Javier De Frutos and The Pet Shop Boys

The Most Incredible Thing is a modern ballet choreographed by Javier de Frutos with music by the Pet Shop Boys. It opened at Sadler’s Wells 17th March. Based on a fairy story by Hans Christian Anderson the King offers his daughter’s hand in marriage and half his kingdom to the person who can create the most extraordinary object anyone has ever seen. Not surprisingly his spirited daughter is resistant to this rather authoritarian concept. The opening scene is one of my favourites in the ballet, the dancers dressed as Russian workers dance around a huge table, it has echoes of early expressionist dance and is so visual it is as if a painting comes to life. Meanwhile isolated behind transparent screens, Princess (Clemmie Sveaas) dances alone in true teenage anxt to the wonderful pounding beat of the Pet Shop Boys.

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The two suitors show up, dreamy artist Leo, and ruthless soldier, Karl (Aaron Sillis and Ivan Putrov). Both dance in turn with Princess. The competition to design the most incredible object begins. Leo, creates a little clock which magically comes to life, it is agreed by the panel of judges shown on video that his is the best design and so wins the girl and half the kingdom.

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Bad loser Karl, fired up with envy crushes the clock and is pronounced the winner for doing The Most Incredible Thing by destroying such an extraordinary work of art (no I don’t follow that line of thought either… but all is not lost). So Baddy and Beauty are to marry while Sad Artist is pining for his lost love. Suddenly, low and behold, the clock rebuilds itself, destroys the evil soldier and dreamy artist is reunited with his true love and they live happily ever after for ever and ever just like in real life.

Except I missed the last act so didn’t see them reunited because my princess texted me to say she wasn’t feeling well so I left for home. I hope one day I’ll have the opportunity to watch and draw the ballet again, the energy was fabulous and the imagery beautiful.

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