Above: MORPHOSES rehearsal director Reid Bartelme and ABT's Isabella Boylston in rehearsal for Pontus Lidberg's WITHIN; photo by Jade Young. MORPHOSES will present Pontus's evening of dance and film entitled WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) at The Joyce from November 7th thru 11th. Information and tickets here.
The performances will open with the newly-staged ballet which has evolved from Pontus's haunting film LABYRINTH WITHIN. Watch a brief trailer for the film - which features New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan, Pontus Lidberg and Giovanni Bucchieri - here. Following the ballet, the film will be shown.
A couple of weeks ago, Jade and I went to a rehearsal of the ballet at the Gibney Dance Center. It happened to be Isabella Boylston's (above) first rehearsal of the work;, and indeed it fell on a day of firsts since I had earlier watched the New York City Ballet's compelling soloist Adrian Danchig-Waing in his first-ever APOLLO rehearsal. Adrian is Isabella's partner in the Pontus Lidberg work, so I felt like a bit of a stalker following him from one studio to another.
Isabella Boylston and Adrian Danchig-Waring, photo by Jade Young.
Isabella worked with Reid Bartelme, Pontus's rehearsal director, while Adrian perfected the partnering with Laura Mead, a lovely dancer I'd met earlier this year when she danced for Cherylyn Lavagnino. Laura will alternate with Isabella at The Joyce performances.
Laura Mead, photographed by Kokyat.
I was curious to find that a second couple are also involved in the ballet, since in the film it is definitely a romantic triangle (real or illusory). But Gabrielle Lamb - a favorite dancer of mine - and the handsome Berlin-born danseur Jens Weber were working on another pas de deux, Gabrielle wearing the stiletto pumps that Wendy Whelan wears in the film.
Gabrielle and Jens, photo by Jade Young
Now I'm very curious to see how the two couples will be woven into the story once the ballet takes the stage, and also to find how the staged dance dovetails with the film.
As the appointed studio time seemed about to run out, Pontus let the other dancers go but he stayed behind to work on his solo passages with Reid. Evening was falling outside, and the studio took on a very dreamlike atmosphere.
If you have seen the film, you will recall the striking image of flowers growing thru the floorboards of the mysterious old castle where the film was shot; that's a Wendy Whelan photo, above.
For today's rehearsal, Pontus had brought his own flower. His dancing is so poetic, and in these last lingering moments of the rehearsal the outside world seemed to vanish and the beautiful dancer drew us into his dreamworld.
Click on Jade's images to enlarge.