Andrew McNicol


Heart's Furies

Created for The Royal Ballet

The original impulse for this piece began unexpectedly with the title Heart’s Furies. I wanted to create a broad statement which would allow much artistic freedom whilst implying the emotional intensity and generosity I wanted to get from the work. 

In a poetic sense, the heart is the centre of our emotions and furies meaning passions or rage suggests strong physical sensations that can be translated into dance and movement. I chose Janacek’s music because it echoed that same intensity, conviction and sudden shift in expression which the title Heart’s Furies suggests. 

Known as Foreboding or From the Streets, the music sets an atmosphere of fearful apprehension. It captures a sense of rage, injustice and uncertainty that feels particularly important and relevant for the times in which we live today. 

Originally composed as a protest for an innocent there is a strong undercurrent of indignation, pauses and questionings. This contrast between these outward actions, protests or surge of energy and moments of introspection felt highly physical. 

In a passionate outburst the music was destroyed and only later saved and resurfaced. I kept returning to this image of the score being thrown into the river, vanishing like white swans into the infinite distance. It felt like a metaphor or wish to have saved something or someone from an uncertain fate. 

These passions or furies became the starting point and inspiration for the work. My challenge was to find a language that would illustrate the intensity and conviction in the music and yet allow the subtleties and pauses to speak with just as much weight. For me, Heart’s Furies is a poetic response to Janacek’s music in which I aim to give expression to the sense of foreboding, uncertainty and remorse

For further information about the work of Andrew McNicol please contact:

Assis Carreiro, MBE -  Artist Management
T. 00 44 7879415882   E.