Review, Apollo, etc., Royal Ballet

I loved Balanchine’s Apollo with Rupert Pennefather in the title role: far better than the disappointing production by ENB last year. It still had the silly air guitar (or was it air lute?) for Apollo but the others abandoned their props quite quickly, although the choreography was unaltered so that Itziar Mendizabal as Polyhymnia held her hand rigidly under her face as if still holding her mask.

My ticket said the other works were “new Wheeldon” and “new Ratmansky.” Sadly the “new Ratmansky” turned out to be “24 Preludes” with music by Chopin. 24 separate pieces of music in 44 minutes! Only three (by my count around the 17th 18th and 24th) were long enough to give the music and dance the chance to develop anywhere, so that’s 21 saccharine pills and a bit of sugar. The Chopin had its usual effect on me, leaving me yawning and having to force my eyes open. I knew I’d never stay awake through the subsequent 30 minute interval so had to go home to bed and missed the Wheeldon; a great shame as it was set to music by Britten. Still well worth the ticket for Apollo alone.

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