Dance Macabre

The Pet Shop Boys go to the ballet

Text by Ajay RS Hothi

Tank _vol 7issue 112

Photography by Gavin Evans, courtesy Sadler’s Wells Theatre 

“I don't like country and western, Chris Lowe, the more taciturn half of the Pet Shop Boys, told Entertainment Tonight in 1986. “I don’t like rock music. I don’t like rockabilly or rock’n’roll particularly. I don’t like much really, do I? But what I do like, I love passionately. It may come as a surprise to hear that Lowe apparently likes modern dance. In March, a Pet Shop Boys-scored ballet opens in London, a retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Most Incredible Thing. The original tells of a king who offers half his kingdom, and his daughter’s hand in marriage, to whomever can bring him “the most incredible thing. For this production, Britain’s foremost pop satirists have teamed up with the Olivier Award-winning radical choreographer Javier De Frutos, whose work was once banned by the BBC thanks to its cast of pregnant nuns and a deformed pope. Andersen’s tales are already famously sinister, and with these artists at the helm, the princess seems all but doomed – either way, it’s sure to be one hell of a dénouement. §