Dance review: Ballet Preljocaj: And then, one thousand years of peace, Playhouse

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SO MUCH happens in this epic work by French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, it’s tempting to say he throws in everything but the kitchen sink. Except that wouldn’t be strictly true – because shortly before the end, they arrive too.

Star rating: * * * * *

Indeed ten sinks in a row, filled with saturated flags of the world, are then laid out on the floor for two (real live) lambs to walk on.

Such dramatic, thought-provoking images are almost ten-a-penny in And then, one thousand years of peace. From the start, Preljocaj has our minds whirring, trying to figure out the significance of what’s being played out before us. On a superficial level, it’s like watching a dozen perfect photo opportunities in a row. But beneath the striking visuals lies a work rich in metaphor.

Preljocaj wants us to figure out the social, political, spiritual and emotional relevance of this work, which was initially inspired by St John’s Apocalypse, but gained so many other reference points on the road from studio to stage.

This is a piece to make you feel, rather than feel good, and that’s just fine.

The arresting score by DJ Laurent Garnier builds up the kind of adrenalin-fuelled excitement he’s known for creating in nightclubs. Only here, it’s the thrill of watching something break down, in order to re-build. Which is where those lambs come in – a pure representation of lives not yet lived, damage not yet done.