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International Draft Works is part of the Royal Ballet’ds quest to develop new choreographic talent. Its inaugural programme last season was a revelation: all 10 works presented by groups from Europe, the USA and Canada had something going for them, and some were very accomplished indeed.
It made sense, therefore, to turn this initiative into a regular occurrence; and so International Draft Works returns to the Linbury Theatre this spring with both new entrants and repeat performers.
Nine companies have been invited to take part, with Finnish National Ballet and Company ALT.take, made up of dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, making their International Draft Works debut, alongside Company Wayne McGregor and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Finnish National Ballet is a truly international classical company of upwards of 70 dancers, representing some 20 nationalities. There is also a youth company, and it’s likely that they will be the participants in International Draft Works.
As far as we can tell, Company ALT.take is a new, ad hoc group, which will offer us a chance to see some of Paris Opera Ballet’s outstanding dancers, as well as finding out what new choreographic developments are taking place across the Channel.
As hosts, The Royal Ballet will be present, although we don’t yet know which choreographers will show their work; and returning after a good showing last season, are ABT (American Ballet Theatre) Studio Company, The National Ballet of Canada, Norwegian National Ballet and Dutch National Ballet.
Last season we were particularly impressed with Dutch National Ballet’s two contrasting offerings, choreographed by Milena Sidorova: Sand, which we described as ‘a rapturous, playful pas de deux of young love,’ and AI, a humorous riff on artificial intelligence.
By contrast, ABT Studio Company offered a work of pure American abstract dance choreographed by Gemma Bond, which we described as ‘relying on fierce attack, spirited jetés and lifts, rapid changes of direction and multiple turns.’ They’ll likely rely on a similar format for this year’s offering, though they may yet surprise us.
We are all of course, familiar with Wayne McGregor’s work, both through his own company and as resident choreographer with the Royal Ballet; but we’re looking forward to becoming better acquainted with The National Ballet of Canada, Norwegian National Ballet, and Royal New Zealand Ballet.
|What||International Draft Works 2020, Linbury Theatre|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
19 Mar 20 – 21 Mar 20, 19:45 Fri & Sat mats 14:45 Dur.: TBC
|Website||Click here to book|