The Grange Festival’s final offering of the 2022 season showcases contrasting, yet complementary performances of ballet and dance by two pioneering UK dance companies: New English Ballet Theatre and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. Both companies offer original and individual responses to Baroque musical masterpieces.
The first half of the evening comprises NEBT’s acclaimed 2017 production of The Four Seasons, a 45-minute neoclassical ballet choreographed by Jenna Lee and set to Max Richter’s daring 2012 re-composition of Vivaldi’s 1723 violin concerti of the same name. This is followed by the world première of Clorinda Agonistes (Clorinda The Warrior), created by Shobana Jeyasingh. Monteverdi’s ground-breaking operatic cantata Combattimento di Clorinda e Tancredi, composed in 1624, will be performed live alongside Kareem Roustom’s contemporary (2021) version of the same story.
Vivaldi’s four masterful violin concerti, better known as The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni), is one of the most popular pieces of baroque music ever composed. Choreographer Jenna Lee rejuvenates this much-loved classic into an elegant contemporary ballet, performed en pointe, with costume designs by April Dalton and lighting design by Andrew Ellis, accompanied by Max Richter’s dynamic re-composition of Vivaldi’s score. “I hope that this reinterpretation of a familiar work will lead existing audiences and new ones to engage and connect with the beauty of the ballet art form.” says Jenna Lee. “Neoclassical in its ballet vocabulary, The Four Seasons will take the audience on a stylish journey.”
A powerful and dramatic work by the award-winning choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh and performed by her eponymous company, Clorinda Agonistes weaves contemporary dance, film, baroque and new music together to tell a story that explores violence, resilience and revelation across the boundaries of time, culture and religion. The cast includes rising star dancer Jemima Brown as Clorinda. Music is by Monteverdi and the celebrated Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom, whose work is performed by a string quartet. Both works will be sung by the British tenor Ed Lyon and conducted by Robert Hollingworth, founder and director of I Fagiolini. Clorinda Agonistes will mark the Company’s welcome return to The Grange following the success of their riveting performance of Contagion in Precipice in 2020. Shobana Jeyasingh comments: “In an era of global culture wars, now seems a good time to revisit Monteverdi’s epic struggle between a Christian knight and a Saracen woman. Clorinda the warrior is a defiant and charismatic figure. Monteverdi gives her the last and sublime word and makes her, in my opinion a figure worth investigating in our own turbulent times."
The juxtaposition of these fresh, creative and contrasting pieces offers an engaging insight to lovers of both classical and contemporary dance music. The two performances (13 and 14 July) will undoubtedly prove a fitting finale to The Grange Festival’s inspiring 2022 season.
Artistic Director Michael Chance comments: “We have devised a programme for our return to Dance at The Grange with contrasting parallels, complimentary differences. Both are original and individual responses to Baroque musical masterpieces, one balletic and the other more theatrical dance. The Grange Festival is proud to host two pioneering UK dance companies and thrilled to present the world premières of a completely new dance piece and a new operatic cantata. Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons danced to Jenna Lee’s beautiful choreography and Max Richter’s astonishing musical re-imagining is already a popular masterpiece. It will shine in arresting juxtaposition with Shobana Jeyasingh’s exposition of Monteverdi’s ground-breaking Combattimento and Kareem Roustom’s version of the same story. Monteverdi and Roustom’s scores will be performed live. It promises to be a rich mix”
The season brochure can be downloaded here.
General booking opens on 1 March 2022.
13, 14 July 2022, 5pm
Dance @ The Grange Baroque Syncopations
Part 1 – Max Richter Recomposed: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
Jenna Lee choreographer | Max Richter music | April Dalton costume designs | Andrew Ellis lighting design | New English Ballet Theatre
Part 2 - Monteverdi, Kareem Roustom Clorinda Agonistes (Clorinda the Warrior) (world premiere)
Shobana Jeyasingh concept, choreography & direction | Monteverdi, Roustom music | Robert Hollingworth music director | Merle Hensel set and costume design | Lee Curran lighting design | Nick Hillel video design | YeastCulture video design | Ed Lyon tenor | Shobana Jeyasingh Dance