it brings together four jugglers, four ballet dancers, live music and atmospheric lighting in a mesmerising show that truly pushes the boundaries of the possible.
Long fascinated by mathematics and a keen student of the discipline, for Gandini pattern is key. As the eight performers take to the stage, they are methodically organised in quasi-geometric shapes, each art keeping well to itself as if wary of sharing a space with the other.
And so it starts.
As the show evolves, though, they begin to interact – timidly at first, but then their patterns become ever closer and more intricate. The level of concentration of these performers is staggering; the coordination between dancers and jugglers almost preternatural. Clubs and balls and rings and pointe shoes interact, sometimes held down, sometimes borne aloft, and all so natural... It’s spine-tingling stuff.
It helps that the jugglers are as elegant as the dancers, their movements as fluid and effortless as if humans were born to glide serenely while at the same time interacting with others and keeping a variety of objects in the air.
At one point, a dancer breaks ranks and hugs a kneeling juggler. It’s a moment of the most affecting tenderness and the symbolic coming together of all these disciplines in a harmonic embrace.
But Gandini wouldn’t be Gandini if he resisted the urge to subvert. Out of order he creates disorder. As the piece draws to a climax, you gradually cease to discern shapes and realise all those carefully laid out patterns are going.. going… gone. The tight discipline that had held the performers in check is no more. They start clumping together in an amorphous gathering so you can no longer tell dancers from jugglers, jugglers from dancers. Ephemeral Architectures…
Director Sean Gandini is one of the pioneers in the use of contemporary dancing and mathematical notations in the field of juggling. 4 x 4 represents a new and exciting phase in his artistic and conceptual development.
Choreography is by the young and up-and-coming Royal Ballet dancer Ludovic Ondiviela. The highly atmospheric musical score, Suspended op 69, has been especially created by the composer Nimrod Borenstein and is performed live by the young chamber ensemble Camerata Alma Viva.
A veteran of theatre and ballet lighting, Guy Hoare’s lighting design is an integral part of this performance, immersing the performers in a dreamlike, almost other-worldly atmosphere.
This is one of the highlights of the London International Mime Festival 2015 and should be high on the list for things to do in London in January. Don’t miss it!
|What||Gandini Juggling 4 x 4 (LIMF)|
Royal Opera House
Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
13 Jan 15 – 15 Jan 15, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House|