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Jo Across the Festival - August 19, 2011

Jo Turbitt reviews The Peong Pavillion and Caligula.

Peong Pavillion, EIF, Run finished (*****)

A gorgeous show of balletic wonder. The dancers floated beautifully across the stage as the minimalist score, mixed with classical classics, juxtaposed the sumptuous choreography. The design had hints of Chinese symbolism while being incredibly simple and exploding with colour. This was a fantastic theatrical modern ballet that was full of gorgeous moments.

My fear with modern ballet and choreography that fuses cultures which share the odd characteristic, but are polar opposites, is how well are they going to integrate; this production blended East with West with sensitive care and beautiful artistry. The soloists danced with the fluidity of warm golden syrup and the velvetiness of a soft red wine. The choreography, especially of the corp, reminded me of the modern almost neo-classical work of George Balanchine in the first half; beautifully synchronised elegance with the odd geometric shape peppering the fluidity. Chinese traditions woven seamlessly with western throughout the production, be it the set, the costumes, the music and the choreography; a stunning production.

Caligula, 15:15, C: +2 (*****)

A punchy, energetic production from an extremely talented cast led by the unstoppable charismatic force of Luke Sumner, who throws himself into the lead role with electrical energy. Directed with humour and clever physical interpretation, the team of Neil Fisher and Adam Cross inject the heavy script with a fantastic energy, conveyed by their cast, bringing the darkness of the story bounding onto the stage with oomph. The design is simple yet effective; the set is used in a multitude of ways, the colourful costumes encourage the characters to pop out of the dark space and the lighting sculpts the space beautifully. KCS have a production laced with energy. A definite ‘please come back next year with more!’ from me.

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