Dance Me – Music By Leonard Cohen ★★★★★ Sadler's Wells Theatre | February 7 - 14, 2023

Approved by Leonard Cohen during his lifetime, this homage to the poet and songwriter by Ballets Jazz Montréal is a breathtaking interpretation of some his best known work. Combining song, dance and spoken word the company brings a dramatic and daring perspective to the creations of Canada's iconic troubadour. The choreography of Andonis Foniadakis, Ihsan Rustem and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa draw new depths from Cohen's haunting, enigmatic work with its themes ranging from love and loss to political indignation and mystic reverie. The challenge when choreographing for work like this is to ensure that the dancing complements rather than upstages, or distracts, from the words. It is no small feat, and each of the choreographers approach the problem and solve it in a slightly different manner. Word and movement truly enrich each other in this brilliant production. The weaving of Cohen's distinctive walk and unique presentation into the show is also a clever decision, unifying what could have been simply a series of beautiful vignettes. Throughout, the dancing is superb, with some interesting lifts and innovative floor work, and we were delighted by the singing of Suzanne by Yosmell Calderon Mejias and Tuti Cedeno. Similarly, the rendition of Hallelujah by Astrid Dangeard and Hannah Kate Galbraith is a definite highlight. Full marks also for the lighting and video design which are original and dramatically effective throughout. Ballets Jazz Montréal has given us a worthy tribute to the late great poet/songwriter, Leonard Cohen, and has created a show that offers a fresh and fascinating insight into his work.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Rolando Paolo Guerzoni.

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