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    Ballet Performance in Berlin: A Ukrainian Version of “Radio & Juliet”

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    “What would have happened if Julia hadn’t killed herself?” That is the central question of Edward Clug’s 2005 ballet “Radio & Juliet”. The Romanian dancer and choreographer combines Shakespeare’s classics with music by the British band Radiohead.

    After a successful performance in May, the Ukrainian ensemble Quatro is now showing the play again at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz. The proceeds go to the Tabletochki Charity Foundation. This foundation has been helping children with cancer for many years.

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    Today she is involved in the evacuation of children and their relatives, equipping hospitals, financially supporting medical staff and renting apartments for outpatients.

    The dancers of the Ballet Quatro have to flee the war themselves. They were initially spread across different countries until artistic director Ivan Zhuravlev rounded them up again. Edward Clug, who directs the Slovenian National Ballet in Maribor, supported the company, which moved to the city for rehearsals. She then showed Radio + Juliet + Quatro in Zagreb and went on a tour of Romania and Italy.

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    Edward Clug says of his play that you could call it “a pretty perverted version”. “My intention was not to retell the story, but to give the audience the opportunity to see it from a different angle”

    Scene from “Radio & Juliet”.
    © Andriy Maksimov

    His choreography is full of metaphors and symbols and is a mixture of feminine delicacy and masculine power. The movements are minimalist, sometimes bravura and have a distinctly European character.

    The performance consists of an empty stage, behind which is a video screen. Excerpts from Julia’s story are shown on the screen. Klug also designed the costumes, which are very simple: Julia wears a corset and pointe shoes and the men wear dark suits over bare torsos.

    The choreography of the ballet consists of sudden movements. This symbolizes that love and romance are subject to the “cold hand of mechanization”. Common movements include flexing the upper body, flexing the wrist in combination with elbow movements, and pushing movements of the feet and legs.

    The scenes are structured so that the characters move in a series of steps. They begin with head movements, then raise their bodies, after which the figures intertwine and enter into a couple dance.

    Eleven Radiohead songs, mostly from the albums “OK Computer” and “Kid A”, can be heard. The robotic voice “OK Computer” fits perfectly with the robotic choreography. She can also be heard during Julia’s solo. Thom Yorke and his fellow musicians certainly couldn’t have imagined that in 1997 – the robot certainly likes it.

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    Source: Tagesspiegel

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