This Biographical Ballet Celebrates the Life of a Famous Painter
Friends, it's finally here. English National Ballet's "She Said" program, which premieres April 13, features internationally recognized choreographers Aszure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang. All three women have a record of remarkable work and the three of them together on one program promises great things.
But I'm especially excited for Lopez Ochoa's piece, titled Broken Wings. It's a biographical ballet about the life of surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, who was an amazing, fascinating and extremely important artist in her own right. Her work is a little bit scary, and it looks like Lopez Ochoa is addressing that head-on.
Lopez Ochoa has been developing the work with theater director Nancy Meckler, and it sounds like they've come up with some inventive ways to portray the ballet's biographical elements. For example, when she was young, Kahlo was in a terrible bus accident which left her disabled and in chronic pain. But, bed-ridden during her recovery period, she started to investigate painting as a way to continue living her life. In the ballet, Kahlo's bed will transform into a box where she's restricted but can still move. Genius!
As for the artistic elements, it looks like Lopez Ochoa has been inspired by Kahlo's surrealism. These costume sketches, by designer Dieuweke van Reij, are reminiscent of Kahlo's unsettling self-portraits.
Sketch by Dieuweke van Reij
Check out the trailer below for a glimpse at Lopez Ochoa's choreography!