...in the bottom drawer
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currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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November 04, 2005 || 1:51 pm
Michael Clark @ the Barbican

Last night we went to see the latest Michael Clark show at the Barbican. The first half was classic Clark punk-rock, booming Iggy Pop and graphic black-and-white costumes. Clark himself danced a few short sections, as always absolutely mesmerising in the way he moves - controlled yet loose and lithe. As so many times with his (and some others') pieces to music like this, I always wonder whether I really want to be in a theatre to watch them. I'd rather be in the 333 perhaps, beer in hand and grimy black wall behind me, hearing Iggy blast out of the sound system over the noise of the crowd and watching the precisely controlled, haughty yet intimate movements like a vision of perfection above the Hoxton hipsters.

The second half, the much-discussed new version of Stravinsky's Apollo, was extraordinary. Thrilling, spine-tinglingly wonderful. It had a lightness of touch and an absolute boldness in being so simple and so direct in its classicism - unafraid to be pure and uncomplicated, yet also contrapuntal and not without its edgier side, perfectly mirroring the music (which itself was beautifully played). It is quite a brave thing to do, tackling a piece of music made so famous in the dance world by Balanchine's seminal choreography, but Clark managed to both be respectful of B's work (to those who might know it) yet bring an absolutely fresh and truthful approach to the music without relying on those past references.

There were, amazingly, some spare seats in the auditorium! Go see. Also: spotted last night: Will Self, evidently a Clark fan.



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