The Diary: Kanye West; Joe Wright's Hanna; Arcade Fire; Glee star Chris Colfer; Secret Cinema
Friday 08 April 2011
Turntables and tutus
We've had Anna Nicole, the opera, is Kanye West, the ballet next at the Royal Opera House? Tomorrow, the Royal Ballet soloist Kristen McNally will present a short piece based on West's last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, at the Apple Store in London's Covent Garden. The piece, for two female dancers and three male, is set to a 12-minute mix of tracks with snippets of Mozart's Requiem (which features in West's video for "Runaway"). "I've pulled the album apart – there are so many instrumentals on it – and I've made my own little narrative", says McNally. The dancers – wearing pointe shoes and Kanye's signature shutter shades – will appear for half-hour slots at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm and will encourage shoppers to get involved with the choreography. "I'm making it quite interactive", says McNally. "I'm assuming most of the people there will never have set foot in the Royal Opera House and yet it's just around the corner". West himself is something of a recent ballet convert. His album artwork features a ballerina while the video for "Runaway" plays out as a 35-minute epic, with a full company of dancers in black tutus. When West performed the song on Saturday Night Live he was backed by a Swan Lake-style troupe. "I would love him to see it", says McNally, who recently danced on stage with Thirty Seconds to Mars at Brixton Academy, alongside Principal ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson. "I'm going get everyone in the shop to Tweet him and send him a video of the ballet. Maybe he'll invite us to dance with him at Coachella next week."
There's much to be dazzled by in Joe Wright's follow-up to Atonement, the curious fairytale/ blockbuster hybrid Hanna, which pits Saoirse Ronan's teenage warrior against Cate Blanchett's CIA spy over a Chemical Brothers soundtrack. Most memorable is Tom Hollander's creepy thug, Isaacs. With a Spandau Ballet blond sweep of hair and kohl eyeliner, a wardrobe of snugly fitting pastel shellsuits and a Teutonic drawl, he's surely the oddest, most sinisterly coiffed villain since Javier Bardem's Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. Which proves the Hollywood adage: never trust a man with funny hair – he's probably trying to kill you.
Arcade Fire offer support in Haiti
The Haitian voodoo rock 'n' roots band RAM (no, me neither) secured perhaps the best support act on earth last week when Arcade Fire played a warm-up for their gig in a tiny alcove at the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince. The 200-strong crowd enjoyed a 45-minute set from the Grammy winners, including a cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" before RAM, led by the hotel's manager, Richard A Morse took to the stage as headliners. Arcade Fire singer Regine Chassagne's parents emigrated from Haiti to Canada and the band have donated $1million from their tour to earthquake relief efforts. They were in town to film a new DVD, directed by Leah Gordon, which will feature them playing alongside local musicians.
Glee star's solo spot
Chris Colfer, aka Glee's Kurt, is moving into movies. The Golden Globe winner, 20, is writing Struck by Lightning, described as a coming-of-age tale in the John Hughes mould; he will also star in the film. "It's the most exciting and terrifying thing I've ever done", he told gleefan.com. "I wrote it for the kids in high school who are over-achieving in their own right and under-appreciated for it, just like I was." Asked for his influences, he reeled off a true over-achiever's list: "Jennifer Saunders, John Hughes, Diablo Cody, Tina Fey, Woody Allen..."
Not so secret cinema
Is the cat out of the bag with Secret Cinema? The film club which hosts screenings of classic films complete with fancy dress and entertainment in secret locations, opens its Easter event next Friday. So far the emails from Secret Cinema – motto, "Tell No One" – have been suitably cryptic, inviting "citizens" to "become part of the change". As always, the location is revealed to ticket holders only the day before. But what's this? An email from the Old Vic Tunnels, recommending Secret Cinema. "Basically if you haven't been, you must!" exhorts the message, sent out by the Ambassador Theatre Group. "Secret Cinema tell us that their next production is running in a secret central London location. Get your tickets here!" News also reaches me of a major set build in the Tunnels this week. Could the two possibly be connected? And did no one tell the Old Vic Tunnels to, well, tell no one?
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