The Second Detail/ Polyphonia/ Bella Figura, Boston Ballet, London Coliseum - reviewed on 6th July
|Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth, and Yury Yanowsky in Bella Figura |
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor
I was really impressed by Boston Ballet last week, as they visited London for the first time in 30 years. In Programme 1, they performed a stunning quadruple bill of works by George Balanchine, Vaslav Nijinsky and Jorma Elo. Their second programme, of entirely modern repertoire, was equally impressive, with complex choreography by William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon and Jiří Kylián.
Wheeldon's Polyphonia made the least impression, with the majority of choreography feeling like wading through mud in search for gold. There were a few moments of 'gold' - notably a beautifully lyrical pas de deux and solo for Ashley Ellis and a playful duet for Adiarys Almeida and Jeffrey Cirio - but the rest I could have done without.
Forsythe's The Second Detail was a fabulous feast of contemporary ballet, with classical jumps and pirouettes interspersed with high leg extensions and modern arm lines. Dancers moved in and out of solo and group numbers with remarkable vitality and stamina, constantly interweaving and overlapping.
|John Lam in The Second Detail|
Photo: Gene Schiavone
Bella Figura completed the bill with style. Kylián's choreography is very precise with every movement having a specific meaning. Whilst I was unable to appreciate each of these meanings, such as a dancer embraced and lifted by fabric arms, topless females, shoulders that refused to stay down and curtains suddenly opening/closing, it was fascinating to watch and attempt an interpretation.
What I enjoyed even more than the significant but unexplained choreography, is the way Kylián never failed to surprise. His works are always challenging, engaging and confrontational, and Boston Ballet gave a stellar performance delivering Bella Figura's numerous unexpected moments.
It has been a pleasure to see Boston Ballet this week and I hope they don't leave it another three decades to return to London.