And Then, One Thousand Years of Peace, Edinburgh Playhouse

 

Based on the biblical Apocalypse, Angelin Preljocaj’s And Then, One Thousand Years of Peace sometimes looks downright dangerous.

There are duets with one party wrapped up in plastic; heavy chains fall to the floor beside moving dancers, landing with a thump. Don’t try this at home.

Preljocaj’s dance was created in collaboration with the Bolshoi Ballet and is now danced by the French choreographer’s own company.

Some sequences look designed to show a contrast in styles. Two women, with chains around their necks, unfurl into poised classical poses. Dancers with their heads wrapped in flags stage a careful, freezeframe orgy, standing still in sexual positions.

It’s a jumble of images, some stronger than others: violence, sex, flags and some striking, floating dance. Lines of dancers move in a hypnotic, high-stepping walk, like wading birds. Less interestingly, blond-wigged women take up peep-show poses by the walls of Subdoh Gupta’s set.

In the final sequences, dancers wash their flags in sinks, slapping them to the floor in arcs of water. In the most literal biblical image, they bring on two sheep – which look interested in the puddles and inclined to wander off.

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