Set against slow-motion projections of explosions by John Gerrard and atmospherically lit by Lucy Carter, its choreography is, as in so many other McGregor’s works, highly demanding of the dancers. In this particular case, McGregor’s trademark hyperextensions and split-second militaristic coordination fit their subject to a T, graphically depicting the repercussions on the human body of nearby fiery explosions.
The second piece in the programme is Christopher Wheeldon’s supremely elegant Corybantic Games.
Created in 2018 as part of the commemorations of Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, and set to Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s 'Symposium', it goes back to ancient Greece, referencing classical athletes and lovers, presided over by a benign goddess.
Corybantic Games features an award-winning collaboration with the dress designer Erdem Moralioglu, and is framed by Jean-Marc Puissant’s set, an abstract classical temple structure.
It is a beautiful work, showing the Royal Ballet dancers at their best, and it alone is worth the price of a ticket.
The third piece of the evening is a Balanchine classic, Prodigal Son. Created in 1929 for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and set to music by Prokofiev, it is loosely based on the eponymous biblical parable, an intensely moving story that follows the path from rebellion to repentance and forgiveness.
The Royal Ballet last danced the work in 2004, Balanchine’s centenary year, so its return to the Covent Garden stage is to be welcomed. Its two central roles, that of the Prodigal Son and the Siren who entices him away, offer a new challenge to the Royal Ballet’s younger stars, such as Marcelino Sambé and Tierney Heap.
|What||The Royal Ballet, Live Fire Exercise Triple Bill, ROH|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
02 Apr 20 – 20 Apr 20, 19:30 Dur.: TBC two intervals
|Website||Click here to book|