It would be a crime to give any lower than five stars to this beautiful, awe inspiring ballet.
Beautiful, athletic, and stripped bare, Carlos Acosta’s On Before told the story of a man and woman whose relationship comes full circle over the course of a two act ballet. Ingenious, the lighting and setting were simple yet extremely effective.
As the curtain rose, silence descended, and from there on, the only sounds bar the soft thumps of Carlos and his partner, Zenaida Yanowsky (principle at The Royal Ballet) as they lept from point to point, were those of the band and the Southampton Choral Society.
Speechless, I sat staring, unable to take my eyes away for one moment from the two talents before me. It was an incredible experience to watch this performance, especially as there were only two dancers making it seem much more personal than a normal ballet.
It sounds cliche but I can only describe my feelings whilst watching On Before as sheer awe and peace. Carlos and Zenaida managed to show me, in such a short time, exactly why I fell in love with dance in the first place. Something so seamless, so fluid and yet so controlled cannot be taught. You know that these two dancers feel every movement, they dance as though it is the only thing they need or want to do in this world.
During the second act a screen descended and a short slow motion film played. I fear that I would not be able to do the film justice by attempting to explain it in detail, but I will say that it was an eye opener, powerful, and just as artistic as one would expect. Called ‘Falling Deep Inside,’ it explored the emotions and tensions that exist between two lovers.
Will Tuckett, Miguel Altunaga, Yuri Yanowsky, Russell Maliphant, Kim Brandstrup, Edwaard Liang, George Cespedes, Simon Elliot and Arts Igniting Minds, Chris Davey and Omar Puente must be commended on their choreography and lighting management which managed to truly show off the beauty of dance.
I would definitely recommend that anyone who might have an appreciation of the ballet, all the way through to someone who is even slightly sceptical of ballet, should go to see this. The former because you will love this production, and the latter because you will understand why so many people fall in love with dance every second. As you sit there watching Carlos and Zenaida you will forget about the outside world and, in that moment, you will be transported.
Carlos Acosta continues on his tour and performances can be found here.