Rossini Cards. (Czech Republic)
Herzliya, May 3
On its first visit to Israel, the Ostrava Ballet Czech ballet company performed two contemporary works by a large international cast of energetic, very capable dancers under the title Rossini Cards.
It opened with Consequence, a short piece by Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arques, considered a promising voice in the current European dance scene.
Ostrava Ballet has done a lot to rejuvenate its image and conservative repertoire in recent years. Currently, they can present a list of known choreographers that have cooperated with Ostrava Ballet, among them Mauro Bigonzetti, whose work Rossini Cards is the evening’s main treat.
Watching Consequence and Rossini Cards
It was comforting to see the company’s introduction scene, where the cast had a chance to impress the house with its highly capable dancers. The work includes numerous visual delights and effective scenes based on the performance skills of the cast.
Arques’s Consequence deals with human connections and other current issues, including the high technology of our times. Effective lighting design plays a major role and serves well to focus on specific actions and solves a few structural issues regarding the choreography itself. It seems that the work tries to embrace and put on the table too many worthwhile propositions within 20 minutes. This sometimes diminishes the chances of reaching deeper and achieving more cohesive artistic statements.
The second work, Rossini Cards by famous Italian choreographer Bigonzetti, is a feast set to the beloved music of Gioachino Rossini played live on stage by pianist Michal Barta. Bigonzetti is a highly experienced choreographer with a rich career and works performed by some of the world’s best dance companies.
Rossini’s music always has flare, humor and tastefully applied popular elements, which, for sure, has made Bigonzetti a friend in spirit of the composer. Stylistically, Bigonzetti in many ways is a keen soul of the 20th-century greats, like Kylian and Mats Ek, full of unique imagination, humor and sophistication.
It’s impossible to cover the full work and its numerous captivating moments. Among the highlights was a scene danced on chairs around a long table, set with 14 bare-chested dancers. There was a buzz around the table, gentle hands were flowing harmoniously, heads were turned in sync and legs took part keeping the beat as it got stronger and faster. A polite attitude turned into a delightful stormy affair.
Another scene that will be remembered was a duet partnered by a couple. We saw a lot of impressive duets that evening and the one of a male and female dancing in slow motion was the best. Wrapped around each other in continuance motion through acrobatic positions and reaching almost impossible postures of great beauty and awe. It was unlike a duet one expected. It wasn’t based on emotional ties or cerebral affinity. It was a compositional gem that received an ingenious crystal touch.
There was much to enjoy watching Rossini Cards and it could have been even better without the chatterbox comedian chatting in contrived fashion.