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Robert Tanitch reviews Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate at the Royal Opera House in London

If you haven’t read the novel, a modern Mexican classic, by Mexican writer Laura Esquivel, or seen the 1992 Mexican film directed by Alfonso Arau, be sure to read the synopsis before watching Christopher Wheeldon’s new threesome. play ballet.

The ballet begins with a coup de theater: a line of brides dressed all in white turn to find themselves dressed all in black, widows. The ensuing story, a mix of reality, fantasy and magical realism, is complex to say the least.

The entire production has a Mexican flavor in its music, choreography, scenery and color and is always pleasing to the eye and captivating. The designer is Bob Crawley. Lighting is by Natasha Katz.

Joby Talbot delivers a magnificent score using Mexican instruments, conducted by Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, who also acted as his musical advisor.

Like Water for Chocolate chronicles a violent, passionate and erotic family saga. Across three generations beginning in 1910 where food, glorious magical food, plays a key role in their lives.

Tita loves Pedro, but Tita’s mother won’t allow her to marry. She is the youngest daughter and according to family tradition her duty is to take care of her mother until her mother dies. Pedro marries Tita’s sister but assures Tita that he will always love her.

Wheeldon translates the range of emotions into movement and never into pantomime. Marcelino Sambé has the dynamism and sensuality a frustrated Pedro needs, and his final duet with Francesca Hayward, danced to a haunting song, is beautiful, delicate and intense.

The ordinary and the supernatural go hand in hand throughout. The last picture literally has the couple’s passion for each other on fire. One of the most exciting scenes, the climax of Act II, is the transformation of the cruel and overbearing matriarch into a monster-sized figure towering over everyone.

The characters are sexually aroused, hence the title of the novel. The sentence, Like water for chocolatein Spanish, means emotionally on the verge of boiling over.

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Robert Tanitch reviews Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate at the Royal Opera House in London

Source link Robert Tanitch reviews Christopher Wheeldon’s Like Water for Chocolate at the Royal Opera House in London

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