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Mmm... Stravinsky Project Part 2; Sherman, Cardiff Rating ***.

Byline: Peter Collins

When Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was premiered in Paris in 1913 it provoked a near riot by the shocked and outraged audience who simply didn't understand what was going on.

I'm not sure that too many people in the audience at the Sherman last night fully understood the Michael Clark Company's production of Mmm...Stravinsky, Clark's "response" to The Rite of Spring. I certainly didn't. Thankfully, there was no riot.

There was all the brutality and savagery of Stravinsky's work in this often stark and disturbing production which explored the themes of birth, life, death and renewal.

The first part featured music by the Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd, Wire and, bizarrely, Stephen Sondheim.

Dancers performed ritualistic dances as the music was pumped out at an eardrum-bursting volume. A picture of the Mona Lisa, which gradually changed into what I think was a picture of Elizabeth Taylor or Jackie Kennedy looked on as the near-naked dancers performed to Barbra Streisand singing Send in the Clowns. Very strange.

The second part was more comprehensible with the dancers interpreting Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, performed, unusually, on two pianos by Huw Watkins and Andrew West.

In its way this was a thought-provoking production, but just how much intellectual depth there was to it remains a mute point.

Mmm... Stravinsky continues this evening.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 4, 2008
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