La La La Human Steps
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Choreography: Edouard LockLighting Designer: John MunroCostume Designer: VandalMusic: Njo Kong Kie, Piano and Musical Director
Gavin Bryars, Composer
David Lang, Composer
Blake Hargreaves, ComposerSet Design: Armand ValliancourtFurther Info: True to his reputation for being an audacious and eclectic choreographer, Mr Lock has taken inspiration from 2 of the most notable ballets of the Romantic period Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
The choreographer marries poetry, tradition and modernity to bring these themes to life. “I’ve always thought that memories create an interesting tension in a theater.” He says. “The process by which an audience integrates and interrelates its memories onto a stage work thereby both seeing and remembering what it observes is something I’ve always enjoyed. Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are rare examples of a dance-generated memory that has integrated itself fully into our culture, both in terms of its imagery and its music.
It’s unusual to find someone who doesn’t have associations and recollections of parts of these ballets even if they don’t know or remember when or where these memories were integrated. This lateral relationship to the source makes working with these ballets interesting and unpredictable. It’s like working with a piece of living history and both influencing and being influenced by it.”
With Amjad, Mr Lock continues his exploration of the body as an abstract, extreme entity. The choreographer carries on with a creative process that, in December 2002, inspired the French daily Libération to say that Mr Lock ‘aims to free the body of all functionality, to the point of abstraction, as does the romantic ballet.’
Thus, by starting with the original two narrative structures, Mr Lock has given birth to a third and entirely new piece. Films directed by Edouard Lock based on references to some of the scenic design elements used in these ballets constitutes another plane on which this intriguing work can be read. The choreography can be said to be intriguing on a number of levels. The artist was particularly drawn to the forest theme common to both ballets; that is, to the forest as an allegory of the unconscious, of the non-rational, side of human nature, to that element which falls outside the standards of society, much like the sensuality and desire that met with such resistance during the Romantic era. It is this shadowy side, as insatiable as it is unassuaged, that Mr Lock likes to ‘decode’ in these classic works, this side he has set out to explore in his new technically sophisticated piece.