As a small child, I used to dance wildly around the house. Instead of walking from room to room, I chose to use made up dance moves to get around. Our living room was host to many days (and nights) of impromptu dance performances that my family had no choice but to watch. So, by the age of 5, my parents decided it was time to do something about this and registered me for ballet lessons, thus beginning my lifelong love of all things dance.
Understandably then, I carried this love and excitement with me to the Melbourne Ballet Company‘s new piece Being & Time, which marks the Company’s ten year anniversary and is in all aspects an exhilarating contemporary ballet.
Featuring principal dancers Johanna Lee and Alexander Baden Bryce, ‘Being & Time’ is based heavily on the philosophical concept of existentialism and the belief that existential understanding of being is grounded in time. Performed at the Hawthorn Arts Centre, it is a triple bill performance that is choreographed by an outstanding team of domestically and internationally acclaimed artists.
The performance is split into three distinct pieces, each representing their own interpretation of existentialism and depicting the artists as exploring themselves as individuals and their emotions.
The night began with Four Ballet, a raw, edgy and fast-paced piece exploring the synergy between the emotional and the physical. It combines the discipline of classical ballet with the creativity and fluidity of modern dance, succeeding in expanding the definition of what it means to perform contemporary ballet.
Next up was Architecture of Loss, bringing more softness and delicacy to the night as well as a bit of chemistry between the performers, executed seamlessly. The night concluded with ‘Dasein’, an industrial, technical and thought provoking piece. The German word for existence, it seemed to represent the final stage of the dancers’ transformation into more enlightened, and perhaps advanced, beings.
If I were to pick one word to describe the entirety of the performance, it would be creative, which follows exactly in line with the Melbourne Ballet Company’s reputation for innovation and uniqueness of style. It was the first time my plus one had attended the ballet, and afterwards she expressed to me that she had no idea that ballet could be performed in such a dynamic way, and eagerly asked me when we would be able to go next.
Dotti (Nicole) Mazga is a law student currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not hitting the books, you can find her consuming any theatre, dance, or space-related event she can get her hands on.
‘Being & Time’ ran for two nights at Hawthorn Arts Centre on March 30 and 31. The Melbourne Ballet Company has an incredible season lined up for 2017, including the much-anticipated ‘A Subjective Perspective’. Purchase tickets now.