Sunday, 8 November 2009


30/10/09 and 31/10/09, Sadlers Wells

I was knackered. Flew back for the first of these from a week's holiday driving round Bavaria. Kept drifting off after the interval which was infuriating because this was Morris at his charming, witty, fluid best.

The first night we saw a new work called Visitation set to a Beethoven cello sonata (played live), about which I recall nothing except that I liked it very much. Then Going Away Party, set to the (prerecorded) music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys: I saw it years ago in Edinburgh, good ole country music with naive lyrics and plangent guitar accompaniment for which Morris has devised a succession of dances in which seven dancers in cowboy boots and fancy shirts group and regroup, pairing up, swapping partners and generally having a high old time. Camp as cowboy coffee.

In the second half we had Three Preludes to the music of Gershwin, for a solo male dancer dressed in black with white gloves and shoes. This too I saw years ago in Edinburgh danced by Norris himself; Brandon McDonald is slimmer and lighter on his feet. We're in Marcel Marceau territory, the arms windmilling, the hands opening palms outward in a "Mammy" gesture.
Finally (the one I fell asleep in) Visitation, also seen before. The dancers skip in fours diagonally across the stage; they finish powerfully in a circle, stamping.

Here is a review:

The next night we saw Empire Garden, to music by Charles Ives for violin, cello and piano; Bedtime, set to three Schubert songs including Erlkonig; and V, a new piece set to a Schumann piano quintet.

I can remember even less of this, though ostensibly I was less tired. All I can remember is that V began and ended with the dancers in a V. And that once again I enjoyed it greatly.

More reviews:

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