She Said, a triple ballet for three hours of raw emotion

By Chloe Darnaud

This weekend three new ballets created by Aszure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang, were shown at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Islington. The three choreographers came together from Canada, Netherlands, and China to create She Said, a unique triple ballet giving dance a voice.

She-Said-ENB-Sadlers-Wells-1097-700x455.jpg

The first part of the ballet is an interpretation of the life of the famous Frida Kahlo. Which seems odd of course at first: how could you possibly illustrate through movement the life of a women who was paralysed most of her life? Her tragic accident, her love life with Diego Rivera, her agony, her passion for painting, all is implicitly played by dancers, without a word. Without a word but with Chavela Vargas’s “La Llorona” (The Weeping Woman). The artist’s famous self-portraits are illustrated by a dozen of painted male dancers with coloured skirts and flowers headbands that look like Frida. The tragic life of the painter, beautifully represented through movement, triggers strong emotion.

After a short entr’acte, comes a startling version of the Greek myth Medea. The famous monologue of Corneille’s piece when Medea interrogates herself about whether or not she should seek revenge is wonderfully illustrated through a scene of her fighting and dancing with a group of dancers. The infanticide scene was also beautifully orchestrated behind see through curtains.

The last choreography has no predominant story other than perhaps the reality of conformism in our society. The costumes are extremely simple unlike the two other performances and there are no leading characters. However, the simplicity of both the dancers and the décor allows the spectator to focus on the most incredible and pure choreography of the night.

English National Ballet Dancers in Fantastic Beings by Aszure Barton (c) Laurent Liotardo (2).jpg

Almost three hours of amazement and emotion, definitely worth a little £12 for last row seats on a rainy weekend.

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