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
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 3 Scottish referendum 'English question': Tory MPs call on David Cameron to create an English first minister in wake of No vote
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Doctor Who, Time Heist, review: Keeley Hawes is marvellous but the Doctor is the real villain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'