Thursday, 14 September 2017

Hofesh Shechter, Grand Finale, Sadler's Wells


For me, a classic punt on an unknown on a Tuesday evening in London. For the excitable mass, opera director friend I bumped into in the interval and those who had seen the Royal Opera's Orfeo & Eurydice from 2 years ago, the Hofesh Shechter Company is the bomb.

Well, a bomb perhaps. Grand Finale is a piece that explodes with noise and energy and may represent the aftermath of some actual armageddon. The character of the work follows the title though - for all the desperation of the characters' furious, relentless steps and movement (imagine the CD player stuck on the final minute or so of the Rite of Spring), the mercurial twisting from conflict to consolation, there's plenty of wit and the blind fun of dancing together in the face of 'the end'. The show benefits from an entertaining sextet of musicians popping up occasionally to leaven the extraordinarily powerful sound system. It was fun to realise one was enjoying watching people dancing in club (yeah, showing my age) though I was less convinced by a relatively still sequence involving a bubble-blower in the flies, which seemed to capitulate its purpose to the stage picture. The full house went nuts for the company and eponymous choreographer afterwards.

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