sun 25/02/2024

Stephen Petronio Company, Barbican Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Stephen Petronio Company, Barbican Theatre

Stephen Petronio Company, Barbican Theatre

Nico Muhly's entertaining music deserves less pallid choreography

This picture is only a wish-list for choreography that doesn't attain its imagery Image Sarah Silver

Nico Muhly at the piano, Stephen Petronio in a false beard, a storm-at-sea theme derived from The Tempest - how hip is that? I Drink the Air Before Me, a new work for the Stephen Petronio Company as the opening night of this year’s Dance Umbrella (the annual international modern dance fest that packs London’s venues for the month), had promise. The young composer delivered, the theme had its moments, but the picture above is a fiction - it’s a wish-list, as so many publicity stills for dance are, fine tailfeathers for dull birds. A couple of hours later I grope for my notebook to remember the choreography I saw last night.

Nico Muhly at the piano, Stephen Petronio in a false beard, a storm-at-sea theme derived from The Tempest - how hip is that? I Drink the Air Before Me, a new work for the Stephen Petronio Company as the opening night of this year’s Dance Umbrella (the annual international modern dance fest that packs London’s venues for the month), had promise. The young composer delivered, the theme had its moments, but the picture above is a fiction - it’s a wish-list, as so many publicity stills for dance are, fine tailfeathers for dull birds. A couple of hours later I grope for my notebook to remember the choreography I saw last night.

Petronio plays the quirky clown in his piece just as Michael Clark likes to appear with a toilet around his head in his own work

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The choir were not callow because I thought we sounded really good and so did Petronio and Nico!

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