Steps & Times

Scènes de ballet. Daria Sukhorukova, Maxim Chashchegorov, Ensemble. ©Charles Tandy Das Lied von der Erde. Lucia Lacarra, Tigran Mikayelyan. © Staatsballett Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan. Stephanie Hancox. © Charles Tandy
Frederick Ashton /
Kenneth MacMillan

Scènes de ballet / Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan / Frühlingsstimmen / Das Lied von der Erde
Music by Igor Stravinsky, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauß and Gustav Mahler

The critics were in agreement about the high caliber and artistic significance of the choreographers for this first premiere evening of the "Very British!?" season. "On the one hand, the pompous, Edwardian elegance of Ashton who peppers his airy choreography with irony and dry humor, on the other, the proletarian, earthy and sometimes depressing and full of drama-ridden furiousness of MacMillan - Two key figures in choreography of the 20th century Great Britain. They embody distinct opposites who attract and continue the legacy of Ninette Valois at the strictly classical, Russian oriented Royal Ballet and Marie Rambert, an early catalyst of modern currents." (Die Welt)

Naturally, the emotional and intellectual resonance to the evening’s mixed bill was diverse. While some perceived the brilliant play on form of Scènes de Ballet as lacking in emotional content, others complained that Song of the Earth's, focusing on the vast depth of the human soul, to drown in an abundance of such. Not it any way does this belittle the entertainment value of this evening full of musical and choreographic highlights. Interspersed between these two major works of English repertory, are two Ashton miniatures: His waltzing reminiscence of Anna Pavlova and her modern counterpart, Isadora Duncan is performed barefoot with an eclectic range of emotions: raging passion, power, blissfulness and glimpses of revolution peeking through. Voices of Spring pas de deux, another miniature from the mastermind of Frederick Ashton, stays true to the spirit of the music: overflowing with joy and a celebratory gala mood. – that´s all.

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