Sophia Hurdley's "Callas" at Cloud Dance Festival 2009

This was such a lovely project to work on with Sophia, and we were so pleased it was so well recieved by the critics. On the tech side, it was also fantastic to spend some time together with a very good friend Ruari Cormack (Technical Director at Riverside Studios)... see you soon Ruari .. Hoots.!!!

Review by Catherine Hooper

A rare Christmas treat for the audience was the chance to see Sophia Hurdley explore the possibilities of choreography. Previously a dancer with New Adventures, Hurdley has an eye for detail whilst still maintaining a bold and stylised creative approach to the piece as a whole. Whilst currently a work in progress, Callas smoothly blends dance, film projection, as well as drama, promoting Hurdley’s skills with multi-discipline performance. The VT clips act as a vehicle for transporting the audience back to the glamorous era of the late 1950s. By utilising the direct interview by .J Murrow, we meet a personal and self-reflective Sophia Hurdley as Maria Callas. Hurdley not only physically resembles Callas but as the score rouses we can almost see the music running through Hurdley’s veins. The choice to not include singing is not an issue as like Callas, Hurdley breathes the score and the connection with music is what is significant. Passionate and intense, Callas focuses on the legend’s infamous relationships, both with her career and the powerful Aristotle Onassis. An emotional highlight is when we witness Callas watching Onassis embark on his love affair with Jackie Kennedy. As the couple perform a duet, contructed of loving partner work Callas echoes the same choreography with the aid of a solitary chair. As Onassis lifts Jackie, Callas struggles but achieves the effect of mirroring their routine. A powerful glimpse into the obsessive world of Maria Callas. The piece is executed to top quality and it is only in the development of the story that we are aware that Sophia Hurdley is presenting a work in progress. I eagerly await the progression of the piece and the opportunity of gaining an insight into more of the legend’s life.

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