Kidd Pivot in Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young's Betroffenheit. Photo by Michael Slobodian, Courtesy Sadler's Wells.
The Olivier Awards were this weekend, and (though you might not have noticed with all of the hubbub over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child practically sweeping) three of our dance world faves snagged well-deserved awards for some very diverse programming.
Crystal Pite and actor/playwright Jonathon Young won Best New Dance Production for Betroffenheit, their harrowing exploration of loss and grief. (It premiered in 2015, but it made its way to London's Sadler's Wells, and therefore Olivier consideration, last summer.) Pite told us in our February issue, "I'm interested in offering an audience a variety of ways to get into a piece. Some people can connect in a visceral way to pure movement, and others connect more to language. I like to be able to use anything to get people in the same world as each other."
English National Ballet
Tamara Rojo has made some gutsy choices since becoming artistic director in 2012, and ENB's Best Achievement in Dance Olivier "for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler's Wells" is just one more spot of validation. The Giselle in question is, of course, Akram Khan's contemporary retelling that premiered in the fall; She Said was a diverse triple bill with new commissions from Azsure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang. As Khan said in our September cover story, "She has transformed the entire way the company works...The most interesting work right now is coming out of ENB."
Not only did he garner the Best Theatre Choreographer award for his production of The Red Shoes (based on the 1948 feature film starring Moira Shearer), Bourne also got to accept the award for Best Entertainment and Family, again for The Red Shoes. Anglophiles, get excited about this one: The work is making its U.S. premiere this fall on the west coast.
My best running buddy was on my left. To my right, a total stranger with whom I'd suddenly become competitive. As the 15-person group headed into a two-minute push, the instructor got hyped, and the remix blasting Rihanna's "We Found Love" transitioned to "Smooth Criminal."