Author S. Pinto- Duschinsky

Dance of The Whore of Babylon.

From the Film Metropolis by Fritz Lang, 1927.

Lucia Lacarra, ‘a thing of beauty’.

Swan Lake Lacarra and Marlon Dino

In 2011 at a World Ballet Stars Gala in St. Petersburg, Lucia Lacarra was named Dancer of the Decade.  I had the privilege of seeing her perform at a Russian charity gala which is held each year in London. [See this website] I hope that her second appearance on my site will enable you to remind yourself of her beauty. She was born in the Basque town of Zumaia,Gipuzkoa in 1975, and she only had an opportunity to train when a ballet school opened nearby. She was already ten when she began. She seems to have been noticed by the ballerina, Rosella Hightower, from a summer course. She next spent three years training with Mentxu Medel in San Sebastian. Later she attended Victor Ullate’s school in Madrid, along with Tamara Rojo and Angel Corella. She has danced with the ‘Roland Petit’s Ballet de Marseille’, ‘The San Francisco Ballet’ and the ‘Bayerisches Staatsballet’ in Munich. Lacarra has feet and ankles that respond almost like hands and wrists. Although she is tall, long and slender, she manages to remain very delicate in her look. She has high extension but uses it in the interest of her art. She has an airy lightness in her lifts, and she dances with her back:

Lacarra at the Mariinsky 2008

Lacarra in Lady of the Camellias

Finally a little piece to show off the way she moves: with Marlin Dino and with a sprinkle of Arabia-‘Light Rain’ (2014):

Mats Ek’s ‘Juliet and Romeo’, Sadler’s Wells, 26 September 2014

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A ‘tour de force’. A powerhouse of energy and strength . Youthful, humourous and lyrical. Ek does not concentrate on beauty but states,
‘There is a beauty that is not pretty’. Not to speak in riddles, his beauty lies in his sensitivity to emotion, in the truth of what is portrayed.This cast of the Royal Swedish Ballet was very accomplished, featuring Mariko Kida as ‘Juliet’ , Anthony Lomuljo as ‘Romeo’ , Jerome Marchand as ‘Mercutio’, Dario Ivanova as ‘Rosaline’.

Mats Ek created his ‘Juliet’ for Mariko Kida and his ‘Romeo’ for Anthony Lomuliijo

You will have noticed that Mats Ek decided to use the music of Tchaikovsky (rather than Prokofiev’s score) from which he chose selections which were adapted and arranged by Anders Hogstedt. The resulting effect needed more quiet shading and brought up the question of whether it is wise to use Tchaikovsky in this way, but the boldness of ‘what you got’ demanded almost continuous movement. The story- line was carried entirely through dance, not relying on props, sets or mime. Thus, the choreography was notable for its consistency of vision and for its intensity. There were moments which were reminiscent of Martha Graham, such as the opening group dance of Juliet’s ball.

 

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The simplicity of the set’s three movable walls with their multiple uses, also reminded me of Graham’s minimalist designer, Isamu Noguchi. In this clip, notice the set:

This is the earliest version from 1944 with Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins and Merce Cunningham:

Sylvie Guillem in Mats Ek’s ‘Smoke':

Beginnings:
Mats Ek was born in 1945 in Sweden to Anders Ek, a famous Swedish actor and Birgit Cullberg, choreographer and artistic director for the Cullberg Ballet. In 1962 or 1963, he studied dance briefly with Donya Feuer in Stockhom. Feuer came to Sweden from New York to take up a position at that time as choreographer and later, director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden. Eks went on to become a theatre student in Norrkoping. From 1966-73, he was stage director and assistant at the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden and the Marionette Theatre in Stockholm. In 1972, he re-established his links with dance and in 1973, he joined the Cullberg Ballet. He created ‘Smoke’ in 1995.

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