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DANCE: Love, lust and rejection at Sadler’s Wells’ production of Pina Bausch’s Like Moss on Stone

PUBLISHED: 17:08 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 18 February 2016

Pina Bausch's Como el Musguito en la Piedra

Pina Bausch's Como el Musguito en la Piedra

Sadler's Wells

A series of encounters formed from lust, love and rejection brought the world to the stage at Sadler’s Wells for Valentine month, writes Allis Moss.

Tanztheater Wuppertal dance company’s production of Like Moss on Stone choreographed by the iconic Pina Bausch and staged last weekend, was like a bird-of-paradise, with the cascading plumage of its dancers and Marion Cito’s gorgeous coloured frocks.

The work, created while the most influential of the 20th century’s choreographer’s 21-strong dance troupe was touring Chile in 2009, taps into the subtle and more predictable mind and body games played out between the sexes.

Pina Bausch died five days after being diagnosed with cancer and 18 days after the premier in the summer that year.

Tanztheater Wuppertal—a fusion of radical theatre, surreal art, drama and danced body language—is now under artistic director Lutz Forster, who worked closely and performed with Bausch.

In this version, stones were gracefully dropped and water dripped on stage as we would expect in the maestro’s earthy swan song.

It also rippled with humour, with the audience drawn into some of the set-pieces, recognising all-too-familiar characters like the woman looking for someone—anyone—to lean on.

From the man with ‘legs to die for’ in high-heeled red shoes, to the cheesy diehard Romeo, serenading every female with clockwork regularity who sashayed towards him, all explored to a Chilean beat.

Poignant and lyrical, this production gave its women dancers powerful roles, kissing rather than being kissed, ‘dissing’ rather than being dismissed.

The next flight of fancy at Sadler’s Wells is a series of vividly different performances in Flamenco Festival London.

Critically-acclaimed Sara Baras opens with her new show Voces, Suite Flamenco, featuring guest artist José Serrano, recalling Baras’s favourite Flamenco stars like Carman Amaya.

Hot on her heels is a powerful line-up of virtuoso guitarist Vicente Amigo, brothers Farruquito and Farruco, gypsy-styled vocalist Esperanza Fernandez and the magnetic Olga Pericet.

Voces, Suite Flamenco is on till Saturday (Feb 20), with the overall Flamenco Festival London running to February 28 at the theatre in Rosebery Avenue, just south of Angel tube station. Tickets for Voces, Suite Flamenco: £12-£45. All other main house shows: £12-£40.

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