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As various royal families plan a night on the town in Edinburgh, Ellie Carr looks forward to what
I they’ll be watching.
i When Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti arrived in London to make his new piece on the English National Ballet, he said. ‘try this leather IUIU for size.‘ And the rest is history.
This story is of course fictitious. but the black leather tutus designed by Kristopher Millar and Louis Swandale are figure-hugging fact. and can be seen and admired in Bignozetti's X. N. 'l'rir'ities at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre as part of the English National Ballet‘s up and coming summer season.
‘We wanted to make the most of the Edinburgh Festival theatre stage. I just wish we had something similar in London.’
Before the ENB‘s recent tour of England‘s mid-scale theatres, Bigonzetti was virtually unknown in this country. Since then newly devoted fans and critics have been busy elevating him from a dance nobody to the best thing since Michael Clark. ‘The new darling of dance.’ says Sasha Miller (The Sunday Times).
Luckily for Edinburgh. the new Festival Theatre is roomy enough to host the full-scale version of X. N. Trir‘ities, which according to Nick Clark at ENB, ‘can only otherwise be seen at the London Coliseum’, and is ‘bigger and better' in every way than its smaller toun'ng equivalent.
Almost doubling the original numbers, the enlarged piece has twenty men and women who skip to the beat of modern composer Guiseppe Cali's electronic soundtrack. The movement is balletic. athletic — sharp classical
First steps in ltali
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English National Ballet goes avant garde with X. I. Tricities
lines with contemporary angles and turned in feet. The image of ballet turned on its head is taken to extremes by._giant water-tilled lenses that hang suspended. distorting the movement and shape of the dancers who pass behind.
Bignozetti is currently in Italy and not available for interview. but from what I‘ve gleaned he is not known for bouts of philosphy on either the world. or his dancing. Determined to ﬁnd out where this guy‘s coming from. I ask two of his dancers Alex Foley and David Peden if they can compare his work to any other choreographer they’ve worked with or seen — ‘No.' they are adamant. ‘He's unique.‘
‘The only comparison I could make.‘ volunteers Peden. ‘is with Billy Forsyth.‘ American dancer Billy Forsyth, was once described as the man who ‘poured some explosive new wine into ballet‘s old choreographic bottles.’ I suggested the old leather tutu lark is also a touch radical — ‘No.’ the dancers assure me. ‘lt‘s not radical. it‘s avant garde.‘
Back in the land of the pink satin pointe shoe things aren‘t quite so avant garde. But if you do fancy something a wee bit more traditional. there‘s bound to be something on this bumper ENB programme that's right up your street. X. N. 'l'ririties shares its bill with the classic ‘White Act' — act three of [,a Bayudere (staged by Natalia Markarova, I985). and the show stopping. technical bravura of Harald Landar's Etudes (1948). This triple bill runs for two days. and in the remaining nine, ENB accommodates no less than three time-honoured classics: Swan Lake (1993). Sleeping Beauty ( 1993) and Coppelia. In total that's six ballets over thirteen days. from a cast of 69 dancers and a plethora of big. glossy international stars.
‘We wanted to make the most of the Edinburgh Festival theatre stage.‘ says press ofﬁcer Nick Clark. and making no attempt to disguise his envy. ‘I just wish we had something similar in Londonf
50 The List l—l4 July 1994