William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, the second act of his too rarely seen ballet, Impressing the Czar, is a show stopper. It’s astounding to realise that it premiered in 1987 as it retains its intense modernity aided by Thom Willems dynamic score.
This is choreography and music converging on the cusp of tradition redefining the arts. It reshapes ballet hierarchy as dancers dance up a storm without invitation to start or begging applause when they’re done. There are no principals framed by a corps. All are soloists, taking centre stage or creating technical wizardry on the side. Duets seem chance encounters: a dancer grabs a partner, they explore the territory, then move on.
Forsythe rewrote the rule book and takes ballet technique for the ride of its life. In an excellent cast, Madeline Woo, Haruka Sassa, Ethan Watts and Kentaro Mitsumori were outstanding. It is a joy to see these Forsythe classics back in the ballet repertoire.
Royal Opera House, Stockholm
November 1, 2021
Published in co-operation with Seeing Dance Länk till annan webbplats..