4 Performances to Spice Up Your Quarantine Routine

Welcome, curious minds!

This photo below is me when I see the pile of pans in the kitchen sink. Again and again they come together to take my time and make me feel miserable and tired after washing them. This is routine. And I hate routine.

What do I do about it? First, listen to podcasts while performing this essential but very unpleasant task (thank you, bluetooth headphones).

A woman screaming through the plastic bag. Her red lips can be seen through the plastic. Photo by Mangrove Productions, Isolation Series.

Second, I treat myself with interesting dance and dance-theatre performances. It's hard to create in current circumstances, so I watch these shows to educate myself as dance designer and choreographer. And as a reminder, that there's creative life outside the window and some day we will all be back stronger than before. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

About 2 weeks ago I made a survey on Instagram stories about whether I should share my finds with y’all. Thank you for voting! Here’s the first edition of Ze Curiosities! (I may change the name later)

Why do I think these works are worth watching?

Mostly, I share performances from other sides of the world. And there’re very few chances we can see them live, because… well, don’t let me start on this.

And as we know, EU artists usually have better support to fund their big ideas. Government finds performing arts an important part of their history, culture and reputation. So we can see HOW BIG can artist go when the support is actually there.

How do I choose works?

I strongly believe that to tell a sincere and touching story performance doesn’t have to be all about technically perfect unisons, jumps and turns. In works suggested below you’ll encounter interesting characters, costumes, sets and soundscapes that made me feel genuinely engaged in what was happening on stage. And genuinely feel something, even via screen.

I hope that you'll get to experience that, too.

Without further ado, here’s the list.

Please note, some performances are available online for a limited time. Read dates carefully so you don’t miss anything.

1. The Royal Ballet's Metamorphosis

This recording was originally made in 2013.

Shout out to Rosi who shared this work with me. Thank you, @rosiartfly! (on her Instagram she highlights artists from and/or working in Atlanta, GA and fun events around town).

It’s not an easy task - to put Kafka’s world into movement. And Artur Pita did it brilliantly, making audience feel the atmosphere of the book and emotional state of characters in these unimaginable circumstances.

Set, costume and make up support tremendous work of Edward Watson, who portrays the main character, in a way that made me shiver but I still couldn’t take my eyes away.

Available till May 17th. (oops, time’s running out with this one)

Running time: about an hour and a half.


2. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan presents Moon Water via Sadler’s Wells Facebook page.

I haven’t seen this one yet, but I find the description interesting:

“Inspired by the Buddhist proverb ‘Flowers in a mirror and moon on the water are both illusive’, multiple mirrors and gently moving water gradually fill the stage and reflect the dancers’ movements, choreographed by Lin Hwai-min and set to the music of Bach's Suites for Solo Cello.”

Available till next Friday, May 22nd.

Running time: 1hr 10mins approx.


3. Babel 7.16 is a collaboration of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (my favorite choreographer) and Damien Jalet.

I can’t say enough about this work. Great example of dance-theatre: different styles of dance combined with meaningful gestures, strong characters, costumes, different languages, live singing. The cast is just wowza. Set design keeps changing, creating different spaces to tell different stories.

Available online till May 28, 2020.

Running time: about 2 hrs.


4. Mea Culpa by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.

Haven’t seen this one yet. But I liked all the works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui that I’ve watched before for their strong visual content, important messages and stories as well as combination of different mediums in one performance: spoken word, different styles of dance, architecture of set (Sutra is a great example as well!).

Available online so far. Didn’t see any deadlines for this one.

Running time: 1 hour. https://youtu.be/g2c4LrskJg0

I crave for conversation! Let’s discuss what you’ve seen - either message me, or let’s have a Zoom call. I’ll be happy to hear your feedback on any of these.

Happy un-routining!

I will be back in a week or two to share more finds with you.

Photo by Mangrove Productions, Isolation Series.

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