Now Cathy Marston returns to The Royal Ballet, where she was previously associate artist, with a one-act piece inspired by the great British cellist Jacqueline du Pré (1945-87), set to music by Philip Feeney.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest cellists ever, Jacqueline du Pré’s interpretation of Elgar’s Cello Concerto has never been bettered. She became one half of a golden couple when she married the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim; but her career was cut cruelly short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at 28.
Marston's first work for the ROH main stage is not a straightforward biography, though.
The second piece in the programme comes from Jerome Robbins, one of America’s most compelling dance makers.
Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, which premiered in New York in 1969, was described by the eminent dance critic Alastair Macaulay, writing in the New York Times, as 'a multilayered masterpiece of theatre.'
Robbins insisted that this hour-long piece for 10 dancers, set to a selection of piano works by Chopin, was simply a work of pure dance, with ‘no plot and no roles’. However, it is possible to discern themes of memory and echoes throughout the various dances, enveloped in the nostalgia and feeling of Chopin’s music.
The Royal Ballet acquired Dances at a Gathering in 1970, and Robbins himself came over to coach a first cast of stars that included, among others, Rudolf Nureyev, Anthony Dowell, Lynn Seymour and Antoinette Sibley – ballet royalty to the last.
Dances at a Gathering is a completely timeless work, that always looks fresh and offers scrumptious roles for The Royal Ballet’s A-list.
Definitely one not to miss!
The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering will be broadcast live to cinemas on 25 February 2020. Details here
|What||The Royal Ballet, The Cellist/Dances at a Gathering|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
17 Feb 20 – 04 Mar 20, 19:30 Dur.: TBC one interval
|Website||Click here to book|