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photo: Mark Douet

“My involvement in P.A.R.A.D.E. is really orchestrating the whole thing,” starts Marc Rees when asked about his role in P.A.R.A.D.E., a commemoration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution through the medium of dance and in part a reimagining of the famous 1917 ballet Parade, which included artists like Picasso, Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau. How would Marc describe the project? The ballet premiered a hundred years ago in Paris and it was an incredible group of artists, so Picasso did the costumes, Erik Satie did the music and so on. How do you harness that kind of pioneering energy to do something that’s hopefully still interesting and provocative? Ballet had been very traditional up to that point and suddenly the costumes were made of cardboard and emulating skyscrapers. It was the birth of modernism. So, how do you make that relevant for now? I’m drawing on the location of the WMC because of course it’s got the Assembly and you’ve got your Torchwood and Doctor Who links, so I’m merging sci-fi with politics in this vision which is a nod towards dystopia. I’m bringing this together with a kind of surreal Welsh twist.”

So, who’s involved this time?  “For me it’s very important to bring a really good group of artists together. I brought the artist Pure Evil who is a graffiti artist and invited him to work on some of the visual imagery. There’s an architect called Jenny Hall, she creates very interesting installations using boxes. So, from that we created this world that the dancers and the workers, who were played by Rubicon Dance here in Wales, inhabited in the dystopian vision. We’re also working with vertical artists, working with musicians, and of course we’re working with the BBC National Orchestra who are going to play the music as it was – that’s the only thing that will be exactly as it was, where everything else will be radically different. Caroline Finn, the director of National Dance Company Wales reimagined the original ballet, with my influence and input. I think people will be surprised by what they see because it starts outside. The original ballet started outside as a parade too.”

P.A.R.A.D.E., Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. Tues 24 + Wed 25 Oct. Tickets: £10-£26. Info: 029 2063 6464 /


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