Choreographer Johan Inger has spent the last twenty years becoming an overnight sensation. While dancing at the Nederlands Dans Theater in the 90s, Swedish-born Inger’s choreographic talent came to the attention of Jirí Kylián and soon he was collecting a series of prestigious awards. But in 2016 he took out the big one: the Prix Benois de la Danse – an Oscar of the ballet world – for Carmen, his first full-length work.
A contemporary take on the classic story of seduction, betrayal and murder, Inger’s Carmen not only focuses on its fearless and freedom-loving heroine but broadens its gaze, like Prosper Mérimée’s literary source material, to Don José’s pathological fear, violence and suppression of a courageous and sexually independent woman. Seen through the eyes of a boy, bewildered by the ugly manifestations of machismo, this large-scale work is a fascinating interpretation in dance of Bizet’s themes, with sublime passages for soloists and duos and thrilling ensemble sequences of consummate virtuosity.
Created for Madrid’s Compañía Nacional de Danza to the familiar Bizet/Shchedrin score (with additional music by Marc Álvarez) its Australian debut is being performed by the superb Semperoper Ballett, the Dresden-based company whose recent international touring has garnered critical adulation for the ensemble’s ‘breathtaking precision and urgent grace’. Unmissable.
A choreographic masterpiece
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