Diana Vishneva's dance programme On the Edge will get its UK début when it comes to the London Coliseum in April 2015. The evening consists of two works commissioned specifically for Vishneva: Jean-Christophe Maillot's intriguing pas de trois Switch, and Carolyn Carlson's profound solo work Woman in a Room.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Vishneva said,
Carolyn Carlson doesn't work with classical dancers in principle.
But when she was convinced that they could collaborate successfully together and agreed to create Woman in a Room, Vishneva remembers the first day of rehearsals:
When I came to her rehearsal room, I saw that on the huge table, which became my partner in this piece, she had spread pages with poetry by Arseny Tarkovsky… I ended up reciting his poetry in my show, which is totally incredible for me.
I spoke to Carlson a few months ago about the project:
It was wonderful working with Diana. This was something! It was difficult in the beginning because she's a diva, everybody takes care of her, and she's used to people giving her steps.
As I've always been inspired by the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky who used poems by his father, Arseny, for his works, I gave one of Arseny Tarkovsky's poems to Diana and said, “Diana we're going to work with this, with the films of Andrei Tarkovsky as inspiration.” Her eyes just opened, she loved it.
I said, “You have to understand this poem, and I want you to create with me.” No one had ever asked her that. It was a little difficult in the beginning because she wanted me to do everything. When I said that we were going to improvise for a little bit, she looked at me and said, “I don't improvise.” I said, “Of course you do, just read the poem and show me what it is.”
It was a long process for her to believe that she didn't need just steps, but she could also give her own feelings about the work. Very interesting.
Ardani Artists now gives London the chance to see the results of this collaboration on the 14th, 16th and 18th April 2015. On the Edge is produced in association with the Diana Vishneva Foundation, a cultural and charitable organization she set up in 2010, that works in Russia, the USA and Japan to increase access to ballet for all social classes, to promote it, establish new dance projects and assist young performers and retired performers.
Choreography Jean-Christophe Maillot
Music Danny Elfman
Scenery Alain Lagarde
Costumes Jean-Christophe Maillot, Jean-Michel Laine
Ms Vishneva's costume Karl Lagerfeld
Performed by Diana Vishneva, Bernice Coppieters, Gaetan Morlotti
From Serenada Schizophrana: End Tag, Blue Strings, A Brass thing, Improv for alto sax
From Rummy (Not Edited): Drone wild stereo, Theme 1.4 stereo
WOMAN IN A ROOM
Choreography & scenography Carolyn Carlson
Music Giovanni Sollima, Rene Aubry
Music editor Nicolas de Zorzi
Costumes Chrystel Zingiro
Photos and video Maxime Ruiz
Performed by Diana Vishneva
Giovanni Sollima – Aquilarco, “Aria”; Works, “Terra Aria”; Aquilarco, “Spinning top prelude”; We were trees, “The Architect”; Spasimo, “Il Tracciato di Marta”; We were trees, “Iguil”
René Aubry – Plaisirs d'amour, “Lungomare”
Tuesday 14th, Thursday 16th & Saturday 18th April, 7.30pm
London Coliseum, St. Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4ES
Tickets: £39 – £79
Box Office: 020 7845 9300 /www.eno.org
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.
I enjoyed reading this article because it brought memories of the first day Andrey Merkuriev, leading dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, and I met at the Dance-Base studio in Edinburgh, Scotland. Merkuriev was scheduled to perform my work “Log In/Log Out” in five performances with “Dance-Forms 67th International Choreographers’ Showcase” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014. The time we had for preparation of his performance was limited to three hours. When I told Andrey we needed to look into the concepts and the techniques I use to improvise my own performances his reaction was very similar to Vishneva’s reaction. He told me I don’t improvise and I can’t do it. After showing Andrey the benefit of creating through improvisation his own movements and merging them with my movement language in a more spontaneous way, he began exploring space and time freely to rapidly changed from a state of fear to a state of enjoyment. The result was the creation of a new version of the solo performed by Merkuriev with enormous success not only at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, but also with Ivan Putrov’s “Men In Motion” at La Versiliana Festival in Italy. It gives me great pleasure to share video link of Merkuriev’s performance.