A day at Manchester International Festival last Sunday with a Matinee of "Tree Of Codes" and ended with Bjork's European premiere of "Vulnicura". Both with a kind of Icelandic link - the ballet was art directed by Olafur Eliasson. As one of my favourite artists this was very exciting!!! The entire stage of the Opera House was devided up with graphic partitions of iridescent stained glass. The shapes moved within the panels and between these the dancers paved a path with their own shapes in the form of moves. For the majority of the performance the entire cast were on stage which was incredible for both their endurance and that they seamlessly snaked round each other, never clashing. The soundtrack was an original score by JamieXX from which Wayne McGregor choreographed the acts, bringing together both contemporary dancers and classically trained ballerinas to compliment each other. What was a magic afternoon became an even more cosmic evening with Bjork's performance on an open-air stage in the Roman Amphitheatre. She was supported by the producer of the record Arca, who had live visuals for his own set from collaborator Jesse Kanda. Then later as sunset drew in, spectrum smoke-bombs fired in the sky and then glitter gold fireworks closed the show when the night turned dark. With an intermission of a sneaky fish & chip supper and pint of Boddingtons, I managed to pack in the perfect Manchester Festival experience into one day. I also packed 3 looks!!
There's still time to catch "Tree OF Codes" in addition to a Damon Albarn musical, Twigs concert, FourTet curated DJ night, and performance capture installation by Ed Atkins at the Manchester Art Gallery.
See the whole programme of these and more here.