The first creative work to mark Newcastle dance company Ballet Lorent’s 30th anniversary year, The Becoming is about the unparalleled powers of performance and fashion to transform oneself.
Taking inspiration from iconic images of dancers throughout the 20th century, the piece explores how we use clothing to play with and explore identity. According to choreographer Liv Lorent, it is only through pushing to the very edges and extremes that we find out who we are. Intent on creating performances for both people who like dance and people who don’t, Ballet Lorent will stage The Becoming at a very ‘undance’ venue – The Boiler Shop.
With a cast of ten dancers, ranging in age from 20s to late 50s, The Becoming is a glorious nostalgia for experiences we never had and it is made for any of us who ever dreamt of being a performer.
We share the fantasy world they enter into as they dare and dare again to discover how far they can push their bodies into becoming art. We watch dancers make a bet on themselves and see how far they can go.
Fashion designer Nasir Mazhar’s ethereal toiles of costumes – each a sumptuous shade of cream – are more fanciful, fantasy notions of dance attire through the ages rather than anything based in reality. Amongst their number are a reimagined tutu, a disco-inspired outfit, something with a hint of Follie Bergère, a whirling dervish and the kind of minotaur you might have encountered at a performance from radical turn of the century Parisien company Ballet Russe.
Music is by Ezio Bosso, who earned the moniker of the most important living composer before his untimely death in 2020.
Liv Lorent, artistic director, Ballet Lorent, said:
“The Becoming is about transforming oneself into whatever we dream to be. It is about the hidden lives of dancers; their willingness to explore, to create and to ultimately risk failure.
“They meet the music, the light, the stage, and us as the audience, knowing that everything could go right or very wrong. It is about live performance and its perils.
“Being a dancer is a dream for many, and the reality of becoming a dancer is even more extraordinary than the fantasy. Dancers – and everyone else – have to have the courage to adapt every day to what is possible now, without regret for what was possible yesterday, or fear of what might be ahead tomorrow.”
The Becoming contains brief scenes of nudity and physical vulnerability and is suitable for ages 16+. The live performances will become part of a filmed version of The Becoming.
You can buy tickets here.
The Becoming is on at The Boiler Shop, 20 South St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PE
on 18-19 January 2023 7.30pm