If you’re in search of an evening of stimulation – of various kinds, Kyiv Modern Ballet (KMB) does not disappoint. Artistic Director Radu Poklitaru is a deep well of interesting ideas. Turning the reins over to soloists Oleksiy Busko and Anastasia Kharchenko in this small local company’s newest work, Seasons, the pair take you on a journey of love and loss in music and movement.
The Seasons Of Emotion
Inspiration for this newest work is thanks in large part to Ukrainian composer Oleksandr Rodin. He says he wrote Seasons in references to the various stages of human life: “Life itself inspires me, I need only put it all down on paper.”
When Busko first heard the piece he immediately visualised a story of two people in various stages of love. Rodin admits surprise at Busko’s first mention of artistic collaboration, but says, “Busko is very sensitive to music and I knew he wouldn’t miss a single detail.” And he was right, because from that point on, “the work was a natural creative process”, according to the budding young choreographer.
The music itself is pieced together in, as you might have guessed, four parts, with each season depicted by a different instrument: spring is first violin, summer is second violin, autumn is the alto horn, and winter is the cello. In terms of choreography, spring is the birth of ideas, feelings and, in this case, meetings; hopes and dreams fly high and all is carefree. As summer comes, feelings mature; the first important steps are taken together, and understanding and forgiveness become key. However, routine becomes mundane, and the first scars appear leaving the unsaid behind. On stage, spilt milk on the stove works as a metaphor of emotions boiling over. He overturns the milk, and burns his hand. Later, she will clean it up. The scene ends with them cuddling on the floor – but is this partnership strong enough to survive?
Autumn – a poetically sad season, slowly takes over. Our couple start living separate lives, with every collision like the sound of breaking plates. A vase drips water, not unlike the life that slowly drains from the love they once shared. Back and forth the dancers roll, stealing the blanket as they move, shouting not only with their movements, but with their voices, “ME!”
Winter comes. Contrary to mother nature, the creators of Seasons wish winter didn’t have to play a part in their relationship. There is no strength left to fight for a love that no longer exists – only anger remains, binding the two.
Seasons Of Change
Kharechnko, playing the feminine, says she has lived her character’s pain in real life, and though some of the scenes and seasons for that matter are extremely sad, she wouldn’t change any of them: “It is impossible to name my favourite scene; they are four parts of one entity. You are born, you grow and transform – you can’t single anything out, because there is always something that causes your current state of being.”
Though the choreography represents the music and the music represents the choreography extremely well, the performance is made all the richer thanks to the lighting and various projections used. Technical director Maria Pustovalova admits she wasn’t given a lot of freedom in this piece; the result, however, was a “harmonious UNI0N of music, movement and light. And in the end, this piece is all about the music and the choreography.”
Though highly creative in his own right, KMB director Poklitaru says his input in Seasons was minimal: “Oleksiy showed me a few scenes he wasn’t sure about and we worked on them together. But I put as little of myself into this work as possible – every choreographer must develop by himself, and talent will tell him what to do.”
Though he may not like the way this relationship comes to an end, Busko seems happy with his piece and says, “I hope Seasons makes people remember what to avoid, what to value, and what to take care of. Here I have shown how bad it can be, so that people do it right.”
Seasons & Con Tutti Instrumenti
2 ballets in 1 act each featuring KMB
17 January at 19.00
Kyiv Theatre of Opera & Ballet for Children & Youth (Mezhyhirska 2)
by Olga German