Photo Flash: Arthur Pita's THE MOTHER At Southbank Centre
The Mother is a powerful, narrative dance production choreographed and directed by master storyteller Arthur Pita which has its London premiere at the Southbank Centre Queen Elizabeth Hall in June. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's dark tale, The Story of a Mother, this sumptuously designed production stars international dance superstar Natalia Osipova and award-winning contemporary dancer Jonathan Goddard.
This highly inventive production conjures up an extremely dark and dangerous world which combines narrative dance, kinetic drama and the superb Osipova as a distraught mother who will do anything to save her sick child and Goddard, whose shape-shifting Death is simultaneously threatening and magnetic. The Mother made its UK stage debut at Edinburgh's EICC in 2018 and performed in Moscow in May before its London premiere.
A mother spends a sleepless night by her sick baby's cradle - she called for a doctor hours ago, but no one's turned up yet. She's exhausted, falls asleep and starts to dream. Suddenly the doorbell rings and standing there is a man in a white coat, but there is something very odd about him. Gradually the mother discovers that Death, disguised as the doctor, has taken her baby away. Distraught, she dashes out of the house and chases after him stumbling into a dark, nightmarish world. On her way she meets numerous fantastic creatures; they all know how to reach Death but each one demands payment for their help. The Faceless Old Lady demands that the woman dances herself almost to death; the Gardner makes her bleed; the Ferryman takes her eyes; the Grey Witch her hair. The last test is the hardest: she meets the father of her child...the lover who deserted her...
Director and choreographer, Arthur Pita comments: "For me, Natalia is at her best when she is fully immersed in her character. She's a very instinctive performer, she doesn't hold back and she allows herself to be fully possessed by the character she is portraying. There is something very powerful about motherhood, and the extremes a mother will go to which resonate in all of us - themes which are personal as well as universal."
Producer Alexandrina Markvo comments: "Natalia Osipova is one of the greatest ballet stars of our time; it is a privilege for me to work with her. She always strives to expand her horizons, exploring her talent across different dimensions. Contemporary dance is one of them. I love narrative dance dramas, which Arthur Pita is famous for, and I was happy to give the two big artists an opportunity to work together again."
The Mother is presented by London-based company Bird&Carrot Productions, founded by Alexandrina Markvo who creates and presents high profile contemporary cultural events in Moscow and London. Productions include Vivienne Westwood's show at Moscow's iconic Kazansky railway station, an exhibition of Madonna and Steven Klein, Sir Norman Foster's retrospective exhibition at the Pushkin Museum, and a retrospective of film director Andrei Tarkovsky at the Curzon Studios. In 2015 Alexandrina produced Brodsky/Baryshnikov, a one-man show based on the poems of Joseph Brodsky performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov in the West End.
Photo Credit: Roy Tan