The Birgitta festival provides a magnificent presentation with an incredible programme of music and a combination of performance arts: theatrical productions, classics and contemporary works.
As I entered the convent I already felt like a star of my own, making my way to the stage over a red carpet stretched across the ruins.
The Pirita Convent was the stage for the performances. The building, located in the district of Pirita, right in the curve of a river, used to be a monastery for monks and nuns dedicated to St. Brigitta.
On a magical summer night when the sun goes down in the lightness, enchantment, beauty and scenery of dance, I saw “Made in USA”, which consisted of three short pieces: “Serenade”, “Sofa”, and “Lunar Sea – Noir Blanc”. It was a super presentation of contemporary art, as well as classical-, neoclassical- and modern ballet.
The first piece presented was “Serenade”, a ballet by George Balanchine, performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes. This was the first ballet Balanchine choreographed in America. The play was beautiful, a story about hope told in the form of dance. Balanchine originally choreographed “Serenade” in 1934 for the students of the American Ballet School in New York, shortly after his arrival in America.
Right after “Serenade”, there was an interval – a moment of pause for us spectators to reflect on that beautiful presentation.
In the outdoor area of the convent awaited delicious food and drinks, bars and restaurants where all visitors could enjoy their night in its entirety.
The next performance was Olivier Wevers’ “Ballet Sofa” choreography, which revolved around a sofa.
A sofa is a great piece of furniture that most of us own. So much happens to him: we sit on, watch TV on, jump on and even sleep on him. He is a big part of our life.
The tone of the piece is playful, the choreography drawing attention to itself with the male and female couples who make curious, leaping movements with their feet and arms. All that with a comedic tone towards the sofa – one of the costumes of the piece is the same colour as the purple sofa.
The breathtaking night could not have had a better finale than Moses Pendleton and the company MOMIX. Pendleton’s stage production “Lunar Sea – Noir Blanc” is a mix of ballet, visual theatre and multimedia. “Lunar Sea” incorporates the use of illusionistic fantasies, lighting effects and physical images that defy gravity, transporting me to places I’d never imagined.
Originally created as a 20-minute piece entitled “Noir Blanc” for Aspen Ballet (USA), this work explores the unique features of black light, utilising the dancers’ costumes and lighting effects in magical ways.
For a few minutes, I wondered, hypnotized, how the dancers were moving around the scene, because all I could see was a black background with huge blue figures floating, flying and running across the stage – it was as if we were seeing other beings. It was only at the end of the presentation when the lights went up and the dancers thanked the audience that I could understand and decipher all of the magic I had just seen. This presentation certainly closed the night with pure art and energy that reached all viewers.