Back in May I went to London to see something amazing: the premiere of Northern Ballet’s “The Architect” at London’s Royal Opera House. I had been in touch with Northern Ballet about a permission request for the use of my piece “Architect of the Mind” in this new ballet by choreographer Kenneth Tindall, and I emailed Kenny to introduce myself, thank him for choosing my piece, and to say, “Do you mind if I come see it?” Seeing choreography performed to your music is a total head rush, and knowing that this was Northern Ballet (they have a brilliant reputation in the dance world) and that it was being performed at the Royal Opera House (the Linbury is a fantastic performance space) AND that it was choreographed by Kenneth Tindall (who’s one of those choreographers-to-watch these days), I knew it would be worth the trip.
I brought my partner with me on the trip, and Kenny met us before the performance and explained the idea behind his ballet, what had inspired it, and how he used the music. I had seen promo pictures from the ballet and was excited to see this thing performed live, especially knowing that the ballet also included music by Olafur Arnalds, Zoe Keating and the Balanescu Quartet — several artists who have their own playlists set up in my iTunes! Kenny said that my “Architect of the Mind” was the finale of the piece, and that after the show we should come backstage to meet the dancers.
“The Architect” was gorgeous to look at: the set design, costumes, lighting — it was beautiful. But the look of it just set the stage for what was to come, which was a moving, inspiring, raw, emotional performance that combined ballet with modern dance in a way that I had never seen before. I got so wrapped up in the first 20 minutes of it that I forgot I was there to see what they did with my piece, and when it started I thought “Hey that sounds familiar….” And that finale? It was spectacular. I remember reading one review the next day where the writer had said something like “the performance felt urgent and desperate and raw” — and that described it perfectly. Kenneth Tindall created something truly amazing with that ballet, and those dancers lived up to his choreography. They were so intense and so present that I half expected there to be blood left on that stage, where their souls had just been.
If you ever get the chance to see this ballet live, buy your tickets and a find a way to get there. You’ll realize you’re witnessing a piece of art. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.