Opening tonight at The Royal Opera House is 21st Century Choreographers, The Royal Ballet’s first programme in front of a theatre audience since the latest lockdown began last year, which cancelled the planned run of Nutcracker performances over the Christmas period. Here are photos from the dress rehearsal.
The Royal Ballet celebrates some of today’s finest international choreographers in a mixed programme of contemporary work. The programme opens with Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour, originally created for San Francisco Ballet in 2008. Brought into the Royal Ballet repertory in 2016, with glittering designs by Jasper Conran, the ballet weaves ensemble pieces with pas de deux reflecting the beauty of movement.
A world premiere follows with a piece created by American choreographer Kyle Abraham ahead of his commission by The Royal Ballet for the 2021/22 Season. Acclaimed for his mercurial fusion of dance styles, Abraham has created works for his own company A.I.M and for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and New York City Ballet, as well as solo works for celebrated American Ballet Theatre principals Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III. He appeared in the Linbury Theatre in 2014 in a pas de deux created for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature.
Following the Olivier award-winning success of her poignant Flight Pattern, the extraordinary imagination of Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite is demonstrated again in two works created for Nederlands Dans Theater and performed for the first time by The Royal Ballet. The shadowy depths of human nature and boardroom politics are explored in the riveting dance-drama of The Statement contrasted with an atmospheric evocation of winter in Solo Echo, inspired by a poem by Mark Strand and the melancholy beauty of Brahms’s sonatas for cello and piano.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.