VOLT

PROGRAM NOTES

CHROMA

Choreography Wayne McGregor
Music Joby Talbot
'Cloudpark', 'A Yellow Disc Rising From the Sea',
'Transit of Venus' and 'Hovercraft'
Published by Chester Music Limited and used by kind permission of the Music Sales Group

Jack White III
'Aluminum', 'The Hardest Button to Button'
and 'Blue Orchid'
Published by Peppermint Stripe Music/EMI Music Publishing Ltd
New arrangement by Joby Talbot
orchestrated by Christopher Austin
Used by kind permission of the Music Sales Group

Set design John Pawson
Costume design Moritz Junge
Lighting design Lucy Carter
Stager Neil Fleming Brown
Coached by Principal Restager Antoine Vereecken\

Chroma was commissioned by The Royal Ballet and had its premiere at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on 17 November 2006
 

chroma kro¯’ma
1. the purity of a colour, or its freedom from white or grey.
2. intensity of distinctive hue; saturation of a colour.

“Deceptions of the senses are the truths of perception.”
Johannes Evangelists Purkinje, Czech anatomist and physiologist

“The minimum could be defined as the perfection that an artefact achieves when it is no longer possible to improve it by subtraction. This is the quality that an object has when every component, every detail, and every junction has been reduced or condensed to the essentials. It is the result of the omission of the inessentials.”
John Pawson, Minimum


CHOREOGRAPHER’S NOTE
Often in my own choreographies I have actively conspired to disrupt the spaces in which the body performs. Each intervention, usually some kind of addition, is an attempt to see the context of the body in a new or alien way. On reading John Pawson’s Minimum I was captivated by this notion of subtraction, the ‘essential’ space, which seems to reduce elements to make visible the invisible. Intriguingly, although Pawson’s designs do give definition to space(s), they are somehow always boundary-less. This potential ‘freedom space’ would be an extraordinary environment for a new choreography, where the grammar and articulation of the body is made crystal clear, graphic and unmediated. It could be a space where the body becomes absolutely architectural. At the same time, in creating volume(s) of tone for the choreography to inhabit the body can behave as a frequency of colour – in freedom from white: CHROMA.

I heard Joby Talbot’s Hovercraft piece for orchestra and felt its immediate physical impact – visceral, unsettling, hungry and direct. These short five minutes became our keystone to unlocking a strangely seductive score that tensions the aggressive force of The White Stripes with the enigmatic beauty of Talbot’s own compositions.

Wayne McGregor

LOGOS

Choreography and costume design Alice Topp
Music Ludovico Einaudi
'Whirling Winds', 'Ultimi Fuochi', 'Logos' and 'Elegy for the Arctic'
Set and lighting design Jon Buswell

Logos is a co-commission by Studio Wayne McGregor, The Australian Ballet and Dance@The Grange. It is generously supported by the Robert Southey Fund for Australian Choreography.

'Whirling Winds', 'Logos' and 'Elegy for the Arctic' are published by Chester Music Limited and used by kind permission of the Music Sales Group.

'Ultimi Fuochi' is used by kind permission of Ludovico Einaudi 

“And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical and symbolic storm …people will bleed there, and you will bleed too …”
Haruki Murakami

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
Rainer Maria Rilke


CHOREOGRAPHER’S NOTE
How do you wear your monsters? When do you start wearing another's monsters as your own?

Life can feel full of modern demons and pressures. Sometimes it becomes a dance with your devils of grief, a wrestle with pain, a bargaining with your beasts of fear. The storm around us drowns us, and before we know it, we have lost ourselves, engulfed in the whirling turbulence. Logos explores the beast within us – our fears, fights, darkness and demons – the storms you can’t out-run. What do your monsters look like? 

Logos, a Greek word meaning reason or logic, was behind the creation of Logotherapy, a concept developed by the neurologist, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Victor Frankl. It is centred on the principle that finding meaning in life is the primary motivational force for survival. 

Logos is a work about armouring ourselves against today’s predators, pressures, climate and often, ourselves. It’s about flexing our mental muscles as we go in to battle with our daily demons. How can our fears be so great that our only solution is to turn on ourselves and each other? In these Times, isn’t hope and love our greatest weapon and armour?

Alice Topp

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”
Tennessee Williams

DYAD 1929

Choreography Wayne McGregor
Music Steve Reich Double Sextet
Stage concept Wayne McGregor and Lucy Carter
Costume design Moritz Junge
Lighting design Lucy Carter
Principal Restager Antoine Vereecken

Dyad 1929 was originally commissioned by The Australian Ballet and had its premiere at Arts Centre Melbourne on 21 August 2009

These performances of Double Sextet by Steve Reich are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents for Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd of London

 

CHOREOGRAPHER’S NOTE
In 2009, to celebrate the centenary of the magnificent Ballets Russes, I embarked upon generating a diptych: two contrasting yet complementary ideas produced on two sides of the world – Dyad 1909 (London) and Dyad 1929 (Melbourne).

The maverick impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, Sergei Diaghilev, had a creative vision that served to challenge the social norms of the day. His work seduced the rest of the world with productions that not only redefined ballet but set a fresh agenda for the process of art. The Ballets Russes was very much a product of its time. From a scientific, social, political and technological perspective, the period of 1909 – 1929 was rich with discovery and experimentation; the world was changing and fast. For this Dyad diptych, I was inspired by a fascinating example of the period’s rapid evolution, illustrated brilliantly by its preoccupation with Antarctica.

In January 1909, the Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton embarked upon his seminal Antarctic expedition, the Nimrod. He was the first to successfully reach the magnetic South Pole. By 1929, aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd – the pioneering American polar explorer – was the first to actually fly over the South Pole in a Ford Trimotor. In a mere 20 years the technological revolution had given man the enduring power of flight and with it a renewed energy for expedition. Literally now able to ‘dis-cover’ more of the globe, it was a new dawn in possibility. Although Dyad 1929 is not a narrative ‘about’ Antarctica the dance, design and music contain traces of the Ballets Russes spirit, made visible for our time.

Dyad 1929 is dedicated to the memory of Merce Cunningham (1919 – 2009), a choreographer whose curiosity, sense of adventure and seamless collaboration knew no bounds.

Wayne McGregor