Above: In the Best Moments.
Right: Clare Morfehen as
She Who was Left
Photos by David Kelly
Lest We Forget
Choreographed by Ma Cong, Natalie Weir and Paul Taylor
Season: July 29-August 6. Running time: two hours and 10 minutes including two 20 minute intervals. Bookings: www.qpac.com.au or 236 346.
Lest We Forget is a program of three short ballets created to commemorate the centenary of World War 1. It provided something very unusual for the company with three completely different styles of dance that told three different tales of the war.
I was there on a Wednesday night and it proved to be a memorable evening with some fine performances from the QB dancers. It was great to see the company conquer some amazing choreography.
The ballets ran approximately 30 minutes each, and the first one was created by international star Ma Cong.
In the Best Moments was played out in three movements, the looming war, the dawn of hope and the ending, all set to the pounding music of Philip Glass’s The Hours Suite. I loved the choreography with its clean lines and elegance. It was not easy movement, but it was beautifully danced by the company and included three electrifying pas de deux.
In the opening section it was Principals Clare Morehen and Shane Wuerthner. With total faith in each other with the difficult lifts and limb-torturing movement they added grace and beauty to the powerful choreography. It was the same in the other sections from Yanela Pifiera and Victor Estevez and Laura Hidalgo and Joel Woellner.
Woellner was a very impressive presence on stage throughout the night. He has very clean lines and the strength to make those difficult lifts look easy.
After the first interval it was Natalie Weir’s We Who Are Left. This was a magnificent, brooding piece of work danced to the powerful tones of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. It was the story of men going off to war, the excitement, the deaths, and the agony of the women who were left behind and of the men who survived the conflict.
David Walters’ lighting plot was superb and the dancing was compelling to watch. There was not so much as s single cough during the performance. Lina Kim and Camilo Ramos were delightful as the loving couple and Jack Lister gave a magical performance as the lone survivor of the battle. But the most moving of all was Clare Morehen as She Who was Left.
She danced oblivious to the ministering of her dead lover in a simply stunning pas de deux. It was the best part of polished gem of a ballet.
Finally the mood was lightened by American Paul Tailor’s boppy Company B. Here the company let loose with the frenetic swing of wartime America that was very cleverly turned into modern dance. It was the fastest 30 minutes if the night as the company swung their way through ten recordings from the Andrew Sisters.
Teri Crilly and Rian Thompson were a delight with the Pennsylvania Polka and Lina Kim, Tara Schaufuss and Sophie Zoricic had a ball with Joseph, Joseph. In fact the whole company had a ball, along with the audience.
I also particularly enjoyed Rum and Coca Cola, with Laura Hildalgo playing up to the men in a sexy, saucy dance.
It was another totally enjoyable night with Queensland Ballet.