Sylvie Guillem’s final show

Life in Progress

A lone dancer skuttles onto stage dragging an arm, resting momentarily where a bare tree stands centre stage. Guillem moves like a whirring gizmo, compact and full of electricity, as though she could burst any moment. Her livewire limbs rarely come to rest for long. One quiet moment finds her face down, spread-eagle on the floor, her sinewy arms appearing dislocated from their sockets as her quick hands scrabble about on the floor, as if searching for something…

Lead image: Sylvie Guillem's Life in Progress
Lead image: Sylvie Guillem’s Life in Progress

‘Life in Progress’ is the French ballerina’s final tour; Guillem will retire at the end of December 2015, after a long, diverse and highly successful career. Aged 50, she is still a breathtaking dancer. This show at Beijing’s NCPA was the very last chance for a Chinese audience to see Guillem in the flesh. Like me, they adored Guillem – it seemed as though every single person in the large auditorium was equally aware of their luck in getting tickets to this see this brilliant dancer.

The programme includes: Technê by Akram Khan, performed by Guillem; Duo by William Forsythe, performed by Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts; Here & After by Russell Maliphant, performed by Guillem and Emanuela Montanari; and finally Bye by Mats Ek, which was choreographed specifically for Guillem.

This post is a combination of 100 words from a longer review and additional information thereafter. The official review was published on 13th October 2015 by Bachtrack. Please click here to read the full review.

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