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A captivating, amazing show incredibly demanding to perform. It is, at times, most visually exciting Cchoreographically it is aerialist and acrobatic but you can pick mentions of the ‘traditional’ Swan Lake with the beaky hands and long, stretched line for example.

The ballet is here re-imagined by director Yaron Lifschitz with members of his company  in updated jaw-dropping circus mode .The choreography incudes aerial work, ballet steps, the use of dazzling, shimmering hoops, a Cyr wheel, tumbling backflips, fish dives,  tiered shoulder stands, runs and jumps. There is a choreographed fight between Odette and Odile, a bumbling film crew and an aerialist burlesque solo for Odile

If you know the ‘traditional’ version of Swan Lake the cygnet pas de quatre and the 32 fouettes in the’ black Swan’ pas de deux are alluded to ,for example , as well as the blue cloth used as the ‘ lake’. Instead of a corps de ballet of swans we see a joyous, energetic ensemble of performers wearing yellow duck bills and sequinned flippers .In some ways DUCK POND could be considered  quite dark and challenging as towards the end the curtain falls, everything is shifted and the protective stage floor is removed before the final section..The division between Odette and Odile is intense and perceptible. They are two sides of a troubled mind. (Siegfried’s?).

The sound score by Jethro Woodward includes tiny snippets from Tchaikovsky and crackles, with an insistent beat. Dramatic lighting by Alexander Berlage includes washes of colour, a disco ball, shadows and silhouettes.

Costumes by Libby McDonnell sequins, a ruff, wings (often one black, one white worn by the same person as part of the costume), fun flippers , shimmery , shiny unitards and feathers (by wing maker Alice de Groot.

While Siegfried (wearing a gold crown) engages with both Odette and Odile he is left rather disenchanted.

A marvellous show.

Director, Stage Designer: Yaron Lifschitz
Composer and Sound Designer: Jethro Woodward
Costume Designer: Libby McDonnell
Lighting Designer: Alexander Berlage
Associate Director: Marty Evans
Dramaturg and Associate Choreographer: Rani Luther
Voice Over Artist: Elise Greig
Video footage: Carl Bovis
Performers: Asha Colless, Maya Davies, Malte Gerhardt, Jordan Hart, Oscar Morris, Kimberley Rossi, Sophie Seccombe, Tristan St John, Zachery Stephens, Violetta Van Geyzel

Production photography by  Pia Johnson

DUCK POND by Circa was at the Sydney Coliseum 4- 6 July 2024


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