Tag Archives: Royal Opera House

Review: #ROHManon @_stevenmcrae and Roberta Marquez

Steven McRae tweeted that Act 3 inspired him to pursue a career in ballet. I’m so glad as he and Roberta Marquez were totally inspired in this performance, not just technically brilliant but emotionally enthralling. This is ballet at its most romantic and they were superbly supported, especially by Valentino Zucchetti as Lescault and Yuhi Choe as Lescault’s mistress. In fact, the dancers seemed far more genuinely romantic than the saccharine sweetness of Massenet’s music. Maybe the music contrasted poorly with the simple beauty of Handel’s Xerxes the night before which I sadly had to abandon after Act 1 due to ill health. This made me feel so much better – thanks to all involved.

Review: Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet

First up, Chroma. I thought I detected some White Stripes riffs there, so I checked that co-composer “Jack White III” is indeed that Jack White. It is, and I love his self-deprecating website which I found when checking. The music, co-written and arranged by Joby Talbot, was terrific for dance, with strong rhythms  driving Wayne McGregor’s superbly danced choreography. Next up, The Human Seasons. Greg Haines’ music was pleasant, as was David Dawson’s choreography, but it did go on and my mind wandered away a number of times.

Finally, the wonderful Rite of Spring which I still think this is the greatest ballet score ever written. I always find the Royal Opera House stage amplifies the sounds of the dancers rather annoyingly but Kenneth McMillan’s choreography gets the dancers using it, hands and feet rasping across the fabric covered stage and feet thumping as complementary percussion to the excellent orchestra. Claudia Dean was first class as the  Chosen One and my attention only ever left the stage to watch the orchestra which I could see last night thanks to my more expensive ticket than usual: a whole £11! Well worth it for The Rite  alone (and if they’d cut the central piece I could have been home at a civilised time).