Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Royal Danish Ballet's Bournonville Celebration

Bournonville Celebration, Royal Danish Ballet soloists and principals, Peacock Theatre - reviewed on 9th January

Ulrik Birkkjaer and Susanne Grinder
in Napoli
Photo: Costin Radu
The Royal Danish Ballet's recent programme at the Peacock Theatre showcased the diversity of its August Bournonville heritage. A pas de sept from A Folk Tale opened the evening, with dancers performing a joyous range of solos, duets and group choreography. The Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux felt under-rehearsed but had beautiful moments and plenty of humour. Comedy also abounded in the short but very sweet Jockeydance, in which two horse-riders - Sebastian Hayes and Marcin Kupinski - tried hilariously to outdo each other.

The second act of La Sylphide lacked both the context normally provided by the preceding act and the scenery needed to convey its magical woodland setting. The pas de trois from Conservatoire was well-performed but similarly lacked sparkle. The third act of Napoli, however, ended the evening with a real flourish, as the whole cast excelled in an explosive array of fast footwork, sudden balances and large leaps.

As a whole, the programme demonstrated the genius, range and timelessness of Bournonville's choreography, and the Royal Danish Ballet's impressive skills to perform it.

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