Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Human Seasons

Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli in The Human Seasons
Photo: ROH / Bill Cooper
Chroma/ The Human Seasons/ The Rite of Spring, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House - reviewed on 9th November

The Rite of Spring
Photo: ROH / Johan Persson
David Dawson's first work for the Royal Ballet, The Human Seasons (pictured above), is inspired by John Keats's poem of the same name which likens the annual changes of weather with the human life cycle. While this theme was not in evidence to me, what was shown was a visually-exciting piece of choreography, with interesting patterns and shapes and some fabulous lifts, especially those involving first soloist Melissa Hamilton.
Performed beautifully by the crème de la crème of Royal Ballet talent, including Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Edward Watson and Marianela Nuñez, the work was classically-rooted with some interesting modern twists, such as unusual pas de deux grips. The new musical score by Greg Haines was also exquisite and skilfully changed mood from vibrant and upbeat to haunting and meditative and back again.

The Human Seasons was sandwiched between two other great works by British choreographers - Wayne McGregor's Chroma and Kenneth MacMillan's The Rite of Spring (pictured left). Both were equally well performed, with special praise going again to Hamilton for her superb McGregor contortions.

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