Rosetta contributed again to Queensland Ballet’s International Gala. Read on for an article in The Australian
Caption: Rachael Walsh And Christian Tatchev perform the sublime extended tango in Hall of Flame, dedicated to the late Harold Collins. Picture: Ken Sparrow Source: Supplied
International Gala 2011 Queensland Ballet
Playhouse Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane. August 5.
IN producing the Queensland Ballet’s annual International Gala, artistic director Francois Klaus not only presents new performers and repertoire but a baseline against which his own company might be judged.
The ensemble’s strengths are on display in Rosetta Cook‘s cinematic Hall of Flame, an extended tango dedicated to the late Harold Collins, who guided QB for the better part of two decades. While the younger performers inhabit amusing character roles, Rachael Walsh and Christian Tatchev execute a sublime, slow burning sequence that speaks of their maturity and technical awareness. Later, Nathan Scicluna and Clare Morehen lead a wondrous scene from Klaus’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream complete with two ballerinas flying from the ceiling.
Larger works are balanced with shorter pieces typical of the gala format. Krasina Pavlova from Staatsballett Berlin performs a cool, detached solo to the music of Dead Can Dance, while her partner Rainer Krenstetter makes a stronger emotional connection in Renato Zanella’s Barocco. They unite for a textbook pas de deux that underlines Pavlova’s presence on pointe and absolute extension. Two contrasting pieces feature Ambra Vallo and Tyrone Singleton from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Asaf Messerer’s choreography proving the best vehicle for the pair’s easy power.
Singapore Dance Theatre artists Tomoko Takahashi and Kenya Nakamura do not fare as well. Nakamura’s hesitant partnering leads to major problems in the wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty; his arms and upper body lacked shape in an unconvincing performance.
Queensland Ballet’s newest soloists Hao Bin and Meng Ningning feature in a lopsided overture before capturing the dark romanticism of Giselle. They also show their contemporary repertoire in the world premiere of Short Dialogues by Dutch choreographer Nils Christe.
Panels of light divide the stage as three couples in contrasting colours come into focus before escaping from view. Each pair performs four short pas de deux in a looping sequence, with every step calibrated to the surging strings of Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto.
Bodies arch, collapse and spin upside down in ever-changing and surprising patterns as Christe offsets the driving pace with moments of suspended animation.
As is tradition, Klaus addressed the audience at the beginning of the program, arguing that dance draws its power from its ephemeral nature. Short Dialogues singlehandedly validates his claim as a work of rare, fleeting beauty.