Production: Birmingham Royal Ballet
Venue: York Theatre Royal
Review: Sarah-Jane Silvester
Rating: * * *
Internationally respected for their innovative new ballets this touring ballet company performed three outstanding pieces fusing the classical and modern styles with originality and grace.
The first performance, entitled ‘Concerto Barocco’, interpreted Bach’s Concerto in D Minor. Accompanied by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia the two lead ballerinas mirrored the two violin roles that provided a two-part melody. Such direct interpretation of an orchestral piece was an interesting idea resulting on a heavy reliance on timing, which, unfortunately, was often slightly out.
‘Twilight’, a mini drama told the story of a couple’s quarrel, using the experimental music of John Cage. As the sounds of Cage’s prepared percussive piano intensified, the row exploded in full-blown rage. Ending in a comic sigh as the couple took up the same motif that opened the piece this raw dance delightfully captured sexual politics of couple-life.
The final piece was definitely the highlight. An energetic, light-hearted ballet set to Dave Brubeck jazz classics opened with the iconic 1959 piece ‘Take Five’. Using lighting which threw coloured grids onto the stage and multi-coloured costumes, the six virtuoso dances had a Broadway feel. The ten dancers leapt with incredible athleticism turning and falling to the increasingly frenzied jazz beats.
Such a diverse combination of performances made the night one to remember.