The Royal Ballet triple bill, Royal Opera House, review
Thursday 15 May 2014
This Royal Ballet triple bill offers two athletic, plotless works sandwiched with a messy narrative. There’s lyricism and attack in George Balanchine’s Serenade and Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse, but Liam Scarlett’s Sweet Violets is overlong and more confusing than ever.
In Serenade, Balanchine brings a youthful, democratic energy to Tchaikovsky: women in tulle run and swirl, with hints of a story emerging from the whirl. The Royal Ballet is inclined to romanticise it, to slow down and act, but there’s bright dancing from Marianela Nuñez, Lauren Cuthbertson and Melissa Hamilton.
Made in 2012, Liam Scarlett’s Sweet Violets was inspired by the painter Walter Sickert and Jack the Ripper, creating a world of prostitutes, music halls and murder. The ballet has superb, theatrical designs by John Macfarlane, but Scarlett’s attempts to streamline his story haven’t clarified it. The women now seem more passive, less ready to fight against fate.
DGV is a dynamic end to the evening. To Michael Nyman’s driving score, a large cast sprint through patterns or slow down for taut duets. Zenaida Yanowsky and Eric Underwood are sensational, all long limbs and expansive power. Natalia Osipova is crisp and sleek. The company performance is exhilarating.
Until 26 May. Box office 020 7304 4000
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
'Beasts of No Nation': Netflix releases trailer of first feature film, starring Idris Elba
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be