Colegio Del Cuerpo

I love going to unusual events, so I especially enjoyed last night’s Colegio Del Cuerpo performance at the Bloomsbury theatre last night. The performance was a dance event supported by the Children of the Andes charity.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before I got there. What we got was a highly professional and modern dance/ballet performance. The first half of the programme was called “Homily” and appeared to be about some kind of religious awakening. There were some lyrics in the music but since they were in Spanish they didn’t tell me a great deal. Dance performances were very intense and expressive, rather than the simple gymnastic-type displays I have seen before.

My favourite part of the programme was the second half which featured a live performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, renamed Quartet for the End of Body for the Colegio Del Cuerpo rendition.

At the time I didn’t really understand much of the meaning of the performance - references to dates of wars, and some sort of power dynamic allegory represented by the cast taking turns to patrol the stage with an enormous set of compasses. Actually, I didn’t even get that last piece - one of Paul’s very perceptive friends explained that one to me.

I found, though, as with the first half, that giving up the attempt to make logical meaning out of the presentation made it a lot easier for me to sit back and enjoy the aesthetic aspects. The movement, the expression, the emotion and the music.

I particularly liked the music. There’s something about hearing music performed live that even the best music systems can’t reproduce. And I have heard some of the world’s best music systems - there’ll be another hi-fi show coming up soon, I’d imagine, so at some point that’ll make it into this blog.

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is a well known piece of music with a fascinating history and meaning that you can read about here.

Special thanks to Paul who didn’t just arrange the tickets but hit a home run getting the very best seats in the house, right in the front row. Apparently it is all about who you know!

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