Photo credits: Ballet Nights

LBC members and guests enjoyed a special treat watching the tech and dress rehearsal for this show ahead of the UK premiere that same night.   The rehearsal was danced full out by James Pett and Travis Clausen-Knight barring a few seconds where the music track wasn’t loud enough for the dancers to hear in order to maintain their musicality.  This moment highlighted one of this duo’s strengths for me, as music should be the driver of the dance in my opinion!

Live music accompanied our arrival, played by James Pett’s brother Sean Pett, and violinist Adriana Cristea.  Both played live again, at the start and end of the show.  The show itself was performed to a recorded track composed by Sean incorporating sections of Max Richter and Vivaldi. 

The intense emotions on display must have been exhausting, on top of the physical stamina required for just two dancers in this show lasting an hour.  James and Travis are special dancers and choreographers, with a background in contemporary dance performance and ballet training before that.  

At the end of the ‘rehearsal’, really it was a full performance, the dancers spoke with us about how they created this piece with something like 5 hours of material that they have subsequently refined and condensed to a show of inventive choreography displaying facets of human relationships. The minimalist set involving five table-height white blocks and vases of flowers was used effectively to supplement the narrative.

The event was hosted by Jamiel Laurence, founder and director of Ballet Nights and held at his base, The Lanterns Studio in Canary Wharf.  This venue is unfamiliar to many, but all those who attend for the first time note how easy it is to get to, when you‘ve done it once. 

Jamiel welcomed us, giving out free programmes, overseeing lighting and sound engineers, and giving us a preview of his opening speech and upcoming Ballet Nights announcements.  

Pett|Clausen-Knight are planning a tour of the UK later in 2024 and into 2025.  Don’t hesitate to catch them.  They are much in demand in Italy, China and beyond!

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