Review: Rhapsody, Tetractys, Gloria, Royal Ballet

Steven McRae starred as the soloist in Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody, an extremely demanding role that he made seem easy, putting terrific humour into the part. The music was fun too, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (that’s the theme that was used for the South Bank Show music). Wayne McGregor’s new work, Tetractys – the Art of Fugue, followed. As with Raven Girl, it was very dimly lit as if he was trying to hide the choreography and I just didn’t get it. If that was too abstract for me, Kenneth Macmillan’s Gloria was almost too literal in its portrayal of the horrors of the Great War, danced to Poulenc’s Gloria. If Steven McRae’s dancing was the visual highlight of the matinee, Gloria was definitely the musical peak, sublimely played and sung by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus. I wish I could credit the singer but there was a last minute change and I’m not sure of her name.

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