Lest We Forget Ballet by the English National Ballet A Review
Last Night I visited the Manchester Palace Theatre to watch the world class Ballet performance of Lest We Forget.
Produced by the English National Ballet the show was performed in three parts as a tribute and memorial to those affected by the First World War.
The first scene was called No Mans Land. This was a classic representation of the love and grief many suffered during the years of war. Using the medium of dance the artists demonstrated the heartache of separation, death and the relief and guilt of those who survived. The dance was a solemn representation of the true emotions and experiences of our forefathers four generations ago.
After leaving loved ones and going to war, No Mans Land also portrays the difficulties and pain of those who loved and lost and I particularly enjoyed the pas de deux duet between the woman left bereaved and the ghost of the solider killed in war.
The second scene, which was called the Second Breath had beautiful choreography and fantastic costumes. Dressed as soldiers at war, the male and female ballet dancers used their bodies to represent the fallen and the dead.
What I loved about this scene was the way the dancers repeated the same movements over and over again being raised into the air and falling to their deaths repeatedly. At the same time we could hear a radio playing alongside the musical score counting the fallen dead in many different languages. This scene really made me pause for thought and think of the many millions who fought and died in the Great War.
The final scene was called Dust and rightly so as the ballet dancers portrayed the aftermath of the war. Emotions again were shown through dance. Grief and pain, shock and dismay. I loved the section where the women danced strong like men and the men danced as if weak and broken.
I also loved the way the female ballet dancers tried to relate to and dance with the men as before/ The male dancers struggling to dance with the women and struggling to perform the way they once did, to look at one another and make eye contact.
I really enjoyed the performance of Lest We Forget. It was an incredible experience and impressed upon my mind the difficulties faced my those living during and after World War One. The performance portrayed the raw emotions of pain and heartache and was a fabulous experience, one I’d certainly recommend.