Meoal (Among), September 2017
Creations in Studio K
Director: Marcello Angelini
Choreographer: Helen Pickett
Music: Johann Johannsson
World Premiere, September 2017
ARTS: Review of “Creations in Studio K” by Tulsa Ballet
By James D. Watts Jr. Tulsa World, Sep 17, 2017
That Tulsa Ballet is showcasing women dance is notable, but what is important in art is not so much the maker as what is made — the work, as choreographer Helen Pickett said, has to stand on its own. And that is certainly the case with the ballet made by Pickett.
Pickett’s work, “Meòal,” is perhaps the most abstract of the three. The movement she has crafted for this work has a sense of violence to it, requiring extremes of speed and a kind of furious flexibility that give the impression the dancers are being pulled around the stage by forces outside their control, as if they are being physically shaped by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s haunting, propulsive music.
At the center of the piece is an individual, danced with finely controlled abandoned by Daniel van de Laar, whose electrified gyrations are at odds with the more animalistic movements of those around him. Dancers come together and are pulled apart, as in the fiery duet of Maine Kawashima and Rodrigo Hermesmeyer. Gestures become a kind of language, as van da Laar struggles to understand what certain positions and movements of the hands signify. But, in the end, the only peace that is found is in the collective; no one is changed, the alien is still alien, but accepted for what he is.
It’s a captivating work, brutal and beautiful all at once, and something I hope Tulsa Ballet keeps alive in its repertoire.