Review of ‘6000 miles away’ a Sadlers Wells/ Sylvie Guillem Production, September 25, 2011.

Sylvie Guillem in Bye by Mats Ek

Sylvie Guillem is undoubtedly one of the world’s most sensitive talents in dance. Whatever she is in, your eyes are on her, and when the choreography is unimaginative, one can tune it out and just watch her. She is now a mature artist and no performance should be missed.

Rearray by William Forsythe

The programme consisted of three concert pieces. The first was ‘Rearray’, choreograped by William Forsythe, with music by David Morrow. The music initially produced some rather high frequency sounds which slightly grated. It  closed one in a sound dome that rose and fell but was not rhythmic. The beginning of the composition seemed to come from a ‘twitching’ school of dance. No movement was extended or followed through. What was present was the impulse to move, then withdrawn into the self, which I suppose is what a twitch is. Part of this sequence presents an indecision in direction, so essentially the dancer goes nowhere. I felt that I had seen it all before- that it was a cliché which has crept into the vocabulary of contemporary dance- and for that reason it was irritating rather than fulfilling. In the midst of this were classical ballet leaps, attitudes, some pas de deux work, but without many lifts. Again, it felt truncated. It seemed a collection of movement sequences stuck together.  It did not seem to be a conceptual whole from a kinesthetic point of view. There were two or three striking moments, but they were undeveloped and died. I found the composition mannered. If the content is pure dance, it needs consistency of style and a strong visual or rhythmical realisation.

27’52” by Jiri Kylian

The next offering was entitled 27’52”. Jiri Kylian had choreographed it to the music of Dirk Haubrich. It starred Aurelie Cayla and Kenta Kojiri.  Aurelie Cayla studied at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de danse in Lyon. She joined Nederlands  Dans Theater II where she met Jiri Kylian.  Lenta Kojiri began dancing in China and Japan and won an Apprentice Scholarship at the Prix  de Lausanne in 1999. He is currently a member of the NDT. This work was dramatic, rhythmic and emotional. It was visually simple but strong. Its simplicity was born of a distillation process in which more was thrown away than kept. This process is necessary to discover what is motivated, beautiful and coherent. Movements cannot just be tacked onto one another. It was organic with a dash of the primitive . In the dance the female removed her top, and the pas de deux proceded as skin caressing skin. It would not have moved the audience so much but for this element of nudity. It brought to mind the first couple, Adam and Eve.

Bye by Mats Ek

The final offering  entitled ‘Bye’, was choreographed by Mats Ek to Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. III, Arietta. Lyrical, funny and poignant, the amusing technical effects heightened the intensity of the audience experience and were in the service of the whole. This oeuvre introduced us to Sylvie Guillem the brilliant comic mime. One laughed in ‘Bye’ in order not to cry. It was about those complete childhood moments which we believe will last forever. The family is there, including the dog! Sylvie embodied carefree exuberance, standing on her head. Her characterization was precise and her every movement expressive. Her dancing was captivating, pure, unencumbered, as is childhood. Just as one doesn’t want childhood to end, neither did the audience want this performance to end.

Syvie Guillem in Rehearsal

Films on youtube which portray the multifaceted Sylvie:

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