Viviana Durante, who created the role of the woman, always contrived to suggest a kind of sluttish innocence that enhanced the moral ambiguity of this peculiar character. Gillian Revie as yet demonstrates neither the dramatic power nor technical finesse required. Mukhamedov danced with more energy than conviction. The audience certainly wasn't thrilled and the general applause seemed to be sheer relief that the ordeal was over. The individual bows were literally uncalled for.
Glen Tetley's new work, Amores, was the programme's second ballet and used Darcey Bussell, Deborah Bull, Leanne Benjamin, Stuart Cassidy, William Trevitt and Michael Nunn. They fill the stage with Tetley's dynamic chains of soaring jumps and arduous lifts but the ideas seemed to run out very early on. The bath-salts pastels of Nadine Bayliss body-suits and Michael Torke's curiously incidental music threw into terrible relief the athletic blandness of the choreography. The movement certainly told us nothing about the dancers that we didn't already know. Our disappointment was heightened by the sad fact that the Royal Ballet has so few opportunities to work with international choreographers.
When the curtain went up on the white tutus and the sunny sky of Rosenthal blue that herald Balanchine's Symphony in C, a ripple of appreciative delight ran round the stalls like a purr of satisfaction. This, they seemed to be saying, was much more like it. As it turned out, it wasn't all that much like it, but even when underperformed and hobbled by Barry Wordsworth's arthritic approximation of Bizet, the glamorous geometry of Balanchine's 1947 masterpiece ravishes the senses. Darcey Bussell, with her long lines and breathtaking facility, was born to dance Balanchine and her performance on its own would have been worth the licence fee.
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