For Bonjour India, Ballet Preljocaj’s ‘And Then, One Thousand Years of Peace’ was a trump card and for the people who got a chance to witness it — it was nothing less that a complete visual extravaganza. The Institut Français en Inde and the French Embassy in India unveiled the second edition of the festival Bonjour India on Republic Day with the performance.
Choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj, And Then, One Thousand Years of Peace was poetry in motion as it traced the poetic concept of the Apocalypse (Apo: To lift, Calypsis: Veil). Inspired by the Apocalypse of St. John, the performance evoked the idea of revealing elements hidden from our eyes. What is nestled in the innermost recesses of everyday rituals, rather than compulsive waves of catastrophe, irreparable destruction, or the imminent end of the world. Bodies that drift along, tossed about by ideals and beliefs, somewhat lost between the lines of the apocalypse.
The production captured the senses with some minimalist sets, some stunning coustumes, brilliant colours and some ‘mindblowing’ choreography. The music was perfect, the concepts hard hitting and marvelously real. You could not take your eyes off the dancers and two hours passed in a haze of artistic brilliance.
For us, if we were forced to point out some of the best moments, here’s our pick — the sequence with the flags left us spellbound with some awesome tableaux. The rather striking one with two male dancers that made some of the audience members beat a hasty retreat with marginal explicitly (that was brilliant we must say!) and the final sequence where flags were washed, wrung and laid out like a brilliant map across the stage. The pieces performed against the backdrop of four towering blocks on stage that moved with ease to become walls and dividers between dancers was visually stunning. Angelin Preljocaj used the auditorium stage brilliantly, with water, chains, books, basic sounds metal against wood, voices of dancers, sizzling chemistry and perfect lights. The only little problem was the fact that if you were seated too far away from the stage, expressions were lost.
Dealing with exceedingly regular moments, unbeatable and visually stunning atriste chemistry and perfect music and lights, And Then, One Thousand Years of Speech was like an existentialist play of sorts — Tom Stoppard meets Pulp Fiction on stage and what a stunning way to get peace.
For those who missed it — keep an eye out for Ballet Preljocaj’s next tour and for the ones who managed to watch the brilliance, encore we say!