BWW Review: CARD GAME / THE RITE OF SPRING at OPERA WROCLAW
This play contains two pieces: Card Game and The Rite of Spring. Both are amazing, both are composed by Igor Stravinsky and both were not understood during its premières.
First part is mysterious and restrained, elegant but dynamic. Card Game is a story about people, about desire, about luck, curiosity and... life. It's classic and classical. Audience will be amazed by pure ballet movements put in interesting flowing (!) movements. Bodies of dancers are made from very flexible cloth which reminds how unstable human nature is.
There are cards - everywhere - they make a great scenography, they are part of the play, and (literately) cover action. There is a lot of distinction and grace in this part. Dancers are bending to great music making a performance full of refinement.
Choreographer (Jacek Przybylowicz) presents a musical story about people and power. There is fight (even though it's elegant and ful of charm - it's still a fight) between people's choices and desire. And for what is forth - you never know who the strongest one is. Master moment of this choreography for me was putting dancers as a human symmetric creature - moving but according to rules - like those which you have to follow playing a card game.
Something as trivial as a card game can be absorbing and addictive as live itself.
Second part is way different. The Rite of Spring brings more anxiety, more energy in whole spectrum of the play.
There is a lot of ingredients in this piece of art. Firstly there are people captured in one place as scenography is a built-up space with no entry and no exit. 16 human beings are telling difficult story about loneliness, group, individuals, hope, desire and frustration. There is huge capacity in their feet - flat feet making this terrific sound that scared audience in Paris in 1913, as they cannot go up, they leave all their force down to the ground. There are several threads in this story - people are getting vulnerable, angry, dominant, believing, motivated, there are not afraid of using their fists and climbing.
There is a motif of sacrificing a woman in diverse society, there is isolation and fear of not known, madness and welling for escape. This world that we are trapped in - how to survive if we cannot change it? How we adjust? How to survive in a society we are condemned to? Who would be in charge? How to organize life? Or maybe... we focus on wrong things and there is a way out but it takes a lot of courage to find it and climb up despite people left behind. Is there a better world?
This choreography (big bravo to Uri Ivgi and Johan Greben) asks so many questions and shows so many answers. It's variable, dynamic and has a lot of power and potential. This choreography is also very demanding physically but dancers give their best so this perfect (I use this word deliberately) show is even better. Absolute must see.
Photo credit: Marta Ankiersztejn-Wegier