Unknown pleasures: do we enjoy art more if it's anonymous?

The Royal Court has staged work by top-secret playwrights and Dance Umbrella is presenting new commissions by unnamed choreographers. Mystery performances can be liberating for artists as well as audiences

“I explained it when I danced it,” Margot Fonteyn supposedly said when asked what one of her performances meant. For the renowned ballerina, there was no need for exposition and analysis, she let her body do the talking.

How does it work for audiences? How much does it matter what you know about a performance and its creator before you see it? At this year’s Dance Umbrella festival, those questions are being tested. The opening show, Unknown Pleasures, features five new commissions whose choreographers’ identities will remain top secret. Audiences will know nothing about the works before they are staged, except that the creators are a mix of big names and newcomers, male and female, local and international, and all the pieces are being performed by French company Ballet de Lorraine.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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