International Festival preview: Ballett Zürich

This article is from 2015

International Festival preview: Ballett Zürich

credit: Judith Schlosser

The past meets the present in this exciting double-bill from Switzerland

The inspiration may be old, but the double-bill Ballett Zürich is bringing to the International Festival couldn’t be more forward-looking. Kairos, by choreographer Wayne McGregor, is set to Vivaldi’s 18th -century work The Four Seasons – but it’s Max Richter’s 2014 ‘recomposition’ of the concertos we’ll be hearing. Meanwhile, Ballett Zürich’s artistic director, Christian Spuck, chose four of Shakespeare’s sonnets, written in the late 16th -century, for his piece Sonnett. Their delivery, however, is far from traditional, with a female actor dressed as Shakespeare speaking the words, while dancers move around her to a soundtrack by minimalist composer Philip Glass.

Spuck commissioned McGregor to make Kairos specially for his company, and was more than happy with the result. ‘Wayne draws you into a completely different world,’ he says. ‘And for each movement in the music, he creates different images on stage. I think it’s fabulous piece and I’m immensely proud to present it at the Edinburgh International Festival.’

As for his own piece, Spuck isn’t trying to act out the sonnets’ text on stage – more capture the flavour of them.

‘Shakespeare’s sonnets are some of the most beautiful love poetry I’ve ever read,’ he says. ‘But there are also lots of question marks surrounding them, they’re very mysterious – and that’s what the piece is about, those question marks.’

Ballett Zürich, Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 27–29 Aug, 7.30pm, £10--£32.

Ballett Zürich

  • 4 stars

Ballett Zürich, one of Europe’s leading ensembles, presents a captivating double bill featuring works by their artistic director Christian Spuck and multi-award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor. McGregor’s new work Kairos is a seamless marriage of design and structure set to Max Richter’s celebrated…