Featuring a world premiere from Wayne McGregor; a dark drama from Kenneth MacMillan and a showcase of acclaimed ensemble work from Christopher Wheeldon, the selection has been carefully curated to demonstrate ballet’s breathtaking range.
Wayne McGregor is renowned for his idiosyncratic contemporary dance. Resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet since 2006, his unique movement vocabulary pushes the limits of what the body can do.
Thinking through and within the body is McGregor’s forte. Perpetually in motion as he strives to defy expectations, he exists at the cutting edge of contemporary culture. His award-winning creative collaborations combine a virtuoso style with an insatiable curiosity concerning the function of dance and its relationship with the other arts, science and technology.
Obsidian Tear is McGregor’s newest work for the Company. A dynamic one-act ballet set to Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen’s celebrated 2011 orchestral work Nyx, Obsidian Tear will probe and perturb the intense pressures which lie within the corporeal shell of the human being.
Kenneth Macmillan’s The Invitation is a ballet grounded in grit and realism. Set in a bourgeois household at the beginning of the twentieth century, this tale of innocence and moral corruption makes for gripping dance theatre.
Two young cousins, a boy and a girl both on the cusp of adolescence, attend a party where they are seduced by an unhappily married, middle-aged couple. While the boy’s seduction may be explained away as a rite of passage, the girl’s experience is brutal.
MacMillan’s explicit choreography ensures vivid enactment of the rape, which was highly controversial when the ballet premiered in 1960. Undercurrents of sexual awakening and psychological trauma are contained within each step, fulfilling MacMillan’s desire to create a ballet where the audience would be moved by something they can recognise.
Seven couples dance in seamlessly shifting duets and groups in Christopher Wheeldon’s artfully arranged ensemble work, Within the Golden Hour. Set to music by Italian minimalist composer Ezio Bosso and originally created for San Francisco Ballet, this one-act ballet is now extolled as one of Wheeldon’s best compositions.
Three central pas de deux moments exhibit Wheeldon’s trademark talent for handling ensembles. Each couple have their own characteristics - emoting lightness, sensuality and confrontation respectively – before weaving back together again for a thrillingly intense climax.
|What||Royal Ballet Triple Bill: McGregor, Macmillan, Wheeldon|
Royal Opera House
Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
28 May 16 – 11 Jun 16, 28 May, 11 June 19:00, mat 4 June 12:30, 11 June 13:30