have time to go to the cash point.
But whatever. I will get programme and M&Ms, on card.

Bell rang.

It was so light hearted,
And we laughed.
It was not new,
the woosh and taks shown through quirky moves
but it reminded me of New York.
It works, but probably not again.

Interval. Curiosity. Googled.

Why is the company not touring much?
Founded by Wal-Mart heiress – wow!
What do they do when they don’t tour?
What is their business model?

OK, last piece, Crystal Pite. Expectations, sky high.

The soundscape was amazing,
as well as the set.
Maybe so was the choreography,
But all I was starting at, were
The dancers.

What are they?

Are they beasts with grace, in the most risk taking way?
Are they artificial beings, with incredible control in these falls and twirls?

I kept searching for answers.
But abruptly it ended.
Left me in an empty car park space, or an abandoned train station.

They came out and bow. In a line, hand in hand.
There was no hierarchy, and I found them incredibly contemporary.

So I said to myself,
Maybe it’s time again to see New York City.

Cedar Lake Cast bow

Cedar Lake Programme and Ticket

Ghost The Musical, try to believe…

Ghost The Musical was on my Musicals To Watch list since last year, and knowing that it will close in West End I quickly got some tickets to catch the last glimpse of it.

20120902-142356.jpg

The beginning of the show was stunning – live orchestra, the special effects that seemingly brought us through space, the word “Ghost” in your face, and then through the thick dry ice, powerful light from torches was directly in your face again.

Unfortunately that was probably when the “wow” began to end.

Salute to the technological whizz who made disappearing on stage, walking through objects and spirits floating in air possible. Otherwise, the production, empty, was wrapped under the shell of its use of technology in a few key scenes; added to its depth was only the amazing Oda May Brown character and actress for whom I would pay to watch again. The ever changing sceneries – a combination of stage mechanics and digital projection – did nothing but treated the audience like idiots who needed to be spoon-fed. On top of that was some dance acts that looked like steps put together by an amateur choreographer (or choreographies too clever would steal the show even more?), danced by a cast who looked uninspired and were sick of changing costumes.

What I felt the producers wanted to do was to recreate the movie on stage, which was ridiculous in the first place. How could you replace or recreate a 2D experience with live performance, and vice versa?

My last hope was when Molly pulled out her potters wheel – I knew this classic scene from my mum who absolutely loved the film – but it was just another passing scene. In fact, the whole show was made up of passing scenes – storytelling in its blandest way.

I am glad I saw the show, not just it ticked one thing off my list but also I finally got to watch what is called a bad, large-scale production.

20120902-142415.jpg