REVIEW: THE FOUR SEASONS @ THEATRE ROYAL PLYMOUTH
🎭 The Four Seasons
📍 The Drum, Theare Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR
🗓 Thursday 17th November 2022
️ONE LONG SEASON
James Wilton Dance is touring their fourth full evening show The Four Seasons, and this week is playing in The Drum auditorium at Theatre Royal Plymouth.
The Four Seasons is a danced to Vivaldi's famous music and is choreographed and performed by James Wilton and Sarah Jane Taylor.
I entered the theatre with high expectations, and I enjoyed the opening of the performance. Opening in Spring, it was a birth and I assumed that we would follow the lifespan of a person up until death, the Winter
This did not happen and on reading up afterwards, the dance was depicting the phases of the universe. I did not get this at all from the performance. In fact, I was completely in the dark about what the narrative was throughout and was disappointed with the performance in all honesty.
For me a good dance piece creates conversation between the audience members and everyone takes something different from the experience, but my guest on this occasion was no more wiser than I was!
I found that the seasons were not clearly defined enough. If it hadn't have been for the blackout between each season then I wouldn't have been able to tell that the seasons had changed.
Perhaps it's because I am married to a dancer that I take a particular interest in dance and have watched many different performances, especially in recent years, but for me I found the choreography was rather uninspired and the performance itself quite clunky for want of a better word. It also seemed quite repetitive at times.
I felt that each extension and movement wasn't finished properly and everything seemed a bit rushed. There was no emotion at all from the performers and therefore as an audience member I felt no emotion and no connection to the piece whatsoever.
It's unfortunate because there were some great moments throughout, and I did enjoy when Taylor danced solo with a light when the rest of the stage was in darkness. I also enjoyed the mix of other genres such as gymnastics to the piece, Unfortunately for me though, these positives were few and far between.
The performers had obviously worked hard and it was a lot of choreography for just two people, so they should be applauded for that.
With a run time of 55 minutes, the music of course had been shortened. Recomposed by Max Richer with extensions by Michael Wojtas, I found it to be very different and unrecognisable from Vivaldi's original masterpiece. Had I not known, I probably would not have guessed what the music was.
It's safe to say that this performance was not for me. It is important to note however that these are just my personal views and this should not put you off going to see it if you enjoy dance as we all have different tastes and likes. There were members of the audience on their feet at the end, so they had obviously thoroughly enjoyed it.
The final performance of The Four Seasons at Theatre Royal Plymouth is this evening and there are a very limited number of seats remaining. Head to www.theatreroyal.com to book tickets.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest and free from influence.
My tickets for this production were gifted by Theatre Royal Plymouth as I was invited to the press night to review the performance.