Wilmas rating: ‘Home’ 4 1/2 / 5
Wilmas rating: ‘Sevastopol’ 3 / 5
Where: Linbury studio – Royal Opera House
How long: 1hr 30mins including interval
Running until: 28 April 2012
Merchandise: Programme £2
Review performance date:
April 24 2012
OperaShots has been running since 2010 in the Linbury studio at the beautiful Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This project sees short pieces of new contemporary dance/opera being given the chance to make a name for themselves.
This year sees two short 30 minute pieces being performed. The first, a dance piece by Graham Fitkin and Jasmin Vardimon called “Home” where we see a man and woman couple happily dancing in what appears to be their home. Their dance moves mirror each other as they move fluidly as one. After a few minutes, a woman appears through the white walls, dressed all in white and seeming to blend in with the background.Later, a second girl appears and as the piece builds we see the couple trying to escape the ghost like figures in the room, only to have the door blocked by musicians, edging their way into the room. Eventually the walls are torn down to reveal the band at the back of the stage and the ghosts disappear.The explanation for this piece is that we believe we are safe in our homes and the more comfortable we become inside, the more afraid we become of what is happening outside. To me, I saw this as a man, happily in love. The ghosts that appear are his deceased wife and possibly child who are unhappy with his new found love and make it their mission to break the two apart (in a very ‘if I can’t have you, no one can’ way).
I haven’t seen many dance pieces but I can honestly say this was one of the most captivating pieces of theatre I have ever seen and I will be going to see more dance in future.
After the interval, we see a totally different piece. “Sevastopol”, composed by Divine Comedy singer Neil Hannon.
This couldn’t be more different to what you would expect from the ‘National Express’ singer. His piece is based on Tolstoy’s war story that inspired him to write the book War and Peace and we see eight short scenes of war (and not much peace)!
I believe the two pieces in this years OperaShots, whilst they couldn’t be more different, work well together as I don’t believe you would leave the theatre not having enjoyed at least one of them.
If you have the chance, go and see this show while it is on, if for no other reason than for the first piece “Home”.