Northern Ballet, Saturday 10th May 2014 7pm, Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre
Arena Left, Seat C7, £15 (student) - brilliant and easily worth it but still feels a little pricey for a student discount. Could possibly be slightly too close/low for some.
Concerto Six Twenty-Two
This is what the world would look like if we danced rather than spoke to one another. On a good day, obviously, because this (mostly) could not be more joyful. This was perhaps most of all thanks to the ballerinas, whose expression of the wordless joy of dance surpassed any I have ever seen; such intensity of genuine smiles, real individuality and, apparently, spontaneous reactions. Therein lies the genius of this piece, really - it isn't madly complex but is simply so enjoyable and well-performed. It did also, however, boast the most original and daring male pas de deux I have seen in ballet, simply because it did not radically alter the form but proved that two men can perform as tender and gravity-defying a duet as any male/female partnership. Which of course shouldn't need proving in the first place. The prize however goes to Rachael Gillespie; I believe the sun was shining from her eyes.
Very striking, very powerful and occasionally very sinister - the rape pas de deux with the strangling being an example of the latter emotion. The stripy costumes made the piece, accentuating every curve and movement until it was overtly sexual throughout, almost painfully so at times, and yet very beautiful. The only problem was that Abigail Prudames kept smiling, which seriously detracted from the steely gaze of the others.
Symbolic, beautiful, clever, moving, striking and, as ever, excellently performed. Memorable and affecting in the extreme. Benjamin Mitchell and Hannah Bateman looked as if they were genuinely close to tears.
An excellent programme, each piece complementing the others - and the company - to perfection. Come back soon, Northern Ballet! I have never known them not brilliant; wherever, whenever, whatever.