dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Choreographer asks if beauty if just skin deep?
Birmingham-based choreographer Rosie Kay is examining beauty in her new work Fantasia which premieres at Birmingham Hippodrome's Patrick Studio on September 25-6.
Rosie, who is perhaps best known for her works 5 Soldiers and the Commonwealth Games Handover to Birmingham, is using dance to play with ideas, expectations and reality with a piece set to music by classical composers including Beethoven, Bach and Vaughan Williams.
She explains: "I started thinking about beauty and I was reading philosophy and Nietzsche who talks about how beauty is so much more than we think it is now. The Ancient Greeks believed there was a strong relationship between beauty and truth but beauty now is seen as very shallow. Today beauty is just about superficial appearance but actually it's about so much more than that. Beauty has become separated from all the other ideas associated with it. For example, beauty can be terrifying – if you think about nature it can be beautiful yet also awe-inspiring at the same time."
Fantasia features three female dancers taking the audience on an exploration of beauty. "There should be an emotional journey, it should have peaks and troughs and climaxes and quiet valleys," says Rosie. "I want people to feel really emotional but also to laugh and find it funny but by the end of an hour it should be like they hear the world and look at the world anew. Fantasia is like a cornucopia of so much dancing – everyone will be filled to the brim. I don't think I've ever made a piece with so much non-stop technical dancing and yet it's in this beautiful baroque world – it's a real Fantasia."
Rosie, whose previous works have included 5 Soldiers: The Body is the Frontline, MK Ultra and most recently 10 Soldiers, was inspired by the idea of a classical music fantasia. "I used to play the piano a lot and I always loved Mozart's Fantasia in D Minor - I was fascinated because the structure of it is really crazy!" Rosie explains. "I discovered that a fantasia is a piece of musical composition that breaks all the rules. I love fantasias that take you on flights of fantasy - a fantasia generally is a chance to play and explore."
Rosie Kay Dance Company's Fantasia is performed at the Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome on Sept 25-26, with a post-show talk on Sept 25, see www.birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000 for ticket information.