The World of Arts:
Dazzling choreographic achievements
Dear Norman are you there? A dancer
from the Royal Ballet ponders
Tonight was a choreographers’ day when they Royal Ballet presented
its new work at the Linbury Studio Theatre to a packed audience. I had
the opportunity to park myself in a balcony seat for a better view of
the Royal Ballet live for the first time in my life, a dream I had been
having for a long time.
For the season of ballets, New Works program was presented by the
Royal Ballet and its choreographers, seven of them. Seven young ideas
pooled together for a spectacular performance. I found among them future
Ashton, Petipa, Fokine, Nureyev, MacMillan etc. because they were
brilliant, brimming with new ideas, innovation and excellence.
The New Works opened with a tribute-dance for the late Norman Morris,
a tireless champion of new work over many years and taught and inspired
many young dancers to persue their ambition and go on to become
‘Dear Norman’ choreographed by Christopher Hampson to the score of
Carlos Mirana, ‘Dear Norman’ was full of artistic altruism that is rare
in a choreographer-to-choreographer relationship that Hampson had with
Danced by Johan Kobborg and Sergei Polunin, it spoke of contemplation
of a theme or an idea that strongly reminded the solitude of embarking
on those first steps of a choreographer to another. It was poignant and
a great tribute to a Master.
‘Recordato’ composer, Michael England who for many years had been
conducting in West End Theatres teamed up with his good friend,
choreographer Ludivic Ondiviela to mount ‘Recordato’ for the Royal
Ballet’s New Works. Ludovic and England had previously collaborated
Draft Works in 2008.
They drew upon the influences of composers such as Mozart, Bach and
the more moder Wax Taylor. This duo made an extension of the original
piece composed in 2008 in three movements for piano, cello and
percussion for tonight’s Linbury Studio Theatre.
The wonderful costumes designed by Mark Lewitt, Lorna Robinson and
Natalia Stewart were admirable in keeping with the modern theme of the
dance. Of the seven dancers, Mara Galeazzi and Cindy Jourdine were
exceptional in their movements that were somewhat difficult to execute.
They were ably supported by Kristan McNally.
‘Les Lutins’ from the offset, it was Alina Cojocaru all the way with
her professional contemporary technique, danced effortlessly. Alina
simply sank into her role to the music of Henryk Wieniawski and Antonio
Choreographed and costumed by Johan Kobborg, Alina’s full
characteristic movement saw her as the firm favourite for the night
mixing and merging the highly virtuosic violin pieces. Alina danced in
most of the important ballets with the Royal Ballet. She was trained
with the Kiev for seven years before joining RB.
Her classical repertory includes Cinderella, Swan Lake, Don Quizote,
Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet etc. She also danced in George
Balanchine’s Symphony in C showing of becoming the principal dancer of
‘Yes We Did. Dancer Kristen McNally turned choreographer introduced a
very, very modern concept into dance echoing President Obama’s words
into dazzling movements. Dancers representing the international
community inspired by an event which saw the collective power of today’s
American citizens change the course of history.
Ballet’s ‘Les Lutins’
It was part music, part voice and the choice spoke for itself. To the
music of Aaron Copland’s ‘Lincoln Portrait’ and ‘Fanfare for the Common
Man’, President Barak Obama’s voice rose with his inaugural speech to
If the music and dancing in ‘Yes We Did’ fascinated the audience,
Obama’s background voice hypnotised all. For a moment I was shaken up.
For Keisten McNally it may have been an unforgettable moment when her
dance ensemble turned her vision into artistic mastery.
It was perhaps Royal Ballet’s best programme for the evening.
National costumes too were conceived by Kristen and it was evident that
she was able to mount ‘Yes We Did’ because of the less pressured,
friendly environment in which to experiment was offered by the Royal
Kristen was inspired by Obama words and she braved it among her
dancers to sink into the inspiration that Obama offered the world. It
was the concept idea that rose above the dancing or the music.
Choreographers from the Royal Ballet: Christopher Hamsdon, Johan
Kobborg, Kristen McNally, Ludivic Ondivela, Viacheslav Samodurov, Liam
Scarlett, Jonathan Watkins.