Angels' Atlas

Angels’ Atlas: A Night At the National Ballet

Last Friday evening I was lucky enough to attend the National Ballet’s latest show.  This particular performance was three shows in one: two contemporary pieces and one short classical ballet. Below is my review of each. Angels’ Atlas This is the piece that I went to the show to see. The choreography is done by the famous Crystal Pite, who has just returned to the National Ballet after 10 years! Since this was a contemporary performance I’m not going to try and explain it other than that (based on reading the pamphlet) had something to do with dance being a way to understand the cosmos and that dance is beautiful because its dancers are ephemeral.  My favourite things about Angels’ Atlas were:
  • the quick hand movements that made it look like the dancers were stretching out their wings (but not in the Swan Lake way)
  • the projection of smoke/light on the back wall (it seemed to be as important as the dance moves)
  • the music which was choral and loud but then changed to a quiet ticking noise
  • the entire thing
Here is a trailer for the show: Chroma This was another contemporary piece, choreographed by Wayne McGregor (the movement director for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!). The choreography, costumes, and set design of this dance were very minimalistic and, from what I understand, through this simplicity, the audience was meant to focus entirely on the shapes and forms of the dancers.  My favourite things about Chroma were:
  • the costumes (all pale colours)
  • the use of space on stage, there were a lot of partner dances but then people would break away and stand in the corner at times
Here is a trailer for the show: Marguerite and Armand This was a short classical ballet to mark the retirement of Principal Dancer Greta Hodgkinson. I have to admit that I am really not a fan of classical ballet, especially when there are contemporary pieces to be seen, but this performance was entertaining nonetheless.  Marguerite and Armand is about a Parisian courtesan (Marguerite) dying of tuberculosis. On her deathbed she goes through all her memories of her lover, Armand, who is by her side when she eventually dies.  My favourite things about Marguerite and Armand were:
  • the costumes (again, yes), they were classical style so flowy and detailed
  • the facial expressions, which help portray the story and are generally super dramatic
Here is some info on the show: Going to see the National Ballet’s Angels’ Atlas show was an amazing experience and I’m so happy I got to see it! 

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