Leeds-based Northern Ballet is under new management. Its newly minted artistic director is the former Royal Ballet principal Federico Bonelli, and this means two things: one, that the company is particularly welcome at Covent Garden, Bonelli's home for almost two decades; and two, that its repertoire is moving in new directions.
Presumably Bonelli will keep many of the full-length narrative works for which the Northern Ballet has become justifiably famous, but for its coming visit to the ROH studio theatre, the Linbury, Bonelli's Northern Ballet brings the mixed bill Generations: Three Short Ballets.
It's an intriguing programme made up of two new pieces and one that is already a classic. The American ballerina Tiler Peck, a star of New York City Ballet, whose show at Sadler's Wells earlier this year offered thrilling dancing and a hint of her choreographic talent, contributes one piece, her first choreographic commission for a European ballet company.
The second new work comes from the young Royal Ballet soloist Benjamin Ella. It's a piece inspired by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
The 'meat' of the programme, though, is Hans van Manen's Adagio Hammerklavier. Hans van Manen is the undisputed grand master of Dutch contemporary ballet. His works are rigorous, yet often playful, always mesmerising. In this abstract piece, set to the Adagio from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29, Hammerklavier, the choreographer seeks out the beauty of lines, exploring the geometries the dancers' bodies draw in space. Created 50 years ago, Adagio Hammerklavier is a veritable classic of contemporary ballet.
This bill, marking the opening of Bonelli's first full season at the helm of the company, really represents a cross-section of creative generations in ballet, posing welcome new challenges to Northern Ballet's versatile dancers.
|What||Northern Ballet, Generations: Three Short Ballets, Linbury|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
31 Oct 23 – 02 Nov 23, 19:45 Thur mat at 14:00. Dur.: 2 hours inc two intervals
|Website||Click here to book|