Monsters of the imagination

METAMORPHOSES, a thrilling double-bill of dance by Kim Brandstrup, is on stage at Bath Theatre Royal’s Ustinov Studio as part of the 2023/2024 Deborah Warner Season, from Monday 29th January to Saturday 10th February.

The performance features a new work alongside his acclaimed 2022 success, with the world premiere of Minotaur, and is the final piece in the 2023/2024 Deborah Warner Season, which has already showcased an outstanding multi-genre programme of theatre, recital performances and opera over the past four months.

Returning to Bath after appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2023, Minotaur is paired with a new work, both exploring mythological sources.

The idea of metamorphosis harbours human dreams of magical transformation and divine intervention – yet ideal resolution is always hindered by human shortcomings and sobering reality.

Minotaur recounts the story of Ariadne, her love of Theseus, the death of her brother the Minotaur and her abandonment by her lover. In the depth of her despair the gods intervene and Dionysus carries her away to otherworldly safety and bliss.

In Apuleius’ Metamorphosis, Psyche is allowed to meet her lover, Cupid, only in the dark. In three nocturnal encounters they circle each other in the dreamlike shelter of darkness – but ultimately have to face the light – and each other.

The double bill offers a unique opportunity to experience close up some of the finest dancers in the world, including ballet superstars Matthew Ball and Alina Cojocaru, fellow Royal Ballet principal Kristen McNally and Olivier Award nominee Tommy Franzen.

London-based Danish choreographer Kim Brandstrup is renowned for his work over four decades with companies including The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert. Recognised as one of the leading narrative choreographers of his generation, throughout his career he has sought a theatre of movement that is both powerful and subtle, creating poignant and suggestive narratives that are always intensely human and emotionally revealing.

Pictured: Minotaur by Kim Brandstrup (previous cast pictured from 2022 production); Matthew Ball and Alina Cojocaru in rehearsal for Metamorphosis. Photographs by Claire Egan