A mixed programme of sheer variety and breadth draws the wonderful potential of ballet into one great event, under the baton of Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet.
Classic dance in Ashton’s evocative response to Ravel’s haunting La Valse, brings waves of dancers into an elegant ballroom setting. This gives way to the contemporary with the world premiere of a new work by Kim Brandstrup. Royal Ballet Principals, the music of François Couperin refracted through Thomas Adès and film projection are brought together with Brandstrup’s characteristic sense of nuance and suggestion to evoke an intense relationship tinged with the shadow of Louis XI V and Versailles.
MacMillan’s focus in Winter Dreams is not the narrative of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, but a portrayal of the psychological passions, ambitions and sorrows of its characters. Tchaikovsky provides the music not just for this, but also for the final work, Balanchine’s technical tour de force, the dazzling Theme and Variations, which brings the whole Company together for a fitting.