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Scottish Ballet, 18 août 2016 19:30, Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Sensuality, brutality and spellbinding spectacle come together in a double bill of major contemporary dance works from Scotland’s national ballet company, radically contrasting in their dance styles, but equally powerful in their extreme emotional impact.
A 38-strong corps de ballet is transformed into a swarming, scurrying mass of insect-like creatures in the multi-award winning Emergence by Crystal Pite, which draws parallels between classical ballet’s traditional hierarchies and the swarm intelligence of bees.
By turns ritualistic and mesmerising, and cast on a huge scale, Emergence transforms the stage into the dancers’ eerie subterranean hive, combining the elegant lines of classical ballet with weird, insect-like movements and chaotic formations. With a hypnotic electronic score by Owen Belton, Emergence is a spectacular showpiece from one of today’s most exciting and innovative choreographers.
Angelin Preljocaj’s MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) is a hymn to the male body, a meeting of the spiritual and the carnal, a glorification of masculinity and a condemnation of force. Performed by 12 male dancers representing the Apostles of Jesus, this powerfully sensual work takes as its starting point the Last Supper as related in the Gospel of St Mark, chapter 14, verse 22 as Christ breaks bread and announces to his disciples: ‘Take it; this is my body.’
Through ritual washing, tender affection and images of cruelty, MC 14/22 evokes Biblical scenes in a visceral, sometimes brutal work that explores the idea of surrendering the body so that it can be recreated anew. Angelin Preljocaj is one of the world’s preeminent choreographers, revered for his unmistakably provocative dance vocabulary focusing strongly on physicality and sensuality.
Crystal Pite / Angelin Preljocaj