Eurovision 2017: Chevaux, deux points

Folks, I know you thought that the Montenegrin entry for Eurovision, a man with a six-foot ponytail – think top Friesian stud Frederick the Great or Khal Drogo with extensions – was the horsiest entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but you were wrong. Wrong! Here’s Slavko Kalezic in action:

But here, my friends is Azerbaijan:

And there’s something a little familiar about Mr Horse. Can you spot it?

On the left, French equestrian choreographer Bartabas and a quarterhorse called Soutine performing in Le centaure et l’animal in 2012. On the right? AZERBAIIIIIIJAAAAAN!

If Eurovision isn’t your scene, here’s the Bartabas performance with Japanese Butoh dancer Ko Murobushi (I was lucky enough to see this at Sadler’s Wells and it features in The Age of the Horse).

Mozart, Uccello, Caravaggio and a Riding School Carved from Rock

I don’t blog much about the work I’m doing on book two (The Age of the Horse), but here’s a sneak peak of something I’ll be writing about. In November I was lucky enough to have three days at the Equestrian Academy at Versailles, where they were rehearsing for this performance in the old riding school in Salzburg. The riding school was carved from the rock in 1693, and this was the first time it had had horses on its stage in over a hundred years. The music is Mozart. Choreography by Bartabas, who appears on Le Caravage (whom I last saw conked out in his stable in Versailles, legs tucked up in the straw and head resting on his chin).

I have a particular soft spot for the first cream on stage, Uccello. More about why in The Age of the Horse.

Bartabas

More anon on Bartabas – several years anon, I hope (just to be cryptic). I’m going to Sadler’s Wells to see The Centaur and the Animal in a couple of weeks. Horses first danced minuets at the theatre in the eighteenth century, and I saw an Andalusian perform there the last time I visited. This performance will truly be something else, but part of that tradition.