Review | WA Ballet’s ‘As One: Ballet at the Quarry’

West Australian Ballet’s 2021 Quarry season is filled with love 

As One: WA Ballet at the Quarry | Quarry Amphitheatre | Until 27th Feb | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ 

The WA Ballet’s annual season at the Quarry Amphitheatre is always one of the highlights of the Perth Festival, a time when the company not only steps outside into the open air, but often also steps outside it’s comfort zone, challenging audiences with more modern works, provocative sounds and culture clashing collaborations.

This year’s presentation is distinctly different, three works that are filled with themes of love, romance and connection. The dance was graceful, the sounds were smoothing and the overall achievement was one of great beauty.

First up was a clever re-staging of several shorter works that have previously featured in the company’s Genesis project. Each year the dancers in the company explore their own choreography and present short pieces. Here six shorter pieces that had similar themes were linked together by the theatrical device of a man thinking back over his life. Collectively they were titled Heartache.

The second work was choreographed by company members Dayana Hardy Acuna and Juan Carlos Osma. Moment of Joy featured beautiful costumes in gradients of pink, orange and beige, which perfectly matched backdrop of the quarry cliff face that was lit up in similar hues.

The dance was set to a classical piano score that composed and played live on stage by Michael Bret. His work was a mix of planned phrases and wild improvisation, which must keep the work fresh – and the dancers on their toes.

The movement was flowing, graceful and lively as the dancers swept and weaved through the space. There were moments of peacefulness and pause, before they would take off for another flight of twists, turns and leaps.

The final piece 4Seasons was from choreographer Natalie Weir who sadly was unable to join the company to see her work staged. The most recent round of lockdowns and border closures saw Weir communicating with the cast via Zoom – and we all thought online meetings were hard.

The bold work featured 22 performers who created a narrative about the life of a romantic relationship, a journey through its different stages. It’s musical accompaniment was the brilliant reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons created by Max Richter.

Together these three complimentary works provided an experience that provoked a moment of peace, tranquility and not romance, but affection and love in it’s many forms.

There are limited tickets available to the remaining performances.

Graeme Watson

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