Tag Archives: Wayne McGregor

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).

Review: Raven Girl and Symphony in C, Royal Ballet

“36 minutes of pure joy,” said the woman beside me at the end of Symphony in C and I couldn’t put it better: Balanchine’s choreography is pure elegance. The first movement was slightly ragged but could be excused as both principal dancers were late substitutes – all the other three were perfect.

The new work I was looking forward to was Raven Girl. The story by Audrey Niffenegger is darkly, magical and the score by Gabriel Yared matched it well. Wayne McGregor’s choreography seemed good – from what I could see of it. A screen used for projection across the front of the stage, a grim, grey set and gloomy lighting combined to give the effect of standing in front of someone’s house, looking through their window and net curtains to see the ballet on a black and white television in the front room. The only time I could really see the dancers properly was at the curtain call. Maybe it was OK in the stalls.