Pietra De Mello-Pittman MBE
Co Founder & Creative Producer
Leonor Fini Production
The foundations of Sisters Grimm
Dream - Abbey Road first Master mp3.mp3
Click here to listen to 'Dream' written by Ella Spira,performed by the Orsinio Ensemble and recorded at Abbey Road.
In 2008, Pietra was introduced to the work of Leonor Fini by an aquaintance with a longstanding dream of producing a ballet film about his favourite surrealist artist.
A woman wearing a glove with a scorpion's tail just poking out is just a glimpse into the dark and fascinating world that Leonor Fini's surreal paintings show us. Leonor herself is often depicted as a sphinx or lioness and women with wild hair featured often.
The exploration of sexuality and the interplay between the dominant female and passive male were all part of her exploration between the sexes and so also inspired the creation the ballet which Pietra choreographed called Nolens Volens.
Inspired by the Aida prelude, Ella Spira composed the score called 'Dream' which was performed by the Orsinio Ensemble and recorded at Abbey Road.
Leonor Fini Production
One of Fini's paintings particularly grabbed Pietra, as it already looked like the start of a ballet with a slavery theme. "Volens Nolens", depicts two bald almost identical women back to back on chairs with one arm tied together with a blue ribbon. The women are in unitards and are in a 'dancers' pose. The chairs seemed key to the image. Pietra designed the set, which was built by Penny Spedding at The Royal Opera House.
The piece was performed by Emma Maguire and Akane Takada to Verdi's, Aida Prelude on September 28th 2008 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London.
Fini Score Recording, Abbey Road
In December 2008, the Royal Opera House held a 'Draft Works' evening where dancers were able to show their own choreography. Pietra asked composer Ella Spira to create a bespoke score to allow more freedom to develop the piece and add more dancers. Ella Spira recorded her score in Abbey Road Studios performed by the Orsino Ensemble, an 18 piece orchestra. She called the piece, Reves Au Chemin: Dream, after one of Leonor's paintings. The foundations of Sisters Grimm were formed.
Rehearsal of Fini Trio
Fini and her men
Leonor the Sphinx
Click to watch a rehearsal of the Fini Ballet that was presented at Draft Works:
Choreography- Pietra Mello-Pittman
Music - Written by Ella Spira performed by Ella Spira on piano and the Orsini Ensemble
Nolens Volens Pas de deux - Sabina Westcombe and Akane Takada
Leonor Fini Solo - Romany Pajdak
Two men in Fini Trio - Erico Montes Nunes and Xander Parish