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Ratmansky/ Robbins/ Balanchine/ Peck mixed programme, POB

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The best was kept to the last. Justin Peck’s “In Creases” closed the programme, it was the shortest piece with just 12 minutes, it was the one that I enjoyed the most by a distance, and it received the most enthusiastic and longest applause of the evening. With piano music by Philip Glass for double piano, the choreography was musical, rhythmic and dynamic, showing couples and groups of dancers creating and dissolving geometric forms. Standout for me in Peck and in Ratmansky was Marc Moreau with his joy, virtuosity and energy.


All four pieces had the musicians on stage, and with the size of the stage at Garnier, it didn’t restrict the dancing. Alexei Ratmansky’s piece “Seven Sonatas” opened the evening to music by Domenico Scarlatti. Three couples, then various solos followed by three PDD, and then groups of dancers until all came together again at the end. I enjoyed the faster parts more than the slower ones, and I found the costume tops somewhat unflattering for both the women and the men.


Jerome Robbins’ “Other Dances” to Frederic Chopin follows a structure of a slow PDD followed by a fast male solo then female solo then slow male/ female solo and a concluding PDD. I am afraid I’ve added the ballet to the list of those that I don’t like.


The evening picked up for me after the interval. George Balanchine’s "Duo Concertant" did have the pianist and the violinist on stage that Melody was referring to recently. The music by Igor Stravinsky was at times somewhat screechy however thankfully less so when the piano joined in. A couple stands behind the piano and listens to the music. After some time, they walk to the centre of the stage and start to dance, some of it jazzy with rhythmic arm and foot movements. From time to time a dancer walks back to behind the piano to contemplate and listen. The ballet ends in near darkness with a spotlight on just the head of the female dancer; the spotlight increases, the male dancer joins and is followed by the light. He returns to the woman, and the light now highlights only the hands as they intertwine.


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