Magazine article Musical Opinion

Royal Ballet at the Wells

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Royal Ballet at the Wells

Article excerpt

ROYAL BALLET AT THE WELLS

The Royal Ballet ended its Summer Season at the Sadler's Wells Theatre with an eminently well-conceived triple bill, compris ing the World Premiere of a new ballet by a member of the Company and two masterpieces by choreographers of world wide fame.

I saw the performance on 28 July which opened with a flowing performance of Balanchine's early work, Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky's ravishing Serenade for Strings. Zenaida Yanowsky, a tall and eloquent dancer, caught the Balanchine pulse in the leading role and gave a beautifully fluid performance. She was neatly partnered by the much improved Inaki Urlezaga, an artist of great technical skill, who was always respectful of the needs of his ballerina. The female Corps were lovely to look at and quite immaculate in their interpretation of Balanchine's poetic and lyrical style.

Following this classical piece, William Tuckett's macabre setting of Henry James' novella, The Turn of the Screw, could not have been in greater contrast. This intriguing ghost story has inspired a sensational film, a strong stage play and a great opera and has now inspired a striking ballet, full of mood and mystery. As soon as the curtain rose the stark atmosphere of the ghost story was immediately conveyed by Steven Scott's superb projections, which constantly changed from manor house to open gardens as the chilling story unfolded. With a brilliant cast, in which there was no weak link, the ballet was quick to grip the audience. In his most extrovert guise, Irek Mukhamedov looked totally malevolent as Peter Quint, leaping and jumping about the stage in the most menacing fashion while, in a triumphant coup de theatre, the ghost of Miss Jessel was performed by a bald-headed transvestite tantalisingly danced by Bruce Sansom in an evilly erotic manner.

Ricardo Cervera and Laura Morera were totally convincing as the young children, Miles and Flora, and Miles' death scene, where the Governess and Quint fought over his body, was stunningly realised. …

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