Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures at The Wallis
Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures (at The Wallis through May 21), is by turns joyous, wry, whimsical, and exuberant. A must-see for dance lovers, and especially for fans of Bourne’s later works, such as Swan Lake and The Red Shoes, Early Adventures feel as fresh and innovative as they were when Bourne created them 25 years ago.
Let’s isolate a single moment. A man comes downstage center. His hair is slicked back; he wears a moss-green satin dressing gown, garters, and gray socks. Surveying his domain, his shoulder motivates his arm to form a wide arc, as if he is embracing his world, then he spins, back to the audience, and descends to a deep plié. Now close to the floor, he collapses onto his right side and, turning profile, bends his knees so his heels touch. At this moment, with his angular position, his feet flexed, he is the epitome of modern dance. But then he points his toes, flexes, points: in that ballet-move, Bourne jettisons conventions of style and form.
Moments like this inhabit the three pieces that comprise the evening. Watch With Mother begins by weaving children’s games, then moves to explore the isolation of one who does not conform. Town and Country takes us to England at a time past, likely just before or after the Great War, and gives us tableaux of grand living in London and the countryside. Here Bourne revels in the trappings of upper-crust life and also mocks them, satirizing the master-servant relationship, skewering a fox hunt with puppets, and gently reminding is there is much beneath the surface in a longing encounter between two sexually repressed men.
The Infernal Gallop, set in an Englishman’s imaginary Paris, offers one memorable scene after another, including a men’s encounter in a pissoir with musical score provided by urinary harmonies, and the most hilariously deadpan can-can you have ever seen, set to the familiar Offenbach music for which this piece is named.
With Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures, The Wallis continues a streak of adventuresome programming, adding international vibrancy to Los Angeles’s thriving arts scene.
Information and tickets: http://thewallis.org/bourne
Top image: Courtesy The Wallis.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Leipzig is the founder and CEO of MediaU, online career acceleration. MediaU opens the doors of access for content creation, filmmaking and television. Adam, Cultural Daily’s founder and publisher, has worked with more than 10,000 creatives in film, theatre, television, music, dance, poetry, literature, performance, photography, and design. He has been a producer, distributor or supervising executive on more than 30 films that have disrupted expectations, including A Plastic Ocean, March of the Penguins, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Dead Poets Society, Titus and A Plastic Ocean. His movies have won or been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, 11 BAFTA Awards, 2 Golden Globes, 2 Emmys, 2 Directors Guild Awards, 4 Sundance Awards and 4 Independent Spirit Awards. Adam teaches at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Adam began his career in theatre; he was the first professional dramaturg in the United States outside of New York City, and he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Theatre Center, where he produced more than 300 plays, music, dance, and other events. Adam is CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, a company that navigates creative entrepreneurs through the Hollywood system and beyond, and a keynote speaker. Adam is the former president of National Geographic Films and senior Walt Disney Studios executive. He has also served in senior capacities at CreativeFuture, a non-profit organization that advocates for the creative community. Adam is is the author of ‘Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers ’ and co-author of the all-in-one resource for college students and emerging filmmakers 'Filmmaking in Action: Your Guide to the Skills and Craft' (Macmillan). (Photo by Jordan Ancel)
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