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Peter Schaufuss Ballet

‘Satisfaction’

March 2006
Holstebro, Holstebro Hall

© Jeffery Taylor
Former dancer, Critic and an Arts feature writer for the Sunday Express. Pub 26 03 2006



© Peter Schaufuss Ballet

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There was standing room only in ballet star turned dance maker Peter Schaufuss’s home town last week. His latest piece in an astonishing run of choreographic creativity, seventeen full length works in 8 years of running his own company, was sold out hours after the booking opened. Twenty four Rolling Stones sex, drugs and rock’n’roll hits provide Schaufuss and his stunning dancers an ear splitting, stamping, clapping and sing-a-long riot that paints a permanent smile on the audience’s face.

A black and white boxing ring ground plan covers the raised platform around which the audience is placed, the audience’s eyes are just about crotch level – it’s that sort of show – and eight runways cut entrances and exits through the seating, bringing dangerous possibilities of excitable dancers falling into laps. If you are lucky.
 


Zara Deakin & Sean Ganley in “Angie” from Satisfaction
© Peter Schaufuss Ballet


Schaufuss makes no attempt at narrative, though characters reappear, like Josef Vesely as the eternal loser in As Tears Go By, The Place is Empty and Laugh, I Nearly Died, and each number stands on its own. And yes, they all sound as familiar as the National Anthem, but Schaufuss gives the Stones’ iconic numbers a cool, stretched dimension by using as his language a neo classical technique. The girls go clubbing on pointe and the men’s energy is channelled into virtuoso ballet tricks and big screen slapstick. Schaufuss also designed the costumes in a broadly 60s range and each dancer is somehow a character. Suddenly you are straining to hear the words of Red Rooster and Paint It Black as if you had not known them by heart for decades. Zara Deakin in beige suede mini skirt and yellow hair, brings a Marlene Dietrich opulence to Angie as she says goodbye to Sean Ganley, while later he admits “It’s all my fault, darling,” in The Worst.

Finally, just when you think you’re not getting any, Satisfaction belts you between the eyes, the strobe lights and the dancers go berserk and most of the audience boogies. It’s that sort of show – great.


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