It feels like forever since my last trip to my Spiritual Home. It blatantly hasn’t been but with the days growing ever shorter (seriously, what is this night time by 4pm?), June feels a whole other lifetime. The Royal Ballet’s 2012/2013 season started ages ago but my first Period 1 viewing didn’t come until last night. Whilst seemingly the entire ballet going populous of the metrop has seen Swan Lake already, I didn’t even get that one in as my first viewing (that comes next week). No, I kicked off my 2012/2013 season viewing with a triple bill of ‘so hot right now’ choreographers: Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. Awesome beans.
Liam Scarlett initially choreographed Viscera (his second full length after the divine Asphodel Meadows) on Miami City Ballet. It’s a piece quite far removed from Asphodel Meadows, it’s a lot sharper, punchier and has so much more attack. Really, all things considered, it was a vehicle for Laura Morera who was completely and utterly somewhere beyond incredible as she tore up the stage. Can we please take a moment to appreciate how completely and utterly brilliant she is? A communal moment of contemplation? Thank you. There was a brilliantly understated pas de deux for Marianela Nuñez and Ryiochi Hirano, sitting so comfortably within the music it almost hurt to watch. Scarlett is really, really finding his choreographic voice and it is so exciting to watch – his use of space and the corps and motifs are amazing. I really can’t wait to see where he goes next.
I think I consider Wayne McGregor’s Infra to be his magnus opus although it’s a close run thing with his earlier Chroma. I have so many ~feels about Infra, so many. I think I run through the entire gamut of them every time I watch Infra. It’s one of those pieces that leads you by the hand and then punches you right between the eyes (in a good way). The juxtaposition of the choreography and the Julian Opie installations are perfect and Hans Richter’s score underlines all this – the crackly, static sound that breaks up as if trying to hear the music through all the sound of every day life and once we stop we can hear it. As Trevor Chaplin wisely once said “There are two kinds of people in this world: those who hear the music and those who don’t”. The cast were incredible as well. I found myself starting to cry at Olivia Cowley’s dancing – honestly she looked born to inhabit the role – and kind of didn’t stop after that. The moment where Sarah Lamb (although I really miss Lauren Cuthbertson in the role) sinks to the floor in a silent scream amongst a crowd that just passes by is still one of the most visually haunting moments in ballet ever, a real kick to the stomach, flood of ~feels kind of moment. And winding up with the Marianela Nuñez/Edward Watson pas de deux is just delicious perfection. It’s a piece that I get something different from with each viewing and one I will always leave the auditorium under the influence of complex ~feels from.
The final piece was Christopher Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise, a dreamy, floaty, sensuous piece set to a Joby Talbot score that is simply divine. It’s one of those pieces where everything blends together well. In places there was a sort of ‘snapshot’ feel to the choreography, as though the music were being stretched out to go from one static to the next but that’s what Wheeldon does really: he plays within the music. It’s a piece I’d love to see again to try and be able to get some kind of hold on how I feel about it, to be able to put it into words. I wonder if the budget will stretch…