Playlist: The Australian Ballet's Chroma

Recently landed: Playlist: The Australian Ballet's Chroma Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

Following Art to Sky’s somersaults and softly, softly falling steps, the programme concludes with two works by my own champion of truthfulness and humanity, Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort (1991) and Sechs Tänze (1986), which reference his first love: circus acrobats. The symbolically charged, theatrical Mozart double act takes us full circle, covering “aggression, sexuality, energy, silence, cultivated senselessness and vulnerability”. Poured into the two works (18-minutes and 15-minutes long respectively) is the push-pull of emotional affections. As one is dragged or tied by a length of their own skirt, in Sechs Tänze, another has their limbs dissected, followed by rapid-fire movements that either quickly assume the position of a corpse or roll into darkness. If one must be garroted, this is how it should be done. There is the familiar slap of a hand against flesh, in Petitie Mort, and the rewarding sexually charged swoosh of a foil cutting through negative space. Six men and six (fencing) foils as willful as if of flesh and bone, six women and six black crinolines on wheels and also seemingly with a mind of their own, and one cloud of floating black fabric, we see outlines traced by foil’s tip and shapes from nature drawn when one body partners with another. All is held in perfect balance, and it wears the fine corseting of Joke Visser. Though five years separate these two works, bookended they read as one exploration that swings, or in the case of the black crinolines, wheels from the poetic to the physical. As with Chroma, the dancers once more seem to relish the freedom and gave to their roles something, if not all, of themselves. Space is again transformed to strong effect but with great and considered simplicity. For simplicity without considered absence is merely spartan.

Andrew Wright & Dimity Azoury with Artists of The Australian Ballet in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort (Image credit: Jess Bialek)

Andrew Wright & Dimity Azoury with Artists of The Australian Ballet in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort (Image credit: Jess Bialek)