It pays to pay attention to your blog’s comments! just yesterday, DJ Shelf asked me if I was going to Charlotte in the next ten days to see the American debut of the Pet Shop Boys ballet “The Most Incredible Thing” and not only did I not know it was playing two hours away, I had no idea that PSB had ever written a ballet score! Sure, sure. I knew about their “Battleship Potempkin” score, but this happened in 2011, and was an adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story. The artistic director of Sadler’s Wells had approached the band and asked them about writing a ballet for the company, and the band thought that this story would be an evocative basis for the collaboration. It premiered in Spring of 2011 and was eventually brought back for more shows in the 2012 season at Sadler’s Wells, but until tonight, it has never played elsewhere.
After writing the score and book, a choreographer was needed to bring it to life. Enter Javier de Frutos. His CV included controversial works such as “Eternal Damnation of Sancho and Sanchez,” which the BBC declined to air as planned, to more centrist work such as his award-winning revival of “Cabaret” for which he won an Olivier award. He is in Charlotte now, having pushed the Charlotte Ballet through a series of frames necessary for them to perform the work as he envisioned it. Elements of modern dance have been injected into the formerly staid ballet company and I can’t wait to see the results. Though I wax eloquent [hopefully] about the music here, I also have a fondness for the terpsichorean arts that is exceeded by my ballet-loving wife.
When I mentioned this to her last night before a film, she took about three seconds to ask if I wanted to go. Charlotte is only a two hour drive from Asheville, and even with two trips scheduled for April [OMD/Atlanta, a personal trip to PA], it made sense to see a matinee of this since the show has fantastic potential. A phone call later and our friends Elisa + Tom are in for the trip since they also live two hours from Charlotte.
The photos on the Pet Shop Boys website in the ‘Theatre + Film” section of site certainly piqued my interest since the staging suggests some phantasmagorical blend of “Metropolis,” “Brazil,” and more traditional ballet theater. Sadler’s Wells had a 60 piece orchestra playing, but here in Charlotte, the original Pet Shop Boys electronic score will be used instead, understandably. The budget would have shot through the roof, and as this is an elaborately staged show, I accept that decision.
What is fascinating about their score, is that the orchestral version is the common version. Until tonight, the only way to hear the Pet Shop Boys version of the ballet score was to buy the [exorbitantly priced, as usual] Vinyl Factory 3xLP bespoke folio edition [see: right] that will currently set you back $500-1000. Ouch. So we in The States get to hear it for a fraction of that cost with the show itself as an added bonus! Interested in attending? Tickets can be found here.
Charlotte Ballet: The Most Incredible Thing | US Premiere | 2018
March 9 | Friday | 7:30 PM
March 10 | Saturday | 2 PM
March 10 | Saturday | 7 PM
March 11 | Sunday | 2 PM
March 15 | Thursday | 7:30 PM
March 16 | Friday | 7:30 PM
March 17 | Saturday | 2 PM
March 17 | Saturday | 7 PM
March 18 | Sunday | 2 PM
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