John Scott’s Lear is a deeply personal and riveting interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. King Lear is portrayed by British-born New York dance legend Valda Setterfield, 83, who has worked with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Woody Allen, David Gordon Pick Up Company and as a soloist for Merce Cunningham who was at the forefront of the American modern dance scene for over fifty years.
Depicting the Shakespearean King’s gradual descent into madness, Setterfield gives a profoundly moving performance that explores the unraveling of a universe, parental love, fear of death, enlightenment, ageing and dementia, and is staged with a gender-reversed cast. Toppling the hierarchy are three men performing the roles of Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. The dancers include Irish-Nigerian Mufatau Yusuf, and France’s Konan Dayot and Kevin Coquelard.
Lear was originally commissioned by Kilkenny Arts Festival 2014 and subsequently performed to full houses at New York Live Arts and Dublin in 2016.
Photo credit: Peter Moore