Myth - Deloitte Ignite 14

Posted on September 21, 2014 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

deloitte ignite 14

Deloitte Ignite 14 at the Royal Opera House


I have attended the Royal Opera House's annual contemporary arts festival Deloitte Ignite for a few years now, and I think it's a highly successful event that reflects the company's ability to constantly evolve itself.

This year, the co-curator is Minn Moore Ede from the National Gallery and the theme focuses on two Greek Myths: Prometheus and his theft of fire, and Leda and her encounter with Zeus in the form of a swan. The festival enables artists, musicians, singers, dancers, choreographers, designers and film makers etc to collaborate and produce interdisciplinary events that take place throughout the month. Unlike other opera houses that seem inaccessible to everyone, the festival's opening weekend at the ROH is free and accessible for all and it is packed full of events that are also children-friendly.


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Left: Crush Room; Middle: Street artists Phlegm's art work at the ROH; Mat Collishaw's 'The poisoned page'


It is interesting to see ROH collaborating with Sheffield-based street artist Phlegm, who is well know for his fine technique and detailed etchings. You can see his large painted work on the wall inside the venue (see above), and smaller prints at the entrance.

By chance, I stumbled upon the open rehearsal of Royal Ballet Soloist and choreographer Kristen McNally's new piece for Balletboyz the TALENT. I had already bought the ticket for the performance two weeks later, so I was quite thrilled to see the rehearsal and learned more about what went on backstage. It was also a joy to watch the charismatic Andrea Carrucciu at work.

In the evening, I saw 'Sampling the Myth', a mixed programme of live performances and short films exploring the modern retelling of myths through art collaboration. In the last piece 'Unearthed', Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili painted directly onto the dancers' bodies, transforming them into moving canvases. Unfortunately, I found the programme inconsistent and generic with some pieces better than others, and at one point there was even a technical issue when the audience had sit through a short film with only sound but no image. The much-anticipated Unearthed based on the Prometheus myth is colourful and energetic, but somehow does not live up to the hype. Disappointing show.


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Main & bottom left: open rehearsal of a new collaboration between Kristen McNally and BalletBoyz the TALENT; Bottom right: a view of Covent Garden from the terrace


Luckily, the new mixed programme performed by BalletBoyz the TALENT made up for my disappointment two weeks earlier. I have seen a show by BalletBoyz before, so I was really looking forward to this.

The company was launched in 2000 by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt of the Royal Ballet, their second-generation ensemble, The Talent, is made up of 10 male dancers. The first act 'The Murmuring' is choreographed by Alex Whitley and it is masculine, highly-energetic and even gripping at times. The second act is Kristen McNally's 'Metheus', with music by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. The piece is very different from the other two acts because it has a softer/more feminine element, and it seems more low-key and subdued.

The last act is Christopher Wheeldon’s re-choreography of Mesmerics, originally created in 2003 for Nunn, Trevitt and Oxana Panchenko. This is my favourite act of the evening, partly because it allows the dancers to shine individually and as a team. With a score by Philip Glass, the dancers are able to demonstrate their amazing flexibility or skilled classical-trained techniques like chaîné turns. It is dynamic, creative and superbly choreographed.

I have seen a few contemporary dance performances recently by well-known ballet dancers like Sylvie Guillem, and Russian ballet superstars Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev ( at the disappointing 'Solo for Two' at the London Coliseum in August), but I enjoyed this show the most. Although it is not perfect, it is entertaining, energetic and very promising.


BalletBoyz: the TALENT is showing at Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House until 27th September.


This post was posted in London, Dance, Music & Sound, Art and was tagged with London, dance, Royal opera house, Deloitte Ignite, Balletboyz