A ballet that debuted at the Manchester International Festival in 2015 and saw a short run at London’s Sadler’s Wells last month, Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes is worth trying to catch as it tours, next in Denmark. The production is a reinterpretation of writer Jonathan Safran Foer’s work of the same name for which the author took the scissors to his own favourite book The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, to create both book and work of art.
McGregor, who directs dancers from his own company as well as the Paris Opera Ballet, teamed up with artist Olafur Eliasson for scene-stealing sets while Jamie xx was enlisted to write the musical score. The result is hair-raisingly atmospheric with colour helping to map out its unfolding. The production opens by plunging the audience into pitch black before dancers emerge at first in skimpy, skin-coloured underwear, then later in black body stockings picked out in lights. Mirrors multiply the scene, abstracting limbs and reflecting shadows while more and more colour comes into play in the costumes, the scenery, until the final act takes place under multi-coloured lights, bodies rippling behind Eliasson’s mesmerising, rotating windows.
See the short film below for a taster and find out more about the tour here.