Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Post:Ballet - "Waltz of the Snowflakes"

Post:Ballet in Waltz of the Snowflakes
Photo Ben Tarquin
Waltz of the Snowflakes (filmed adhering to all COVID-19 protocols and safety measures)
Streaming currently on YouTube

It’s no secret that the part of Nutcracker I most look forward to is the Snow Scene. The choreography, the costumes, the circular Tchaikovsky score, the effects – I love all of it. So I was beyond excited to learn that the artists of Post:Ballet had recently collaborated on a new film featuring this transcendent chapter. Choreographed by Artistic Director Robert Dekkers with cinematography by Ben Tarquin of YAKfilms, Waltz of the Snowflakes highlights the power of contrast and reminds its audience that this unprecedented year is no match for the pure joy of movement.

The seven minute dance short’s visuals provide numerous points of delicious contrast. First, the setting. Dekkers and Tarquin opted to place the ethereal, dreamlike sequence amidst an industrial park space – the float-y, fluttering movement meeting a Brutalist backdrop. Such a striking match of opposites. Waltz of the Snowflakes also facilitated an unexpected meeting of the seasons. While I can’t be sure of the temperature the day the piece was filmed, the sky was crystal clear and the sun soaked every angle, creating beautiful shadows of the wintry precipitation on the cement. Contrast also played beautifully into the choreography. Contemporary ballet vocabulary was definitely a throughline, but as the music crescendoed, the movement similarly took on a new quality and intention. What began as softer, wispier motions grew with urgency until arms swung frenetically through the air and bodies turned and contracted sharply. 

The dancers were all in from start to finish, seemingly unaffected by the non-traditional stage surface, or that their feathery tulle skirts needed to be paired with facemasks and tennis shoes. Every moment was full out and undeniably buoyant – lilting balancés, soaring attitude turns and pirouettes, huge jetés and crisp temps leveé. The stage architecture that Dekkers created for these dancers to traverse was quite something. Waltz of the Snowflakes’ aerial views revealed this gorgeous patterning, as the dancers weaved in and out like a quiet winter snowfall. And there was a very special treat when the cast came together to form a heart shape – it felt like the dance community was sending a message of love and peace to the world. 

Check out Waltz of the Snowflakes at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru5H3LHiU1M&feature=youtu.be


Post:Ballet in Waltz of the Snowflakes
Photo Ben Tarquin

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