Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Anna Tsygankova as Mata Hari

Anna Tsygankova in Ted Brandsen's Mata Hari
Photo Marc Haegeman
Copyright 2016 Dutch National Ballet, all rights reserved

Reproduction licensed by the company

In Brandsen's Masterpiece 14 Feb 2016 in which I reviewed Ted Brandsen's Mata Hari I described Anna Tsygankova's portrayal of the life of the tragic adventurer and dancer, Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" MacLeod, as compelling and observed that "it is not often that one sees theatre like that in any medium" I added that I thought the sounds and images of that performance would remain with me for the rest of my life.

Here is just one of those images.  It shows the heroine advancing towards her place of execution on pointe. I believe that is significant.   According to the British reporter, Henry Wales, who witnessed her death, Mata Hari showed remarkable courage and dignity as she approached the firing squad (see "The Execution of Mata Hari, 1917," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005)). She was not bound and refused a blindfold.  The courage and dignity of the historical character is reflected in the choreography.

The Dutch National Ballet have sent me several other photos from that production which I shall make available over the next few days. But I will start with this one because it is the most compelling.

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