Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thrombotic Twyla

29 March 2008. A whirl, a swirl, flirtatious teasing tones, and you’re inside NIGHTSPOT… eloquently garish, hibiscus red-bright on a darkened stage. Bawdy bravado; pure genius.

Twyla Tharp’s premiere modern ballet had it debut in Miami this weekend, and the innuendo’s just kept coming —limbs, thighs, torsos enmeshed, arms tangling, going into, coming out of, a red stream of cloth, a cat house bed, or a circus banner, take your pick. Tharp’s evocative chorography is about body alignment, changing directions quickly and the Miami Ballet cast was superb. All through people were attracted to one another, attracted to people they shouldn't be, channeling into the darker side of a clubbing lifestyle. Torrid one-nighters, and then beginning again — with a flamboyant strut.

A sense of Cirque du Soleil along with sleazy jazz, splashes of classical, cocky calypso and boisterous horns, flaunting, taunting. Most of the 32- piece orchestra was on stage, a band in the pit, swaggering, bold punk, daring: conquest. I’d not heard of Elvis Costello before, not in a classical sense, not as a master of all tones and hues and shades scored into music.

Nightspot is Ms. Tharp’s vision of Miami as a thrombotic after hours cruise where Latin, rock and classical meet, and where men and women turn up for (entirely heterosexual) scenes of temperament, flirtation, bouts and reconciliation. At the Ziff Ballet Opera House in the Arsht Center, there were whoops and cheers. All deserved for a stunning performance.