Review – Wheeldon’s “Morphoses” (2007) – Sadler’s Wells

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Last night was the Wheeldon Company’s Metamorphoses program at Sadlers’ Wells, and a better night for ballet aficionados could hardly be imagined. Well, okay, it wasn’t all perfect, but the highs were the sort that have kept us going to see this stuff for years, rolling the dice and hoping to get lucky. (And with music by Part and Bryars and Prokofiev, even the down time was great.) The two best pieces in this program of mostly short bits were the first and the last, both by Wheeldon. “Morphoses” had four dancers doing a variety of athletic, innovative partnering to music of Ligeti. I felt like I could never anticipate what they would do next.

The last piece was practically two pasted together; first a pas de six, then a m/f duet. For this, the woman came back on stage with her feet bare and her hair down. To me, it felt like she was naked – utterly vulnerable. The man was barefoot and bare chested. Their dancing was so intimate I felt like I was intruding to watch them. Every lift was perfect and strong; I felt like the dancers were revealing their true selves to each other while they danced, and we were the fortunate eavesdroppers on a very private moment. It was a fantastic end to the program and left me thrilled about the entire evening and looking forward to seeing them again.

(This review is for a performance that took place September 21st, 2007.)

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