Saturday, 25 July 2009

Carlos Acosta's flights of fancy

Does Carlos Acosta know when he's hamming it up? I ask the question after seeing his latest '...and guests' performance last night at the Coliseum. If he does,
he keeps it to himself, which is wise for when he and his three male chums make macho whoopy in the gloaming of Plisetsi's 1973 Canto Vital, a snigger or knowing wink would have had the audience in stitches. The conceit of four near-naked youths shooting arrows, clambering over one another, miming drumming and generally making frolicsome without eroticism looks daft. So daft, I had to look away.

Though the ladies in the audience seemed to love it. Which begs the question, is Acosta presenting a kind of high art Chippendales meat-fest? By the amount of male flesh on display including the raunchy unwrapping of Othello's loin cloth in the pas de deux of that name leaves me in little doubt.

And why not? Traditionally ballet's jewels - the glittering expose groins and buttocks of ballerina's have been the eye-arresting consolation for the reluctant husbands and partners of these women. At last the girls have something to ogle beyond the overstuff pouches of the male stars. In last night's series of ballets torsos were only covered in the final Spanish inflected piece, Majismo before finally being flung off again in the on-stage/backstage coda.

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