Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal flew back to Beijing after 27 years

20 July 2011, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.


Stage Photo: Minus One, Photo by : Xiaojing Wang

20 July 2011, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the company presented Minus One a programme by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, a work of infectious enthusiasm and among the most popular in the company's repertoire.

As the audience took its seats, a dancer of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, in a black suit and white shirt, was strutting and slinking his way through spontaneous-looking, yet deftly timed dancing to mambo and cha-cha music. His movement was expansive but a touch off-kilter, as he threw himself off-balance and recovered in style.

Before the house lights fully dimmed, more than 20 similarly-clad men and women joined him, entering one by one until the stage was filled. They bobbed in place with clenched fists, then exploding into mass of flinging movement made a visceral impact on the audience. One man came forward, ranting loudly and violently as the curtain fell on him and he had to scramble to avoid it.

"Ohad Naharin's choreographic style is similar to the Chinese KONGFU, there is always have the energy between dancers and their bodies. This energy according by different themes and music background, showing a fantasy, humorous, unique and different dance styles, whether the changing dancers or the changing stages, both of them have a stunning geometric aesthetic. "Said by Reporter Lun Bing (YNET.com)


Stage Photo: Minus One, Photo by : Xiaojing Wang

Minus One is a delightful sampling of talents drawn from seven previous works: Za-cha-cha, Sabotage Baby, Black Milk, Passomezza, Anaphaza, Queens of Golub and Mabul. One idea that joins these works is the struggle and the joy of a dancer's career and this, in turn, manifests itself strongly in the subtext of Minus One. Additionally, the sections that make up Minus One are so contrasted, one after another, that the range in movement vocabulary begins to tell a story of its own. The dancers make interesting statements about different ways of moving, appearing and bonding.


Stage Photo: Minus One, Photo by : Xiaojing Wang

Ohad's choreography is very physical, the dancers use every part of their body. Ohad makes you question your intentions. He wants you to know where your movement is coming from and what has initiated a movement.


Stage Photo: Minus One, Photo by : Xiaojing Wang

Towards the end of the program, the audience had their own chance to perform when the company invited dance partners on stage – men, women, young and old. Always eager for an impromptu performance moment, the Chinese audience immediately got into the swing of things. Twirling and shaking their hips to a hard hitting, upbeat version of Over the Rainbow. In the end, it was the most flamboyant lady in a red top who was left on the stage. Smiling seductively as she danced with "her man". The section ended dramatically when all the dancers fell in unison to the ground, leaving our lady in red standing to take the applause from the audience on her own.

This time, Wu Promotion cooperated with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, to bring this phenomenally successful performance to Chinese audiences. Minus one will also be performing at the Development Area Grand Theatre in Dalian on the 24th and 25th of July, and the Guangzhou Opera House on the 30th and the 31st of July – the next stop after Dalian.

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