reviewed by Paula Citron
National Ballet of Canada
Choreographed by John Neumeier
Starring Sonia Rodriguez, Zdenek Konvalina, Greta Hodgkinson and Aleksandar Antonijevic
Four Seasons Centre until Nov. 23
Choreographer John Neumeier’s 2002 adaptation of Chekhov’s classic play The Seagull is a monumental achievement. Neumeier, artistic director of Hamburg Ballet, richly captures in movement Chekhov’s troubled characters. He also designed the gorgeous sets, costumes and lighting, and fused the evocative score from music by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin and Evelyn Glennie.
Chekhov’s original play was set in the theatre world. Neumeier has brilliantly transformed writers and actors into choreographers and dancers. To say that Neumeier’s astute choreography is masterful, dangerous lifts and all, is an understatement.
Neumeier has taxed all the theatrical skills of the National Ballet’s acting dancers. The cast covers itself with glory led by the sensitive Zdenek Konvalina and the incandescent Sonia Rodriguez.
Neumeier’s The Seagull is complicated, intricate, dense and compelling. It is a ballet by an inspired choreographer, and it will take many viewings to come to grips with all its riches.
The Seagull continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Nov. 23.