One of the reasons we love Manchester International Festival is because it brings together big names for brilliant partnerships, and no show better exemplifies that than Available Light. Okay, so this dance piece isn’t a new commission (it was first staged in 1983), but just check out the production credits: choreography by Lucinda Childs, music by John Adams and set design by Frank Gehry.
It’s not quite the million-dollar quartet of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, but it comes pretty close. Childs is a master of modern choreography, known for turning simple, sharp movements into mesmerising masterpieces. Adams, of course, is the foremost name in musical minimalism, while Gehry is an architect whose buildings can be seen in skylines from the Bronx to Bilbao.
Of course getting three superstars from different fields together doesn’t guarantee success –it is pretty easy for artistic egos to clash – but in this case Available Light was a smash hit, and is now considered among the major works of contemporary movement. All we can say is that we hope shows of this calibre will become commonplace once MIF opens The Factory in 2020.