Sunday, November 21, 2010

..Und Mied den Wind

This afternoon I took my eight year old daughter to see the ballet ..und mied den Wind at the Zurich Opera House. We had the cheapest tickets in the house, and I must ask, why do they sell such seats?  They might be cheap, but they cost money and for that we surely deserved to see something. From my chair I had a view of the pillar and a tiny corner of the stage upon which no dancer set foot. Luckily we were able to move into the next row, and with Aoife kneeling on my lap we could both more or less see most of the action, but I must admit, it wasn't comfortable.  Nevertheless, it was a very good performance - another triumph for the Zurich Ballet Director Heinz Spoerli who, now aged 70, has reigned here for 15 years. This is his all but final year in the job. Spoerli has great respect for the music of Bach, and  his choreography for this work is set to a number of Bach's suites played by a single cellist.  In fact the cellist began today on stage with the dancers, before moving to the pit at a certain point. The entire piece, as the name implies, is fairly elemental. Bach's  music is stripped down and is haunting, while the stage is minimally adorned - just a huge silver ring hangs above the dancers, gradually ascending and disappearing, to be replaced by a ring of fire. The music and the brilliance of the dancers is the story and suffices. I noted all the elements - wind, metal, fire, I think I heard water at some point, and I definitely saw allusions to the most important element of all.... human love. As the fire died so too Bach's music fell silent and the dancers ceased their movement. With a fidgety eight year old on my lap, it was a long hour and a half, but worth it.  Aoife said she enjoyed it, and she loved the Coupe Denmark afterwards.  I found this video clip of a performance from ten years ago - same piece, same place.  Courtesy Xbox 360 Videos

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