By cloelea, Oct 17 2017
“This is the kind of unique, strikingly atmospheric and emotionally charged experience that could hook you for life”
Last weekend I went to see The Dreamers Ever Leave You, choreographed by Robert Binet, and shown at an unusual venue for a ballet, the Printworks, an old newspaper print factory in London (http://www.roh.org.uk/news/the-royal-ballet-and-national-ballet-of-canada-to-stage-immersive-production-at-londons-printworks-in-october-2017).
It is an immersive ballet which invites the audience to move through the space as the performance happens around them: the dancers move freely under shifting light and colour, evoking the landscape paintings of the Canadian painter Lawren Harris. “The nature of Dreamers is that it’s different every time it’s performed; I created the movement and structure but the dancers are constantly re-creating and reinterpreting it in new ways… I don’t want to fix things in any way because Harris understood how to capture those stunning moments when nature aligns to create a resonance that is burned into our minds forever…” (Robert Binet).
The music was composed by Lubomyr Melnyk, especially for this ballet, and is performed live on a grand piano by himself. “Melnyk’s cascading piano music (a technique called “continuous piano”) has a purity that feels both emotional and restrained. The thoroughgoing minimalism is charged with a powerful feeling of incomprehensible forces, of spiritual beauty and underlying risk. This sense of spiritualism and urgency drives all of Binet’s movement. The dancers perform solos, then in duets and small groups, walking among audience members as they move between stages. Binet’s choreography is as interested in small, gestural moments as it is large inventive floor-work” (Martha Schabas, https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/theatre-reviews/the-dreamers-ever-leave-you-is-a-thrilling-immersive-ballet/article31694131/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&).
Experiencing Dreamers is like falling in love. It has all the symptoms, sensations and emotions. When you enter this large, industrial and dark warehouse, you are bewitched by the music that surrounds you and leads you into a spiral of emotions. It is a repetitive, entrancing, both uplifting and melancholic at the same time.
It is solely the music of the grand piano you hear, except for those moments when a dancer decides to tap the floor with his foot which echoes inside you like a crashing wave. You can feel vibrations inside you when you observe the every parts of the dancing bodies, the muscles, the sweat, the expression on faces, the way they look at each other or into the distance. You feel the strength and the pain, the softness and the sensitivity, the tension and the fear, the urgency and the fragility.
You are only a bystander until that moment when one of the dancers comes right in front of you and you feel you are entering a sort of metaphorical relationship. They are so close you could touch them and it is the other way around, it is them who “touch” you with the emotions that emerge from their aura. Your heart begins to beat more rapidly and your body is in trance. Then you understand all the beauty behind the technique, behind the artistic design.
You want more (I could listen to the music forever I think!) but like all dreams it has an end. You leave this large open space with your body filled with all the emotions you could ever feel in your life. In just under two hours you have come to realise that dance, and art in general, can open every pore inside your body, in your head and in your heart to make you feel truly alive.
Don’t stop dreaming!
If you want to see some videos or photos of the London performances (if anything check it out for the music, it’s addictive): https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/dreamersinlondon/