A dance theatre production based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.
Produced by Bird&Carrot (Alexandrina Markvo) 2018/2019. Starring Natalia Osipova and Jonathan Goddard.
Performed at Gorky Art Theatre Moscow, Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank London and Zimniy Theatre Sochi.
Filmed for Sky Arts, also available on DVD.
National Dance Award – Jonathan Goddard for Outstanding Modern Performance in The Mother.
direction/choreography ARTHUR PITA
compsers FRANK MOON/DAVE PRICE
design YANN SEABRA
lighting design DAVID PLATER
sound design ANNA RULEVKAYA
the mother NATALIA OSIPOVA
death JONATHAN GODDARD
Well, I’m not sure I have ever seen a piece of dance or (as here) dance theatre that achieves this feat so completely, or indeed one so beautifully. Arthur Pita’s and dramaturge Anna Rulevskaya’s The Mother (after a short story by Hans Christian Andersen) is a work that sinks its talons into your imagination. In short, this is as perfect and poetic a parental nightmare as you’re ever likely to see on a dance stage. And if you missed it this time round, fear not: like all the darkest dreams, this one will surely return. "
The Telegraph *****
Arthur Pita makes everyone else’s idea of dark look like CBeebies.It is gruesome, chilling and nightmarish. Pita’s all-encompassinggothic-fetish aesthetic is impressively realised with the help of designer Yann Seabra, lighting designer David Plater, and musicians Frank Moon and Dave Price. It’s a hellish tour de force that should come with a trigger warning. "
Osipova meets Pita’s choreography – all frenzied turns, limp lunges and split-kicks – along with his emotional challenges, head on. In Andersen’s story, she journeys through one nightmarish landscape after another; in Pita’s hallucinatory take. "
Evening Standard ****
The Mother offers no such comforts. It takes already dark source material (the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Story of a Mother) and plunges even deeper into the nightmare scenario that story proposes. There were moments when Pita’s choreography seems, poignantly, to let her find liberation in the madness that was overwhelming her. "
Dance Tabs ****
In Arthur Pita’s production, feverish images spill off the stage, while ballerina Natalia Osipova gives a performance lit up with fear and consuming need. As well as the poverty and sickness of Andersen’s tale, this production stresses the more everyday terrors of parenthood.The Mother shows the best of his talent. "
Arthur Pita’s dance adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Story of a Mother is a powerful evocation of overwhelming grief that puts the ballerina Natalia Osipova - and the audience - through an emotional wringer. Pita, a choreographer who loves taking emotion to extremes, here outdoes even himself. "
The Times ****
This is the stuff of dreams that so many great works of dance are made on. It's just that these dreams are bad ones, about as bad as dreams can get. "
The Arts Desk