PUSH wowed audiences last night in a debut performance at the Emirates Palace on Wednesday night. The contemporary dance piece, produced by Sadler’s Wells London, has been praised as both captivating and ground-breaking.
The performance stressed the endeavor of innovation as well as spotlighting the spectrum of arts at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011, organized by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, which is under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Sylvie Guillem, Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells London, expressed her eagerness at guaging the audience’s reaction to the performance. PUSH, a blend of contemporary dance and classical ballet, is comprised of four parts, with Guillem performing the opening solo, followed by a solo from Maliphant, a second solo from Guillem, concluding with a duet.
She described her collaborator and choreographer, Russell Maliphant’s [choreography] style as “writing a poem, and this is why I like working with him." Meanwhile, Hoda al-Khamis Kanoo, Artistic Director and Founder of Abu Dhabi Festival expressed her excitement at the introduction of contemporary dance to the festival, adding, “It is my great pleasure to welcome Russell and Sylvie to participate this year. Performers at the very top of their profession, this beautiful production enthralled the audience and conveyed the diversity of artistic expression and interpretation that exists across the world."
PUSH has toured Europe and the US, enthralling sell-out crowds since its premiere in the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in 2005, concurrently marking Guillem’s shift from ballet to contemporary dance. Her first collaboration with Maliphant, who also works with his own dance company, was in 2003, when they created Broken Fall.