For Jonathan Still, if ever there was a choreographer who could make dance the new rock n’ roll, it’s Kristen McNally. We agree, having raved about her latest work for the Linbury Studio Theatre ourselves. McNally shows that modern ballet can still use narrative threads; that it needn’t be pure abstraction in order to break with convention. We think it would be great if she took her “indie ballet” concept to some of London’s smaller theatres; she might yet convert a few ballet-skeptics:
Her send up of clichés of gender, music and movement is so funny, I thought I was going to be sent out for laughing too loudly. Towards the middle, there was a harmonica in the music that began to annoy me. Really annoy me. It whined on and on, and I began to hate what the harmonica stood for as a sound. Just when I thought ‘please stop this’, Tom Whitehead had a real harmonica shoved in his gob by a passing ballerina, and was left to continue his next solo with with it stuck there. It was a moment of such multifaceted comedy, you couldn’t quite work out what had happened. It was as if McNally was saying ‘Ha! You thought I didn’t notice!’ There’s no suitable phrase for the concept of being hoist by your own harmonica, but she just did it in dance.
Continue reading Jonathan Still’s fab review of The Royal Ballet’s New Works at the Linbury Studio Theatre.
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