The Ballett Frankfurt - Review


The Orange County Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, strives to "bring the best in dance to the community."  The 2003-2004 season is no exception.  From the Kirov Ballet to the American Ballet Theatre, excellence is the standard.  The weekend performances of the Ballett Frankfurt rise and fall within this standard, but, WOW, does this company push the parameters!  Ballett Frankfurt, with director, William Forsythe, turn dance inside out, forcing the audience to delve both into philosophical and physical extremes.  The program begins with the signature acrobatic movements in "The Room As It Was."  Dancers interpret memory in time within a lit bell of space.  Movements are elastic, unfolding to the rhythmical sounds of the dancers.  Two women translating a clock of time into movements on a limited stage provide the selection for the "mature" audience, "Duo."  The athletic fluidity of the dancers bridges the arbitrary beginning and ending. 


N.N.N.N. translates the Freudian mind into four parts, struggling, reconciling, and bridging the mental fragments into physical resolution.  And then there is, "One Flat Thing, reproduced," where chaos regins, creativity pours forth and ultimately forges into the physical chaos that is the source of creation.  Whew, certainly program notes help, however, with a few prompts the audience was engaged.

'The Room As It Was' in photo: Dana Caspersen & Ander Zabala, Joris-Jan Bos Photography

Ballett Frankfurt fuses the idea of dance with the physicality of movement, i.e. some very philosophical acrobats and athletes abound. Forsythe and company provide a brilliant dance display and an intellectual  challenge. An enthusiastic response indicates that Orange County audiences are up to the challenge.

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