San Francisco Ballet completes its two-week, three programme visit to Sadler’s Wells with a final mixed bill that confirmed the company’s range and flair. The dancers were on top form, as they were on opening night - no mean feat considering how hard they have been working - while the programme itself reinforced the troupe’s commitment to new choreography. It was, perhaps, not as consistently dazzling as the first two programmes, with aspects of the choreography less strong and some of the costuming and lighting unflattering. For example, Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour featured dreary sludge-coloured unitards for the men and leotards for the women and the lighting was often murky, which did the piece few favours. By contrast, Mark Morris Beaux, for nine men, was zingily designed in sorbet coloured camouflage by fashion supremo Isaac Mizrahi, but the moves in the mid-section lacked the sustained pace of the first and last.
However, these are really no more than quibbles given the quality of the dancing which was further demonstrated in two works by Yuri Possokhov, the company’s choreographer-in-residence. The first, Classical Symphony, is a neo-classical romp set to Prokofiev’s exuberant score of the same name, and great fun to watch. The second is Raku, a dramatic retelling of the burning of Kyoto’s Buddhist Golden Pavilion in 1950. Yuan Yuan Tan’s performance conveyed considerable dramatic skill, as well as exemplifying the consistently high standard of the San Francisco visitors. An inspiring season for dancers.