The Rite Of Spring / common ground(s)

The Rite Of Spring / common ground(s) review Michael Prescott 5MBS

This was a show of two remarkable performances.

Firstly, the wonderful duet performed by Germaine Acogny, aged 77, and Malou Airaudo, 74, titled “common ground(s)”. Coming together both to dance and to choreograph this work these two dancers prove beyond doubt that age has not dimmed their abilities or enthusiasm. Sure, they do not perform with the athleticism that follows in the second half, but this was a demonstration of subtlety, grace and style from two dancers. Nonetheless, their fitness and stamina made this piece all that more fantastic. Age is no barrier to these two greats.

The main work, the late Pina Bausch’s choreography performed by 38 African dancers to Stravinsky’s score, was a powerhouse performance. The dancers, barefoot, performed on a stage covered on a dirt like cover, with great passion and skill, bringing real power to the work that Bausch created some 47 years ago. Bausch’s choreography is almost perfectly attuned to Stravinsky’s score, the dancers reacting to the music as if the music and dance were one. The African cast provided a stunning alternative to the usual dancers and in doing so greatly enhanced the performance. Further, there is no doubting there dance prowess. There were some brilliant individual, particularly the lead female, but in truth, all excelled.

It is performances like this that make a Festival, original but classic and something that stays with one.

Her Majesty’s Theatre

4 March

Michael Prescott

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