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seconde, with their hands resting on their

upper thighs or their arms uplifted in a V-
shape. It wraps up with a moving and truly
remarkable female solo performed by Katja
The programme reached its climax in the
final work, Quintett. This is a highly poetic
piece created by William Forsythe in 1993
for the dancers who were closest to him and
his wife (at the time dying of a serious ill-
This “tribute to life” preserves its fresh-
ness. It is to a touching soundtrack: an old
man sings the tune of an American song, over
and over again without pronouncing the
words properly. In order to be able to dance
Forsythe one needs to have mastered the clas-
sical ballet technique and then to have been
able to rid oneself of it. The four soloists of
the Zurich Ballet have both a remarkable tech-
nique and a sharp stage presence. Taking
the role that used to be danced by Dana
Caspersen, Italian dancer Giulia Tonelli is
supple and frail, Katja Wünsche gives soul
to the dance originally performed by Jone
San Martin in 1993, Guadeloupean Manuel
Renard is all suppleness and attack (excel-
Zurich Opera Ballet cats on their hind legs. One waits in vain for lent in the part that used to be performed
the movement to change. The eight dancers by Stephen Galloway), while Matthew
then sway and move untidily. Some danc- Knihgt is convincing in what used to be Tho-
ers double up furtively and their movements mas McMagnus’s role. The most extraordi-
Before and after are characterised by contraction. A times the nary of them all was Tars Vandebeek, but
Forsythe men perform a fast développé à la seconde
and at others they take up a position as if
he probably felt under scrutiny that evening:
his was the role that used to be danced by
Rituals from another when – chor. Jacopo to perform a sevillana – but then they don’t. Jacopo Godani…
Godani, mus. Ulrich Müller, Siegfried Rössert; We would have got patiently bored if it hadn’t Emmanuèle Rüegger
Kammerballet – chor. Hans van Manen, mus. been also for the horrid costumes that make
Domenico Scarlatti, Kara Karajew, John Cage; the show visually unpleasant. Pieces of fabric The Royal Ballet
Quintett – chor. William Forsythe, mus. dangle between the dancers’ legs, making
Gavin Bryars them look like a band of Tarzans.
Zurich (Switzerland), Opernhaus Following the interval, Hans van Manen’s
elegant Kammerballett was a balm for our Pite on the migrant trail
For a long time a dancer with William eyes. Created for the Nederlands Dans
Forsythe’s company, Italian choreographer Theater in 1995, this ballet features all the Flight Pattern – chor. Crystal Pite, mus.
Jacopo Godani is at the helm of what is now qualities of the Dutch master: humour, sim- Henryk Górecki
known as the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Com- plicity, musicality. Four couples, initially London, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
pany and was entrusted to him by the fa- sitting on stools, take turns to dance. Two
mous American choreographer. His oeuvre moments are magnificent: the bold variation Once, just once in a while, a new dance
is interesting and internationally-appreciated. of the four men, in unison, crammed with work is created which is not only an imme-
That is why there were great expectations glissades, pas de bourrée and pliés à la diate success but instantly becomes a ‘clas-
regarding his creation for
the Zurich Ballet – and
that is why the disap-
pointment was equally
Although Godani had
stated he wanted to cre-
ate something different
from usual, he wasn’t
able to live up to this. The
dancers enter walking like

Zurich Ballet: “Rituals
from another when”
c. Jacopo Godani
(ph. C. Quezada)