With a beautiful and mesmerising soundtrack by Jamie XX, a stand out cast of dancers and an impressive set design by installation artist Olafur Elliason, it is no wonder that this contemporary ballet is being received with outstandingly positive reviews.
Tree of Codes is a magical, fragmented and exciting ode to Jonathan Safron Foer’s book of the same title.
Our senses are overloaded with colour and intertwined movement, and it is beautiful. The dancers are glitchy, and broken, repeated and made infinite by mirrors that surround the stage and it works in such an immersive way, that the audience feels very much apart of the energy; we are swept up in a frenzy and we glance back at our reflections on the stage.
It is a copy, of a copy, of a copy…
There is no stand out dancer, each one as powerful as their partners and synced in a way that seems incredibly organic and comfortable. Each dancer, some from Paris Opera Ballet and also Company Wayne McGregor, dips in and out of the spotlight, hidden in shadows or behind walls or bursting through into a rage of energy that is overwhelming and a pleasure to watch.
It isn’t imperative to know the book to understand the ballet, but it is an advantage to know that Foer’s “book sculpture” is also a copy; in fact, it is a reworking of his favourite novel Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz with the majority of the words physically removed from the pages to create an alternative narrative.
It is also an advantage to know that Wayne McGregor, multi award winning choreographer, is one of the few North-West born artists in the Manchester International Festival. With a festival that often emphasises the International and less on the Manchester, it is important to be reminded that our city has a creative landscape that is full of quality and fresh, exciting ideas that pushes the boundaries of physical performance.
So please, if you have a chance to see this ballet on its world tour, do.