Do you like ballet? It doesn’t matter.
Last night, my wife and I saw Helix. Helix is not your ‘typical’ ballet. It’s a solo performance by Daryl Brandwood, an accomplished Western Australian Ballet dancer. The ballet was created collaboratively with and for Daryl by Barry Moreland, a family friend and a well known name in the world of choreography.
The blurb has it like this:
Marrying medical science, film and dance, Helix spirals audiences into the human condition. It invites us to contemplate what it is to be human, and what our responsibilities are to ourselves, each other, and to the world in which we live…And it does so with a dazzling touch of good old-fashioned show biz. Helix is dance at its most exhilarating – visually rich and choreographically arresting.
Indeed, it is a stunning mixture of medical imagery, Daryl’s own voice(over), evocative micro and macro images of the world we share and clever lighting on a minimalist stage. Along, Daryl seamlessly ‘speaks’ with his body using a mixture of classic, contemporary and fun, entertaining movements to look at life through his own body, his own story and one we end up sharing.
Now, I could not speak to you about the technical merits of Daryl’s performance. I could not tell you how ‘good’ it was in an ‘industry’ comparison of similar shows. Many of the moves seemed superfluous, with little meaning by themselves but, like daubs of paint or musical notes or conversations we have in our lives, they evoked, created patterns as a whole. And like any great art does – it moved, affected me, lingered with me to type this story upon the return to the mundane daily train commute.
It was an absolute joy to watch Daryl enjoy himself on the stage, converting the hundreds of hours of practice into seemingly effortless movement. We watched in awe a person who loves what he is doing, no matter how challenging it often is (ballet dancers are some of the very fittest people among us!).
Dance feeds Daryl’s soul. Watching Helix was a beautiful reminder on the importance of feeding one’s soul.
PS (Perth, WA) locals – steal a ticket if you must!