Following the success of its premiere in 2016, English National Ballet will perform Broken Wings again at Sadler Wells on April 4-13, 2019. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa‘s ballet is inspired by the life of the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and is part of a triple bill program titled She Persisted. Because Kahlo’s works often include self-portrait, it seems fitting that Lopez Ochoa would use paintings as the form to tell the painter’s biography. In this video, the choreographer explains more about her creative process.
Much of the poignancy of the ballet comes from the costuming by Dieuweke van Reij which appears to impeccably capture the essence of who Kahlo is. Traditional, colorful Mexican dress which the painter incorporated in her pieces along with representations of several characters that appear in her works are gorgeously displayed to the public through van Reij’s vision. Especially breathtaking is a group of men whose chests have been painted to match the color of their skirts and who each don a wig and headpiece that evoke the ways in which Frida presented the different facets of herself through painting.
The challenge for me was to capture the powerful energy of Frida Kahlo’s work without making exact copies of her paintings. Her work is so strong that I felt I had to find a translation of her personality and work for the designs. Trying to copy anything would never be as impressive as her own paintings.
– Dieuweke van Reij
Below is the trailer for Broken Wings featuring English National Ballet‘s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo, as the iconic Frida Kahlo.