Five years ago the Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite became the first woman in 18 years to create a work for the main stage at Covent Garden. The work was the short but immensely powerful Flight Pattern, Pite's response the refugee crisis. Set to the first movement of Górecki’s ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’, a haunting work for orchestra and soprano, if was a heartfelt depiction of the perilous, often deadly journeys of those who flee the certainty of war and persecution for the absolute unknown; and it was a worthy winner of the 2018 Oliver Award for Best New Dance Production.
At the time, Culture Whisper was, like almost everybody else, deeply affected by Pite's work. Here's what we had to say:
'A gut-wrenching comment on the current refugee crisis, Flight Pattern relies on Pite’s extraordinary ability to move groups of people on stage to deep emotional effect. The huddled masses of her work, drably dressed and sombrely lit, sway in their fatigue and helplessness to Górecki's haunting score; and when individuals emerge, their own tales are harrowingly portrayed, none more so than that of Kristen McNally and Marcelino Sambé, as the couple maddened by grief at the loss of a baby who didn’t survive the flight.'
As the refugee crisis continues, PIte, one of the most original and talented choreographers working today, has been moved to transform Flight Pattern into a full evening work for The Royal Ballet, which will have its world premiere at Covent Garden this autumn. With her usual collaborators, Jay Gower Taylor (set designer), Tom Visser (lighting) and Nancy Bryant (costumes) she will use all three movements of Górecki's symphony to plunge more deeply into a crisis which, if anything, is worsening by the day.
Full details, including the work's title, are bound to emerge closer to the October premiere – watch this space!
|What||The Royal Ballet, New Crystal Pite, Royal Opera House|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
18 Oct 22 – 03 Nov 22, 19:30 Sat 22 Oct at 14:00 and 19:00 Dur.: TBC
|Website||Click here to book|