Alan Parker’s Sacre for One was intense, quirky and vulnerable.
Parker transposes thought into dance as he attempts to unravel a timeline of choreography. In red underpants. Stepping through the past hundred years of performances of Vaslav Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring (Or Le Sacre du printemps), spurred on by the pounding of Igor Stravinsky’s famous score. But instead of the mass of sweating dancers sacrificing themselves in unison in this relentlessly reconstructed ballet, Parker is alone. Entangled in the Sacre’s that have come before him, he attempts to pay justice to these ballets he loves so much, and to how he has experienced each personally as a creator of dance.
Between vignettes of movement, Parker talks to the audience, using words to contextualise. Unlike in many dance pieces where trained dancers speak, this does not detract from his performance. Something about how honest he is, how unpretentious, echoes in his dancing. Despite choreography that is carefully crafted, to the detail, every gesture and wobble mapped with consideration, overall the piece is so human one cannot look away.
Parker’s set is awesome. Shredded paper, a lamp, a limp, plastic ballerina in his arms. He is marvellous not only as a performer but as a designer too.
I laughed, I was moved, and I think this is another sensitive and tender offering from Alan Parker. Go see it. It deserves audiences.
Sacre for One is on until Monday 4 July. Programme notes and booking here.
— Kei-Ella Loewe