13 December 2019
Crystal Pite is working against the clock. In a bright rehearsal studio at the Royal Opera House she has just a matter of weeks to make her first work for the .
She talks fast, with a constant flow of suggestions, the dancers riding on her stream of consciousness. The choreography seems to reveal itself organically, like a game of Twister — where could this limb go next? It reminds me of the Paul Klee quote that drawing is “taking a line for a walk”. There’s a sinuous thread running through the dancers’ bodies as the equilibrium shifts. Pite is in the middle of things, moving limbs, trying to solve the puzzle. “Agh, I don’t know!” she laughs. Then something falls into place. “Aah, that’s gorgeous!”
“I’ve had to get used to not knowing what I’m doing in front of people,” she tells me later, talking about the pressure of creating work live in the room. “I wing it,” she admits. “And sometimes through the pretending I finally know what I’m doing.”
To follow Pite’s recent career, it certainly seems that she does. The 46-year-old Canadian is the most exciting choreographer in the world right now. She has gathered a plethora of five-star reviews, for The Seasons’ Canon for Paris Opera Ballet, the searing dance-theatre piece Betroffenheit (returning to Sadler’s Wells in April) and the powerful spectacle of Emergence (which Scottish Ballet is bringing to London in June).
Delicate and softly spoken in person, on stage Pite has a strong creative voice and a real ability to connect with audiences, whether through striking large-scale visual impact (such as the Olivier Award-winning Polaris, made for 64 dancers), or more complex interactions of dance and storytelling.
Read the full article in the Spring Hill Insider.