'It's not Bob and Patti: The Ballet': new show celebrates Mapplethorpe and Smith

Reading the memoir Just Kids led choreographer Fleur Darkin to create a dance tribute to the photographer’s flower portraits and the punk poet

‘The colour is so alive and so free, it almost makes you laugh out loud,” says Fleur Darkin, talking about Robert Mapplethorpe’s flower photographs from the late 1980s. “It’s the first time he uses colour after a life of black and white,” the choreographer explains. “And it’s like he is finally surpassing the need to be cool, and he comes out with his true love for colour and life and nature in all its glory.”

Mapplethorpe’s images are the inspiration behind Darkin’s latest work for Scottish Dance Theatre, Velvet Petal, which premieres in Mexico tonight. The US photographer is better known for his monochrome portraits treating the naked body as still life and for chronicling the sexual subcultures of New York in the 1970s. But for Darkin, his bright and detailed closeups of flowers embody a real sense of transformation. “We have tried to do the same in the show,” she says. “Stick to black and white … and then an epiphanic colour burst at the end.”

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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