News: The Three Dancers: from Canvas to Stage

Tuesday 1 September 2015 by Clare Evans

Rambert dance company in The 3 Dancers.
Photo: Chris Nash

Picasso’s The Three Dancers is widely seen as a painting depicting an explosive triangular affair, inspired by the shootings and suicide that befell three of Picasso’s friends. Now a new ballet from Rambert, choreographed by Didy Veldman, is telling its macabre story.

You could fill a lot more than 25 minutes with the painting’s backstory of love, sex, and death, but Veldman says she came to focus less on the painting’s narrative background and more on the formal strategies by which Picasso turned it into art.

“There is so much emotion in the picture, and I was drawn to the way Picasso generated that energy, the way he structured fields of colour, the way the perspective moves around. I wanted to find out how I could depict his cubism in movement, by layering different dynamics and styles, and playing with light and shadow. I wanted to make a piece that would leave the audience with the imprint of the painting’s emotions of love and death, rather than with a linear narrative.”

Read more: The Guardian, 31 August 2015

The 3 Dancers is at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, 23-25 September. Then touring. Details: rambert.org.uk.

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