FESTIVAL – 6000 MILES AWAY – Sylvie Guillem – 5K

By Julia George

Australian Premiere – Season closes 4 march

Dance lover’s rejoice! Wondrous, leading ballerina Sylvie has finally hit our shores in this incredible Australian premiere.

At 48 years old, it is no wonder why Sylvie is still regarded as one of the greatest ballerinas of our time. She performs this profoundly beautiful, refined work with grace &elegance, and the physically-intense choreography appears effortless & weightless as if she is floating.

This work is a triple-billl, and Sylvie does not dance in the opening work 27’52” by Jiří Kylián, which is danced by three other dancers- Vaclav Kunes & Natasa Novotna, with the participation (in the closing of the piece) of Benjamin Stuart-Carberry (of the Australian Ballet). This work opened as quite a physical duet and softened part way through. The agility of the dancers was incredible to watch as they seamlessly weaved around each other, working together effortlessly. The set design was simple and modern, with a ‘warehouse’ feel.

In the second work, a duet titled Rearray by Forsythe, Sylvie is joined on stage with Massimo Murru. This work is highly-contemporary with a strong classical edge. The lighting design (also by Forsythe) was interesting, with the lights constantly fading in & out (to blackout) throughout the piece. The lighting was also quite dim on stage, which made it hard to focus at times (especially in the big theatre the Festival Theatre is).Sylvie shone in this work, outdancing her talented male counterpart.

After a short interval the audience was treated to Mats Ek’s Bye, performed as a solo work by Sylvie Guillem. This piece integrated digital media on stage in the form of a 2x1m screen, projecting at times comical video (of other people & a dog), which Sylvie interacts with throughout the work. A much lighter choreography & performance than the previous – also more engaging, with some giggles & claps during the performance from the audience. Bye did not fail to show off the incredible physical prowess of Sylvie, leaving the audience in awe.

This show is a true masterpiece highlighting Sylvie’s unique technical perfection. The trilogy of work is diverse, interesting and mesmerising. It’s not everyday you have the opportunity experience an international master perform their craft, and this is one opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!

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