Illuminated from within, Ken Ossola’s Lux floats between earth and sky. Set to Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, the passage toward death is marked by the wounds of life, yet reveals a transcendent beauty. The performance of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, last night at the Israeli Opera – Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, was magnificent. The company, under the artistic direction of Philippe Cohen, is composed of outstanding dancers whose expressive qualities are no less breathtaking than their physical attributes and talents. As the work opens, falling, lying on their backs, the dancers’ legs lift and float in the air, as if drawn upwards by an invisible hand. Curving into a fetal pose, the memory of birth imprinted on the body and spirit, as are the travails of earthly existence. At times a trace, a barely perceptible tremor shimmers through the grace of movement, a memento mori of the anxieties, fear, and pains endured in a lifetime.

Working with a mesmerizing asymmetry juxtaposed with infinite flow and grace, Ossola evokes a sense of mystic beauty. Simple, yet eloquent, the costumes reflect the tone of the piece, the women’s gauzy sleeves are almost wings. Yet as the work progresses, these garments are shed to reveal the appearance of a torso marked with blood. There are ethereal trios and the work as a whole is a soulful reverie, delicately illuminated by small moments of intimacy. It is a dance toward timeless beauty and peace, that acknowledges the distance between this human coil and visions of paradise.

The first part of the evening is then followed by a performance of Glory by Andonis Foniadakis, set to Handel with contemporary arrangement and additional original music by Julien Tarride. Powerful and charged with energy, Glory conjures a vivacious spirit, and the dancers render the viewer spellbound, entranced.

Performances will take place: Tuesday, December 20th; Wednesday, December 21st – all at 20:00.

Tickets are 149 – 299 NIS, and may be ordered via The Israeli Opera website.