Bird & Carrot presents
Avant-garde dance theatre by choreographer/director ARTHUR PITA
Performers: NATALIA OSIPOVA and JONATHAN GODDARD
June 20th, 21st, 22nd – London, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall
Tickets: www.southbankcentre.co.uk £30-£70
For trailer: click here
Running time: 90 minutes no interval
The Mother is a powerful, narrative dance production choreographed and directed by master storyteller Arthur Pita which has its London premiere at the Southbank Centre Queen Elizabeth Hall in June. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s dark tale, The Story of a Mother, this sumptuously designed production stars international dance superstar Natalia Osipova and award-winning contemporary dancer Jonathan Goddard.
This highly inventive production conjures up an extremely dark and dangerous world which combines narrative dance, kinetic drama and the superb Osipova as a distraught mother who will do anything to save her sick child and Goddard, whose shape-shifting Death is simultaneously threatening and magnetic. The Mother made its UK stage debut at Edinburgh’s EICC in 2018 and performed in Moscow in May before its London premiere this summer.
‘The Mother is a truly original piece that satisfies on all levels, from its stunning visual imagery to the downright weirdness of its characters and the eerie musical score.’ Dancing Times
‘Compellingly nightmarish dance adaptation that captures the essence of Hans Christian Andersen’s dark fairytale.’ The Stage ****
‘…one of the most profoundly moving and emotionally compelling dance performances you are ever likely to see.’ The Herald *****
Synopsis: A mother spends a sleepless night by her sick baby’s cradle – she called for a doctor hours ago, but no one’s turned up yet. She’s exhausted, falls asleep and starts to dream. Suddenly the doorbell rings and standing there is a man in a white coat, but there is something very odd about him. Gradually the mother discovers that Death, disguised as the doctor, has taken her baby away. Distraught, she dashes out of the house and chases after him stumbling into a dark, nightmarish world. On her way she meets numerous fantastic creatures; they all know how to reach Death but each one demands payment for their help. The Faceless Old Lady demands that the woman dances herself almost to death; the Gardener makes her bleed; the Ferryman takes her eyes; the Grey Witch her hair. The last test is the hardest: she meets the father of her child…the lover who deserted her…
Director and choreographer, Arthur Pita comments: ‘For me, Natalia is at her best when she is fully immersed in her character. She’s a very instinctive performer, she doesn’t hold back and she allows herself to be fully possessed by the character she is portraying. There is something very powerful about motherhood, and the extremes a mother will go to which resonate in all of us – themes which are personal as well as universal.’
Producer Alexandrina Markvo comments: ‘Natalia Osipova is one of the greatest ballet stars of our time; it is a privilege for me to work with her. She always strives to expand her horizons, exploring her talent across different dimensions. Contemporary dance is one of them. I love narrative dance dramas, which Arthur Pita is famous for, and I was happy to give the two big artists an opportunity to work together again.’
The production features an original musical score by Frank Moon and Dave Price performed live and production design by Yann Seabra, and lighting design by David Plater.