Singapore Dance Theatre presents Masterpiece in Motion

Fives by Choo-San Goh; photo by Bernie Ng
August 16, 2019 @ 8:00 pm – August 17, 2019 @ 10:00 pm
Esplanade Theatre
Singapore Dance Theatre presents Masterpiece in Motion @ Esplanade Theatre

Masterpiece in Motion is back! As SDT’s annual triple-bill evening, this season is truly unlike any other.

Masterpiece in Motion was established in 2010 to bring audiences ballets of unquestioned brilliance, from some of the most major choreographers in the world. This year, it will feature two of the finest ballets of George Balanchine, the undisputed master of neoclassical ballet. First is Serenade to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, followed by the magnificent Theme and Variations.

The evening will also present Choo San Goh’s most iconic work, Fives, as a representation of why Choo San became such an international sensation as a choreographer.

Serenade is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet’s repertory, performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes in front of a blue background. Originating it as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography.  After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times. In its present form there are four movements – “Sonatina,” “Waltz,” “Russian Dance,” and “Elegy.”

The legendary Theme and Variations, a company premiere, is a grand masterpiece of ballet, showcasing the intensive development of the classic ballet lexicon, featuring a cast of 26 dancers. Performed to Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score, “the moment” for the ballet is found in the grand polonaise which exudes drama and excitement. This ballet is a crowd pleaser, with dazzling choreography, gorgeous music, and spectacular costumes.

There is enormous symmetry in all of Choo San Goh’s choreography, but it is in Fives that he asks the most of his dancers, with intricate and precise ensemble work. His patterns are exquisite and this heavily textured ballet never loses momentum despite its complexity.