Review- Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal- Hong Kong Arts Festival


The first thing I noticed when I looked at the programme was how "recent" the works will be presented are. The oldest was created in 2012, and the latest was just created last year. Now that is very exciting! I have never seen Canada's Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal before, but definitely, like what the company name evokes and was looking forward to seeing it.
The show opened with Mona Lisa, a work choreographed by Itzik Galili for two dancers. This high-octane pas de deux performed by Celine Cassone and Alexander Hille was a test of endurance and precision. The intertwining bodies, quick lifts and sudden drops were bordering acrobatics and were all executed with incredible ease to the experimental sound of typewriter competing with drums. This masterpiece was the highlight of the evening, and everything else seemed to be a tad less exclusive.
Kosmos, choreographed by Andonis Foniadakis was a portrayal of modern urban living. While the choreographic language was modern dance, elements of other forms of dance were combined seamlessly. Set to the music of Julien Tarride, the work explored various moods from frenetic pace pushed by persistent percussions to thoughtful movements exalted by the sound of strings. The work was a cocktail of counterpoints and episodic bursts of intense perfect that beautifully counterbalance each other.
Opening the second half of the evening is Closer, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied and another work designed for two dancers. Set to Philip Glass' Mad Rush, I find the music was turned up way too loud that it overshadowed the lyricism of the music and the dance. Dancers Celine Cassone and Alexander Hille once again demonstrated the impeccable partnership they have, and that it goes beyond just technique, but also a connection high in confidence and comfort.
Before closing the evening with O Balcao de Amor, an additional short film about the work, which I found unnecessary,   was shown. It was rather odd. Instead of enhancing my experience of the work, the film dampened it. This work choreographed  by Itzik Galili was a fun, funny and entertaining piece; and the documentary somehow took away the surprise factor. The choreography revolved around the music of Perez Prado, and it was pelted all over with comedic confetti and sexy silliness that showcased a different side of the company.
Overall, it was an evening of beautiful contemporary works that provided wide-ranging sentiments and elicited deep connection with the audience.

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.0


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