Queensland Ballet: Bespoke

Queensland-Ballet-Remi-Wortmeyer-MiroirsQueensland Ballet’s Bespoke is an annual feast of three course contemporary creations. This year it was performed in the Talbot Theatre, Thomas Dixon Centre.

Choreographed by Remi Wortmeyer, Miroirs made its World Premiere. It was mesmerising! I spent the entire performance wondering about the creator of this truly breath-taking, unique and astonishing work.

I was immediately aware of an artistic presence and process that somehow emanated from the performers and also embraced them. The complexity of creative thought behind this superb choreographic work was tangibly evident. Signed. Sealed. deliciously delivered.

Faultlessly performed by the company. Beautiful, but unusual movements became beautiful moments as dancing bodies merged, mirrored, rose and departed. The entirety of the dancers’ bodies was brilliantly utilised in the unorthodox lifts and the floor work.

I later learned that Wortmeyer had also designed the costumes and arranged the set. That gave explanation as to why I was seeing a strongly written signature across the whole production.

The seemingly metallic/satin costumes were gender neutral enabling fluidity of sensuality. Described by Wortmeyer as ‘chains’ draped from the ceiling, I saw sapphire necklaces which, as they gently rose and fell, seemed to be breathing.

Ravel’s music was flawlessly played by Queensland Ballet pianist, Daniel Le. The black grand piano added a stately elegance to the simplicity of the stage setting.

Queensland Ballet was privileged to debut this work by someone who is clearly a gifted multi-potentialite. Still young. Still evolving. Potential genius emerging.

Tartan by Paul Boyd took us back in time as an old highlander reminisced. I loved how the dancers appeared from beneath the tartan cloth on the table and then gathered on stage in varied tartan dress.

The initial music sounded like a mournful, Celtic tribute to Sinead O’Connor whose untimely death was announced only that morning.

The mood changed with the rollicking, Donald, Where’s your Trousers? and Highland Cathedral. The young artists from the Jette Parker program, clearly demonstrated their agility. They also showed their ability to learn a different dance form which is traditionally danced on demi-pointe and then perform it En pointe.

The old highlander seated in a velvet chair beneath the displayed stag head added nobility and elegance to what was predominantly a playful and romantic performance. Much enjoyed.

We were then back in Australia for the concluding work, Four Last Songs by Natalie Weir. A seascape scene formed the backdrop. A softly, unceasingly, rolling tide as the lighting reflected the tonal palette of dawn and dusk.

The loose, flowing costumes were coloured to match the scene behind them. It was a gentle work. Soothing, swaying. The choreography reflected the sensitive, artistic approach to dance for which Natalie is renowned and acclaimed.

A wonderful evening!

Queensland Ballet: Bespoke
Talbot Theatre – Thomas Dixon Centre, 406 Montague Road, West End (Brisbane)
Performance: Thursday 27 July 2023
Season continues to 5 August 2023
Information and Bookings: www.queenslandballet.com.au

Image: Miroirs by Remi Wortmeyer featuring Artists from the Queensland Ballet – photo by David Kelly

Review: Michele-Rose Boylan