Poetry in motion

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Poetry in motion

Oct 14 2008  by Rin Simpson, South Wales Echo

CHOREOGRAPHER David Bintley has always seen himself as a storyteller.

But for him, Beauty And The Beast, which is coming to the Wales Millennium Centre next week, is more than just a tale about a pretty girl who falls in love with a cursed prince.

“When I read the story when I was much younger I never really felt there was a very good reason for the prince being turned into a beast,” he explains. “It seemed to be a whim of a bad fairy or a good fairy that he hadn’t been very nice to, but I had never found it very convincing, so I have tried to find a better reason for him being turned into a beast.

“There’s also a little parallel story whereby a fox has been turned into a wild girl and it’s her journey back to being a fox and his journey back to being a man.

“I’m very much emphasising the descent of all the humans into beastly behaviour and how noble and attractive the animals are.It begs the question, what is a beast? There’s a lot of Freudian muck going on there!”

The 51-year-old has always been a fan of the British storytelling style of ballet, from his early days as a character dancer, through his choreography and directorship.

Although he has worked in America where the influence of dance legend George Balanchine and his emphasis on form and technique is still predominant , Britain has always had a hold over Bintley.

“I love Balanchine’s work and that’s why I went to America, to experience the American view of dance,” he says. “But living and working in this country with the great theatrical heritage we have, I do tend to make ballets that are about something.”

Bintley’s career has been long and varied. Having trained at the Royal Ballet School, he went on to join the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet (now Birmingham Royal Ballet) in the 1970s, where his reputation as a character dancer flourished.

But though his dancing earned him a stellar reputation – and won him an Olivier Award in 1984 for his portrayal of Petrushka – it was choreography that was his true passion. Encouraged by then creative director Peter Wright, he completed his first professional work, The Outsider, at the age of 18.

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Full article at: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/news/2008/10/14/poetry-in-motion-91466-22028797/


 

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