The inspired music performed by seven members of the International Ensemble plays a major role in "Paramount," a ballet choreographed by Ed Wubbe, artistic director of Scapino Ballet. The western style music alludes to old American films from the 40s and 50s and is further laced with jazz and oriental scales that create an alluring ambience of painful cultural and human estrangement.
The company's dancers appear in a dance hall dressed in evening wear, surrounded by lattice-work walls. The unremitting resonance of the string instruments - particularly the Oud - seemed to engulf them, moving and changing their bodies in subtle, subconscious ways.
Wubbe's choreography exchanged a long dialogue with the music. The swift changes of composition turned "Paramount" into an evening-long dance-scroll of intricate design, almost Arabesque in nature - unsettling, mesmerizingly beautiful, and vibrating with unrest.