STUDENT BLOGS: Theatre in London: Sites, Sounds, and Situations
Swan Lake and Pied Piper Hip Hop Revolution
by Mary Alice Nichols
Today, after our walking tour of Kensington, we headed over to the Barbican Centre (an arts centre opened in 1982 and the largest performing arts centre in Europe, hosting not just theatre, but all types of music and dance concerts, film screenings, etc.) to watch Pied Piper Hip Hop Dance Revolution.
It was a very interesting experience because it was the classic story of the Pied Piper except with hip hop dance and music appropriate to that genre. I really appreciated it, because there is really nothing else like it out there currently. Everyone goes to the ballet to see Giselle, The Nutcracker, or whatever, but there has never really been a story like that told through dance in this way. So I really enjoyed it because of this new dance show and the great dancing that was happening.
Later that evening, I got to go Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. When I bought tickets for it, I knew it was different than what everyone traditionally thinks of Swan Lake as because it has men as swans rather than the traditional women. But, I was thinking it was just a new ballet interpretation of the ballet, Swan Lake. However, I was very incorrect with these assumptions because it was not a ballet at all. It was a modern dance show. It was everything you would want from a theatrical dance show and I was utterly pleased. With his concept, Matthew Bourne says that he cannot believe in the story of Swan Lake that the muscular and strong swans are little ballerinas in tutus. And while I still disagree with him on that statement, I do appreciate and understand his argument. Having males in the swan roles especially the lead roles, created these superbly strong and expressive solos, duets, and
group modern dance pieces that just made you want to get up, go find a swan, and dance with it.
Having a day full of dance shows was utterly fantastic and helped me see that diverging from the traditional can create some surprising and truly beautiful moments and performances.