Search

Dance review: Pina Bausch – Nefes at Sadler’s Wells

12:49 28 June 2012

Nefes at Sadler

Nefes at Sadler's Wells

Archant

The highlights are many in stunning contemporary dance work that evokes the Turkish city of Istanbul

»Three hours of contemporary dance. One interval. But the night flew by, thanks to the brilliance of the late great Pina Bausch, who choreographed World Cities between 1986 and 2009, the year of her untimely death.

In a first time collaboration, Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican are staging the full work in a cultural tour de force to mark the Olympics coming to London.

Nefes (Turkish for breath) is set in Istanbul. Influences are far and wide: silent movies, slapstick comedy, cabaret, 90s house beats and the gravely tones of Tom Waits all have a part to play.

The overall effect is a seamless composition, intertwining a multitude of impressions of different aspects of Istanbul: the hammans (baths), souks (markets), the Basilica Cistern (an underwater palace), green spaces, nightlife, traffic-filled streets. Not only are landscapes viewed from a fresh perspective, the piece also explores the reactions of the dancers to the city they absorbed during daily tours, before playing out their thoughts in lengthy rehearsals.

And the dancers are excellent: speaking, singing and pantomiming their way across the simple set, effortlessly gliding from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again.

The highlights are many: in the hamman the more obvious motif of decadence is broken up by the comedy of a bubblesoaked character raucously demanding a massage. Towards the end of the show the sensuality of water soaked dancers gently gives way to a stunning finale set to Tom Waits song All the World is Green.

There is not one stereotypical reference point or prejudice in this fascinating portrayal; the lack of cliché explains why the work not only endures but receives standing ovations in packed out theatres.

* Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch – World Cities 2012 opened on June 6 and is at Sadler’s Wells and the Barbican until July 6 2012. Nefes was at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday, June 24.

0 comments

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
The Joke

Ever feel that life is like one interminable joke being played just on you?

Yesterday, 12:00
Ciaran Lavery. Picture: Kathrin Baumbach

Ciaran Lavery is an up-and-coming Irish singer-songwriter whose music has an Americana and hip-hop twist. He speaks to Imogen Blake about his second album, Let Bad In, ahead of a show in King’s Cross on May 27.

Yesterday, 08:00
Helen McCrory & husband Damian Lewis pictured with Debbi Clark, chief executive of the charity.  Picture: Nigel Sutton

What does 1920s Birmingham gangster drama Peaky Blinders and an American western have in common?

Wed, 17:00
at Metro

The pub up the road from Harrods is selling a guest beer called Purple Reign.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read entertainment

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe