The first and most anticipated work in this triple bill from the Royal Ballet is the premiere of a new work by choregrapher Kyle Abraham, The Weathering (2022). Ostensibly an “abstract narrative” about loss, the nine movements trace male-male relationships with dance that is lighter than air, diving and resurfacing in a sort of springtime heaven. Though the focus is on the dance, Ryan Lott’s new minimalist score for chamber ensemble is a stunning and emotive work in its own right.

For many, the highlight of the evening is the revival of artistic associate Christopher Wheeldon’s Danse à Grande Vitesse (2006), set to Michael Nyman’s 1993 orchestral work of the same name. The company handle the mechanical group scenes with jaw dropping precision, while a series of emotive pas de deux convey the spirit of the journey. The dance is mostly not at high speed, but Jonathan Lo’s conducting is: Nyman’s score whirls and swells until the Royal Opera House’s roof takes off.

In the middle of these two striking works comes Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo (2012), set in low light against a backdrop of perpetually falling snow: the dance is similarly understated and hypnotic.  The work is not a solo, and the whole ensemble move in yearning lines to convey new meaning to Mark Strand’s poem, Lines for Winter.

Mixed bills are an amazing opportunity to see the entire company showcase their versatility and skill, and (despite one slip) the world class standards of the Royal Ballet.

Playing 24 March – 7 April 2022 at the Royal Opera House.

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