Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Amán - Ballet at the Roman Theatre in Sagunto

Sagunto's excellent Festival D'Estiu continued at the weekend in the glorious Roman Theatre that sits above the city, with 'Aman' by the fine company of Ballet de Teatres de la Generalitat. Choreographed by Patrick de Bana, and based loosely on the greek myth of Penelope and Ulysses, it was billed as a multicultural spectacular with not only classical music from Bach, Albinoni but also music from Armenia, Turkey and Morrocco. It certainly sounded like an interesting proposition at the press conference in Valencia last friday.
We arrived in Sagunto early to take our time walking up the ferociously steep Calle Castillo in the heat of the evening. I am so glad we did; street performers playing music or dancing or painting to music were dotted along our route all the way to the entrance, even so, we were still early and were able to get our breath back with a cool breeze sitting on the wall outside the gate to the Amphitheatre.
We finally took our seats and looked down to a stage bare but for seats for the orchestra and choir to the left and to the right seats for the Morrocan female musicians.
It all started rather slowly with two soloists singing with the orchestra and, dimly lit, two dancers walking along the back of the stage very slowly and making their way to the centre. That ended and they began to dance. It gradually became a delightful and hugely energetic and entertaining ballet. Th couple were replaced on stage by three wonderfully spirited dancers dressed in white, who were in turn replaced by a marvelously androgynous dancer, she was joined by more dancers in two's and seven's and so the pattern was set - the three in white danced to the drum and voices of Bnat Houriyat, one moment dervish-like and the next covering the stage in record time from side to side. There was music from a quartet of musicians playing Armenia and Turkey and the orchestra and choir played and sang the Music of Bach and Albinoni. mch of the dancing was the dance equivalent of 'rounds' in music and was so exciting and effective.
It was a remarkable performance which unfortunately was only on for two nights at the Roman theatre, but you will have another chance to see this beautiful show when it returns for a few nights in November at the Teatre Principal in Valencia, we'll remind you closer to the time and urge you not to miss it.
Amán Ballet photos ©2009 Festival D'Estiu
Street Photos © Diana Birch for thisisvalencia

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