Sylvie Guillem: 6000 Miles Away, Sadler's Wells, London
Friday 08 July 2011
Some of dance's biggest names are brought together in 6000 Miles Away: superballerina Sylvie Guillem and choreographers William Forsythe, Jirí Kyliá* and Mats Ek. Guillem has an impressive commitment to new choreography, her taste often running to quiet, even grungy, contemporary work. Here, there's an intriguing contradiction between low-key dance and the splash of a major star.
The show is named for Japan, hit by disaster while Guillem was preparing this evening; an extra fundraising performance being added to the sold-out premiere run at Sadler's Wells. The title is the only reference to these events.
In 1987, William Forsythe created the lead role of In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated for the young Guillem. Still his best-known mainstream work, its explosive, slamming steps showed off her spectacular technique. The new Rearray is much calmer, but still highlights her cool intelligence.
Guillem and the Paris Opéra Ballet's Nicolas Le Riche twist through mercurial changes of direction. Movement starts in a curving arm, wriggles through the torso, then breaks off as the legs do something completely different. It's a cerebral, detached work; the dancers follow their own trains of thought, in no hurry to go anywhere in particular, the starry cast giving it extra force. Their movements are brilliantly articulate, a fluid Le Riche against the more nervy, electric Guillem.
Our star doesn't appear in 27'52", the revival of an inconsequential Jirí Kyliá* work. Kenta Kojiri and Aurélie Cayla wander and wind around each other, folding the floor cloth over themselves. On his shoulders, back to the audience, she discards her red top and dances the rest bare-breasted.
Mats Ek is another long-term collaborator. His new Bye, danced to a Beethoven piano sonata, is unexpectedly larky. On a narrow film screen, we see a glimpse of Guillem. She reaches up – and hands grasp the top of the screen as the real dancer emerges. The film is sometimes her reflection, sometimes a doorway through which others peer – including a dog – to see what she's up to.
Taking off her dowdy cardigan, she starts to dance with more scope: when she swings a leg up into a high extension, there's a purr from an audience that knows (and loves) Sylvie's six o'clock legs.
To 9 July (0844 412 4300)
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
The New York Times sparks criticism after releasing an all-white reading list
Glastonbury lineup 2015: The Women's Institute to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote