Ruth Leon recommends …. Kafka’s Metamorphosis – Royal Ballet

Ruth Leon recommends …. Kafka’s Metamorphosis – Royal Ballet

Kafka’s Metamorphosis – Royal Ballet

 To recognise the 100th anniversary of Franz Kafka’s death this week, I found this excerpt from Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella, adapted as a ballet by choreographer Arthur Pita.   It had its premiere at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre in 2011.

The role of Gregor Samsa was created for Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson,   and draws on his extraordinary technical abilities.

The unusual and absurd story is conveyed through startling choreography — an intelligent presentation of the pressures and yearnings of the young Kafka.
Franz Kafka was a German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and writer from Prague. One of the major figures of 20th century literature, his work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers.

In this ballet, Frank Moon’s  score and Simon Daw’s stark, white designs create a claustrophobic atmosphere, while the horror of Gregor’s physical alteration is evoked by black fluid that smears the stage. Although Gregor’s mother and father struggle to come to terms with his transformation, his younger sister, Grete, is more sympathetic. However, her feelings change and she undergoes her own metamorphosis as she moves from childhood to adulthood.

Edward Watson won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for his role in Metamorphosis.

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