Men in Motion, Sadler’s Wells, London

2.00

 

Ivan Putrov’s Men In Motion suffers from the law of diminishing returns.

His first version of the show, unveiled in January, received an unexpected boost through guest star Sergei Polunin’s shock resignation from The Royal Ballet. Polunin made front page headlines, and Men in Motion was a chance to see what the fuss was about. As the news story fades, Polunin is back to make his choreographic debut – which does nothing to lift a desperately weak evening.

The main stage at Sadler’s Wells is an exposing place to make your choreographic debut. Polunin’s new work is a solo for himself, inspired by James Dean. Danced to two snatches of film scores, it’s a naïve mix of virtuoso steps and teenaged angst.

Dressed in Dean’s iconic jeans and white t-shirt, Polunin tugs at the sleeve of a jacket drapes over a chair, pulls unhappy faces and launches himself into jumps and spins. His technique is clear-cut, but has little to do with the vague acting sequences. Thus far, James Dean is another incoherent gala number. Then, for the ending, Polunin runs off stage to amplified car crash noises, prompting stifled giggles from the audience.

James Dean is essentially student choreography, an immature work in desperate need of advice on stagecraft. Looking at the rest of Men in Motion, it’s easy to see why it didn’t get it. For this second version of the show, Putrov – like Polunin, a former Royal Ballet star – has a new lineup of guest stars and numbers. It looks cobbled together from who could show up.

Tim Matiakis gives a punchy performance of Jorma Elo’s Round About Tim, moving with fluid force. At the other extreme, you get Putrov himself in Vestris. Leonid Jacobson created this solo for a young Mikhail Baryshnikov, showing off his technique and his mercurial personality. Putrov minces and smirks his way through the shifts of tone, lacking style and authority.

Polunin appears in an approximate version of Nijinsky’s L’Après-midi d’un faune, awkwardly staged. He looks uncertain in the Faun’s slow poses, though English National Ballet’s Elena Glurdjidze adds some welcome precision as the leading nymph.

Dana Fouras and Matiakis lifted the evening with a poised, intelligent performance of Two x Two. Russell Maliphant’s double solo puts both dancers into boxes of light, their swooping arms and curling torsos echoing each other.

Until 15 March. Box office 0844 412 4300.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
    France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

    Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

    Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
    'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

    Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

    Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
    Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

    Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

    New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

    The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need