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Friday night saw the start of my weekend by going to the Royal Opera House to see a triple bill that I had been looking forward to for sometime. I didn't know it, but it was the 6th performance of CoI (Kim Branstrup) and AoA (Liam Scarlett) and the amazing 12th performance of Aeternum (Christopher Wheeldon).
CoI was a visually absorbing piece and I think Jordan Tuinman's lighting needs to be applauded. Without it I think the performance would not have communicated as well. It was great to see the importance of lighting as with transition of projected scenes in a ballet performance - enjoyed the "mirror" effect. I was transfixed by it all, but that might be the reason why at the first interval I was struggling to analyze the choreography with my ballet buddies. I think it may have distracted me too much and missed watching the dancers. Impressive to watch nevertheless.
AoA was the performance that made me book my seat. I had a high expectation for this and I have to say it didn't fail me. What did surprise me was the emotional journey at the end - yup my eyes were watering as we approached it. The set design was brilliant, but it was the ballet narrative that had me absorbed this time. Set in 1940's USA it had that amazing NY sassy feel to it and although sadly Laura Morera could not play Rosetta, Sarah Lamb was a lovely replacement. But the gents stole the show I feel, Steven McRae really playing to his ballet acting abilities as well as his amazing lines and turns. The sexual and emotional turmoil of the group of four and the final rejection of Rosetta was intriguing. But it was Malin played by Tristan Dyer that made me feel emotional. His rejection/love lost/opportunity missed then finally him finding his inner strength to go on was wonderfully performed. And the American lady sitting next to me asked me at the interval what I thought..........telling her Malin was a wonderful performer, she then revealed it was her son!!
Aeternum was the surprise of the night. I don't know much about this piece but it was in the end my favourite choreography of the night. And the stage was full of big hitting names; Nunez. Kish, Bonelli, Kay, Campbell, Cowley Hay et al. It was so fabulous to see them all dance together. Some of the technical movements made me wonder how it was possible. For example doing chaines tours diagonally on stage whilst in and maintaining a deep plie....that was new to me and slightly impossible I would have thought. Loved the Britten's musical score too. The complexity of the dancing and the synchronised movements really made this the top of the bill for me in the end. Thanks RB
I don't work for ROH, but seriously if you have time and there are seats available it is worth seeing. If nothing else there is something for everyone in this Triple Bill.