17 Mar 2011

Ballet- The Most Incredible Thing

Javier De Frutos

Javier called me, had I heard of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Most Incredible Thing’? Incredibly, I hadn’t - a quick Google and, incredibly I had! Javier had been commissioned by Sadler's Wells to create the choreography for a new ballet with original music scored by the Pet Shop Boys and would I come up with an image to front it?
 Anderson’s obsession with cutting shapes out of paper was my starting point. Look away now if you don’t want to know the ending; a clock turns out to be the ‘Thing’. My idea was straight forward; replace the hands of a clock with a cut out of the principal dancer. Javier had one request- it should have the feel of a Constructivist poster. 
 The idea is often the easy part, the trick is to turn concept into surreality. 3D software was the only tool in the box to do the job. My 3D skills were rusty and in need of some serious polishing. I based the structure of the clock loosely on the workings of a19th Century lighthouse time piece. Clemmie Sveaas, performing the role of the Princess, would be the hands.
  In a tight rehearsal room at Sadlers, Clemmie contorted her body into every shape I threw at her.

Clemmie Sveaas
Working with Clemmie is always creatively rewarding. There’s no pretense, no tantrums or tiaras, even though she is the Princess- just  passion and talent.

 Katrina Lindsay

The incredible costumes were provided by Katrina Lindsay who’s considerable talent is equaled only by the accolades stuffed into her trophy cabinet.

 Poster image

Press/ programme image

So much is resting on Javier’s shoulders. The hype and the pressure is on - incredible things are expected. Javier is not an extension of the pop duo or the third member- he’s a one off. 

 Article on Javier in the Royal Academy of Dance’s publication 'Dance Gazette' featuring images by yours - truly.

The Independent
The Times

Final poster
The Guardian Guide

Sadler's Wells site

The Pet Shop Boys site