Alice S. Han
With a mix of folksy belting, thumb war games, and a mock magician’s act, “Beowulf” could hardly be more genre-bending and avant-garde. At times it risks being as raw and in-your-face as Lady Gaga’s meat dress, only longer and less symbolic. Though the show’s direction, lyrics, and overall concept prove so shockingly anarchic that it is hard to digest the performance, its original score and talented singing provides some redemption.
The Sufi poetry translations in English showed the rich depth of Sufi poets such as Mansur Al-Hallaj and Hafiz, who provide compelling spiritual aphorisms on love and loss. One line in particular reflected both the title and theme of the play. Iblis describes love “to be like the flame of the candle always burning,” thereby invoking the theme of fire and light. All three dancers moved with fluid and effortless synergy, mastering the interplay of strength and softness of movement.
"Utopia, Limited" promises the trademark Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire of clipped consonants and pointed diction along with smatterings of barmy British satire. The musical is politically and socially charged, particularly when placed against the backdrop of America’s own capitalist tale.
Friday in Sanders Theatre, the Venice Baroque Orchestra will attempt to recreate one of the exemplary epochs in classical music.