I saw the final performance of the Royal Ballet's triple bill and I was greatly looking forward to it. With three of the greatest ever choreographers, respectively: Ashton, Macmillan and Robbins it should have been a knockout - it wasn't quite but it was still enjoyable.
Les Patineurs - this proved the most satisfying of all. This early bit of froth from Ashton is witty and charmingly choreographed with its clever skating-like movements. Excellent dancing throughout with a sensational performance from Marcelino Sambe. I think The Garden should revive this more frequently.
Winter Dream - An intense retelling of Chekov's Three Sisters. Marianelle Nunez was injured so we had the excellent Sarah Lamb. The choreography was very beautiful but also quite restrained for Macmillan and the music was solo piano mainly with some balalaika and mandolin, all beautifully arranged from Tchaikovsky. I enjoyed this but it was a very dour affair (I know the original story is not laugh-a-minute) but I think Macmillan should have provided more light and shade. The ballet felt every one of its 55 minutes.
The Concert - I first saw this at The Coliseum ten years ago danced by the excellent New York City Ballet. I absolutely loved it then and found it quite the funniest ballet ever. I don't know whether NYCB, for whom Robbins originally conceived this piece, have it more in their DNA, but when the RB did it last night I barely laughed once. I actually saw the RB do it a few years ago and that was an equally humour-free zone! It's probably me but I don't think the piece stands up to repetition like some other light hearted ballets - Ashton's take on Facade I find funny and charming every time I see it - but this seems laboured and obvious.
I saw it on the 4th also. Patineurs was just wonderful, and I’d like to echo how fantastic Sambé is but also add a word for Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Yuhui Choe as the blue girls also who were excellent! Three very talented dancers that I always enjoy watching.