It is, therefore, cause for celebration that Ballet Preljocaj should now return to Sadler’s Wells with La Fresque (the fresco), his 2016 evening-length work that continues Angelin Preljocaj’s tradition of recreating classical tales.
La Fresque is an adaptation of a Chinese folk tale from the 1700s. A traveller becomes enraptured by the image of a woman on a monastery wall. Her long loose hair indicates her availability. The man feels himself drawn into the image, imagines he marries the woman and stays with her for many years, until he’s chased out by warriors.
As he returns to the real world he is amazed to be told by his companion he’s been away for only a matter of minutes. However, looking again at the fresco he sees the woman’s hair is now done up in a married chignon. Dream? Reality?
Angelin Preljocaj’s choreographic language is all his own, drawing on contemporary and classical ballet to create an entrancing mode of expression, full of emotion and symbolism.
In La Fresque Preljocaj makes very slight cultural references to the original tale, in particular through the focus on hair, which becomes a leitmotiv, with the women dancers often flinging their long hair with head and neck thrusts.
Costumes bear the signature of the French-Tunisian glamour couturier Azzedine Alaïa, and they, too, make a gentle nod to Chinese culture, by retaining the associations of red with marriage.
Music is by Nicolas Godin, the French musician perhaps best known for being one half of the duo Air.
Set design is by Preljocaj’s regular collaborator Constance Guisset.
|What||Ballet Preljocaj, La Fresque, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
30 Sep 19 – 02 Oct 19, 19:30 Dur.: 1 hour 20 mins no interval
|Price||£15-£50 (+ booking fee)|
|Website||Click here to book|