Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘2013’

Don Quichotte du Trocadéro

In Dance, Edinburgh, Festival Theatre, Performing Arts, Review, Theatre on August 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Whoever thought that catapulting a nearly 150-year-old ballet into the present day by means of contemporary dance would make it any less puzzling to us, was wrong.

While José Montalvo’s radical re-interpretation of Petipa’s 1869 ballet Don Quixote certainly feels closer to our present day, it nevertheless offers a strange amalgamation of everyday comedy, century-old allegories and complex dance routines.

If street dance is your thing, then you will greatly enjoy this show. Thanks to Montalvo’s project it is possible to see both classical music and street dance in a completely new light. Accompanied by video and sometimes even singing, Don Quichotte du Trocadéro feels new and alive. The cast of excellent dancers really make this show what it is, although their rather complex dance moves unfortunately seemed, to me at least, to be slightly out of time more often than not. Understandably, the dancers were most comfortable when they were allowed to be in their own element, with one exception: Lead dancer Sandra Mercky showed her talents time and again, delighting the audience with exceptionally executed ballet moves as well as fierce hip hop and street dance.

Among other highlights were Patrice Thibaud in the role of Don Quixote, whose effortless comedy tied the whole show together, and flamenco dancer Sharon Sultan, whose passionate and ardent performance took the energy of this show to a whole new level.

Montalvo’s take on Don Quichotte du Trocadéro offers a night full of unique performances and fun – and lots and lots of street dance.

 

★★★★

 

Antonia Landi for Edfestmag

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Dido and Aeneas & Bluebeard’s Castle

In Edinburgh, Festival Theatre, Music, Opera, Performing Arts, Review on August 25, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Making an opera feel relevant to the present day and captivating to the audience is always a difficult task. Making an opera that is over three hundred years old relevant and captivating is nothing short of a masterpiece. Unfortunately, Oper Frankfurt did not quite succeed in this. Accompanied by a small ensemble with authentic instrumentation, Barrie Kosky’s take on Purcell’s Baroque opera Dido & Aeneas simply felt a bit too ridiculous at times. Unnecessary nudity and costumes that gave the feel of a fancy dress party all too often distracted from the story. Vocally, Paula Murrihy’s interpretation of Dido was exceptional and gripping, especially during the third act. The three witches were just as enticing, although sometimes overshadowed by their own acting.

Second in this double bill was Bela Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Unlike the interpretation of Dido & Aeneas, Oper Frankfurt did a splendid job of creating the ideal setting for Bartók’s music to shine. Minimalist both in the mise-en-scène and costumes, Bartók’s opulent music took centre stage. By using very few props and an absolutely blank stage, Kosky deliberately relied on the audience’s imagination to fill in the gaps; a fitting decision considering Bluebeard’s Castle’s expressionist style.

Both Robert Hayward and Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, in the roles of Bluebeard and Judith respectively, impressed with their stellar vocal performances. Although some of the settings and acting needed further explanation, this was almost always done by dialogue, and is only a minor blemish in an otherwise captivating performance.

All in all, this unique double bill offered the audience to see opera in two completely different ways. Even though the interpretations were slightly disappointing at times, the evening nevertheless showcased some great operatic talent.

★★★★

Antonia Landi for Edfestmag

Two is the Beginning of the End

In Edinburgh Fringe 2013, Theatre on August 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Let me be frank: if you think you know what you’re about to see based on the play’s summary, you’d be wrong. Described as a “fast-paced, brutally poignant coming of age story” the play is actually a lot more entertaining than it sounds. Two is the Beginning of the End is quite possibly the closest fiction can get to reality. Often blurring the lines between characters, actors, spectators and directors, the play is much like adolescence: short, energetic, awkward and nostalgic.

Intensely fast and captivating, the play combines the stories of eight guys and girls, all between the ages of eighteen and twenty. If you have ever been a teenager, the chances of you relating to at least one of the eight characters are very high. In fact, it is precisely the raw, honest and most of all real emotions that take this play beyond your average Fringe performance. Almost painfully current, it plays on the fears everyone had to deal with while growing up: What is my next step, who am I really and will it ever be the same again?

Two is the Beginning of the End is definitely a worthwhile way to spend your evening. Prepare yourself to experience adolescence all over again, from the depths of insecurities to the highs of and lows of love and partying.

★★★★★

 
Two is the Beginning of the End
Sweet Grassmarket
19.40
Until 25 Aug

Antonia Landi for Edfestmag

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