Watching Rehearsal for Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Bonzi”
In today’s rehearsal, choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa continued work on a new ballet based on the surrealist painter René Magritte. Bonzi is set to premiere at the Wilma Theatre on July 6.
The ballet involves several props true to Magritte’s paintings— bowling caps, a green apple, an umbrella, and a briefcase. The piece utilizes large white panels on wheels, a complex and intriguing addition to the 10 dancers. Uncertainty breathes life into this performance. We open on a door-to-door salesman, but the ring of a doorbell quickly unravels into a surrealist scene. The panels are the doors, and with each frustrated prompt of the salesman, these doors reveal something unexpected. A stranger’s hand reaching past the frame, a girl with an umbrella peaking over the top. Eventually the salesman is drawn into the chaos, pulled behind the doors and throwing his briefcase over the top of them.
Just as surreal as the dance is the music. There is an inherent goofiness when an all-male ensemble takes the stage later in the piece. A mix of percussive oddities, chromatic slides and catchy rhythms add a comedic flair to the piece. The audience is sure to be humming the silly tune after the show.
– Elise Lawrence, Intern