Earlier this month we went to see a modern ballet put on by Frankfurt’s new choreographer, Crystal Pite, and her company, Kidd Pivot, now a German-Canadian cooperation. Crystal is no newcomer to Frankfurt. She danced with the Forsythe Ballet for several years in the late Nineties. Later, she was a resident choreographer for a jazz ballet company in Montreal and then founded her own dance company in Vancouver. Frankfurt managed to snatch Kidd Pivot away from Vancouver with a contract that allowed Pite to hire dancers full-time. The ballet was called “The You Show”. Here is a blurb from the sponsors: “THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOU, FALLING. KNEES, HIP, HANDS, ELBOWS, HEAD. THIS IS HOW YOU COLLAPSE. THIS IS THE SOUND OF YOUR HEART HITTING THE FLOOR. You are invited to locate yourself in the dancer, to recognize your own dramas translated into fierce physical language, and to see yourself falling and flying as the hero of your own existence. Life, whether you are superhuman or simply human, is epic.”
The ballet took place at the Mousonturm, an intimate setting in one of Frankfurt's favorite cultural centers. Crystal Pite was six months pregnant and sitting at the end of our row as the performance ran. The performances were pretty good. Some of the choreographed group movements were quite dynamic, occasionally even breathtaking. Some of the individual performances also were world class. Pite channels an incredible energy that sometimes comes close to plunging the dance into chaos. Is this intentional? Several critics I read after the performance have regarded it as a weakness of hers. In any event, I thought it was a fine evening and look forward to seeing more of her work. Frankfurt desperately needs to attract more international dance performances. I've seen a lot of top companies, and Crystal Pite's group is quite good and has potential. Afterwards, the entire crew sat in the cafe next to (and part of) the theater where we and our friends had retired for a bite to eat. The cafe also has an interesting selection of wine at reasonable prices.
The You Show already is Pite's second production in Frankfurt. I missed the first one. Check out this website for information about and a video interview with Ms. Pite.