Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals 2011: New Zealand vs Australia and 6000 Miles Away With Sylvie Guillem
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
(G.K. Chesterton, unpublished notebook jottings (apparently))
And grace for sportsmen pastors with ESPN Sports channels and rugby team kids. We shouted ourselves hoarse. There were few All Blacks noses that remained unbloodied in their victory over the Wallabies. The poor defending and inexplicable ball play by the Aussie side finally caught up with them. Good passing up and down the line to the blindside by the Kiwis and good air play, pity about Piri Weepu and Aaron Cruden’s missed kicks.
And grace for a physique like Sylvie Guillem‘s to conclude the Singapore dan:s festival 2011. It was difficult to concentrate on appreciating her body during William Forsythe‘s Rearray – the high pitched noise (though not the discordance) of David Morrow‘s score grated the edges of sanity and the incessant coughing from the audience, the mumbled complaints from an American somewhere “Hey this is really boring!” and the snores of the stranger beside me wore down the temper. A mute button would have been appreciated. Still, the contrast between the technically proficient performance of Jiri Kylian’s 27’52” by Aurelie Cayla and Kenta Kojiri, and Guillem and Nicolas Le Riche’s was stark. Guillem, especially, was just that much more supple and managed to involve so many more muscles and parts of her body to give complexity to each step that you would have said that she danced with her whole body. And Guillem x Mat Ek’s Bye was simply stupendous – the choreography and her movements were mime-like and smooth, sweetly poignant, sensitively emotional, and very captivating. Could have watched her dance for many more hours.
More detailed reviews at:
Judith Mackrell for The Guardian, Sylvie Guillem review
Luke Jennings for The Guardian, Sylvie Guillem: 6000 Miles Away – review
Roslynn Sulcas for The New York Times, Collaborations Bring Cascades of Motion and Emotion
50 years in dance, Review of ‘6000 miles away’ a Sadlers Wells/ Sylvie Guillem Production, September 25, 2011.