We know a great deal, yet very little, about Nijinsky.  The traces of his life, his dancing and his choreography have been used to create biographies, reconstructions, plays, films, novels and documentaries, but we can never, of course, recreate the experience of watching him dance.  Kally Lloyd-Jones’ work addresses a very specific aspect of Nijinsky’s life; his tragic descent into madness.  Nijinsky’s Last Jump asks what happens when someone loses touch with what the rest of the world considers to be reality.

At the start, we encounter Old Nijinsky (James Bryce), confined within a set that represents both the asylum and the theatre (the flowers, the dressing table, the posters), before his younger self (Darren Brownlie) leaps through the window stage right and collapses panting on the floor.  We know from Old Nijinsky’s ports de bras, the costume and the music that this is Le Spectre de la Rose, and throughout the work Lloyd-Jones uses musical references to conjure up instantly the ballets that shaped and punctuated Nijinsky’s life. (more…)

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