virtually richard3

Brisbane-based expressions dance company is about to head off to Guangzhou to join a bunch of other dance companies from around asia for the 广东现代舞蹈周 – Guangdong Contemporary Dance Festival at the start of May. Other aussies in town include mad genius Phillip Adams of Balletlab, and I’ll be lurking there too.

Virtually Richard3 is based on Shakespeare’s Richard III. The structure of the work can be compared to the slow, inexorable cycle of a wheel of fortune, where the central figure Richard begins at the bottom of the wheel, swings up to the top as his power increases through malicious machinations and then declines to his death.

In creating Virtually Richard3 Maggi Sietsma has selected, compressed, changed and added to the scenes which most attracted and intrigued her. Rather than reproduce the Shakespearean story she has chosen to focus attention on the women in the play, incorporating scenes of their expressions of grief, anguish, fury and terror as Richard goes about destroying their lives.

Scenes include the death of Clarence; the wooing of Lady Anne and her unfortunate demise; the lament of Elizabeth on the abduction of her children; and Richard’s coronation, which leads to his final defeat and death.

The incredible power of Richard’s character is what fascinates Sietsma most about the play. She feels almost manipulated or compelled by Shakespeare to admire Richard, even when objectively she knows that he is not at all admirable.

—OzArts online